Trip Leader: Martin & Karen Archer
Participants: 29 Adults , 2 kids.
The Cheynes Beach camping trip ran from Saturday January 10 to Tuesday January 20. We had booked 3 group areas consisting of 4 sites in each area. And 3 other members had booked their own sites, making a total of 15 (29 adults and 2 kids).
This was the second year that we have led this trip to Cheynes Beach. So this trip was planned to be more relaxed without needing to run day trips to explore the area. So over the 10 days there was lots of relaxing on the beaches, swimming, and fishing or catching up on some reading.
The beach in front of the caravan park stretches for 22 kilometres to the east, so there is plenty of white sand to find a quiet spot with no one else in sight. The west end of this beach can be driven on quite easily, but travelling towards the east becomes more difficult with soft and very ‘squeaky’ sand.
There is also a secluded sandy bay hidden within the National Park behind the Caravan Park and accessible by a ‘testing’ sandy track. The access difficulty means that not many other people visit the location. Exiting the beach requires low tyre pressures to get up the twisting track covered by a soft sand dune.
We also visited the sheltered inlet in Waychinicup National Park about 10 kilometers from Cheynes Beach. Access is by a somewhat corrugated gravel track. The inlet has a number of sheltered campsites which are controlled during peak periods by a camp ground host. There are also well maintained drop toilets on site. The location has a wonderful enclosed inlet fed by the ocean waters splashing over the rock outcrop at the mouth of the river. The protected waters allows for safe swimming from the sand and rock shoreline. The only downfall is that you have to cart all your gear down a steep gravel track from the car park.
Other beaches were revisited during the stay, including Betty’s Beach which has a number of free camp sites and fishing shacks. It also has a sandy bay protected from the ocean swell by a rock outcrop. While swimming with the grand kids in the bay, there were calls from the others sitting on shore to get out of the water because they saw fins in the water. The recent death of a young man from a shark attack at Cheynes Beach had made some feel uneasy about swimming. However, on this occasion the fins turned out to be a pod of dolphins in a feeding frenzy on the other side of the rock outcrop.
Other days included trips into Albany for restocking supplies and some took the opportunity to visited the revamped ANZAC museum and memorial. Some members also took a drive to the Porongorups to climb the Skywalk.
We were very lucky with the weather with most days being mild to warm. The evenings where a little cool but with the advantage of having a camp fire, meant we could all gather and chat the night away. Karen and Helen organised a card game on the second last night which kept everyone entertained including the kids.
We will not be repeating the trip again in 2016, but if any other members wish to organise a trip to Cheynes Beach, Joanne at the caravan park will be more than pleased to assist you in organising group or individual sites.
Thank you to all those who attended this year for the pleasure of your company.
Martin and Karen