CAWA Trip 2018 – Point Labatt Sea Lion Colony

Posted on

29/9/18

There are a couple of scenic drives from Streaky Bay and we set off on the first one this morning with our packed lunch. We headed south along the Flinders Highway and after one wrong turn, we found the road which led us to Murphys Haystacks which is a 1500 million year old geological wonder. This formation of pillars and boulders date back 100,000 years are known as inselbergs. Buried by calcareous dune sand about 30,000 years ago but then revealed by subsequent erosion the pink granite forms today stand on a hillside on privately owned property. Of course, the property was originally Murphy’s and from a distance they looked like haystacks to travellers on the mail coach, hence the name.

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The property owner has provided a parking area, picnic tables, toilet and walking tracks with information boards so we were happy to pay our donation of $2 each and buy some of his White Mallee honey via the honesty box. You can also camp here for $10 overnight.

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Back on the road it quickly turned to unsealed for the remaining 42km of our drive but it was solid and there were not too many cars to kick up the dust. We did however have to watch out for these little lizards all along the way as they made their slow crawls across the road.

It wasn’t too long before the rolling farm scenery changed to salt lakes and then to the blues and greens of the waters of Baird Bay. We stopped for some photos and then continued along the outline of the Bay until we turned to cross the point to be on the ocean side for the Point Labatt Sea Lion Colony.

A purpose-built viewing platform has been built 50m above the colony so that we could view them easily in their natural habitat. This is the only permanent colony of sea lions on the Australian mainland and while binoculars and zoom lenses give you closer viewing you can see them quite well with your own eyesight. They co-habit with New Zealand fur seals and the colony of 50 simply laze on the rocks, fish and swim in the waters. We counted about 30 while we were there and I also shot a video where I zoom in towards the end. The water here is also so clear and the colours are amazing.

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There are no other facilities at Point Labatt so we retraced our steps to the junction and then headed north to Sceale Bay (pronounced Scales) where we found a picnic area with facilities and this lovely view of the beach. DSCN6923

We were back on sealed road again now for the return drive to Streaky Bay where we stopped in town to pick up some bread and milk and to fill the car with fuel. Apart from one café, the pub and two grocery stores nothing else was open. That’s pretty sad when it’s a long weekend and school holidays but this afternoon is the AFL grand final. We took a few photos and headed home for a relaxing remainder of the afternoon.

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