Tiparra Rocks

 

This is the beach at Tiparra Rocks looking south towards Balgowan.  In nicer weather, it is a lovely beach with clear water and good swimming.

Tiparra Rocks is about 5 or 6 kilometres north of the small township of Balgowan on the west coast of Yorke Peninsula.  Balgowan is about 170 k's from Adelaide.  Depending on which way you head into Balgowan, the road is sealed all the way.  Once you reach the township, follow a dirt road north for a short while and then you'll see a sign indicating left.  The road deteriorates somewhat, but leads to a few nice little campsites, Tiparra Rocks being one of them.  This road can be rough, especially after rain, so I'd be very careful with the 2WD and caravan.  You should be OK if you take it easy.  A 4WD and off-road van or trailer would be no problems.

After bumping along this track for a few kilometres there is a track leading off to the left.  It should be signposted and will look exactly like the photo below....

Then it's only a very short drive as the track heads west and then turns sharply north.  Watch what you are doing here as the road just drops off onto the beach without any warning.  Don't miss the turn.  This is what it looks like....

There are only two camp sites here.  Both have a short track in, but can be seen from the parking area.  The road ends here too, so there is no through traffic.

Both sites are nestled amongst the low sandhills.  They provide only a small amount of protection from the westerly winds.  South westerlies are bad, north westerlies not so bad.  Anything from the south east or north east will be offshore, and you will be out of the wind.  There is no shade here, so, if visiting in the warmer months you'll need to bring your own.  The northern most site is the biggest, and there would be room for a couple of families and their tents.  The other site is a bit smaller, but still large enough for a large family group.  If you had a caravan, you may be better off just parking it at the end of the road, not far from the second site.  It is flat and hard ground here.  Manoeuvring a van in and out of the sites themselves may be a bit tricky.  

The ground at the sites is sandy.  Underneath the sand though, the ground can be rocky and may cause a few issues with tent pegs.  I found that some pegs wouldn't hold because of the sand and others I couldn't get into the ground because of the rocks.  It was a little frustrating, but moving around a little solved the probem. 

This is the southern most site.

And this is the northern most site.

There are no facilities at all, so you are going to have to be self sufficient.  Camp fires are allowed at the sites, but bring your own wood. There is a small store at Balgowan, but it is not always open.

Spring and autumn are good months to visit.  Summer is good too as long as it's not too hot.  As I mentioned, there is no shade at all and, being protected from the south easterlies in summer, the sites can be very hot indeed.  Because you are out of the wind, the flies are thick too.  Having said that though, summer is great because you can swim at the beach and snorkel/dive around the reef at high tide. 

Winter is not bad on calm days, as it doesn't get too cold.  However, when the wind comes up, it'll either be from the north west or the south west (usually the north west first, then swings round to the south west) which means onshore.  This can make things a bit uncomfortable and it'll stir the water up too.

Fishing and swimming are popular pastimes here.  The dog is welcome.  The beach sees little wave action, but can still be subjected to small rips, so keep on eye on the kids.  At low tide, you can walk out onto the reef and snorkel around it.

Mullet are caught from the beach during their autumn run.  Garfish are a possibility from the reef or beach and throwing a few soft plastics around could result in a few flathead and small salmon.  Tommies can be berleyed up too, from the beach or rocks.

Photographers wil be pleased with the late afternoon light, as it makes the low cliffs along the beach glow.  Combine this with the motion of the water and you can come away with some nice photos.

There is not a great deal of wildlife to tbe seen here, as there is only a very small strip of bush between the ocean and farmland to the east.  However, kangaroos are sometimes seen, along with the odd echidna.  Bird species include the usual suspects like seagulls, pacific gulls, terns and pelicans, along with honeyeaters and wrens amongst the bush.

Camping here is free, but you still need a permit.  Please see this page for places to obtain a permit:

 http://www.harvestcorner.com.au/index.php/bush-camping

It really is a nice little spot, not far from Adelaide.  An ideal area for a night or two, especially in pleasant weather.