Marion Bay

keegz's picture
keegz started the topic in Monday, 16 Jun 2014 at 6:47pm

Hey fellas,

I'm taking my better half to Marion Bay caravan park at the end of the year to kind of.. go back to basics and just enjoy the simple things. I'm not after any secret spots or anything but would like to get a little bit of a heads up on a great beginner wave to introduce her to surfing? Any input would be appreciated. I have a 4wd and am willing to drive to make it worth her while.

Is there such a spot? I've never been to yorkes peninsula before and am pretty damn excited!!

Zeldon's picture
Zeldon's picture
Zeldon commented Monday, 16 Jun 2014 at 9:25pm

Pondie (pondalowie bay) there is a whole 3k stretch that turns in richards. Have fun

yorkessurfer's picture
yorkessurfer's picture
yorkessurfer commented Monday, 16 Jun 2014 at 9:48pm

Right in front of the Marion Bay Caravan Park is a tiny little pointbreak called Penguin Point. On one of those softboards(hire one from the local surfshop) you can get her started in the prevailing SE windswell that we get in summer. For a cleaner beginner wave hit South Berry Bay near Corny Point!

mothart's picture
mothart's picture
mothart commented Tuesday, 17 Jun 2014 at 10:01am

Don't know if pondi is the best place to begin.
If yor girl has the ability to catch an unbroken wave and ride the face, yes perfect. But for a white water beginner, the shorey turns into boomer with any sort of size, and has claimed many a beginner victim.
That being said, the further south you head from the boardwalk the smaller it gets.
What about whitewaters at the dusty bowl?.. Just watch out for rips.

keegz's picture
keegz's picture
keegz commented Tuesday, 17 Jun 2014 at 4:20pm

Thanks heaps for the input fellas. I'll check pondie out and assess from there. Shes a greeny and will struggle on any wave with size. Thanks for the directions.

funpeeler's picture
funpeeler's picture
funpeeler commented Tuesday, 24 Jun 2014 at 6:56pm

Totally agree with yorkessurfer. Was going to post that same post myself!

Penguin point also OK on a massive winter west swell.

Pondie not a good option at all. Maybe down the beach at Richards on a tiny swell and low tide.

Lines of white water at weeny little lizards would be good for a rank beginner too.

cgrover's picture
cgrover's picture
cgrover commented Tuesday, 24 Jun 2014 at 6:58pm

Berry Bay is a pretty well-used beginner spot - a straight-hander mostly but a good spot to have a crack - can be a bit rippy for beginners but if she's competent in the water she'll be fine.

keegs's picture
keegs's picture
keegs commented Sunday, 16 Nov 2014 at 6:14pm

Thanks heaps for the information guys, been reading atlas information and a few coastal books about yorke peninsula. Pretty excited as the year is coming to an end for my business and I can almost smell the holiday.

Without trying to push the friendship too much I need to try and break the drive back to Aldinga up and was trying to find something about halfway from Marion Bay caravan park that is nice (can be camp site or hotel accomodation) that has a bit of something to offer. I noticed that Port Wakefield looks close to half way and has a nice little country town look to it. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

also is there any must see & do's while im in Marion Bay or around that should definitely not be missed? As far as surf beaches go ill probably just keep to berry bay for the misses and pondie for myself if conditions suit.

I've noticed on the other thread re SA cruisen that flies are a big thing, is it just as bad down this end of the peninsula? might have to invest in one of those fly net hats if it is haha.

thanks in advance guys.

sir ambrose beachfucker's picture
sir ambrose beachfucker's picture
sir ambrose bea... commented Sunday, 16 Nov 2014 at 6:36pm

Keegs no need to break up the journey only 4 .5hrs with traffic from aldinga
but if you really have to Pt wakefield no no no no try one of the last beach side towns on the peninsula

keegs's picture
keegs's picture
keegs commented Sunday, 16 Nov 2014 at 6:39pm

I didnt word it too well sir ambrose , It's more so to break up the drive and give us a chance to see a bit more of the place. thanks mate.

yorkessurfer's picture
yorkessurfer's picture
yorkessurfer commented Sunday, 16 Nov 2014 at 7:06pm

The flys aren't as intense as the Eyre Peninsula but they have their moments. 'Remember the Aeroguard and have a good weekend'.

There's so much to see in the Innes National Park I could write an essay but as a quick guide don't miss Dolphin Bay. There's no surf but it's one of the most beautiful beaches you will ever see.

Also do the 2km Stenhouse Bay Lookout Trail which winds its way along the cliffs above Stenhouse Jetty and has historical relics and incredible views of the coastline and islands. Pick a day or morning when the winds not too strong because it can be blowy up there.

The historical town of Inneston is also a must see.

All the different turnoffs as you drive through the park are worthwhile with shipwrecks, viewing platforms, lookouts and the white sandy beaches.

On the way home you could drive up the Eastern side of the peninsula through Edithburgh, Coobowie, Port Vincent and Pine Point and stay at Ardrossen for the night?
Or head up to Maitland, Moonta and stay at Wallaroo before heading home from there for a different experience?

Hope you have a great holiday keegs!

inzider's picture
inzider's picture
inzider commented Sunday, 16 Nov 2014 at 8:14pm

Flies oh the flies, how bad are they when you need to slice a nature loaf, next level.
My technique is to just slice off a decoy loaf then move a few metres away to finish the rest, the decoy loaf has most of them fooled. Dont forget to bury and dont leave your poo ticket lying around.

yorkessurfer's picture
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yorkessurfer commented Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 at 4:18pm

I went for a walk myself up the Stenhouse Bay Lookout trail the other day and took a few pics of the coastline after having a surf at Chinaman's. The trail has gotta be the best kept secret in the Innes National Park.

One thing of interest up there is the so called 'Chinaman's grave' which I'm sure is how the wave Chinamans got its name. The poor bugger was in fact the first Vietnamese to arrive in South Australia having died on a ship at sea.

The captain intended to 'bury' him at sea but his shipmates threatened a mutiny if his body was not taken to land and buried according to his Buddist customs. So his grave ended up here in this isolated place.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 21 Nov 2014 at 11:58am

Wow nice one YS, never knew about that walk, get some sweet angles of Chi's from there as well.

PS Keegs, avoid Port Wakefield at all costs :o

maddogmorley's picture
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maddogmorley commented Friday, 21 Nov 2014 at 1:05pm

I always thought Chi's got it's name from Chinaman Hat Island - which if you squint does looks like one of those conical hats you see in the Asian countries to me. Or perhaps that's how the island got it's name as well?

southey's picture
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southey commented Friday, 21 Nov 2014 at 1:49pm

Sounds like chinese whispers to me .....

The break is way off in the distance from that Grave though ...

Its funny how the evolution of place names even non surfing goes ....

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog commented Friday, 21 Nov 2014 at 2:05pm

"Its funny how the evolution of place names even non surfing goes ...."

"Winkipop"..... What' the story behind the name "winkipop"? And why are there 2 winkipops? (Vicco and Sydney)

Sheepdog

shaun's picture
shaun's picture
shaun commented Friday, 21 Nov 2014 at 2:39pm

I heard many a year ago the Winki got called Winkipop cause the wife of the local farmer used to refer to a naughty as Winkipop, sound a bit far fetched but, that's what I was told by one of the old boys that chucked a few bob in to carve a road in. Brutus might know if this has any truth to it.

I think in the early days breaks used to get named after Hawaiian and Californian breaks.

I'm the scab you keep picking off and is there again the next day.

yorkessurfer's picture
yorkessurfer's picture
yorkessurfer commented Friday, 21 Nov 2014 at 3:26pm

I know Nat Young claimed Chinaman's was named for the nearby island's resemblance to a Chinaman's Hat in the surfing atlas he wrote in the 80's.
They do call the island Chinamans Hat Island but I always wondered if the Chinaman's Grave was what inspired the name of the island and hence the wave's name?
I can't really see how the island looks like a Chanamans Hat myself? Ah well had a fun little surf out there this morning anyways!

Beacon's picture
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Beacon commented Friday, 16 Jan 2015 at 3:32pm

Hello everyone I was wondering about the marion bay shop and why there is nothing in it.....I have been staying down here for a week or so and have had to visit the shop a few times and there is nothing to buy ?? What is with the people behind the counter, very unfriendly not even a smile or hello ?? You would think that since the shop closed at stenhouse bay that this place would be stocked up with all sorts of goodies. I wonder when someone will finally open up something bigger and better and start selling a decent coffee and sit back and watch the people lining up again.

yorkessurfer's picture
yorkessurfer's picture
yorkessurfer commented Friday, 16 Jan 2015 at 3:57pm

Haha heard that so many times Beacon. All the locals drive the few hundred km round trip to shop in Yorketown for that reason. The people who took over the shop blew into town a few years ago and are just here to cash up before they retire.
Since the Stenhouse Bay shop closed he has a monopoly so doesn't have to be nice I guess? Sad really as this area has generally had a friendly reputation but the shopkeeper really is the face of the town to outsiders so that reflects on all of us who live here.

We who get our fuel and collect our mail there just have to put up with it like everyone else who visits and hopefully in a few years someone will take it over with more enthusiasm to make it a better place to shop.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Friday, 16 Jan 2015 at 4:46pm

" Its a local shop , for local people " - League of gentlemen.

Don't try the meat out of the freezer .

Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog commented Friday, 16 Jan 2015 at 5:56pm

Why did the stenhouse shop close, yorko?

Sheepdog

yorkessurfer's picture
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yorkessurfer commented Friday, 16 Jan 2015 at 6:13pm

It was primarily mismanagement in my opinion Sheepy but the National Park messed up the campgrounds so people didn't want to camp anymore. That affected their business. It was a combination of the two I think.

Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog commented Friday, 16 Jan 2015 at 6:42pm

That's a shame.... What happened to the campgrounds? Were they free and now you have to pay, or did they "beautify" and it looked like shite?

Sheepdog

yorkessurfer's picture
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yorkessurfer commented Friday, 16 Jan 2015 at 7:41pm

The Innes campground saga is a tale worth re-telling. Since the National Park opened in the early 70's a culture of camping had developed. Long weekends, holidays and any time the surf was pumping it was almost a right of passage for surfers to come down and camp in one of the beachside campgrounds in the park.

Fathers would take their teenage sons(and daughters) down to surf and camp and tell stories of the shenanigans they got up to down there when they were young. Sure things got a little crazy sometimes like the mini-riot that happened at the Pondalowie Surfers Camp in the late 80's. It made the front page of the paper in Adelaide but really it was blown out of proportion.

The parks management had a bit of a grudge against the surfers after that and when the National Park was being re-developed in the mid-2000's they saw it as an opportunity to create some order.
The Pondalowie Surfers Camp was closed and a new campground a few km away from the surf was developed to herd the unruly surfers in with the general public . I mean 'herd' literally as small box like wire fences were put up surrounding each campsite which meant it was impossible to socialise with other campers.

Of course camping numbers plummeted. After working all week in the city the last thing the weekend warriors want is to be subjected to sterile caged camping.
And so the great experience of camping in amongst the trees and with nature was over and people started renting holiday houses in Marion Bay instead which spelled the end of the Stenhouse Bay shop and Rhinos Tavern.
It's been a real loss to the area for locals and visitors alike.

Beacon's picture
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Beacon commented Friday, 16 Jan 2015 at 9:40pm

Thanks Yorko....I get your drift, it has been very interesting reading your comments, I have been coming down here for nearly 40 years surfing and have seen all the changes but not for the better in many instances. It is a beautiful place and the locals are very friendly people and willing to lend a hand & advice. I thought the national park was for people so don't really understand why they have been driven out. As for the shop (sorry to harp on about this topic) how can it make any money if locals don't really support it etc, wouldn't have thought the holiday crowds would have made enough retire money for it. Any thoughts on this ?

yorkessurfer's picture
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yorkessurfer commented Friday, 16 Jan 2015 at 10:17pm

Mate that shop is a licence to print money. Fisho's are filling up their boats and launching at the boat ramp almost every day of the year. The charter boats get up to a dozen people from each boat buying toasted sandwiches and coffee before they head out. Plus bait and tackle. Then there's all the people heading to the National Park. The shopkeeper signed the lease when the Stenhouse shop was still open so his turnover would have increased at least 30% when that shut.

I think the town needs a decent small supermarket. All the new housing developments like Marion Bay Sands and Marion Bay Rise won't really takeoff until there is a proper store. People think it's such a great place and would love to build a holiday shack but with nowhere to buy groceries without driving 100km it just puts them off.
Part of me likes the fact that most people find it too hard living here. I like that it's so quiet most of the year. But it can be hard to find someone to go surfing with sometimes believe it or not?

stray-gator_2's picture
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stray-gator_2 commented Friday, 16 Jan 2015 at 10:25pm

Sneaky J, YS? He's usually up for it.

I aim to give you something that you can keep for life. A bit like herpes. My techniques are not available in any book or course; what would scientists know? I have played with model trains for 40 plus years.

yorkessurfer's picture
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yorkessurfer commented Friday, 16 Jan 2015 at 10:46pm

Is that Jon-Jon stray-gator? He's sometimes lurking around surfing by himself during the week. I'm often sitting in my car somewhere watching the surf then I psych myself out and drive away, get a few km down the road then John or someone drives past with boards on the roof so I turn around. Of course when it's pumping surfers come out of the woodwork but there's a lot of clean 2 to 3ft days when the surf is empty.

keegz's picture
keegz's picture
keegz commented Saturday, 17 Jan 2015 at 9:08am

Back from my yorke peninsula holiday for 2 weeks now and missing it heaps. Pondalowie was an awesome little break and clean for atleast 2-3 days when i was there. Had a great time exploring all of the coastal walks. Got some great panoramic photos id love to put up of stenhouse bay jetty and other coastal shots but literally have no idea how to put them up here... or if people would be against me doing it too..

Had a run in with a very large brown snake under my navara too! :O

Was an awesome trip and glad to have come home when i did though as the fires in the hills on the way home to vicco were pretty big and made for a very smokey drive home.. only to run into bigger fires in western vic through arrarat and horsham areas..

all in all a good adventure and am looking forward to my next holiday in western aus.

keegz's picture
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keegz commented Saturday, 17 Jan 2015 at 9:15am

P.s beacon - had an interesting encounter with the old leather skinned tart behind the Counter of that general store.. blatantly ignored my girlfriend who was waiting at the counter patiently with nobody else in the shop.. had to make her aware of how rude and useless she was before she even pretended to acknowledge us...

Do they not want the business??

Beacon's picture
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Beacon commented Saturday, 17 Jan 2015 at 9:35am

Apparently not keegz. The area needs that new supermarket eh. Yorko a final question, what happened to the surf shop and the guys that were running it, didn't they also look after the shop too. Was quite surprised to see the surf shop had closed when I was down there, they were nice folks. I don't blame you for wanting it to stay quiet but with all the housing going up its just going to get busier eh.

yorkessurfer's picture
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yorkessurfer commented Saturday, 17 Jan 2015 at 10:42am

@Beacon yeah true it's gonna get busier around here, you can't stop progress hey!

The guy who was running the surf shop back then still owns the whole block of shops. He has been working up at Moomba for a few years chasing $$(he's a tradie). When he leased the surf shop out it was taken over by some non-surfers so that side of the business went down and it became more of a fishing/clothing shop. Like a lot of small businesses it takes someone with drive and enthusiasm to make it successful. Guess that was lacking?

@keegs-. The best way to post your pictures in my opinion is to download the Imgur app. After choosing the picture you want to post from your album you hit 'upload' icon, when that's done then hit 'get embed codes' icon. Then you select the 'bb-code' icon which will copy the code. Then you paste this into your comment and when you post your comment your image will magically appear.

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keegz commented Saturday, 17 Jan 2015 at 11:45am






Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog commented Saturday, 17 Jan 2015 at 11:51am

Yeah be careful what you wish for, yorko... The sunshine coast "hamlets" were once pristine.. People in Coolum used to whinge about only having the IGA.... Now it's a nightmare....
Great photo's, keegs :)

Sheepdog

yorkessurfer's picture
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yorkessurfer commented Saturday, 17 Jan 2015 at 1:55pm

Nice pics keegz. Yeah sheepy the part of me that resents having to spend $30 on fuel each time I need to go shopping wants a grocery store in town. The other part of me that likes it nice and quiet down here is quite happy with the status quo. Hopefully petrol stays cheap for a while.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Saturday, 17 Jan 2015 at 3:00pm

Is that Pondalowie with the little island out the front ? The first photo.

yorkessurfer's picture
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yorkessurfer commented Saturday, 17 Jan 2015 at 3:23pm

That's the spot blowin. Here's a few pics of it when there's some better waves(hope I don't upset barley)!

keegz's picture
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keegz commented Saturday, 17 Jan 2015 at 3:41pm

Yeah blowin. Took the photo from the boardwalk to give a wider photo of surrounding vegetation.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Saturday, 17 Jan 2015 at 4:08pm

Looks fun. Couldn't believe the crowd on Keegz photo. The only time I've been to Yorkes I didn't see another surfer. Wasn't amazing but wasn't utter shit either.

Beautiful place , great photos gents . Cheers.

As for the campground - stayed there and saw not one other person . Got rat arsed drunk with the chick I was with next to a raging bonfire in the middle of the area and rutted under the stars like animals.

Fucking national parks. They're doing the same everywhere. Blowholes at Quobba is next on their hit list of places to ruin. Same as Pondie- wire fences, demarcations , rules and generally destroying any vibe of freedom. Cunts.

Day at the Bay's picture
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Day at the Bay commented Sunday, 18 Jan 2015 at 9:29pm

A bit harsh Beacon. Its not like we are located in Rundle Mall...

Day at the Bay's picture
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Day at the Bay commented Sunday, 18 Jan 2015 at 9:31pm

Beacon wrote: Hello everyone I was wondering about the marion bay shop and why there is nothing in it.....I have been staying down here for a week or so and have had to visit the shop a few times and there is nothing to buy ?? What is with the people behind the counter, very unfriendly not even a smile or hello ?? You would think that since the shop closed at stenhouse bay that this place would be stocked up with all sorts of goodies. I wonder when someone will finally open up something bigger and better and start selling a decent coffee and sit back and watch the people lining up again.
Day at the Bay's picture
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Day at the Bay commented Sunday, 18 Jan 2015 at 9:33pm

Takes two to smile tango.

pobblebop's picture
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pobblebop commented Tuesday, 24 Nov 2020 at 10:32pm

Do any Yorkes locals know where I can hire a softboard/surfboard? Going for a weekend with friends, we all have our own boards but my brother is keen to come and hasn’t ever surfed before.