Fishing : Keep River

While we were in Kununurra, we had the pleasure of being invited out on a fishing trip with a local couple – Crystal and Jarrod.  The destination was Keep River, which is about 70km north of Kununurra, across the border into the Northern Territory.  The trip didn’t take long at all, even after a quick visit to the Hoochery, and we had our camp set up by around lunchtime.



Keep River is a muddy, tidal river inhabited by saltwater crocs.  During the dry when the river is low and the muddy banks are baked in the sun, you can see massive croc tracks in the dry mud.  That’s why you need to be super careful when fishing next to the river.  You don’t want to stand in the water while fishing, avoid repetitive activities near the water and don’t camp or clean your fish next to the river.  There are a few species of fish that live in the Keep River, and the most wanted of all is barra!


Barramundi is massive.  When you go fishing for barra, legally, your catch needs to be between 55cm and 80cm. It has a maximum size because most barramundi over 100 cm are sexually mature females and we need them to make more barra.   There are two kinds of barra – the kind that swim in salt water and the kind that swim in fresh water.  Saltwater barra are silver with yellow fins and taste delicious while the freshies are more muddy and don’t taste as great.


You don’t need a license for recreational fishing in the NT but you do need to stick to the fishing regulations and size limits for each species. If you catch a barra that’s too big or too little, do the right thing and carefully unhook it and chuck it back in the water.


Keep River



We started off with a rig that involved a massive hook and a float, and we used a cast net to catch live bait.  Popeye mullet was available in abundance and when we saw a big school skipping about in the shallows close to the bank, we’d run towards them and throw the net.  The live bait was pierced through the base of the tail so that they could still swim about and attract the barramundi.


All you have to do is cast in your line, loosen the reel and wait.




Rumour has it that barramundi often feed at night after a gush of high tide.  We camped just off the banks of the river in our 5 million star accommodation, and built a fire close to the rods so we could hear if we caught something.


During the day, you may see a ‘logodile’ float by, but during the night, you can shine your torch over the water and see the little red, beady eyes of the crocs.


Waiting for a nibble


Damn Straight!

When a barra is on the line, you can hear your line pulling (bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz).  There were a few times during the night when Jarrod rushed over to the rods and pulled out a good sized barra.  If it was close to eating time, he’d fillet it straight away and chuck it in a pan.



A great way to prepare them is to fillet the fish, coat in a mixture of flour and curry powder and cook in a frypan.  Delicious! The flesh is soft and buttery and a pleasure to eat.


Dave’s rod snagged a stingray that looked more like an alien, and on the next day we caught a catfish too – both of these are crap eating so we unhooked them and chucked them back.


Crocs in the Keep River



Seeing as we were with locals, they took us to where the locals go, not where all the tourists go.  The only other people around were other locals so we all had plenty of space to ourselves.  We had heaps of fun barra fishing at the Keep River and we’re so lucky to have had the privilege.  We’d like to extend a massive thank you to Jarrod, Crystal and Gavin for showing us such a great weekend.


Juz with a garfish at Rapid Bay

Fishing : What’s your trick?

There have been times when a BBQ chook is out of our budget so we have to go fishing for our dinner.  The last thing we want is to be standing on a jetty in the wind and the cold for hours with nothing to show for it.  We wanted to make sure that if we go fishing, that we’ll definitely catch something.   That’s how we discovered




This website explains what tides are and how they affect fishing, and also goes into solunar tables, which are periods of high activity in living things due to the relationship between the sun and the moon.  It covers the tides of the whole world, and once you select a country, you can narrow down your location by state and towns.



Once you’ve narrowed down your position, the information provided includes a tide chart that shows when the tides are high or low, a solunar chart that shows when fish activity is at its greatest, and a tide timetable for the rest of the week.


Some days are better than others to go fishing.  We’ve noticed from analysing the chart that the best time to fish is usually during full or new moon when tides peak at their highest and lowest.


Check out the website – it has been really useful for us:


Our wet bag full of fishies!

Straya Animals!


Australia can be a pretty confusing place if you don’t understand the lingo or the law.  We hope this post will help international visitors navigate around what you can and can’t do, and what you shouldn’t do.  If you have any questions that you would like to have answered, send them through and we’ll put an answer together as soon as we can.


Aussie Slang

Update your vocabulary with some words of vague origin that are used by Aussies during general speech.  Of course, you may have to get used to the accent and that our laid-back attitude seeps into the way we talk.  A simple sentence can come out sounding like a series of grunts and slurs or a really long word, so the two options you have if you don’t have any clue what was just said to you is to either smile, nod and leave, or keep saying “you’re gonna have to say that again in English because I don’t understand you” until a conversation ensues.


Check out our Aussie slang post here.


Straya Animals!


Free Camping

The most valuable resource you can purchase is a Camps Australia book.  Not only is it a great road directory of Australia, but it also marks off petrol stations, landmarks and places where you can stay overnight.


Some of the places are barren rest areas in the middle of no-where, others are sheltered camp spots with picnic facilities and toilets.  Some are in homesteads and remote stations, others are in caravan parks.  The book will tell you whether you need to pay a fee to enter or camp, and it also provides a contact number, just in case you want to call ahead and find out what the fee will be for the night.


We purchased one of these brilliant books in Mount Gambier and it has paid for itself over and over again.  We’ve gone through the thing and highlighted all the free camps for quick reference, but there have been a few paid places that we’ve stayed at, purely because they only charge $5 per person for the night.


Get your copy here


Cobboboonee camping


Cheap Supermarkets

Fresh produce prices vary from state to state but you will generally find that the cheapest supermarkets are the major ones (Coles or Woolworths).  Some towns only have IGAs but it’s still worth going in and having a look for some deals.


Almost every supermarket you enter will have a clearance section, where you can get stuff like moisturiser and sunscreen, old holiday stock and packet mix foodstuffs super cheap.  The dairy and bakery sections will also have reduced stock like a whole loaf of bread for $1.50 or a 500g tub of yoghurt for $3, while discounted meat is usually marked off with a special clearance sticker.  These reduced products are often very close to their “use-by” date, so make sure you have enough time to eat everything you buy before it gets gross.


Half a roast chicken on special for $2 - SCORE!


Cheap Petrol

With the fluctuations of petrol prices, it pays to do some research.  More often than not, prices will be lower in larger towns along the coast than smaller towns.  For diesel, the average price is around $1.50 a litre in the cities. We saw the price get up to about $2 a litre on the Nullarbor in South Australia and over $2.35 in the Kimberley.


Lots of supermarkets have discount programs with petrol stations.  Coles is connected to Shell, Woolworths is connected to Caltex, and in smaller towns, the independent grocery stores may be connected with the local petrol station.  To get a discount voucher for your petrol, you’ll need to spend around $30 on groceries and your voucher will be a barcode at the bottom of the docket.  Give this to the console operator at the petrol station to get around 4 cents off per litre.


Dangerous Wildlife

It is not a secret that Australia is covered with animals that will peck, bite, sting and eat you.  Here is a very brief guide to those animals, but we suggest you do some further research if you are seriously concerned about meeting one of these critters.



There are two kinds of crocodiles in Australia along the northern coast.  Freshwater crocodiles grow to about 1-2 metres in length and tend to just want to chill out.  It doesn’t matter how relaxed they look, leave them alone because they still have a mouth full of sharp teeth.


Saltwater crocodiles are found in rivers, estuaries and on beaches and can grow well beyond 2 metres in length.  These guys are aggressive and love eating humans.  A general rule to remember is – if there’s barramundi, there’s crocs, but there are usually signs near water that tell you if crocs are about.  Don’t eat or clean fish near the water’s edge and camp well away from rivers, estuaries and pools.  You don’t want to end up like one of those wildebeest in those documentaries that get dragged and twisted into the water.



If you want to get close enough to a spider to touch it, then you’re nuts.  Just leave ALL OF THEM alone!  White tails are scavenger spiders that can cause your flesh to rot from the bacteria on their fangs, while funnel webs are seriously venomous and can chase a human just to bite them!  WATCH OUT AND STAY AWAY!




Some are not a threat to humans while others will not hesitate to inject you with a lethal dose of venom if you make them feel threatened.  To avoid any confusion, respect and stay away from all snakes.


Cane Toads

These introduced bastards are wreaking havoc on our ecosystems.  An adult cane toad is chunky, about 10-15cm in length with a bony head, poisonous glands behind the ears, dry, bumpy skin of grey, yellow or olive brown and a pale belly.  At the moment, they are found in Northern Territory and Queensland and we don’t want them spreading anywhere else.  Check your car and luggage for stowaways.


Marine animals

Jellyfish are an issue, especially the Box Jellyfish, which is one of the most lethal animals in the world.  They are usually found along the coast and have long stingers that administer painful venom.  You can put vinegar on the affected area and remove the tentacles with a towel, but seek medical attention immediately!


Other marine animals include the Blue-Ringed Octopus, a pretty little thing that is actually the most toxic sea creature in the world.  It has a powerful nerve toxin in its salivary glands that can paralyse you in 10 minutes and kill you in 30 minutes.  Stonefish are masters of camouflage and are gagging for you to step on them so they can give you a nasty sting.  Stories stay that the pain is so excruciating that the only thing that will stop the pain is amputation…


The other obvious marine animal to look out for is the shark.  Just watch JAWS before you arrive in Australia and you’ll get your education.


Fishing Permits

Each state has their own laws about fishing.  Some require you to purchase a fishing license while others allow fishing in the ocean but not in rivers and estuaries.  Perhaps you’re allowed to catch this fish but not that fish, or you might be allowed to catch a 13cm blue swimmer crab in South Australia but a 12.7cm crab in Western Australia.


Make sure you check the laws at information centres before you end up with a fine.  You can get free stickers that give you the acceptable lengths of each fish that you can catch in the state, and there are identification booklets available to let you know what’s good to eat and what’s poisonous.  Just Google ‘fishing licence Australia’ to get you started…


Fishing on Busselton Jetty during a sunset 


Quarantine & Exclusion Zones

Quarantine zones are mainly about stuff that you can and can’t bring in and out of the country, but did you know that there are exclusion zones within Australia?  If you’re planning on doing a road trip, make sure you’re aware of these zones.  The last thing you want is to be fully stocked with fruits and vegetables, honey and nuts, and drive past a sign that tells you that you need to put all of that into the bin before going any further.


A big checkpoint is Border Village on the Nullarbor.  We were aware of the restrictions and made sure that we had no fresh fruits of vegetables, nuts or honey.  When we got to the check point, a guy with a clipboard searched our vehicle and found adzuki beans in our grains box.  They were confiscated and we were allowed to proceed.


The reason for quarantine zones is so that pests like the notorious fruit fly or other little bugs, weeds or diseases don’t get brought into uninfected areas and wreak havoc.  Read up on interstate quarantine here:


Bush Fires

Australia’s aridity leaves it susceptible to bush fires that either spring up naturally due to the intense heat, accidentally from a discarded cigarette butt or campfires, or intentionally by an arsonist.


Bush fires are serious business and can move really fast, burning everything in its path.  If you hear about a bushfire in the area, talk to locals, listen to the news and make sure you’re not driving to your doom.


Darwin 2013-07-01 236


Aboriginal Communities

There are many aboriginal communities throughout Australia – some are open and welcome visitors, while some are closed and prefer to be left alone.  It’s important to be respectful and make contact with the community via the appropriate channels before you go to visit.  You may be required to explain why you want to visit and how long you want to stay.


Getting Work

Working while you travel is a great way to fund your adventure, and there are a couple of things that you might want to consider. The first thing you’re gonna have to do is get a tax file number.  If you don’t, you could get taxed at a really high amount, thus leading to less money in your pocket.  Get a TFN at


If you’re visiting Australia, you’ll also need a Working Visa that you can get from the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs.  Go to for information and advice.


Once you’ve sorted yourself out, you can check out farm and harvesting jobs, or office and hospitality jobs. If you want to pour beers in a pub, you’ll probably need a Responsible Service of Alcohol Certificate (RSA), and if you have any particular qualification, you can search for relevant jobs on


Renting/Buying a car

Buying a car in Australia isn’t as easy as going to the milkbar and buying an ice cream.  You need to have a valid license and get a roadworthy certificate, car registration and possibly car insurance.


As with some of the other things mentioned already, licensing, registration and roadworthiness differs from state to state.  If you can get a car with registration, then you’re winning, but you need to make sure that the registration is renewed once it runs out, which is usually once a year.  Suss out all the details with the Department of Transport for the state that you plan to visit.


If you’re considering renting a car, there are plenty of options for you.  There are companies which offer cars, campervans, mobile homes, and even 4WDs.  Consider the places and things you want to see, and choose your vehicle accordingly.


Troopy on the beach!


Steep Point - the Blowholes

4WDing : Steep Point

When we arrived in Shark Bay, we were aware of all the typical tourist attractions such as Monkey Mia, Hamelin Pools and the surrounding bay, but what we were really looking forward to was Steep Point – the westernmost point of Australia!


Steep Point - we made it!


Steep Point got its name from Dutch sailor William de Vlamingh when he anchored by the southern tip of Dirk Hartog Island in 1697.  The general area is called Edel Land and stretches from Steep Point all the way down to False Entrance.  The land has been purchased by the state government for conservation purposes and will soon become a national park.



The landscape is a combination of limestone, surreal sand dunes and secluded beaches.  The cliffs drop down 200 metres into the ocean and make for some truly terrifying scenery, and the colours are a huge contrast to the red sand dunes of Francois Peron National Park.  The area is only accessible by 4WD and you need a permit or park pass to enter.  Day passes are $11 per vehicle.

The Track

The turnoff to Steep Point is 88km south of Denham. The total distance between the Northwest Coastal Highway turnoff to Steep Point is 185km.  A few kilometres of the road is sealed, but then it’s about 114km of unsealed road before the final stretch over very soft sand.  You have to reduce your tyre pressure to 15-20psi before continuing into Edel Land, otherwise you risk getting bogged, and you don’t want to have to pay the fee for recovery.


The road was fairly corrugated, which made the drive slow going, but once we got to the sand dunes, the real fun began.  Up and down with lots of tilts, the Troopy conquered them all.  The track mainly required high-range gears but there was one soft uphill section that needed low-range.  It took us about 3 hours to get to the Ranger hut, just short of Shelter Bay.



Before leaving for this trip, make sure you’re topped up with fuel because there are only two petrol stations nearby, and the closest one is about 180km to the east.



Pay your camping fees to the ranger, who was a plump lady with a lovely smile, tanned leather skin and a white bob – it’s $7 per adult per night to camp.  The nice ranger lady advised us to stay for one night only and to be outside of Edel Land by midday the next day, because a storm was coming.  She said if it rains, they’ll close the roads, and if they close the roads you’ll be in here for at least four days.   She gave us the westernmost camp spot available, took our money and wished us luck to get out before the storm.


There were lots of people camping in Shelter Bay.  You could see boats anchored in the bay as well, which means that they were there for the fishing.  Game fishing is huge at Steep Point and while we would have loved to drop a line, the potential storm did not allow us the time.


Steep Point - gorgeous beach!


We got to camp at dusk, had a quick dinner and settled in for the night.  First thing in the morning, we set off for the signpost to advertise our position.  There was something really scary about Steep Point.  There was a real sense of being at the edge of the world.  The cliffs were sheer and rugged and we were hesitant to get too close to the edge.


Thunder Bay & the Blowholes

Afterwards, we moved onwards to Thunder Bay and the Blowholes.  We would have loved to drive along the Zuytdorp cliffs but we were told that our tyres might not make it past the treacherously rocky track.  The Blowholes blew our minds.  They were like huge nostrils of a snoring dragon, breathing in and out with a blood curdling noise.  Juz found a teeny tiny blowhole and let it suck in her hair.  There was also a huge coastal gorge along the cliffs that made us look very insignificant.



False Entrance

We only had two hours left before midday, so we scooted south towards False Entrance.  This huge beach has the most ferocious waves – there was no way we were going to have a dip!  We had a quick bite to eat and continued to the exit.



That night, we made it to Gladstone Scenic Lookout (-25.985206,114.298046) that gives you a great view west over Shark Bay.  We watched the clouds roll in, flash and purge, and then went to sleep, only to be woken a few hours later with the Troopy rocking about in the wind with rain and lightning all around us.  Lucky we weren’t stuck at Steep Point…



Thunder Bay Blowholes from Our Naked Australia on Vimeo.


The front of the YHA has been painted with Nature's Window

Kalbarri Backpackers YHA

Whether you’re travelling in a group or you’re on your own, the Kalbarri Backpackers YHA is a great place to stay.  The welcoming atmosphere is relaxed and sociable and you’re just minutes away from all of the attractions in Kalbarri.



After you’ve spent the day swimming in the Murchison River or exploring the coastal gorges, head back to the YHA and cook up a few snags on the BBQs before heading out to one of the local pubs.  The information centre is close by if you wanted to find out about tours in the area and the IGA is just around the corner.



The dorm rooms have between 6 and 12 beds, and there are two double bed rooms available. The kitchen is fully equipped with crockery and cutlery, heaps of fridge space and a communal pantry.  Outside, there is a large undercover BBQ area with heaps of benches for a big group dinner.



There is also a swimming pool, communal laundry and heaps of gear for hire, like bikes, body boards, snorkel gear, fishing gear and board games.


Nearby Attractions

2 minutes

  • The Beach – the Murchison River mouth creates a safe, calm swimming spot that is perfect for cooling off in the summer heat.
  • Supermarket – there is an IGA just around the corner from the hostel, or you can walk further into town and visit the grocery store behind the Gilgai Tavern.



5 minutes

If you’ve got a 4WD, head north out of town and you’ll find a dirt track along the river. There’s a bit of sand, plenty of little side tracks to explore and some great views over the river from the high points.



10 minutes

  • The pubs – There are two pubs in town – the Kalbarri Motor Hotel and the Gilgai Tavern.
  • Chinaman Rock – a great fishing spot to catch a few dart.
  • TransWA Coach Terminal – located at the Kalbarri Beach Resort, buses depart from here three times a week.  Check out the TransWA website for more information.
  • Angie’s Café – a great little café that’s open for breakfast and lunch, they do decent chicken parma with garlic bread and salad for $12.95 and a plate of fish and chips for $10.  Bargain!



Kalbarri National Park

The town of Kalbarri is surrounded by national park.  A quick drive south of town will take you to the coastal gorges and rock formations, or you can drive 10 minutes inland and admire the gorges of the Murchison River. Check out our post on Kalbarri National Park.



The Details

Kalbarri Backpackers YHA is located at 51 Mortimer Street in Kalbarri – next to the caravan park.

Phone: (+61 8) 9937 1430


For more information on this awesome YHA location and to make a booking, click here.

Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor

Ping pong anyone? - Lancelin Lodge YHA

Lancelin Lodge YHA

Lancelin Lodge became a YHA in 1997 and is a clean and comfortable choice for accommodation in Lancelin.  In fact, this brilliant, 4-star hostel has been voted the best YHA hostel in Western Australia three times!  The owners, Trish and Trev, are super friendly and there is also a resident cat that won’t hesitate to cuddle up next to you on the couch.




With a variety of options from double, twin and family rooms to shared dorms, the capacity of the hostel is about 60 people.  There is a fully equipped kitchen with heaps of storage space and utensils, a spacious dining area and lounge with TV and DVD hire, hummocks, board games, books and a courtyard with a wood fire pizza oven.



If you prefer to be more active, there is a 15m swimming pool, ping pong table and beach volleyball court, as well as bikes and gear for hire if you want to spend some time in the surf.




The beach is a quick 300m walk from the hostel so you have fishing, windsurfing, snorkelling, surfing, and SUPing right at your finger tips.  There is a café about 250m up the road if you fancy a coffee and cooked breakfast and the shops with a bakery, surf shop, pharmacy, pizza shop and supermarket is a 10 minute walk up the road.  If you like a bit of offroad action, there are some great sand dunes just outside of town.


Endeavour Tavern – about 5 minutes to drive or 20 minutes to walk, this is the closest pub to the hostel.  A pint of Carlton Draught is about $9 and there is an awesome beer garden that overlooks the ocean, Lancelin Island and the town jetty.  There is an outdoor stage for live music on the weekend and inside are two pool tables.



Moore River – if you prefer fresh water, about 30 minutes south is Moore River.  Guilderton is the town where the mouth of Moore River meets the sea and while there isn’t much in town other than a roadhouse and a community of holiday houses, there is always the river for swimming, fishing and picnicking.   We checked out the rest area further upstream next to Indian Ocean Drive and it was fully equipped with toilets, picnic benches, BBQs and bins and the clear, fresh water is a great way to cool off in the summer sun.



The Pinnacles in Nambung National Park – this is a great attraction about 45 minutes north of Lancelin.  There is a great walking track that gives you a great opportunity to marvel at these mysterious limestone pillars.  The national park also has beaches and is covered in pretty flowers during the springtime.


Check out our post on The Pinnacles.


Lancelin Lodge YHA

10 Hopkins Street, Lancelin

Phone: 08 9655 2020



Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor



Photography : Busselton to Bunbury

We met up with photographer Kieran Stone and after two days exploring the Margaret River Food and Wine Region, we headed up along the coast towards Perth. Here are a few shots that he took while on the road with Our Naked Australia!

Busselton Araluen Botanic Garden Araluen Botanic Garden Mandurah Sun through a marri tree Sitting under a marri tree Spider Jus recoils from camel Dave & Camel compare facial hair Bunbury Bunbury Busselton Busselton Busselton Busselton Busselton



Kieran has just gotten back after two years of living in Europe and has taken some truly amazing shots.  Check out more of his stuff on his website.



The Busselton Jetty

Fishing : Busselton Jetty

The Busselton Jetty

Busselton is a coastal city at the top end of the Margaret River region and is one of the fastest growing areas in Western Australia.  It has been voted the best tourist town three times in the last 20 years and is located about 220km south of Perth on the shores of Geographe Bay.


It was established by the Bussell family who moved there in 1834 to start a cattle farm which soon became one of the most successful stations of the colony.  With the timber industry not far away, Busselton became a busy port until the 1970s.


A great statue at the start of the jetty


The main attraction of Busselton is the Busselton Jetty, the longest timber-piled jetty in the southern hemisphere, and is the most popular tourist attraction in the state!  Construction of the jetty began in 1865 and while it started off only 161m long, over the next 90 years, it has grown to be 1.8km long.


It was used as a commercial port until 1973 and after the government stopped maintaining the jetty, it fell into disrepair. Between 1987 and 2003, the community got together, raised money and created the Busselton Jetty Environment and Conservation Association to repair the jetty which now stands as a celebration of the Busselton community spirit.


There is a Jetty Train that you can ride to the end of the jetty for $11 per adult.  At the end, you can visit an Underwater Observatory and watch beautiful fish, invertebrates and sponges swim around an artificial reef.  Entry is $29.50 per adult and includes the Jetty Train ride.  If you just want to walk on the jetty, it’s $2.50 per adult until 6pm – after that time, it’s FREE!



Lucky for us, the timing was perfect because according to the tides, fish activity was predicted to be at its highest between 5:50pm and 7:10pm.  We quickly bought some bait, got the rods out of the truck and walked over a kilometre out onto the jetty and found a nice spot to drop the line.


We were using prawns on a regular sized hook, with the sinker about 50cm up and the float another metre or so above the sinker.


 These pictures were taken by Kieran Stone


By 7:10pm, we had caught two yellowtail scads and eight trumpeters.  While most of the fisherman on the pier considered these two rubbish fish, we kept them, cleaned them and cooked them up on the BBQ with some sweet potato.


More Café

In the morning, we went back into Busselton for a nice café breakfast and found More Cafe just off the main strip.  Dave and Juz ordered a breakfast wrap with egg, bacon, spinach and cheese each but Juz got hers with Hollandaise sauce instead of BBQ sauce, while Kieran went for the big breakfast… because his beard was hungry.



The coffee was creamy and delicious, the wraps perfectly adequate and we had plenty of time to sit and digest while we watched Kieran diligently finish his plate.



Pink sunrise

Camping : Torbay Inlet

Only 28km west of Albany, Torbay Inlet is a great camping ground with basic facilities.  You can camp near the coastal scrub and be near the drop toilet, or if you have a 4WD (like us), you can drive along the narrow, sandy road to the beach and spend the night listening to the crashing waves.  The Albany Wind Farm is visible in the distance and the sunsets are absolutely spectacular.



We did some fishing in the estuary (with no luck) before turning in for an early night.  Sunrise was very colourful and we did a quick run along the beach before packing up and moving on.


Pink sunrise


Preparing the crabs for dinner

Fishing : Blue Swimmer Crab

We were heading up the western side of the Eyre Peninsula towards Ceduna when we got word that the crabs had arrived.


Every year during the warmer months, Blue Swimmer Crabs exit semi-hibernation and come to warmer inland waters to molt and mate.  They live along the southern coast of Australia, but not in Victoria and Tasmania.  If you want to catch some blue swimmer crabs, make sure they’re at least 11cm long from the base of the largest spines on the carapace, and your limit is 40 per person.  If it’s a lady with eggs, please throw her back and think about future generations.



To catch them, you can use a variety of nets.  Lucky for us, we crossed paths with our mates Peter and Jo in the Barossa, as they were heading back to Melbourne after 6 months on the road.  They wouldn’t need their drop nets once they got home so they were awesome and gave them to us.


Drop nets are the simplest of traps – two rings, a big one and a small one, are joined together to make a basket.  To use it, secure your bait in the middle, lower the net into the water (preferably off a jetty) and once it reaches the sea floor, it flattens to allow for crabs to crawl towards the bait.  Leave the net alone for a few minutes and when you pull on the rope to retrieve, the big ring lifts first to create a basket and trap the crab in the net.  The hardest part about using drop nets is prying the crab claws from the wire.


The most common tip we came across when it came to baiting your drop net was to pierce a tin of cat food and secure it to the bottom of the net.  Apparently, the stink is irresistible to crabs.  This was our method, while the blokes next to us used hunks of old meat.  They were just as successful at pulling crabs from the water as us.


Once you have captured your blue swimmer crab, make sure it’s the right size and isn’t carrying eggs.



To cook your crab, boil up a big pot of water and be generous with the salt.  Some people like to put in lemongrass, chilli or whatever else to give the flesh a tint of flavour.  Cook for around 8-10 minutes or until the crab starts floating.


Cleaning the crab is the messiest part – peel the little V flap back with your thumb to reveal it’s ‘arse-cheeks’, then follow its bum crack to lift the top shell off.  Rinse the poop and guts out, discard the cone-shaped gills and get stuck into that delicious white meat.


Port Lincoln Marina

City Profile : Port Lincoln

Port Lincoln is the Seafood Capital of Australia and has the largest commercial fishing fleet in Australia.  It is located on Boston Bay with Boston Island in the distance and is inhabited by 14000 people.  It has a great natural harbour and the town revolves around fishing, boating and diving with sharks and tuna.


The first Europeans arrived in 1839 and while there was a lot of potential for Port Lincoln to have become South Australia’s capital, another spot was chosen because of a lack of fresh water.


We were stoked to arrive on the last day of Tunarama and did a bit of fishing at the breakwater which nearly resulted in tuna for dinner.  Unfortunately, we weren’t lucky at all and spent the night at Lincoln National Park.




Every year at the end of January, Port Lincoln hosts Tunarama, a huge festival that exhibits the culture and spirit of the city.  Port Lincoln has a great fishing history and in the 1960s, the community used to come out and send off the tuna fleets, blessing them with a successful trip, and they’ve maintained this annual tradition throughout the decades.


There are heaps of things to do over the four-day festival.  The famous tuna toss has several heats for all ages, with the final toss on the Sunday.  This year’s winner was Tim from Canberra who tossed the tuna over 30 metres.   There are also a variety of competitions, such as sand sculpting, keg rolling, prawn peeling, watermelon eating, and even for the best tattoo at the festival.



The foreshore is filled with sideshows, carnival rides, food stalls and free entertainment and we watched in awe as giant tuna and squid kites flew over Boston Bay.  We sampled the local goods, including a $5 tuna steak served with bread and salad.  It was cooked just right, with a little bit of pink in the middle.  A lady was giving out free fruit, which we thought was a great idea, and a teeny, tiny puppy was stumbling around and we couldn’t help but give him a cuddle.




Boston Bay Wines

The Eyre Peninsula is a budding wine region, but Boston Bay Wines has been around for 25 years after the founder, Graham Ford, was told that the slopes could yield a good drop.  They produce a variety of wines, from Riesling to Shiraz, and also accommodate for weddings, business events and other celebrations.


We took a break from the Tunarama celebrations to check out the wines and these were our favourites.


  • 2012 The Great White Sauvignon Blanc – lots of tropical fruits on the nose like passionfruit and peach, and while the entry was crisp and acidic, it finished smooth with lots of stone fruits.
  • 2010 Merlot – rich ruby with purple hues, it smelt ripe with sweet fruits and currants.  The entry was smooth and silky with a vanilla mulberry finish.
  • Riesling Mistelle – a golden liquid with a hint of orange, it was sweet with stewed fruits, raisins and honey.  A smooth entry was followed by a spirited punch and lots of fruit and toffee.


We also got to sample some pure, unprocessed grape juice.  It was similar to pear juice, yellow and cloudy and beautifully sweet.


Winter Hill Lookout & The Old Mill

Only 5km out of town is Winter Hill Lookout that offers an amazing view of the town below and the ocean beyond.  The Old Mill is located in town and is an old unfinished mill with a spiral staircase around the outside.  It gives a great view of the town and Boston Bay.



Makybe Diva Statue

The owner of three-time Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva is a fisherman from Port Lincoln.  The bronze statue was made by a local artist and took nine months to complete.


The status of Makybe Diva


Lincoln National Park

A short drive south of Port Lincoln is a national park with a rugged coastline that offers coastal hikes, great beaches and camping with or without facilities.  Fees apply to enter and camp in Lincoln National Park and these fees contribute to park conservation and maintenance of facilities.



We stayed at Surfleet Cove and did a quick hike in the morning along the Investigator Trail before driving further into the park to check out the Cape Donington Lighthouse and beautiful campsite at Spaulding Cove.  If you plan to stay there, watch out for the bees.  They love water!





Port Lincoln Visitor Information Centre – 3 Adelaide Place, 08 8683 3544


Port Lincoln YHA – 24-26 London Street, 08 8682 3605



After 20 minutes, we had enough to go fishing!

The Cockle Dance

We had never been cockling before.  All we knew was that there is a good chance you’ll find some on Goolwa Beach and that they need to be 3.5cm long.  We got to the beach and there were 4WDs brooming along the compacted sand.  We wandered around for a bit, found a patch of sand and started kicking about to make a hole.  No cockles…


We admitted that we didn’t know what we were doing so Juz looked it up on her phone and the only hint given was that you need to dig between the water and high tide line.  So, we went to the line between the wet sand and dry sand and started digging… No cockles.


We were about to give up until a policeman patrolling the beach came by and Dave flagged him down.  Juz stayed on her hands and knees next to her sandhole and watched as the policeman started to laugh… heartily.  He got out of his truck and was very friendly as he instructed us to find ‘gutters’ along the beach, walk into the water up to the knee and start the Cockle Dance.


The Cockle Dance is very simple.  Come on baby – just do the twist. Ooh yeah – just like this.  Dig your feet into the sand and as the water ebbs and flows, the sand that you ‘dance’ out is washed away and you sink into the beach. Keep dancing until you feel the cockles.  Once you’ve struck gold, shoot your hand into the water and fish it out.



Cockles need to be 3.5cm big and you are limited to picking only 300 cockles… each.  Aim for ones that are purple or white – the younger they are, the greener they are.  You can use them as bait to catch the big one, or they’re great fried up with a bit of butter, chilli, lemon and garlic.  Check out this post on cooking with Goolwa Cockles from The Hungry Australian.


DSC 2546 Cockling at Goolwa Beach + 4 Cockle Recipes


Larry the Lobster

Big Things : Larry the Lobster, Kingston SE

Larry the Lobster is located at the Big Lobster Tourist Complex at 17 Princes Hwy, Kingston SE.  He was built in 1979 over 6 months, with the construction occurring in Adelaide before they carted him down, bit by bit to Kingston for assembly.


Larry the Lobster


Larry is 17 metres tall and about 14 meters wide and has become a major tourist drawcard and icon of Kingston SE.  He’s made of Styrofoam and fiberglass with a steel skeleton and weights approximately 4 tonnes.


Kingston SE

We were sad to say goodbye to Robe.  It was such a beautiful town with just enough to get by without all the crap that comes with living in a big city.  We stopped in Kingston SE to check out the Lobster and while we had high hopes, we were presented with a town that was a little ordinary.


Kingston sits on Lacepede Bay and has about 2600 residents.  It’s a fishing and farming town that loves lobsters and wine.  It was established in 1858 by two brothers who arrived and wanted to encourage its development.  It was eventually connected to the outside world with a railway that was completed in 1876.


We drove around town for a while; saw some houses on stilts, a pub, a jetty and lots and lots of weedy beach.  One of the locals said that we would be able to stay on the beach and have a fire just below high tide line, but every time we approached the beach, there were signs that said NO!  There were a few 24hr parking areas reserved for self-contained units like campervans and the like, but none of them really seemed like a place we’d want to pull up for the night.


We made up our minds fairly quickly that we weren’t going to stick around for long.  After we caught some dinner off the jetty and cooked it up on an electric BBQ at the park near to the Sundial of Human Involvement, the rains came and we left town.


If your thing is fishing, this should be your first stop for gear and advice!


We stopped by Swampy’s with a fish dinner in mind and the awesome dude at the counter was a fountain of information – where to fish, what bait to use, how to hook up our lines, tide guides, etc.  Afterwards, we headed to the jetty for some easy fishing. Within an hour, we had caught three tommy roughs and one trevally with filthy prawns as bait – any more would have been a waste so we called it a day.  We cooked those little fishies with a bit of sumac, and popped them in some bread with caramelised onion and sweet potato – BLISS!


Other places to fish were along the beach, at the breakwater, south along the coast towards Cape Jaffa or north along the Coorong Beach.