Streaky Bay and Ceduna
Updated: May 25, 2020
15 April 2018
My tattered old copy of the Lonely Planet had us visiting Murphy's Haystacks and driving the coastline looking unsuccessfully for seals. This was the first of many times on our safari that we ended up on a dirt back road going goodness knows where.
We arrived in Streaky late in the afternoon and I convinced the family that we should stay in the council's dusty RV park. It was on the side of the sports field. Not only did the kids have plenty of room to play, but also it saved us a more expensive stay in the caravan park.
We set up the caravan and took the bikes off the new carrier that we'd gone to considerable effort to find and fit. Although we were running out of daylight, we managed a quick bike ride to the jetty before the sun went down.
The next day we visited a huge replica great white shark. We'd read about the monstrous beast in Alison Lester's book Are we there yet? We put our heads into the shark's mouth too!
Drew and I decided that we would check out some of the bush camping areas along the Westall Way Loop so that we might avoid too many days in the characterless RV park. We were keen to spend a relaxing few days camping next to the waves.
We stopped at Tractor Beach and then High Cliff. The kids had a great time running down the sand hills all the way to a rocky platform by the water's edge. They were covered in sand.
I told them that we needed to get going and find a camping spot, but they raced away crying "just one more time".
Eventually Chase arrived at the car without his brother. I was more annoyed than worried, until Ollie turned up sobbing. He'd been walking up the sandy track, tripped and fallen on a sharp rock. He was obviously in a fair amount of pain.
One quick look at the gash on Ollie's kneecap told me all I needed to know. He was in shock and bordering on hysterical. Damn-it - this wasn't in the holiday script! I knew we'd be going back to Adelaide.
Drew raided the first aid kit and bound up Ollie's knee. There wasn't too much blood but it was a gaping hole, full of sand.
We spent most of the day at the Streaky Bay Hospital. The nursing staff and the town's only doctor were fantastic. Ollie was frightened and in a lot of pain. At 7pm we were collected by ambulance and taken to the air strip flight for a flight on the Royal Flying Doctor Service back to Adelaide.
I looked out the window at Drew and Chase while we were waiting for the plane to take off. Chase was crying and it made me want to cry too. It had been a long, tough day on him as well, but he had insisted on coming to the air strip to wave goodbye.
We detoured to Port Lincoln to pick up another sick child. We experienced first hand the challenges of health care in the outback and quickly came to understand the importance of the wonderful RFDS service. The plane was full - pilot, nurse, two kids and two mums - so I sat up the front with the pilot.
After more trauma in the emergency department, we finally made it onto the ward at 1am, exhausted and ready for sleep.
Ollie had surgery and luckily the damage wasn't as bad as it had looked. I came down with an awful lurgy which put me in a bad way. Drew and Chase stayed one more night in Streaky before travelling to Ceduna, where it was easier for us to secure return flights from Adelaide.
We flew back to Ceduna after two nights in the Women and Children's hospital. Ollie's full-leg brace made it difficult for him to sit in the small plane. We hadn't seen much of Streaky Bay other than the hospital. Looks like we'll have to save that for another trip.
Chase bought flowers and made a card for Ollie. He loves Ollie a lot, even though they fight.
We were keen to put the accident behind us and move on but first we had a look around Ceduna, viewed some beautiful Aboriginal artwork and visited Port Thevanard and the local fishos.