I should probably explain that my fiancé has a special, weekend-drive vehicle. This means he belongs to a car club and from time to time they go on cruises. I’m not much of a car person myself, and I can’t really follow some of the conversations (much to his disappointment). But, I do love a good drive and a road trip – a symptom of my wanderlust, I’m sure – so I join the occasional car cruise as a navigator and get to explore the South Australian countryside.
Last weekend, we headed to Port Hughes for fish and chips (car runs usually mean a lunch-based turn-around point). It is located just over 2 hours from the Adelaide CBD on the Yorke Peninsula.
Teddy Bear Fence
Once past Port Wakefield, the drive takes you past wide open farmland and countryside. There’s a few rolling hills, with one slightly windy uphill bit that that driver enjoyed. On the Kulpara-Paskeville Road, the road gets flat again and is lined by gum trees. Then, randomly and all of sudden you pass a teddy bear fence. It was a bit of a surprise since we weren’t expecting it. For about a kilometre, there is a collection of teddy bears and other stuffed dolls attached to a wire fence along the road.
A quick Google search and I learned that it was started by Andrew Costello of South Aussie with Cosi. There also seems to be a lot of disagreement online about the fence. Some people think it’s cute and a good idea. Others think it’s unsightly and dangerous because not everyone is traffic conscious; they stop when it is unsafe and run across the road to get a look. I can see how this could be the case with tourists or children, but for the most part it seems cute and it was a nice surprise. (By the way, I am totally guilty of asking the fiancé to stop on the way back. He only stopped because there were no cars near us. I was also, of course, mindful when crossing the road.)
Port Hughes is a small coastal town on the west coast of Yorke Peninsula. Driving into town from Moonta you pass a newer-looking residential development, some residential streets and not much else. Many of the houses have long thin satellite poles sticking out of their roofs which makes them look a bit odd. The road in from Moonta ends at the jetty. There’s a large parking lot, public toilets, a new playground at one end, and a very long jetty. There is also the Port Hughes Tavern, and the Port Hughes Store. The Store is a typical country store that encompasses the Post Office, a general store for tourist items and fishing supplies, as well as a takeaway.
It’s no surprise with the fishing taking place on the nearby jetty that the seafood options at the Store are excellent. I decided on a two-piece fish pack with chips. The food came out quickly and the staff was friendly (pretty good considering we were a large group that rocked up all at once.) The fish batter was tasty and just the right amount of crispness – I hate it when my fish batter is really soggy or flavourless. Everyone in our group was very happy with their food.
After lunch we took a walk on the jetty. The jetty appears to be a very popular spot for fishing, and the water is crystal clear and calm. There is also a boat ramp nearby and I did see one sail boat out on the water. It was still a bit cool out, but I’m sure it is a lovely spot in the summer. With all the fishing taking place on the jetty though, I don’t know how safe it would be to swim nearby.
We drove north on the A1 (Port Wakefield Highway/Princes Highway) to Port Wakefield. This part of the road is mostly just heading out of suburbia until about Two Wells, and the start of smaller, country towns. You are slightly inland from the coast, so there’s not too much to see.
Port Wakefield is a common road stop area, with several petrol stations and a few small eateries. It gets very busy at the start and end of holidays and long weekends: it’s where the traffic splits between those heading further north on the A1 and those heading west or southwest onto the Yorke Peninsula.
From Port Wakefield, our drive took us on the B85 (Copper Coast Highway) past Paskeville (a very small town), then Thrington Road towards Moonta. Port Hughes is just past Moonta on the coast. You’ll take Mile Terrace to Port Hughes Road. (I find country roads in Australia are literally named, which is helpful.)