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Friday, July 24, 2009

Port Smith Lagoon, Western Australia

Fish and Chip Night

Feeding the orphans

High Tide

Low tide

Very low tide

Shady sites

Port Smith, 22 kilometres down a dirt road, is 150 kms south of Broome. The caravan park has large sites with plenty of shady trees and first class amenities. You don't need a boat, the management will personally take you to the island to fish the tide in and bring you back after lunch. All you have to do is turn up at 8.30am with your fishing gear, travel by 4WD to the beach, then by boat to the island.

Mud crab is our favourite seafood and we brought a crab pot all the way from Sydney only to find they are banned at this park. Visitors would often lose their pots with the high tides they have up here and management were finding lost pots all over the lagoon. They become death traps for fish and other sea creatures, pollute the area and are a pain in the neck to pick up, hence the ban.

The sign that reads 'Ask advice or pay the price' sounds a bit aggressive but when you hear about the idiots who come here expecting to be pulled out for free, it's understandable. People camp not far from the caravan park even though 'no camping' signs are put up by the local Aboriginal people who own all the land surrounding the park. Not knowing about the nine metre tides that rush in at an alarming rate, some vehicles get stuck and they expect to be pulled out.

Every Thursday night is fish and chip night, it costs $5 each. An excellent Aboriginal band provided the music, there was a bush poet, competitions, raffles and dancing. The park have been organising the Thursday night get-together for eight years and it's a very pleasant night out and all monies raised go to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.