220km is the distance, “The longest uninterrupted beach in Western Australia”.
As with everything in life it’s all about perspective. Most folk who visit Australia’s North West are struck by it’s vastness, remoteness and distance between towns and locations.
Us mob who live up this way and call it home are always looking for that place that’s a bit out of the way. One that can provide a little more of that uncrowded solitude we crave-after all.
Most of these great places of solitude, adventure and relaxation in Australia’s North West lie at the end of a ribbon of dirt or sand. All will cause you varying degrees of grief however once accomplished time stands still.
Where Do You Find 80 Mile Beach
For Kimberley and Pilbara locals Eighty Mile Beach http://www.eightymilebeach.com.au has long been a place of retreat-to get away from the every day for awhile. For the traveller passing through it offers a great opportunity to stop explore, experience and enjoy a relaxed northern way of life.
Between Port Hedland in the south and Broome in the north, stretches the big black ribbon of black top called Highway One or The Great Northern Highway. It’s pretty straight and somewhat monotonous 600km, however,
it is sprinkled with some real gold dust, gems just awaiting discovery by those who are prepared to pause and give the roses a sniff.
There are two roadhouses over the journey Pardoo and Sandfire. Sandfire Roadhouse is pretty close to being half way between Broome and Port Hedland.
The turn off to Eighty Mile Beach Caravan Park is 250km north of Port Hedland, 365km south of Broome- 45km south of Sandfire Roadhouse. It’s a further 10km into the caravan park from the highway on a dirt track which for the best part is pretty well maintained.
The Eighty Mile Beach caravan park is situated on Wallal Downs station.
Top Tip: As you near the end of the 10km dirt track in you will summit a hill, stop a moment and admire the Ocean Vista in In front of you it will set your mind on the right track for your stay.
Why Should You Visit Eighty Mile Beach
Eighty Mile Beach is almost a throw back to another time, it provides the setting, the location, the rest is up to you.
The Beach is by far the main attraction and the centrepiece, it’s a lazy 50m walk over a sand dune from most parts of the caravan park and provides the backdrop for most of the activities.
From fishing incoming tides to shell collecting on low tide long beach walks either in solitude or romance photography at sunset or sunrise, beach cricket and footy are all popular.
Four wheel driving and quad biking is allowed on the beach and one can disappear up or down the beach well out of sight.
Top Tip: The Beach is big, bold and vast with no shade. An umbrella or fold out / pop up beach tent that can provide shade especially if you have little ones will be gold and make your day on the beach a treat.
When you look out to sea at Eighty Mile Beach and see the beautiful coloured ocean on any given day spare a thought to what is under the water, the sea bed or floor at Eighty Mile Beach.
It is pretty flat with a gentle gradient, a sandy muddy bottom made up in a series of gutters and shifting banks. Which can be seen clearly on investigation at low tide.
It’s these gutters in which the fish swim on the incoming tide, one and a half-hours before each high tide is the best time to go fishing, fishing these gutters and working your way back up the beach as the tide comes in.
Threadfin and Bluenose Salmon are the target species however it is not unusual for the Noah’s arks to frequently swim by, Shovel Nose and Tigers are common.
Top Tip: If you plan to fish, check out the beach at low tide for where the gutters run, for this is where you’ll want to be as the tide is coming in with a bit of bony bream or mullet, perhaps prawn on a size 8 or 10 Hook.
Shell Collecting & Beach Combing:
You can walk or drive either north or south along this beach a really long way and be stop starting the entire time on account of the cool stuff to be seen and found.
Shells are everywhere and the temptation is enormous, so many different shapes, sizes and colours you will find yourself with a collection before you know it.
Other things awaiting discovery on the low tide sponges, sea stars, crabs, sea cucumbers, driftwood and jelly fish.
Top Tip: Best Shell Collecting or fossicking is after the biggest tides or a cyclone.
Four Wheel Driving & Quad Biking:
You can gain access to the beach from the caravan park they have a designated ramp, from here you can choose to go north or south, north is by far the more popular option.
Roughly 20km north of the caravan park is a creek, once you get to this creek you can not go any further it is generally good fishing and a nice drive people will stop at different points along the way.
To the south you can drive a bit further however depending on the size of the tide the sand can be a tad softer, due to not quite as many people getting down this way the shell collecting can sometimes be a little more bountiful, many people have their favourite fishing spots down this way too.
Top Tip: When driving on the beach let your Tyers down, make sure you have a snatch strap, shovel, maybe a set of Max Trax with spare water for all in the vehicle.
Eighty Mile Beach offers so much for those who enjoy the challenge of capturing quality images.
The beach is going to be the centre of your attention with opportunity to capture both sunrise and sunset however don’t ignore the pastels of the pre dawn and twilight they can often be better than the sun set/rise you came for.
Both high and low tide offer good opportunity, high tide on a calm day can give the most amazing ocean colours around mid morning is best before the light becomes to harsh.
Low tide can provide exquisite reflections, if there are
clouds about or you have a low tide with the colours at either end of the day it can be a delight.
Wildlife is also about for the opportunist, while on the drive in slow down and keep an eye out for cattle and large goannas, around the camping ground especially in the slower months wallabies are about at each end of the day and down on the beach migratory sea birds are plentiful.
When Should You Visit Eighty Mile Beach
The caravan park is open at Eighty Mile Beach from April to December as a general guide.
As the season begins in April and as it draws to a close in November/December it is largely weather dependent as rain still looms large.
Take it as it comes, perhaps get on the dog and bone and make a call in advance of arrival.
The winter months of June, July and August is the time of year that Australia’s North West is at it’s most temperate.
It’s also the busiest time of year, you will have to share, crowds of people are just part of the deal and landscape of this time of year.
Top Tip: Be aware of Western Australian School Holidays in September, get caught up in them and any solitude you hoped to gain by coming in September will be lost and you might as well come in June/July.
Top Tip: If you do plan on visiting in the shoulder season when it could be a bit warmer, a small inflatable wading pool is invaluable. Small to store, quick to inflate kids kept cool – gold.
How Long Should You Stay At Eighty Mile Beach
Everyone is on the clock in one way or another.
Time, how much of it have you got? And how much of it can you spare? And how well set up are you to take advantage of and enjoy some of the fringe benefits this location has to offer.
You could very well arrive one afternoon, set up camp go for a walk find a few shells catch a sunset however it comes get up next morning and leave and say you have been to Eighty Mile Beach.
if you have the time two nights is a nice stay.
This gives you the chance to catch a couple of sunrise’s and sunsets, watch the huge Kimberley tides come all the way in and go all the way out again.
Fossicking and beach combing at low tide over a couple of days at a relaxed pace, and more than just the one high tide to catch a feed.
Accommodation: What’s on Offer At Eighty Mile
Eighty Mile Beach Caravan Park has ample space and options when it comes to accomodation http://www.eightymilebeach.com.au/accommodation/
- There are five two bedroom self contained cabins with ensuite and air conditioning, all linen and towels supplied. Book these online directly through the park.
- Powered Sites: There are 150 of them, all 15amp (Meaning you’ll need power/extension lead with the 15amp plug on the end) the sites are grassed and well shaded each site has fresh water.
- Unpowered Sites: There are 50 of these all grassed and shaded.
Other Stuff Of Interest At Eighty Mile Beach
Eighty Mile Beach Caravan Park has a wonderful mini mart / shop.
From April till October they stock all manner of supplies just about anything you would need in a pinch.
They have some great take aways on Friday and Saturday night’s, they are not licensed so if alcohol is important to you ensure you stock up in Broome or Port Hedland.
There is No Fuel, if you don’t have the capacity to go the journey between Broome and Port Hedland with a few side ventures, you can top up at Sandfire or Pardoo Roadhouses.
No Dogs are permitted in the park.
There are showers placed at each entry and exit point to the beach
There are two great fish cleaning stationsEighty Mile Beach is a marine park, although you can do as much fishing off the beach as you like, no boats or water craft allowed.
The caravan park at Eighty Mile Beach has its own cenotaph so if you happen to be around on a day of significance there’s a place to be.
Eighty Mile Beach Marine Park and Caravan Park, you may hear about it while traveling on the wallaby, you may have read about it somewhere, the first time you visit may only be for a night however it never surprises when I hear people say I came for a night and stayed three or the next time I visited I stayed for a week, it has a way of giving you just enough to do while making you slow down and relax, what is it the locals say.
Top Tip: each year is when the turtles return to the beach for nesting this is not an exact science predicting nature so a quick call to the caravan park is advised before hitting the frog and toad.
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Hope you enjoyed reading about the destination of Eighty Mile Beach, please share if you did and remember it’s the journey we take getting to these places that makes them so enjoyable.
Enjoy your Journey