Browns Beach

    

 Late afternoon at Browns Beach. 

Update May, 2014 - As mentioned on the information and links page, the Browns Beach campground has shrunk somewhat.  The big sand hill at the back of the camping area is slowly taking over and several sites that were situated up against the sand hill have been covered.  There are still a number of sites available though.  Authorities have reverted back to the old fee set up - $10 a night to enter the park and $10 a night to camp (It was $16 a night to camp and you didn't have to pay the $10 entry fee - OK for one night, but more expensive if staying 2 or more nights). 


If you like fishing for Salmon then you have probably heard of Browns Beach.  Just over 300 kilometres from Adelaide in the Innes National Park at the bottom of the Yorke Peninsula, Browns has been a destination for surf fisherman for many years.

It's about 24 kilometres from the entrance of the park.  There is a $10 a night fee to camp.  If uu are just visiting for the day it costs $10.  The camp ground itself is sheltered from the wind as it's nestled between sandhills well above the beach.  It's only a short walk along a sandy track from the camp ground to the carpark, and then down the relatively steep, but even, path to the beach.

There are numerous areas to camp within the campground, but no numbered sites.  Tents are pitched around the low trees and shrubs growing within the ground.  If camping at  off peak times, it is easy enough to find a spot well screened from other campers.  During long weekends or school holidays it can become quite crowded.

The ground is sand, but it is quite firm underneath so there are no problems pitching a tent.  There is plenty of room for caravans and it's easy access for 2WD vehicles.  (The road through the park is sealed most of the way.  There's about 6 kilometres of unsealed road from Pondalowie to Browns Beach, Browns being the end of the road, but it's in quite good repair).

There are four toilets, long drops, but no other facilities.  There is a fire hydrant next to the toilets which is often used by people to wash hands etc.  Bear in mind that it's saltwater.

Aside from the fishing, there's the hiking track to Gym Beach.  This is 6 k's long, but it's an easy walk.  Remember to take water with you.  Kangaroos and emus are regular visitors to the campground itself.  Photographers will be in their element, especially early morning and evening.  If you are lucky enough to have the campground to yourself, which happens occasionally, then it is a particulary peaceful spot.

The flies, in Summer, are bad and so are the mosquitoes.  Because of it's sheltered location, it can be very hot.  Autumn and Spring are the pick of the seasons, but the fishing in Winter can be very good.  Apart from the salmon, mullet can be caught here in good numbers during their annual Autumn run.

 

A storm approaching Browns and Browns Beach kangaroos

The coastline is rugged and care needs to be taken if climbing over the headland rocks.  Lives have been lost here, so keep on eye on the swell.  Not much swimming is done because you are likely to be hooked, but the second lagoon, furthest from the carpark, looks particularly inviting on warm days.  The water is crystal clear and the outer reef breaks any swell. 

A negative side to Browns is that sometimes the rubbish left behind by people at the campsite and, worse still, on the beach, is beyond belief.  Around the late 80's, early 90's maybe, the beach was actually closed due to the amount of rubbish being left.  It's horrible to arrive at such a beautiful place only to be confronted with plastic bags full of old bait and countless empty beer bottles.  Fortunately, this is not always the case, but it is worse after a long weekend or school holidays. 

I should also mention that the walk along the beach is hard going.  The sand is quite soft.  It helps to walk near the waterline, but the sand is still spongy.  Walking back again with your gear and fish, you are confronted by the hill back up to the carpark.  At high tide, it's even worse because you are above the high water mark in all the soft sand.  It's worth it though.

Browns is a must visit, even if you don't fish.  The coastline, wildlife and peace and quiet are incentives enough.