Shell Beach

 

As of April, 2009, there are no rubbish points within the park.  All rubbish will need to be taken out by campers to the rubbish station at Stenhouse Bay.

One of a number of camp grounds within the Innes National Park, Shell Beach is, perhaps, the best.  It is not the largest, nor does it have any facilities (apart from toilets and, at times, rainwater), but it is situated well away from the beach in a well shaded area.  There are only 8 sites, and they are quite close together, so it's a spot to go during off peak times.  It will cost you $10 a night (per car) to camp at Shell Beach. If visiting for the day, the cost is $10.  Payment is made at a self registration station just as you enter the park.

Shell Beach is peaceful, that's the best thing about it.  There is plenty of shade, and kangaroos and emus feed morning and night on the flat area to the west of the camp ground.  It's a real bush setting I suppose, with the added attraction of a nice little beach a few hundred metres away.  It is about 2 kilometres from the Browns Beach campground.

To access the beach from the campground, it is necessary to walk along the road leading from the main road through the park to the car park at Shell Beach.  A track then leads around a gate, then through some low dunes before ending in a short boardwalk and steps down onto the beach.

It is a beautiful little bay, with rocky headlands at either end.  The sand is the pale orange coloured stuff typical of this area.  The water is generally quite clear and is deep close in.  If you are a strong swimmer you should have no problems, but it is not a good beach for the kids to swim at.  At times there is a rip running here.  It's no good for surfing.  If any sort of swell is running the waves dump straight onto the beach.

Shell beach at dawn

At the north eastern end of the beach a variety of shells are washed up, especially after heavy weather. 

Fishing off the beach can produce mullet and the occasional salmon.  Juvenile salmon are much more common than the adults however, and turn up when fishing for mullet.  Tommies are also caught here.

The camp ground itself also attracts birds.  Magpies and Currawongs in particular, mainly because they are A grade scavengers.  The Currawongs are amusing to watch and their cry is loud and unmistakable.  Galahs, Red Wattlebirds and wrens are also common.  The Wattlebirds are very noisy during Autumn, and often the "chok-chok-chok" noise they make is what wakes you up.

Shell Beach can be enjoyed all year round, although the heat in Summer can be annoying, despite the shade.  Camp fires are allowed, except during the Fire Danger Season (1st of November until 30th of April).  You must bring your own firewood or purchase it at Stenhouse Bay.

 

Granite headland and one of the Currawongs that frequently visit Shell Beach