The 6m low tide view from the author's campsite.

4WDing into Stanage Bay

The view from our recommended campsite on the beach at Beverly Hills, Stanage Bay.
Our van was sheltered while still being close to the beach.
The kids enjoyed exploring small caves along the rocky headland in front of Beverly Hills.
One of the many beaches to explore around Stanage Bay.

WITH August just around the corner, and the snapper and pearl perch spawning closure in place for the first time, I think it’s a great thing and will only help fish stock build up. I have not been fishing for weeks because I lost my mojo with COVID-19 and I’m waiting to head off on my annual fishing trip once things settle down. 4WD Stanage Bay

I have started packing my 5m tinnie for a trip away though to where I don’t know, hopefully to Weipa. If not, perhaps to the Northern Territory or Stanage Bay? I am just going – though, of course, it depends on what place is open. I did get away on a road trip with my wife Donna and our four kids to Stanage Bay recently.

It had been 24 years since our last visit there. The 100km drive from the highway to Stanage is great. You drive through stations and look out over the flood plains, with lovely looking water holes and great bird life. It’s a top drive out. 4WD Stanage Bay

The 70km of dirt road was a bit corrugated, so I dropped all the tires to 28psi and we drove out easy. When I first saw the water, I thought ‘gee, why did I not come back earlier than this?’ because it is a beautiful place. We drove to Beverly Hills and hopped out of the four-wheel-drive to walk to the beach and it was great to come back for a look around.

We were walking along the beach and a few people were coming the other way, so I said hello and got chatting. I asked if it was still free camping and was told yes, things are just the same, which was awesome. We learned of a great spot to camp, so after making a mental note we had a quick walk along the beach then went for a drive to Happy Valley and on to Plumtree. Apart from a new boat ramp and some fill to build a new parking area for vehicles with boat trailers as well as a few new houses, Stanage was the same. How good is that?

Also, compared to Seventeen Seventy, there was no one at Stanage Bay, only locals and a few campers – it was fantastic. We drove back and found a great campsite near the beach as per the recommendation and set up the van. We went for a walk along the beach and came back to the van because it was getting dark. 4WD Stanage Bay

We got the fire going in the stainless-steel drum I’d made up, so it was safer around camp and young kids because it didn’t heat up the ground like an open fire. We had dinner and cooked marshmallows over the fire then hit the sack. The next day we had breakfast and drove to the lookout.

When the 6m tide was out we walked along the beach and explored small caves – the occasional one with micro bats – our grown kids had a ball. The rest of the day was spent exploring around Stanage Bay and thankfully because it was cold sandflies and mozzies were not around. 4WD Stanage Bay

We decided to stay another night and buy dinner from the Plumtree Shop – we ate the best steak-burgers and chips I’ve had in a long time. Then it was time to say goodbye to Stanage Bay and head toward home.

‘Til next month, be safe.

About Craig Tomkinson

Craig has been fishing for 45 years and specialises in using bait. Fishing off Double Island Point is his favourite, followed by beach fishing. He also loves fishing Cape York around the Pennefather River.

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