We travel to Augusta on Hardy Inlet for a summer holiday
Flinders Bay and Augusta were initially settled in 1930, with the first settlers arriving with the belief that good grazing lands existed there. In fact the area was heavily forested, and living under canvas on the beach with very limited supplies was home for these early settlers. In 1839 a whale industry was commenced at Flinders Bay, with Robert Viveash establishing a whaling station at Barrack Point in 1844.
Pioneering families included the Molloys, Bussells and Turners. Georgiana Molloy’s all too short life story epitomises the hardships and heartbreaks of life in the early days of the settlement.
Grazing land for cattle was established at Busselton and families moved. During the 1940s all of the pioneering families had moved from Augusta.
While a timber industry was later developed with a jetty built at Barrack Point, Flinders Bay, for exporting timber brought by rail to the port being constructed in 1882, Augusta remained little more than a holiday village.
Today Augusta is a popular holiday and retirement town on the edge of the Hardy Inlet, the estuary of the Blackwood River. This large body of water is ideal for recreational boating and fishing. The foreshore has been improved, for recreational enjoyment, with picnic areas, exercise equipment and a boardwalk following the water’s edge.
We stayed at the Turner Caravan Park, which extends from Blackwood Avenue to the foreshore.
A short walk past the dunes takes you to the beach outside the mouth of the inlet.
The first photo is looking across a channel cut through the sandbar with 2015 heavier than usual winter rains. For some years the only opening has been at the far end of the sandbar as can be seen on the map below.
With dry years, the opening at the north east end of the sandbar become very shallow and silted up. With high river levels in 2015 winter, the old opening (location shown as a blue line across the signs between the "you are here" arrow and the channel) washed open. The north eastern opening remains unnavigable.
Heading along Hardy Inlet in the opposite direction (northwards), a boardwalk and pathway along the edge of the inlet takes you past a number of small private boat mooring jetties to the Ellis Street Jetty.