There’s nothing pretentious about this seaside town in South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula. It has a pebbly beach, seaweed in its shallow, calm waters and you’d be hard-pressed to spot a celebrity. It’s quiet and packed with familiarity of days long gone. Audrey fits in perfectly with the surrounds – old school, Aussie seaside holiday charm. Next year we are going to only listen to 80s music and dress accordingly.
There’s an awesome kiosk which sits front and centre on the beach, selling the best hot donuts and fish burgers I’ve ever eaten. The main strip also boasts the other usual small town staples – a pub, butcher, IGA supermarket, ice cream shop, fish and chip store, surf shop and a hardware store. Tourists meander; sun-bleached hair, sandy feet and sunscreen-smeared sunnies. Nothing matters here – except the tides for fishing and crabbing, cool beer and when the next meal will be served. Afternoon naps are mandatory.
It’s a veritable kids’ paradise – they jump off the pontoon and the jetty, canoe, snorkel and gather in packs to chat about who kissed who. Adults propped up under sun shades eat smallgoods out of Tupperware, drink booze and occasionally wander into the shallows to cool off.
The caravan park stretches along the foreshore and the lucky ones, who have snared the front row looking out to sea, sit proudly on their deck chairs, as they have for years, at the same time each Summer. You see, to get a coveted spot during the Summer months in this caravan park is tricky. It’s a generational birthright. We were lucky to snap up a great spot, one row back, which we have now booked for next year.
We spend the nights watching the kids ride their bikes in loops (their regularity inspires a drinking game), the sounds of a continuous cricket match with revolving teams rings out from sunrise to sunset. Our kids set up a spot to watch the clouds and the parade which passes by. Men with bellies full of beer which spill over their shorts, gut fish, tossing the rubbishy bits to waiting pelicans. Women hang wet towels and scoop their dress-covered, braless boobs up, under their sweaty palms, as they make their way to the toilet. Everyone has a job to do, there’s a definitive demarcation along generalised gender roles. I don’t put the bins out at home or here.
And as night sets in you can hear the giggles of the teenage boys and girls meeting covertly to snare their first and last caravan kisses. The final red hues disappear in the dark sky. The wind picks up taking the languishing heat with it. The sounds of muted conversations fill the park. It is a microcosmos of life. We all sit together in our private worlds, yet remain connected through the night air as our stories intertwine. This is why I love a caravan park holiday.
Port Vincent we heart you.