Fleurieu Peninsula photographer Steve Roberston explores Hindmarsh Island

At first there might not seem to be much similarity between the desert wastes of Saudi Arabia and that bottom corner of Hindmarsh Island where the Murray meets the open sea. So why was I humming the Lawrence of Arabia theme to myself while wandering along the flat and seemingly endless expanse of sand near the river mouth?

Maybe it's that delightful feeling of open country and very big skies. All that sand underfoot might be a clue, too.

Whatever, this warm and idyllic late summer afternoon was richly enhanced by a very short walk from the car park in Sugars Beach Road along the sand to a viewing point for the open ocean. 

At just 20 minutes or so, this is a short stroll but there's much to enjoy along the way - the vivid reds of the tough and hardy dune vegetation, the variety of shore birds and waders, older folks casting a line in hope of landing a mulloway or two, and the eager families digging for cockles. The big and colourful dredge is here, too, keeping the river mouth open by scouring immense amounts of sand.

After you've explored the hard-packed beach at water's edge, return via the useful observation point with its interpretive signs telling the story of the first people of our land. Ngarrindjeri  people  have cared for this island, which they call Kumerangk, for millenia and their story is well-told, along with facts about the Living Murray and its program to protect the birds, fish and plant life found here

The short return walk completed, it was time for a final treat, grilled mulloway and big fat chips from the food van helpfully located right in the car park. Eating delicious fresh fish with a cool breeze and warm sun equals sheer bliss.

Local travel writer and photographer Steve Robertson explores some fascinating locations in our region where you can walk, photograph and learn.