A Travellerspoint blog

Days 69 to 71 Dongara to Koorda

sunny 23 °C

Day 69
There was a nice looking wheat field opposite to where we camped last night so took a photo.
We drove to Mingenew and called into the Information Centre to obtain some maps. Hiroe purchased some lupin cereal while there. A good sculpture of wheat in the park.
We had a slight change of planned route and went via Three Springs where we walked the town and took a few photos.2012_Sep_2.._Paws_1.jpg2012_Sep_2..evillea.jpg2012_Sep_2..rings_2.jpg2012_Sep_2..lebrush.jpg2012_Sep_2..Springs.jpg77AE2EF62219AC6817D8726269147ED5.jpg
Next stop was at Carnamah where we turned left for Perenjori. The wildflowers along this road were great and even though we didn’t stop we had a good viewing. We arrived in Perenjori in time for lunch and a walk around. There was a good mural on the wall of one of the shops and a metal sculpture near the railway station.77AD07632219AC68170920278BDDD145.jpg2012_Sep_2..renjori.jpg
Onwards to Caron Dam which was a water collecting system for the old steam trains which used to operate here. Rain fall is quite low out here so they devised this system where a huge catchment was covered in bitumen and when it rained, the water then flowed down a sealed channel into a huge storage tank. Some good wildflowers around here as well. We were going to stay here for the night however it was still quite early so we pressed on.
We turned south again through Latham and again the wildflowers were out in abundance so we stopped and took some photos.
We finally arrived at Buntine and drove 3 km out to Buntine Rock where we have camped for the night. We went for a 1 km walk to have a look at the rock and after climbing up to the top, took some good photos of the surrounding countryside.

Day 70
The rest area at Buntine rock was lovely and quiet and we all had a great nights sleep because of this.
First stop today was at Wubin where we refuelled before continuing on to Dalwallinu.
This is an extremely tidy town with lovely gardens and flower beds down the centre of the main street.
We visited the towns very modern Discovery Centre and obtained good information about the district and maps of the area.
From Dalwallinu we travelled on to Kalannie where we stopped for morning tea. Wildflolwers are everywhere again. Continuing on we drove to Koorda and Richard and Mui’s home where we will stay for the next 4 nights.
We have been travelling through wheat, canola and lupin fields for the past 4 days and there is more to come from here.

Day 71
First thing after breakfast this morning we went for a walk around the town of Koorda and on the way saw some interesting wildflowers.
Rick showed us around including the old Police Station and Lock-up.
We called into the Post Office and discussed purchasing a USB Modem for Mui. It will have to be done in Perth but recharging can be done here in Koorda.
We did some sitting around and chatting this morning then it started to rain, YES, that’s right – RAIN in KOORDA. We decided that we would go for a drive after lunch as the rain seemed to have stopped so we all piled into our car and drove out the gravel road to the local wildflower park. Well, we had just got started on our walk when it started to rain so it was a mad run back to the car. By the time we got there it was pelting down, the wind was driving and the rain was freezing cold so that was the end of that excursion.
We decided that we would drive the back road to Bencubbin. The road was gravel and wet but we got there OK. We found that the hotel in Bencubbin has closed down and looking through the windows we could see it was empty apart from a couple of furniture items. Don’t know where the local drunks go here.
We visited the local Info Centre and the lady there was very inquisitive about where we have come from and where we have been.
This town was one in which sandalwood was harvested in the past and many items are on display here from this era. We took some photos in the memorial park.

Posted by Hiroes 01:36 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Days 67 and 68 Carnarvon to Dongara

overcast 23 °C

Day 67
We continued our journey south after leaving Carnarvon and travelled for 123 km to a Roadhouse at Wooramel where we had morning tea. The scenery around here is pretty flat and uninteresting.
We carried on to a quite good lookout on Gladstone Station. The views from this flat topped hill were great, we could even see the water in Shark Bay.
Some wildflowers started to appear, however, not very many and those that were out appeared to be past their prime.
We stopped at Billabong Roadhouse for fuel and lunch. The wind seems to have picked up and whilst not directly from in front it certainly is buffering the van around.
Wildflowers have increased in number and colour range since we left Billabong but not as good as we saw 2 years ago along here.
Driving on we finally came to Galena Bridge Rest Area which is on the banks of the Murchison River. There are a lot of vans, motor homes and camper trailers in here for tonight.
The river could do with a good flush out but just the same there are quite a number of black swans swimming here.

Day 68
We had a very busy day today. It all started soon after we left the Galena Bridge Rest Area and turned off onto the Kalbarri Road. The wildflowers along here were magnificent and you will probably get sick of looking at them all. The Kalbarri National Park whilst quite small has over 800 species of wildflowers in it.2012_Sep_2..wers_21.jpg2012_Sep_2..wers_20.jpg2012_Sep_2..wers_19.jpg2012_Sep_2..wers_18.jpg2012_Sep_2..wers_17.jpg2012_Sep_2..wers_16.jpg2012_Sep_2..wers_15.jpg2012_Sep_2..wers_14.jpg2012_Sep_2..wers_13.jpg2012_Sep_2..wers_12.jpg2012_Sep_2..ower_11.jpg2012_Sep_2..ower_10.jpg2012_Sep_2..lower_9.jpg2012_Sep_2..lower_8.jpg2012_Sep_2..lower_7.jpg2012_Sep_2..lower_6.jpg2012_Sep_2..lower_5.jpg2012_Sep_2..lower_4.jpg2012_Sep_2..lower_3.jpg2012_Sep_2..lower_2.jpg2012_Sep_2..lower_1.jpglarge_2012_Sep_2.._bush_2.jpg
We finally arrived at Kalbarri and went the Murchison River Mouth where we took some photos.
Next stop was at Red Bluff Lookout where we saw 4 whales not far off shore.
Following morning tea we drove along the coast road towards Port Gregory, The scenery has changed with cultivated paddocks and sheep and on the way stopped to have a look at the Pink Lake which is farmed for the Beta Carotene which grows in the water. It is used for food colouring etc.
We had lunch at Port Gregory overlooking the beach.
We called in to have a look at the ruins of the Lyndon Convict Hiring Station which was used between 1853 and 1858.
Nearby to the Convict Hiring Depot was the residence of the Supervisor, Captain Sanford.
Onwards to Northampton where just about everything in town was closed – it being Saturday afternoon.
We had a brief look at the old railway station which operated between Northampton and Geraldton from 1879 till 1979.
We refuelled and drove to what was going to be a stop for the night just 17 km south, however, when we got to the rest area there was a big sign saying No Camping so we drove on while Hiroe checked our book for the next free camp and she discovered that the next one was past Geraldton and just 7 km past Dongara. We gave Geraldton a miss continued south stopping to have a look at some leaning trees near Greenough.
We carried on to the rest area where we will stay for the night.

Posted by Hiroes 03:54 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Days 65 and 66 Exmouth to Carnarvon

sunny 25 °C

Day 65
We left the Lighthouse caravan park at Exmouth and called into the Visitors Centre and topped up our vans with drinking water then drove down the road to Coral Bay. We did a little shopping then had lunch in a park overlooking the beach. The water looked so inviting that Hiroe and Bob had to go for a paddle.
Back on the road till we reached the Tropic of Capricorn sign where we stopped to take a few photos.
We had intended stopping for the night at the West Lindon River Rest Area however, Hiroe said it’s too early to stop so we continued on for another 80 km to Lake McLeod Rest Area where we have pulled into for the night.

Day 66
We drove into Carnarvon this morning and booked into a caravan park then visited the local Information Centre and obtained a map of the local fresh food outlets.
We drove to some of these farms and purchased quite a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables then back into town and the local fresh fish outlet where we bought fish for dinner tonight.
After lunch we drove out of town to the 1 mile jetty which was built here in 1897. It was used as a passenger terminal as well as for exporting live cattle and sheep as well as wool. It had suffered from lack of maintenance as it is no longer used by shipping. Fishermen however find it a great place to catch the evening meal.
The small museum here at the jetty houses a small steam engine built at Kilmarnock in Scotland. (Thought our Scottish readers might be interested in this).
Hiroe couldn’t resist it – she had to climb up on the water tower in the museum yard.
Also in the museum is one of the lifeboats in which German seaman off the Kormoran reached shore after sinking the Australian cruiser Sydney during World war 2.
We visited the old Overseas Telecommunication Centre and the installation which was used during NASA’s early space flights including the early moon walks. It isn’t used any longer and is purely a tourist attraction.
Pommy Bob has hurt his Achilles tendon somehow, (maybe during the Mandu Mandu Gorge hike the other day). He says that it is quite painful. He will just have to rest it as much as possible.
The weather is really cooling down as we travel south - the max today was only about 25. Much more comfortable than the high 30's weve had to put up with for the past 3-4 weeks.

Posted by Hiroes 01:53 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Days 63 and 64 Exmouth

sunny 32 °C

Day 63
Drove 100 km into Exmouth this morning and checked with the Information Centre in regard to Caravan Park costs etc. We filled our tanks with water then Fuel and then some grocery shopping.
We continued on another 17 km to the Lighthouse caravan park and booked in. Pommy bob tried to do some pruning of a tree near his site and managed to demolish a vent on the side of his van and remove the rear spoiler. Luckily not too much damage and after we had lunch we went back into Exmouth to a hardware shop and purchased a new vent which fitted very well. Also, we bought some adhesive and some Steel hard epoxy putty to fix out caravan door latch.
On the way to town we saw some emus and stopped for a photo as well as visiting the site of the cattle ship; SS Mildura which hit the reef here in 1907. Not much left of it after more than 100 years and we couldn’t see any stray cattle either.
We drove up and had a look at the lighthouse and an old RADAR installation from World War 2. It was severely damaged in a cyclone in 1945.
There is a huge US Aust Navy Communication base here at Exmouth, it is used to communicate with ships and submarines in the western Pacific and the Indian Oceans.
Spent the rest of the afternoon fixing the door handle on our van, Pommy Bob did repairs to his van and Hiroe did a load of washing.

Day 64
We all slept in this morning so we waited until after morning tea to go for a drive into Cape Range National Park and Ningaloo Coral Reef.
We stopped at Tantabiddi Boat Ramp and were quite surprised at the number of boat trailers here.
Onwards then to the Rangers Office and Park entry where we had to pay $5.00 to enter the Park then we drove to the Visitors Centre for a look around.
Next stop was at Mandu Mandu Gorge Parking area. We took our cameras and water and did the 3 km HARD 2 hour walk. Some of the climbing up and down was quite difficult and Hiroe wasn’t feeling the best so we took our time. The scenery along the way was wonderful.
We decided to go to one of the beaches and have our lunch so drove to Oyster Stacks where to coral reef is only a matter of metres from the shoreline. Hiroe managed to get her shoes, socks and the bottom of her trousers wet. There were quite a few people snorkelling here when we arrived.
After eating our lunch sitting on the rocks we drove back to the caravan park for a late afternoon tea.

Posted by Hiroes 01:29 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Days 61 and 62 Port Hedland to Nanutarra

sunny 36 °C

Day 61
Today was a day of things not going just right.
We pulled into the Whim Creek Pub site to find it all boarded up. It was open and functioning well when we came through here 2 years ago.
Onwards then to Roebourne where we visited the Information centre in the old gaol. It is a very good source of information on the area around here.
We drove up the hill to the old church at took a photo or two up there. Unfortunately the church itself was all locked up. (another thing not open)
We drove out to Cossack and looked at some of the old buildings here including Galbraiths Store and the old Customs and Bond Store building. This used to have a small gift shop and café in it but you guessed right – it’s closed and doesn’t operate any more.
We drove out to Settlers Beach and Pommy Bob took his shoes off for his first ever paddle in the Indian Ocean.
We visited the lookout above the beach and the scenery up here was great.
Back into town via the Cemetery and Hiroe have some water to some of the departed Japanese here.2012_Sep_1..anese_3.jpg2012_Sep_1..emetery.jpg
We had lunch down near the wharf and noticed that the handle on the door to our caravan had a great crack in it. It’s a design fault with this product – may even be intentional.2012_Sep_1..k_wharf.jpg
We drove out to Point Sampson for a look – not much to see except the historic jetty which is falling apart.2012_Sep_1..ic_Pier.jpg
Back on the road and into Karratha and the visitors Centre. We were directed to Dampier for a caravan site but when we got there it was full up so we went out to have a look at the Off Shore Gas facility and tried to get into the visitors centre there – CLOSED. Took some photos then back tracked to the Dampier Salt works and would you believe it – no salt – all the ponds have been flooded.
Out to the highway and refuelled that we drove about 20 km south to the Maitland River where we have camped for the night.

Day 62
After a nice quiet night at the Maitland River last night we drove to Fortesque Roadhouse and had a rest stop there. Some nice hills over the road.

We continued on towards Nanutarra and on the way passed many mines and many lovely looking hills.
We stopped for lunch at Nanutarra on the banks of the Ashburton River. Lovely shot from on the old bridge with Mt Alexander which is 410 metres high in the background.
After lunch we continued on till the turnoff which is a shortcut across to Exmouth. We have stopped for the night about halfway to Exmouth from the turnoff.

Posted by Hiroes 03:10 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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