Debbie & Geoff's

Australian Safari

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Travel Blog - May 2017

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Monday 1st May to Sunday 7th May 2017

Saying goodbye to the Fleurieu peninsula we made our way to Redhill. This was a small town that has supplied a free camp site. Nice spot with lots of trees that you had to watch out for and in between the main road and the train line. The town itself was very tiny. I went for a walk as there were public toilets in the park, just across was the pub and a corner store. From what I can tell that was about all in the town. There was a small river running throughthe town and it made a nice stop for the evening, also quiet and only a few trains were heard during our stay.
Staying hitched up overnight makes taking off the next day a very quick pack up. After a quick stop at Port Germaine which boast the longest wooden pier, though it was closed for renovations so we couldn’t go for a walk we headed to our destination for the next two evenings, Whyalla. Another mining port and this one was for iron ore and steel. Onesteel was located here along with Arrirum Mines.

 Whyalla Steel works          Whyalla Steel works
Whyalla Steel works

Onesteel had gone bankrupt over a year ago and the town has certainly felt the impact. We did a tour around the steel works in a bus and the guide showed us different sights about steel making. She also explained how the town has changed since the bankruptcy with over 1,000 houses for sale and 700 for rent. Any takers? They are hoping it will be taken over and keeping their fingers crossed for the financial year to find out if they still have jobs. We then did a tour in the Maritime museum and a tour on the ship Whyalla. This ship was the first built at the steel works and now retired it was moved overland 2kms inland to the museum. They had a short movie showing how this ship was moved from the shore.

 Whyalla Mine Sweeper    Whyalla Mine Sweeper deck gun    Whyalla Mine Sweeper Wheel House
Whyalla Mine Sweeper         Whyalla Mine Sweeper deck gun         Whyalla Mine Sweeper Wheel House

The town is quite large and we did a stroll around the wetland park which had boardwalks and tracks. Nothing like the one at home but was nice to stretch our legs and get some fresh air.
The caravan park had a BBQ dinner for $12 per head, we had 3 different meats, salad and a glass of wine. We joined in and it saved me cooking for an evening. Also got to mingle with some lovely people whom we sat with. One Greek couple, Angelo and Stella who we were destined to meet up with further down the track, and a couple of workers from Perth who flew in to build a machine that will maintain the railway lines. Made for an interesting conversation all round.

 OneSteel Coke Works    OneSteel Coke Works    OneSteel Bar Works
OneSteel Coke Works             OneSteel Coke Works             OneSteel Bar Works

No matter how many times we have seen small towns devastated because of the mining industry, it still breaks my heart. We were talking to the man in the next caravan who told me he had done his apprenticeship here. He also said that his niece moved out of here 2 years ago and still trying to sell her house. Cannot imagine what it would be like to have your home which all your money had gone into and not being able to recoup when you have to move on and start again.
From a mining port to fishing, we drove to Port Lincoln. With 4 nights here we have time to explore and do a few jobs needed prior to traversing the Nullarbor. We are again right on the beach and feel the cool breeze blowing. We took a long walk around the coast line to the mariner area where the fishing fleet were tied up. There were lots of new houses to gawk at as we strolled around the area, some were huge. They were located on the man-made canals with others being built and they had the boats to match. Lots of money in that area! Some charter boats advertised extreme tours with swimming with the sharks a popular one, pass on that thanks.

 Port Lincoln Caravan Park    Port Lincoln Marina    Port Lincoln Marina
Port Lincoln Caravan Park             Port Lincoln Marina             Waiting for the catch to come in

Our next day was a drive to Coffin Bay where we didn’t have time to try the oysters that they are famous for but had a lovely walk along the beach and then a drive to explore the national park. The flora was very low and coastal and nothing like looking out into the bay to see two emus wading through the water heading towards the sand. What a time to not have the camera primed. Even without a picture it was a sight that Geoff and I will not forget. Driving back through the park we had the joy of an emu family walking down the road. No matter how many times I see wildlife I still get a thrill. The days when the sun comes out are glorious and it is typical autumn weather when the afternoon comes and the wind picks up you reach for the jackets and head inside.

 Deb at Coffin Bay    Alfresco Coffin Bay Style    Geoff found another Eagle
Deb at Coffin Bay             Alfresco Coffin Bay Style             Geoff found another Eagle

 Sandhills at Coffin Bay    Osprey checking the Tourists    Wild coast of Coffin Bay
Sandhills at Coffin Bay             Osprey checking the Tourists             Wild coast of Coffin Bay

Another day and another National Park. Lincoln National Park deserved a visit and I can’t say it was the most inspiring scenery I have come across. The roads were all sandy and very dusty. The flora was scrubby and even though we went out to the coast to a few points we returned home after a few hours of exploring.
Having checked with reception at the van park we found the best place to purchase seafood and fruit and vegies. This will be the last big shop till Perth, so we want to get good supplies. Also I had to consider we will lose all our fruit and vegies when we cross the border to Western Australia, so I tried to plan to accordingly. So fridges and freezers full we were ready.

Monday 8th May to Wednesday 10th May 2017

Time to start our next stage with a night at Streaky Bay. Nice little town and another van park right on the foreshore. With one night hops we don’t get to do much but did manage a walk around the shoreline and along the wharf where a couple of pelicans posed for photos.

 Geoff checking out the locals             Streaky Bay
Geoff checking out the locals                             Streaky Bay

Next stop was a lovely town called Ceduna which was situated on the foreshore and it had big gates to keep us locked in or the locals locked out. Must admit after some of the stories we were told about the town I loved those big gates and fences. Again we met up with Angelo and Stella whom were staying there for four nights before they headed along the Nullarbor.

 Ceduna Bay             Selfie Ceduna
Ceduna Bay                             Selfie Ceduna

Ceduna is the last place where water was available so we filled both tanks of the van and drove out to Fowlers Bay. This tiny fishing village was surrounded by towering sand dunes and Geoff and I climbed up and along them to enjoy the view of the coast line and town. We then scampered down to the foreshore to walk back towards the town and waded through mounds of ribbon seaweed that had been washed up from the sea.

 Fowlers Bay Sandhills    Fowlers Bay     Fowlers Bay
Fowlers Bay Sandhills                                     Fowlers Bay

 

Thursday 11th to Tuesday 16th May 2017

We are on the Eyre Highway at the start of the Nullarbor and of course had to stop for the mandatory photo of Debbie, the Lotus and the sign. Nullarbor Plain Eastern End of Treeless Plain.

 Nullarbor Plain             Nullarbor Plain
Nullarbor Plain

Miles and miles of endless road and low lying scrub. I particularly thought it was beautiful as I wasn’t sure what I expected and the green and grey scrub with the red sandy soil made a brilliant contrast to the blue sky. Lots of road kill which meant lots of crows, ravens and wedge tail eagles much to Geoff’s delight. Our first stop was The Head of the Bight This is right on the coast and is a must stop for all. This is a premier whale watching area where the white sand dunes and beaches meet the Bunda Cliffs of the Nullarbor. The Southern Right Whales gather here from end of May to the end of October. Bugger if we weren’t a few weeks too early though some one had said a whale was spotted in the morning. So too early in the month and too late in the day! They have boardwalks that ensure fantastic views of the sheer drop of the towering cliffs into the pounding Southern Ocean. Geoff also got taken by the caretaker along the cliff to see if they could spot a pair of white bellied sea eagles that have a nest in the area. Didn’t get to see those either, but the views were amazing.

The caretaker there was about to head home off duty and told Geoff they were looking for someone to run the place, Geoff thought he might be feeling us out. The deal actually sounded pretty good as it was a paid position and though you had no neighbours you got to talk to customers every day. With a house and car supplied, decent wage and of course supplies dropped off at your doorstep three times a week, sound ok to me. Oh and the view, it is amazing especially when we saw it with the sun out, and the water glistening. Maybe in the future we might make a go of it, but we still have so much to see before we take on anything like that.

 Head of Bight Sandhills    Head of Bight     Head of Bight Cliffs
Head of Bight Sandhills                       Head of Bight               Head of Bight Cliffs

Still hugging the coast on the Eyre Highway we found our first night spot. This was a parking area set up for people to go and enjoy the amazing cliff views. It was late in the afternoon and people were still coming and going and one van looked like he was set up to stay. We parked with a view out to the ocean and others joined our vans. Safety in numbers when you free camp. The evening we had views of stars and a moon so full it lit up the whole of the car park. As the area was off the main road it was also quiet. Just what free camping is all about.

 First Camp on the Nullarbor
First Camp on the Nullarbor

Onward we travelled but not too far, actually only about 100km from our last camp. This again was a photo opportunity lookout and we were the first to claim a parking spot for the evening. Geoff flew the drone to take some shots as previously when he tried we were too close to a heliport. With strict ruling from CASA the drone is programmed not to fly within 5km of any airstrip or heliport. So to make a long story short, drone went up. Geoff misjudged. Drone came down and hit the van where I was sitting inside. All good, just a few blades broken and we had spare. No one was injured in this flying accident.
Other happy campers parked up near us so again safety in numbers.

 Camp two Nullarbor    Camp two Nullarbor    Camp two Nullarbor
Camp two Nullarbor

At all these camp spots are bins, around the bins and through the whole are is rubbish. Unsightly, unnecessary and revolting it makes us wonder how people can be so lazy. We all moan about it and as I had nothing to do I decided to try and clean up the area.
Gloves on and garbage bag in hand I started at our van and worked my way around the car park. Tins, cans, plastic, bottles and those bloody wipes and toilet paper. Grose isn’t it. But I just went from one pile to the next and as I filled up the bag I would empty it into the bin provided. One thing I did notice that lots of rubbish had accumulated around the actual bin. After 6 rubbish bags filled and emptied it was wine o’clock and I felt that I had deserved it.
The next morning all the travellers had departed and we were the last to leave. I looked out of the car window and blow me if a plastic bag was lying on the ground spilled open with vegetable peelings scattered around it. How could this happen, the people in the van parked there also helped pick up a bag of rubbish? Looking about a found the culprit, crows! They had worked out how to climb down the opening in the bin and pull out anything they could till they found a tasty morsel, even opening the bag it was stored in. I got out of the car, picked up the rubbish and shoved it into the bin again, clever little pests just waited till we drove a bit further before jumping back up and pulling out more goodies to eat.
So I guess even though I blame the travellers, maybe the crows can also take some of the blame. Toilet paper and wipes are a major problem and if you are going to use it either bury it, burn it or put it into the bin provided. If no bins put it in a plastic bag and dispose of it next time you see a bin. Rant over, thank you for listening!
Now where was I, oh yes. The free camp again gave us majestic views of the cliffs and we had a spectacular sunset with an added bonus of the full moon with clouds just lightly covering it in waves. Naturally this is a great photo opportunity for the husband.
The WA border was coming up very fast so I still had vegetables and fruit to deal with. I cooked all the vegies, Geoff ate the last apple while we were driving there and I finished off the last of the lettuce. Only thing I had to hand in was the honey, which surprised me as when we went to South Australia store bought honey was ok, it was only the special honey from aperies that you had to hand in. Though the customs guard did not ask or even see it in my pantry I diligently declared it and he told me to add it to a box outside. Oh there was lots of Allowrie honey there waiting for disposal or maybe a new home. They checked the car fridge and kept asking if we had prawns or bait. No to both of those things and I had put a lemon in the freezer the night before which he asked was it at least half frozen. I took it out of the freezer and banged it on the bench; yep it was good and solid and passed the test.

 WA boarder Nullarbor      WA - Nullarbor      Camp two Nullarbor
WA boarder Nullarbor                 WA - Nullarbor

Our next stop was Cocklebiddy Wedge-tailed Inn where we had the pleasure of power but still no water to the van, but that’s ok as their showers were adequate and they gave us 8 tokens which are worth a 5 minute shower each token to last us for the two nights (it’s amazing how a five minute shower is more than sufficient even to wash and condition hair). They also had two Wedge-tailed Eagles in a large avery, both of them injured and unable to be released into the wild. So again Geoff was delighted to be so close these two beauties. We were staying two nights here so that we could visit the Eyre Bird Observatory.

 Wedge-tailed Eagle - Nullarbor      Chasing Wedgies - Nullarbor      Wedge-tailed Inn - Cocklebiddy
Wedge-tailed Eagle - Nullarbor           Chasing Wedgies - Nullarbor           Wedge-tailed Inn - Cocklebiddy

The next morning we left reasonably early to drive down to the observatory. We had read that you need a high clearance 4WD vehicle to make the trip as even though the track was good there were steep sections and 10km of sand to contend with. The track did give us some awesome scenery and views of the escarpment. A lot of the bush had been burnt out and some with very hot fires. We later found out it was from a lightning strike in November 2016 and burnt for over a week, the bush still had a long way to go to recover. There were pockets of green that had been missed and it was here that a family of 5 kangaroos made an appearance in front of our car. We had the Gopro on to film but we were both so enthralled with these creatures I forgot to press the go button. No fear, I got them on our return journey.

 On the way to Eyre Bird Observatory      On the way to Eyre Bird Observatory      With Bill the caretaker Eyre Bird Observatory
On the way to Eyre Bird Observatory                           With Bill the caretaker Eyre Bird Observatory

Through the bush down the escarpment, along the track heading towards the coast where we finally arrived at the old homestead. It was previously the Eyre Telegraph Station and the building had been restored and now housed the volunteers that looked after the Bird Observatory. It was our pleasure to meet Bill and Judy who have signed up for 3 months. They have paying guests which they organise catering for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a price of $95 per person. People supply their own linen as the only water supply is rainwater stored in tanks so washing linen for each visitor would mean excess usage. When we arrived Bill happily gave us the tour starting with the office and different figures he charts daily, checking batteries and reporting things like birds, rainfall and clouds. All get chartered and added to the accumulation of figures passed down through the years. Bill also drives the beach twice a week to check on bird numbers and makes sure the tracks are passable. There seems to be plenty to keep him occupied including stopping and having a chat with us. Judy was busy in the kitchen but was more than happy to show me around the house then offer us a cup of coffee or tea which I made for the four of us and we all sat down with homemade biscuits to go with our cuppa. She bakes everything from bread to muffins and once a week they both drive the hour and a half to Cocklebiddy to meet the truck and pick up supplies. The supplies come from the IGA at Noresman and she told me that even though the order goes in not everything’s available, so her menus have to be flexible. Tonight she is having roast lamb but one of her guest does not eat red meat so she is also adding a chicken to the oven to cover all bases. They both asked us if we were interested in putting our name down for the management position as it comes up.
Reasons not to take up the job
A. Too far from everything
B. Not paid
C. I am not cooking for a million people
D. we still have a long way to go on our trip
E. No mobile or internet
F. Really, a bird observatory for me, I don’t think so!
We did two walks, but not many birds were seen. Maybe as it was getting towards the middle of the day or maybe a lot of the birds moved house after the fires. Along the walk, which they called the horse paddock, Geoff noticed paw prints and took a photo to talk to Bill about later, he also noticed marks that had been made by a snake slithering past. The prints were from a cat which Geoff had surmised and Bill confirmed there was a cat that was lurking around the area.

 On the beach Eyre Bird Observatory      On the way to Eyre Bird Observatory      Eyre Bird Observatory
                On the beach Eyre Bird Observatory                           Eyre Bird Observatory

When we returned to the homestead Geoff noted down the birds we had seen and we joined the other guest for lunch and a chat. They were from Perth and had come to do sand dune stabilisation in the area. The team leader George had been coming here since 1988 with his wife and it is a credit to the amount of work they have accomplished. In one part of the coast we were reading a sign of the dunes how they travel 11 metres per year. George hopes with the work they are doing the dunes will only be moving 11 cm at most per year. Fingers crossed and keep up the good work George and Pam.
Our next walk was down to the coast, down the track, up a sand hill, down to the beach and along the shoreline. Then back up another entrance past the fisherman’s hut and back to the house. No waders were spotted but it was still a nice walk. Again Geoff reported the birds he had sighted, mainly Babblers, and it was getting time to leave. We still had a trip back to Cocklebiddy and we knew it would be dark by the time we arrived back at the van.
With fond farewells to our lovely hosts it was time to hit the track. We did have a lovely day and meeting new people who were interesting and informative was all part of it. Once we hit the top of the escarpment we stopped to take some photos when Geoff had an amazing interaction with a Wedge-tailed Eagle. He had the camera with the wide angle lens but made a quick dash to the car for the big guns when this eagle started to swoop past him, again and again, just checking him out. Geoff decided this was the best interaction he had ever had with a Wedgie, even better than being swooped at Porcupine Gorge.

 Wedge-tailed Eagle      Wedge-tailed Eagle      Wedge-tailed Eagle
Close encounter with an inquisitive Wedge-tailed Eagle

Our next trip was a long one and with head winds it seemed even further. We were going to the Fraser Range which was 400 km away. During the trip we stopped at Balladonia Roadhouse. Their claim to fame was in 1979 the NASA’s Skylab crash landed in the area. The roadhouse has a cute little museum that will tell you also about the Afghans who had the camel trains in the outback and the first owners of the property. The person to claim the $10,000 USA prize to produce the first piece of Skylab happened to be a 17 year old, lucky boy. They had decided to display the found piece of the Skylab on stage at the Miss Universe Pageant in Perth which was being held at the time. The space junk was so heavy the stage collapsed under the weight, oh how I would have loved to have seen that!
After our driving break and leg stretch we headed to our camp for the night. The Fraser Range van park is just off the highway and it also has farm tours. We decided to stay for two nights as we had seen nothing of the area and hoped the head wind might drop a bit over the next day. That night we sat around the campfire and talked to people we had previously met back on the Nullarbor. We also had dinner at the restaurant for $30 per head; we had meatloaf followed by apple pie and cream. The servings were massive and I was struggling to finish dessert, but I managed to take one for the team and cleaned up my plate.

 Fraser Range      Fraser Range      Fraser Range
Fraser Range

 Fraser Range
Fraser Range

Next morning we did the summit walk. The scenery from the top was worth the effort and at the pyramid there is a microwave oven. You open it up and sign the book, how cool is that! There were lots of kangaroos and quite a few big reds looked in our direction. Also a mummy roo with her baby peering out of her pouch would have been the winning picture in my eyes. Looking around at the summit I got a bit concerned by the weather and sure enough we did get a bit damp on the way back. Also a cool wind crept through our jackets so I was more than pleased to get back to the van. Got my 10,000 steps up for the day and the climb rated 38 floors on my Fitbit. I deserved my wine that night.

Now as I had the morning spare before our walk and I can still smell smoke from the fire in my jacket and hair I penned this little verse:

Camp Fires To all of us that join in
A night near a camp fire is just the thing
We sit and talk and make new friends
And share travel stories that never end
A glass of wine or maybe a beer
A few more of those bring on some cheer
As the night goes dark and the temperature gets cold
We huddle more closer to warm bones of old
But no matter where I might decide to sit
The smoke swirls round me from the moment the fire is lit
It’s grey haze moves around and gets into my eyes
It makes them water but I do not cry
It creeps again and seeps up my nose
I cough and sneeze and it runs like a hose
My hair how it reeks from this fire side curse
And my jacket now smells even worse
But the flames they still dance then the magic appears
Coals are formed and then the smoke disappears
I think a little port would go down well
As I toast the fire pits and the stories they tell

 

Wednesday 17th to Sunday 21st May 2017

Gold fever is amongst the many that sort it at the Kalgoorlie-Boulder mine fields. After settling in to our park it was a trip to town to visit the tourist information centre. High on our priority was to visit the Super Pit so we booked the tour for the following day and also decided to book the tour of the oldest brothel in Australia Questa Casa. After a quick stroll around town and buy a few supplies we headed back to the van for the evening. Our KCGM tour to the Super Pit started at 9am when we were issued with our fluro vests and safety glasses, very becoming. Dan our bus driver was a real character and made the tour interesting and fun at the same time. Both of us were in awe of the size of this gold mine and when we were allowed out of the bus to look into the pit the size of it all made the big mining trucks look like Tonka toys running around the inside tracks.

 KCGM Super Pit      KCGM Super Pit      KCGM Super Pit
Trucks dewarfed by Super Pit          Truck carries 250 tons     Safety message - That was a Toyota 4x4

Dan pointed out different trucks and explained their jobs, we followed the trail of rubble that was dug out of the pit to the crushers, then processing plant where the gold is finally extracted. Seven truck load of rock will equal a golf ball size of gold, amazing!
Our next tour to the brothel was held by Carmel who is the Madam and has owned Questa Casa for the last 25 years. In this time the town had gone from a whole street of Brothels to only two. She did have 10 working rooms and now down to only 2. In her day they had a “containment law” where the girls were not allowed to leave the house unless in her company even to go shopping as this could mean that they would be soliciting in the streets. Now it was different and means prostitutes could practice anywhere. Carmel was a bit on the spacey side, very well groomed but I think her face has had so much Botox that it didn’t move, I first thought she might have had a stroke before I really looked and noticed the lack of any form of wrinkles or movement except for her mouth, creepy for a 70 year old. She spoke well and told us that the tour is what keeps paying the bills as the trade is very slow nowadays. We were taken to three of the rooms from dominator with paddles and cuffs to the more straight romantic rooms. As we sat and listened I looked across at Geoff and thought if she doesn’t hurry up he was going to fall asleep, that’s how exciting it was! But at least I can now say I have been to a brothel!

 Debbie at Brothel      Dominator room      Romantic Room
Debbie applying for a job                                     Dominator room                         Romantic Room

We did get to see a blast in the super pit, though we were told it was to be 1pm and we were there early, we were not prepared when the blast went off at 12.50. Took us by surprise when a great puff of dust billowed from the side of the pit, then the next one went and last a third. We did get some photos and I got video but it was a shame not to have had it all from the start and with the boom, oh yes there was a boom, but only on the first blast.

 KCGM Super Pit      KCGM Super Pit      KCGM Super Pit
KCGM Super Pit                                     Third blast                         Toyota 4x4 next to third blast area

The Kalgoorlie museum was worth a visit and had a vault with real gold nuggets plus a gold bar on display. We enjoyed the exhibits of the old gold mining days and also on display was a silver exhibition that was on loan for a few months. Here we saw some beautiful silverware from bygone era and they also had a man from Antique Roadshow giving valuations to people from the area who bought their family treasures to be assessed.

 Gold Bar              Alluvial Gold
400 oz Gold Bar                                     Alluvial Gold

A visit to Boulder was a must and we went to the market on the Sunday. They close off a street and had stalls up and down both sides. Entertainment was provided by local schools and groups, I even got dragged up to try belly dancing , a hobby I don’t think I will start. We visited a small museum which was housed in the old train station, and wandered back down looking at the display of old cars. Everyone seemed to be at Boulder for Market day. Boulder had previously sustained a lot of damage due to an earthquake, but when they rebuilt the store fronts were all bought back to historic times and well worth a look at

 Debbie belly dancing      Kalgoorlie fron the lookout      Under ground mine Kalgoorlie
Debbie belly dancing                         Kalgoorlie fron the lookout             Under ground mine Kalgoorlie

To fill in the afternoon we took a drive to the Catherine lookout that was the end of the golden pipeline that brings water from Perth to Kalgoorlie-Boulder. The 630 km of pipeline made the town viable and even though most of the mining process used brackish water the town had no other water supply except for rain, which they didn’t get much of at all. Our last day we did have a few spots of rain, but it didn’t last long enough to make any impact.

Monday 22nd to Thursday 1st June 2017

Heading for the big smoke, well Perth we had one night in a free camp to break up our journey. This was in Merredin it was half way from Kalgoorlie so made a nice break. Again another lovely quiet spot. This was in a bush park behind the industrial area. The park was large and we had the whole area to ourselves so not only was it quiet but we could pick our best spot. Next morning we headed to our next caravan park where again we will stay for 4 nights to get set up for our trip to Broome. Certainly no point in rushing these things, whilst in a town we make the most of it. Haircuts, visit to Dan Murphy or Uncle Dans as we call it seeing we frequent it quite often, Aldi for our coffee and stack up on fresh supplies. Of course a trip or three to Bunnings is always on the cards.

 Free camp Merredin              Salmon Gum at the Free Camp
Free camp Merredin                         Salmon Gum at the Free Camp

Karrinyup Waters is a lovely, very large park and on our second morning they were filming channel 9 News Morning Show. We ate our free breakfast and watched with interest but as we couldn’t hear what the commentator was talking about I ended up asking one of the camera crew. It was a senior special! So I guess we fitted in, hey at least Geoff has a seniors card!

 Channel 9 News              9 News filming opposite our van
Channel 9 News                        9 News filming opposite our van

Though we didn’t go to the city itself as we had been there previously we enjoyed our stay and with batteries recharged it was time to head north.
We are now travelling up the Turquoise Coast and stayed at Jurien Bay for a few nights. We used this as a base and after settling in took ourselves back down the coast to see the Pinnacles Desert. It was a magical three hours we spent driving around and taking photos of the moon like landscape. The Pinnacles are limestone mounds and are an orange red colour. Looking into the distance with all these mounds towering it brought to mind the terracotta soldiers in China, all lined up and just a bit different. I also thought of the moon landing, you know the theory that it never really happened; well it could have been filmed here.

 Debbie at the Pinnacles      Contrasts at the Pinnacles      Pinnacles
Debbie at the Pinnacles                  Contrasts at the Pinnacles             Pinnacles

 Sunset at the Pinnacles      Sunset at the Pinnacles      Sunset at the Pinnacles
Sunset at the Pinnacles

The next day we drove first to Green Head where we did a walk up to a few lookouts. Beautiful scenery at Dynamite Bay which was voted number 19 of the 101 best Australian beaches. Though truthfully I don’t know how it got that award. Geoff took a few photos of an Osprey sitting on the rocks and we headed back to the car for our trip to Lesueur National Park. We did the 18.5km drive around and stopped for the botanical walk which had signs of different plants and descriptions, then the further walk to Wilsons Lookout and then up Mount Lesueur. The drive itself was beautiful, the road was lined with Banksias and all were in bloom. Too early for the wildflower season, but we managed to spot lots of lovely native blooms. Red ones that looked like bells, white ones that were soft and fury and reminded me of frayed rope, yellow blossoms but without the odour that I am used to with wattle, and Banksia that ranged from orange to white and some red and yellow, they were all beautiful. On our climb up the mount it seemed most plants on the path were prickly and kept scratching our legs. Close to the summit we spotted a few Wedge Tail Eagles. One soared above us and then went so close just behind us I was amazed. Unfortunately Geoff’s camera would not focus and no matter how many bad words he used he never got the shot. But we both got to see it and that will be remembered.

 Osprey      Wild Flowers Lesueur National Park      Pinnacles
Friendly Osprey             Wild Flowers Lesueur National Park                  Grass Tree

 Wild Flowers     Banksia Lesueur National Park     Banksia
Wild Flowers             Banksia Lesueur National Park                  Banksia

Geoff helped another couple with their electrics in their van and it was with great surprise and delight they shouted us dinner in the pub. Greg and Caroline are from Mandurah and are also heading up towards Broome so we know we will meet them again a little further on.
Next stop is a free camp at Eneabba on the banks of Lake Indoon, this is another great spot and as we arrived hundreds of Carnaby's Black-Cockatoos swarmed into the area to perch and call from the branches of the trees. Geoff and I did the walk around the lake which had lots of bird life inhabitants. They have showers and toilets here but they were closed due to lack of water. There was water in the lake and one person told us that since the mining in the area closed the water lasts longer. It was very shallow though and we saw a few kids standing thigh deep in the middle of the lake.

 Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo     Camp Lake Indoon     Banksia
Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo                                     Camp Lake Indoon                        

 Australian Shelduck     Lake Indoon at Sunset     Whistling-kite
Australian Shelduck                   Lake Indoon at Sunset                        Whistling-kite

The weather is now warming up again and it is nice to be back in shorts and t-shirts. The nights are still cool so we still get to snuggle down with our two dooners, and when you are in free camp their is no air conditioning in the morning to warm us up.
We are heading towards the end of May which means winter is about to start, but you would never know it as even though the mornings and evenings are cool the days are hot and beautiful. We have been so lucky with all our weather. Now we are heading further north to Port Denison. Just near the town of Dongara we stayed at the park just near the beach. Caroline and Greg were also there so we had a nice catch up with them, they are staying to Monday as it was a long weekend in Western Australia but we decided to stay just 3 nights.
Our days were spent doing some lovely walks , first was the 9km river walk which took us from the beach and around a board walk, then follow the river to the bridge that separates Port Denison to Dongara. Here we took a side trip to look at the old pub, Priory Hotel, no we didn’t stop for a drink. The pub was turned into a convent then school before returning to the evil ways of drink. We had a walk around the building and noticed it really needed a lot of work with massive premises for lodgings and also the tavern section. Just next door we had a peak in the windows of an old historic cottage before resuming our walk back across the bridge to finish our loop home.
Next day again was glorious and we did the beach walk. This was about 6km round trip and was lovely paddling our feet as the waves came up. Some weed, not many shells, baby pipis and jelly fish that were clear and had pink lines running through them, which I thought quite cool.

 Priory Hotel     Priory Hotel     Jelly fish
Priory Hotel                                                                    Jelly fish

Each evening we strolled down to the water with a bottle of wine and watched the magnificent sunsets. We were joined by Caroline and Greg for a pleasant hour of chatting and enjoying the skies transformation before heading back to our vans for dinner. I couldn’t think of a nicer way to finish of our days.

 Sunset Port Denison     Sunset Port Denison     Sunset Port Denison
Sunset Port Denison

 

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