Some places we've been and some places we're going.

Archive for the ‘North then West 2011’ Category

Simply The Best

The Best

Coffee –Land of the Pharaohs Cafe, Broome

Pie – (bacon rashers topped with an egg and grilled tomato all in a pie) Kojonup, WA

Camp kitchen/Dining Room – Foreshore Caravan Park, Streaky Bay

Showers – can’t remember but they were hot with plenty of water and a cubicle big enough for all your clothes and room to swing a Great Dane.

Neighbours – a tie for Broome and 80 Mile Beach, both fishermen and both from Albany, WA

Mango Smoothies – The Wild Mango, Kununurra

Park Café – Streaky Bay with Cervantes a close second.

Fish & Chips –Cervantes, Fish & Chip Shop

Bread – Turkish Bread, Esperance

Roadside Camping – WA

Weather – NT

Auto support – Wanneroo Jeep, WA

Sized Camper site –private campsite, El Questro, Caravan Park, Cervantes

Ice-cream – 80 Mile Beach

Hot Spring – Bitter Springs

Museum – Geraldton ( the only one we went into!)

War Memorial – Geraldton for emotional impact

Night Sky – El Questro

Gorges – Ord River, Windjana, Karijina National Park

Boat Ride – Ord River for scenery, Intombi for atmosphere & experiences offered


Things We Learnt Along The Way

Camp showers are often built for midgets.

Never assume the hot tap is the one on the left. Campsite plumbing rules are completely random.

If the campsite is empty, the person who books in after you will set up beside you.

The number of spectators is in direct proportion to the difficulty of the reversing manoeuvre.

One visit to Auto Barn is never enough for the job you’re currently doing.

The light you used last time will have the wrong connection the next time you go camping.

Laughing hysterically at people wearing  “headlight” will ensure that you have one next time you go camping.

A campsite sounds like zips zipping and doors sliding, endlessly.

Bedtime can never be before the Bush Poet has left the grounds.

The first toilet in the row always runs out of paper first, desperate people don’t walk along the line and choose.

Streaky Bay 2 (jumped out of sequence!)

We got up. The wind got up. Yesterday was so nice here but what a difference the wind makes. It blasts straight off the sea and as the other campers seaward of us packed up and left we were more and more exposed. The annexe was flapping about and nothing seemed to stop it so we just decided to go elsewhere. The attractions of Streaky showed some loops you could drive so we went on the Cape Bauer Loop which was a nice drive but the Whistling Tubes weren’t whistling, the Blow Holes weren’t blowing and the Ospreys were obviously staying out of the wind. Looking down from the boardwalk where the Blow Holes were was quite scary with the waves coming in over a giant slab of rock. A boat was just around a bluff in a quieter patch of sea and we saw the “diver below” flag put up but didn’t see anyone go in while we were watching.

Because we’d been told the Cape Bauer Loop was the most interesting we changed our minds about going on the Westal Way Loop and instead decided to check out the Powerhouse Museum but it was closed so then we headed up the road to the Oyster Shed where tours showing all stages of the processing were advertised. A nice young guy there told us they don’t do the tours anymore but we could buy some oysters.

We decided to come back to the Campground, have some drinks and snacks while reading in the lovely big, clean Dining Room. When we reached the Dining Room other campers were already there and ready for conversation & then more arrived so we didn’t read but we did fill in and hour or more talking about different Camper Trailers, campsites and motoring skills/behaviours. After that we walked on the beach so not much to report today. Tomorrow we’ll go to Point Labatt where we’ve been reliably informed there are plenty of Sea Lions to see then we’ll go on to Port Lincoln. Depending on the wind we’ll either stop there or find somewhere more sheltered.

Diver Below

Not sure how the Oyster processing goes but I know they need gloves!


Despite the forecast of very strong winds starting at 12:00, the night was reasonable with only normal rain, and the morning looked lovely so we took the opportunity to look around Lincoln for a while. We went to the Lookout and cruised around some of the streets looking at the “Tuna Mansions”. We saw the statue of Makybe Diva on the foreshore yesterday. Neither of us had any inclination to go Tuna feeding or swimming in a cage beside sharks and with the awful weather forecast on our minds we decided to head for home and just see how far we got before fatigue set in. We thought Tumby Bay was a nice little place and spent some time in the Bakery there but when we left we could see the dark clouds forming behind us and we could see bands of rain radiating from them. Before we reached Whyalla the rain hit us and by Port August although the temperature was still 28 deg. the wind was really buffeting the car. By “The Tin Man” near Port Pirie it was only 12 deg. black sky, strong gusty wind and heavy rain. Driving was difficult because the big trucks not only caused blinding sprays of water but also added their draught to the wind gusts. We felt sorry for all the campers heading off up the road in such foul weather while we would soon be in a nice, solid house where we could shut the doors and leave the weather outside!

The holiday is over, the unpacking begins …………….tomorrow.

Port Lincoln

It was a beautiful morning in Streaky Bay, calm and sunny so we took our time packing up. There was a very strange noise coming from trees near us and eventually I saw a couple of herons, canoodling, I think. I would never have expected to see them in trees but maybe they’re like Storks.

After yesterday’s disappointments we were looking forward to seeing the promised Sea Lions and we weren’t disappointed this time. There wasn’t an enormous number, maybe 30 and they were spread out over different rocky areas but they were quite active. Different ones went swimming and the water was so clear you could watch them all the time, some sat up watching and others looked like giant slugs stuck to rocks. One quite big male made his way out of the water and it was interesting watching the reactions of those which had been lying peacefully before. I presume it was a younger male that had to move away closer to another group of peaceful sleepers.

After the Sea Lions we went to see Murphy’s Haystacks which we’d been told were just a few rocks like you’d see in dozens of paddocks but we liked them. The shapes and textures were interesting and we certainly didn’t mind donating a couple of dollars since effort had been put into making the place a pleasure to walk around. The farms around are certainly looking lush but lots of sheep look dirty and thin and we thought they might have been brought in from a drought affected area.

We also went to see the Woolshed Cave which I found scary. The water has cut giant troughs through the rocks and the waves force the water up the troughs ending with forceful sprays before the water recedes again. The sides of the troughs weren’t level and looked as though they were coated with slippery sand so neither of us ventured too far towards the cave. The top of the cave had very interesting rock formations and there was one Native Bee hive hanging from the roof.

The dirt roads seem to have Sleepy Lizards crossing every few hundred metres and countless squashed ones. I’ve never seen one following another hot on its tail before and wonder if it’s mating time because we saw at least a dozen like that.

We arrived in Port Lincoln late in the afternoon so only had time to set up ten go into town to find some food. Almost all the sites here are drive-through so that’s a plus but they’re very narrow so no room for the annexe, in fact, the pull-out kitchen reaches the edge of our space. Tomorrow we’ll have a good look around the place if the weather stays nice.

Giant slugs

That’s MY patch!

This one is more of a wave than a haystack -Murphy’s Haystacks, Streaky Bay

Signs like this make me nervous!

Steps to Woolshed Cave

In hot pursuit.

Streaky Bay

No other campers came into the parking area last night so we had lots of space. At the old telegraph station , Eucla, yesterday we were talking to some people travelling in a big red bus, they had to hand over their fruit and veg, and even the bird seed they had for their birds. We expected to be stopped by the quarantine mob when we crossed the border so we gave them all the stuff we had but we weren’t stopped at all. Rather than buy more then have to relinquish it near Ceduna we had a make do meal with some left over bread roll from Esperance, steak and Tomato Relish. The steak was fine and the relish added a touch of piquancy ( for any foodies) but I can tell you Turkish Bread which is worth delaying your departure for on Day 1 is very tough and not worth fighting over on Day 2!

We packed up and drove out it was 7:30 SA time so we stopped for some breakfast at Nundroo. Alex is very relieved that the long stretches are behind us. We’ve been trying so hard to obey the road signs and watched for wombats all the way but only saw 2 and they were “out of this world” or to put it more bluntly, dead. Thevenard was our next stop and from a lookout we could see lots of seabirds clustered on rocks and then someone pointed out some seals. We had fun watching the antics for quite a while.

Smoky Bay didn’t have anything to keep us there so we came on to Streaky and have decided to stay for 2 nights. The Campground is nice, right on the waterfront but hopefully not blasted by winds, the amenities are perfect and there seem to be interesting sights to see.

Pelican Pair hanging out at the fish cleaning station.

Seal and Cormorants.

Kidnippi, 20kms west of Nundroo

What would you expect to be transported into WA on semis? Villies pies, Maggie Beer Quince Jelly, Annies Lane wines, Electrolux washing machines or even Holden cars but swimming pools? Yesterday we saw a semi with two stacks of pools, each stack had 10 pools one inside the other, just astonishing. Why wouldn’t they be made in WA?

Nothing like that today, just boring semis, some emus with chicks, one wallaby, some quails and driving into the Head of Bight, Whale Watch Centre, lots of Sleepy Lizards –mostly squished. The whales we saw were close so easy to watch, a mother and calf. There were some further out breaching. We thought the mother was feeding her calf because she was lying on her back and the calf appeared to be nuzzling her but apparently that’s what the mothers do when they don’t want the calf to suckle.

Before we reached the Head of Bight though we went to the old Telegraph Station at Eucla where there were no signs of any business other than the telegraph, no old fuel pumps or bits of shop. When I was there in the long ago, the “Service Station” with its old pump up bowsers was down there beside the half buried old Telegraph Station. The dunes have now reclaimed that area and Eucla services are now on the escarpment above.

We weren’t sure how far we’d get today and because of the two long stops we haven’t made it to Penong which is about 94 kms further east. This place is just a Free Parking spot with no facilities apart from cleared areas where you can set up camp. There are 3 other lots of people in here but I expected more. I guess it’s the lack of facilities which makes people bypass it but the reality is those parks with toilets are often overcrowded and the toilets gross.

Tomorrow we’ll probably mosey down the western side of Eyre Peninsula and around towards Port Lincoln.

Old Telegraph Station, Eucla.

“Nullabor Nymph”, Eucla Roadhouse.

Mini Me -Eucla

Holding back the wind, Kidnippi