A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: WanderingWilson

Day Nineteen - Twenty One

Perth - Esperance

sunny 21 °C

Well we are Perth bound once again! We had a lovely time seeing friends and having a rest day, but we need to keep covering some ground. The trip back down south isn’t anything spectacular, just a long drive, about 800kms or so, with desert style scenery. The closer you get to Perth the country side starts to become more lush and we are starting to see a lot more paddocks planted with various crops. I do love the Canola ones!
We got to Perth in time to watch Roger play indoor Soccer which was fun! Mack had a blast cheering him on, yelling out his name and doing his best to distract him! It’s always nice to break the drive by hanging out with friends :)

The next day we leave Perth and it’s now time to explore the south of this state! We drive to Bunbury first then along the coast to Dunsborough and down to Cowaramup and finally to Margaret River. If you head right into Dunsborough the coastline there is simply stunning! There is a caravan park/cabins right on the coast that boasts being the best waterfront view in Australia. I think when we are here next this is a spot we will be staying at! This part of the state reminds me a lot of Tasmania with the gorgeous tall trees, lush green grass, rolling hills and mountains. The weather is pretty cool and I think it would rain a fair bit here too, very Tasmania! Unfortunately the underwater observatory and jetty was closed at Busselton due to the weather :( Although if you’re in this town have a wander through the ArtGeo Gallery. It’s the old Court House, Police Station and Goal converted into a Gallery, pretty cool!

From about Dunsborough down to Margaret River is just littered with various wineries, cheese factories, chocolate factories, silk farms, preserves and jam makers, arts & crafts, yoghurt makers, confectionery, natural wonders, caves and so much more! I had an absolute ball along this bit! I could have spent 2 weeks here just exploring all the different places. We managed to fit in a few of the factories, the important ones like chocolate and cheese factories! This is a fantastic place to explore, and if you’re heading this way an absolute must.

We stayed at Margaret River that night, a quaint little town, although quite touristy. I would liken it to Malany and the towns up in the hills above Brisbane. Again, I could have stayed here a week!

After driving around and having a bit more of a look around Margaret River, we continue onto Albany. Another spot you could stay and explore, unfortunately we are coming to the end of our time and need to keep moving, so just an overnight stay here as well. Albany has a good feel to it and is surprisingly big with a population of about 25,000. We indulged with a dinner in town at a lovely little restaurant called York Street – Mack was extremely well behaved and a great night was enjoyed by all!!

Next on our destination hit list is Esperance….another lovely town with a great feel about it. Although it is coastal, it doesn’t have that typical beachy town feel to it. To our pleasant surprise my relatives are also here this weekend (what are the odds?!) and so we spend the night with them catching up. The next morning we head to the local place to hang for brekkie – Jetty Bar and Café – where we enjoyed a buffet breakfast! The café overlooks the ocean and you can see the ships coming into port, was a big plus for Mark. Mack had a great time playing on the lawn with some of the other kids, expelling some of that energy!

And then after a look around we are off in search of the Nullabor!! xx

Posted by WanderingWilson 04:22 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day Sixteen & Seventeen

Tom Price - Karalundi

sunny 19 °C

Its time to keep moving! Tonight’s destination is Karalundi. We headed back through the Karijini National Park towards Newman. There isn’t a whole lot to see on this drive, just more of the same country; red dirt, shrubby bushes with a few trees and quite rocky. Something we did see lots of and that is oversize trucks along this stretch of road! Hundreds! All mining equipment, site huts or something related to mining! Of course we had to take photos of every single one that passed, I am rather over taking photos of oversized loads by now! :)

We took the turn to Newman, can’t come all this way and not check out the town that boasts having the biggest open cut mine in the world! Unfortunately we arrived an hour late to go on the mine tour that only runs once a day :( Mark was pretty disappointed to have missed the opportunity to see this impressive mine. We had a look through the Visitors Information Centre, buying some Iron Ore! And had a drive around the town, absolutely a mining town, once again all the cars you pass are mine spec with everyone dressed in high vis. Newman is probably twice the size of Tom Price. The majority of this town is owned by BHP Billiton whereas Tom Price is owned by Rio Tinto. They even own 90% of the houses, shops and infrastructure.

The distance from Tom Price to Karalundi is about 650kms which we made in good time, arriving around 5pm that night. After saying our hello’s to our friends Rik and Kez it was soon dinner time and I headed off to the Kitchen with Kez who was on duty that night to cook dinner for all the students. Kez works two days a week in the kitchen, cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner for all the students and dorm parents, one day in the Karalundi Café and two days a week cleaning. Helping serve dinner that night was a fun experience!

The next morning we were ready to explore this place a little further. Rik and Kez had organised to both have the day off which was lovely as we then had the day to explore and catch up. We went for a tour of the grounds starting with the ‘farm’. Mack got to feed the sheep and little lambs and even got a ride on the back of one! We visited the chickens and horses next and then moved onto the paddocks which are actually flood plains surprisingly! They were all flooded last year! We had a look at the new staff housing building that is currently being built and the just finished Multi-Purpose Hall. For those who don’t know, Karalundi is an SDA boarding school for Aboriginal children from Primary through to High School. The school has all the facilities required with a church, swimming pool, high ropes, ovals, multi-purpose hall, canteen/kitchen, mini hospital/nurse station, sheds, farm, animals, Café and a new addition of a Caravan Park that is open to the public. It is very well set up and maintained, the grounds are very clean and the grass is green! We really enjoyed the atmosphere of the place; it seems structured and has routine but at the same time is very relaxing and has a cruisy feel to it.

Mack had a quick nap while the boys (Mark and Rik) went and had a look through Rik’s sheds where he has made a cardboard shredder! After we had some lunch we then both headed off to check out some of the surrounding sites. They took us to a place about 30kms up the road called Tunnel Hill which is a massive rock structure on top of a hill that has a hole in it! We all scampered up to the top and had a look at the spectacular view you get from up there. It was far too tempting for the boys to come out this way and not do some 4WD’ing so they found a hill they thought they could climb and went for it! All the hills are extremely rocky and all loose rock too. After a few attempts each it was rather evident we weren’t going to make it up. So Mark got out his winch and found a sturdy enough tree to winch himself up part of the way and then onto a rock for the last little bit. Perched on top of the mountain he then connected Rik’s car onto the Hilux and winched Rik most of the way before using the Maxx Tracks to get the rest of the way up. Kez and I managed to get some pretty good photos of the whole operation! Once on top we discovered a pretty cool cave that had a top and side opening, so we lit a fire and sat around eating oranges and de-briefing off the trip up!

After all that was done and dusted and we had conquered the mountain, we had run out of daylight and headed home – were we had tea and a viewing of the photos! We thoroughly enjoyed our time here at Karalundi checking it all out and catching up with friends.

Mark, Delle & Mack xx

Posted by WanderingWilson 06:59 Archived in Australia Tagged tunnel_hill karalundi Comments (1)

Day Fifteen

Tom Price & Karijini National Park

It is so nice to have a ‘rest day’, meaning that we stay in one spot for more than 12hrs! I managed to get some washing done (the warm weather up here means that it was dry by 8am the next morning!) and Mack has had a blast roaring around expelling some energy. We had a very lazy morning taking it easy just because we can.DSC_0337.jpg

Finally we had lazed around enough that we got in the car to explore this town a little more. We headed out to the Karijini National Park to have a look around. The park is full of bush walks and beautiful gorges that you can also walk down into. It’s a bit hard doing a walk with a dwaddling toddler trailling behind, so we only managed to get to a couple of the lookouts which still gives you an amazing view of the natural beauty of such a magnificent bit of landscape. If you had a day spare it would be totally worth the effort of walking down into one and even having a dip in the pools down there! You can camp out there at some of the spots as well. Once again it is all dirt roads! The road out is littered with dips and Mark had so much fun making me feel sick, Mack on the other hand was saying “Daddy I like it” “more, more”….no hope for me then :(
Everything over here, including the birds have a tinge of red about them! The grass on the side of the road is practically a burnt redy colour and even the trees are rather dirty! Red dust is over EVERYTHING – including Mack who had so much fun playing in it!

Heading back into town we gathered a few supplies and then back to our camp at the local Caravan Park. We managed to read the local newspaper, check out the playground and even have a shower without 20 other people in there as well. In the late afternoon Mark caught up with his mate Jasen who works over here contracting and then we set about making dinner. Golden Syrup dumplings were on the menu for dessert! YUM YUM

Delle, Mark and Mack x

P.S. At the moment I am watching Mark wander around like a little lost puppy trying to gather his stuff together to go for a shower, he gets halfway there and remembers he has forgotten something, only to return a couple of minutes later with the same problem!! Oh the small things that make us laugh! :)

Posted by WanderingWilson 06:47 Archived in Australia Tagged karijini_national_park Comments (0)

Day Fourteen

Barradale - Tom Price

sunny 23 °C

We woke up to the sound of trucks sailing past which was glorious (according to Mark!), packed up camp and back on the road we go. Not much to see from here on up to Paraburdoo, just a good drive none the less. Mark keeps saying that his not sure what all the West Australians are sooking about in relation to the roads. They are in better condition than all our roads in Victoria, including the dirt ones!

Paraburdoo is a mining town obviously and has that feel about it, however it does have all the essentials such as a supermarket, newsagency, servo plus other bits and pieces. One thing it does have and that is an Airport! The airport is obviously a hub for the Pilbara because it is incredibly massive. There would have to be 300-400 hundred mine spec vehicles parked at the airport and the jets flying in and out are massive. Rather intriguing and pretty cool to see in the middle of nowhere.

We keep heading for Tom Price which is a further 90kms up the road. We pulled in and immediately around the corner is a big dump truck to greet you, instantly setting the mood for the town. DSC_0281.jpgWe book in at the one and only Caravan Park, after settling in we hit the town! It’s nice to have some time to see the town before dark. Wandering through the town it would seem better equipped than Paraburdoo, more services but still fairly comfortable. You can see they have put some effort into giving it a family orientated feel as well as trying to encourage a community spirit.
Next we went for a drive up to the top of Mt Nameless which is one of the main mountains, (The whole landscape is full of mountain ranges) definitely for 4WD’s only. The view from the top is awesome and well worth doing if you are here. You can see the mine on one side and the township on the other, and just a really good view in general especially to appreciate the mountainous terrain.

On the way back down we spotted a brand new Kenworth water cart getting delivered for a company called JAKK Contracting. I hear they are the best in the business, lol! the gear certainly is nice anyway. After that we choofed back to the park and called it a night. We are officially half way through our holiday now!

Mark, Delle n Mack x

Posted by WanderingWilson 21:40 Archived in Australia Tagged tom_price mt_nameless paradurdoo Comments (0)

Day Thirteen

Carnarvon - Barradale

sunny 22 °C

We stayed at the Coral Coast caravan park here in town at Carnarvon last night. We would HIGHLY recommend this park; it would have to be one of the best parks we have stayed in on our trip. They have gone to a lot of effort to upgrade and maintain their toilets and showers. They have family rooms, disabled rooms and all the other shower rooms are literally rooms! It is unisex however each room has a shower, toilet, basin and mirror and plenty of space to get out and dry yourself as well as keeping your clean clothes dry. The family rooms even have a bath!! AMAZING – and the bonus was that a powered site was only $35p/n which is not the dearest we have paid!

We went for a wander around Carnarvon, touring the town and surrounds. The township is approximately 6,000 so relatively small but it has a nice feel to it. Not too feral but not touristy either. There is a few spots to check out in this town, the first place we had a look at was the long Jetty which is 1.6kms in length and the longest Jetty in WA. They have a little train on the jetty that you can catch out to the end – “The Coffee Pot” it’s called. Mack enjoyed the train ride and the “toot toot” aspect!

Next place to see was the “Fruit Loop” as the locals call it. Literally it is a road that all the plantation farms are on, and each of them have a stall or shed that you can buy local fresh produce from. Definitely worth the stop to have a look at most of them. We bought some fruit and vegetables, eggs from one of the major egg growers in WA, and we thoroughly enjoyed our stop at Dumbak’s who sell a range of preserves as well as mango everything! Indulging in a mango smoothie, mango ice-cream and some dried mango for the road :)

It’s time to hit the road again, this time headed for Coral Bay. It is a nice little town and had it been a bit warmer we would have checked out the snorkelling, which is apparently top quality here. Apart from the quite shallow and rather inviting looking beach, there isn’t really much else to the town – two caravan parks and a few essential other shops! Once again this place is booked out so we kept going up the road towards Tom Price. We found a really good camping spot near a dry river only to find about 20 caravans already here and set up! Everyone seems to pull up at about 2:30 and pull out the chairs ready for a beverage! Chasing something a little bit more secluded we went up the riverbed and found a spot where there was nobody and set up camp for the night. Due to the location we have a fire which is great! Mack loves these nights because he can help dad collect the fire wood – he has made a real mess of himself in this red dirt! Time to just kick back and enjoy the serenity, we are about 250 metres from a bridge and so you can hear & see the road trains whizz past which makes Mark happy!

Mark, Delle and Mack x

Posted by WanderingWilson 04:17 Archived in Australia Tagged barradale carnarvon_fruit_loop coral_coast_caravan_park Comments (0)

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