A Travellerspoint blog

Day Twelve

Monkey Mia - Carnarvon

sunny 21 °C

We awoke in the morning to see Dolphins swimming in the water right outside our hotel room! Mack had no idea what they were, but for some reason decided that he would call them dinosaurs, not sure where that came from!? It was lovely to see them frolicking around in the water, about 5 or 6 of them in total. At 8am every morning they have the Dolphin feeding that you can go down and watch, with one lucky person picked out of the crowd to feed them! So we wandered down for a squiz. We waited till about 9 and then the lady suggested we all go get a coffee and come back! Apparently sometimes they either don’t come or come in later. Since we had to check out by ten we decided to go get some breakfast and since we had seen them earlier that morning we didn’t go back to see if they had come in. DSC_0221.jpgDSC_0219.jpg

It was a lovely spot and seeing the dolphins was definitely a big plus, but we both are in agreement that it isn’t our favourite spot. Having explored the beach a bit further we were ready to hit the road and see Cape Peron. If we look on the map you can see it is a point a bit further up than Monkey Mia accessible only by 4WD. The poor old Hilux was working hard through all the soft sand and the Automatic Oil Temperature light was coming on again! The sandy dirt track is 40km long so the ‘Lux did ok to do 80km in the conditions. We went all the way to Cape Peron – a very nice secluded beach with the stark contrast of the red rocky hills meeting the ocean. Worth a look if you are in a 4WD (don’t even try in a 2WD!) and have come all that way to Monkey Mia. A bit further back down the track you can turn off to Bottle Bay which is a specified camping area, very nice. I think next time we would be camping there. Very secluded with the beach only metres away, it has limited facilities but it does have a long drop! DSC_0250.jpgDSC_0239.jpg

Next we travelled back down the road to Denham which is the town 25kms below Monkey Mia. We actually really liked the feel of Denham, it was a nice coastal town that wasn’t too touristy. I enjoyed some local Whiting and chips which was delicious! Wandered through the pearl shop which had surprisingly sold out of all the style of rings I liked :( Mark was rather happy for some reason? And fuelled up! Keen to keep moving we hit the road again to Shell Beach, another beach on the way into Denham. The beach is made up of shells! They excavate the shells to make bricks and roads…pretty interesting, another nice little spot. DSC_0288.jpgCSC_0294.jpg

If you draw a line across Australia horizontally, we are almost in line with Brisbane. We can feel the change in the weather already, it’s starting to get warmer in the days and not so icy at night times. This is more to our liking!

We’ve almost made it to Carnarvon, not quite as far up as we had hoped but we dwaddled a little too much this morning! Needing a place to stop we take a turn to the left on a dirt track about 30kms south of Carnarvon headed for Bush Bay. Turns out to be a perfect camping spot right on the beach, nice and secluded – BUT it would appear everyone else has the same bright idea we do! It’s packed and I mean PACKED. Although, we are picking up the vibe that some of these people may have been here for a while, by a while I mean months! So we kept driving for Carnarvon!

Pulling up in Carnarvon at the Coral Coast Caravan park I think we will call it a night

Mark, Delle & Mack x

Posted by WanderingWilson 04:52 Archived in Australia Tagged shell_beach denham cape_peron Comments (0)

Day Eleven

Geraldton - Monkey Mia

sunny 19 °C

Well after another toasty night in the trailer thanks to our trusty heater, it’s time to explore Geraldton. Not one for tourist maps, we explore the sights ourselves with the first port of call, the port! It is HUGE! Massive wheat bunkers, silo’s and various other monstrosities make up the landscape. You aren’t allowed into the actual shipping port itself, but we did poke our nose in an have a quick sticky! Below you can see the giant ship mover thingy (dunno what you call it!)

Stop for a look at the Point Moore lighthouse, stop at the HMAS Sydney II memorial – yeah we’ve seen enough! Back on the highway we are aiming for Monkey Mia today. If you aren’t on a time limit, you really could waste a few weeks getting up this coast. By the time you stop and look at everything a whole day has gone :)

We stopped in and checked out Karlbarri National Park, had a drive around and some lunch as well as getting some more supplies from the local supermarket. If we had more time it would be a nice little place to explore some more. Once again it was gorgeous blue water and white beaches!
It wasn’t long and we were on the turn off leading us to Monkey Mia. We had heard so much about this place we were very keen to see what all the fuss was about! Ringing ahead to book a camp site proved pointless, it was fully booked minus a few hotel rooms. Lucky for us we scored one that over looked the ocean! Once we had settled in we headed down to the Monkey Bar, right on the ocean, and ordered some dinner. It was quite nice food and had a good atmosphere; I do believe they would make a roaring trade!

With darkness upon us we left the exploring until the morning.

Mark, Delle and Mack x

Posted by WanderingWilson 04:43 Archived in Australia Tagged monkey_mia gerladton kalbarri_national_park Comments (0)

Day Ten

Perth - Geraldton

sunny 18 °C

On the road again, we’re on the road again, going places that we’ve never seen…we are north bound headed for Geraldton! Finally we are out of the city traffic, the roads start to clear and we are once again part of the caravan convoy!

The coast over here is rather gorgeous, all turquoise blue water with white sand and so of course you can’t just jump on the freeway and not stop! Instead of taking the main Brand Highway we stuck to the Indian Ocean Drive that takes a little longer to get around but it takes you past all the little coastal towns along the way.

One stop we would recommend is in Lancelin. Although there isn’t much to the township itself, they have mountains of white sand dunes that are allocated specifically for 4WDing. You can drive along one of the many ‘mountains’ and once on the top you get a spectacular view of the coastal bay below. A warning sign is at the entrance declaring that entering is at your own risk with another sign below with the number of the local towing company!

We can’t write about every single town along the way, although they all have their differences, in essence they are mostly all the same. Gorgeous turquoise water, white sandy beaches sleepy little towns – the makings of a real dwaddling beach holiday! If you haven’t been this way before then come on and get over here and check it out!!

We pull into the Big 4 Caravan park at Sunset Beach, 8 kilometres north of Geraldton right on the beach. With just enough sunlight left to set up camp and make some dinner (Spaghetti Bolognese) we kickback in the freezing cold to reminisce on our trip so far. I tell you what we are so glad we brought along a heater! It has been amazing inside the camping trailer to keep the sleeping conditions bearable.

As usual you strike up conversations with other travellers in the park, this time we were chatting with another couple when we realised that we had a mutual friend! How small is this world?!

Mark, Delle & Mack x

Posted by WanderingWilson 05:53 Archived in Australia Tagged lancelin geraldton Comments (0)

Day Six - Day Nine

Kalgoorlie - Perth

sunny 23 °C

***forget to mention in the last post that as we were fuelling up in Laverton – just north above Kalgoorlie – I noticed this bloke pushing a pram, as he got closer he wheeled it into the service station and pulled out a 5 litre fuel can which he proceeded to fuel up and then after paying put the fuel can back in the pram and strolled off again!! I don’t think somehow that fuel was going to be used in any kind of machinery!***

Kalgoorlie, we are officially in WA mining country now! We headed into the town for breakfast where we met up with my Uncle who lives here. After catching up we went for a tour of the area, starting off at the Super Pit. As Mark said – if you haven’t got mining in your blood, standing at the top of the Super Pit injects it into you! (That theory may only apply to him, because I didn’t feel the urge to suddenly get down in there!) The hole is roughly 1 kilometre in depth and approximately 1 kilometre square at the top. Needless to say, whether you are into mining or not, it is still a rather impressive sight to see. We counted numerous dump trucks and excavators all busy working away, climbing up and down the roads that wind around the monstrous pit.

We moved onto some other attractions in the town, including Burte Street in the neighbouring town of Boulder, stopping to peruse the quaint little lolly shop! Next was the Tourism Centre in Kalgoorlie which features a little museum of sorts showcasing the historic side of the town, as well as a gold display worth $4million dollars! It was displayed in the downstairs section (underground) in what they called the “gold vault” with 2 very impressive safe doors leading into the vault.

After a further meander through the town and a lunch date to say goodbye, we were back on the road heading for Perth. The next 604 kilometres to Perth was all highway driving with a few scattered towns in between. We passed a lot of wheat paddocks, as well as a pipeline that follows the road the whole way to Perth – we assume it is used for the Town Water.
Finally we have made it to Perth where our mate Rog is waiting for us with a cooked dinner! Ah the luxury of sleeping in a house for 3 nights is unbelievable! Haha the simple things in life….

On the first day at Perth we explore the city and all it has to offer. Stopping at Kings Park to soak up the glorious sun we stretch out on the very well-kept green lawns and look out over the city. It was warm enough that we indulged in an ice-cream and wandered through the gift shop that sold wares from all across Perth, including precious stones, pearls, wooden items, metal work, glass work and many other things. Although neither of us are city people, we both are in agreement that this would have to be up there in our favourites. It was clean, well layed out, had plenty of grass and recreational areas, has the river that goes right past the city and the gorgeous Kings Park with spectacular views of the city….yep ticks a few boxes!

Ha! Found something this place doesn’t have, and that’s good drivers! They are shocking over here, them all seem to be in some sort of dream state when they get into the driver’s seat. There is no rush to get moving once the lights turn green or even to give way, the amount of near accidents we have witnessed firsthand is incredible!

The ute was due for a service so we booked that in at the local Toyota dealer and borrowing Roger’s car for the day we did a few more sights of the area. We checkout the ‘Zig Zag’ road up in the hills, it takes you on a zig zag road that looks back down at the city from up in the mountains – that was rather cool. We also explored the City Mall for some shopping and oh, on Sunday we also checked out some Markets. Monday night we caught up with another Uncle and Aunty for dinner at ‘The Prophet’ in East Victoria Park. Definitely recommend this Lebanese restaurant, just divine food!
With our stop over now finished we will be getting back on the road to explore north of Perth and all it has to offer.

Until next time,
Mark, Delle & Mack xx

Posted by WanderingWilson 19:26 Archived in Australia Tagged perth kings_park kalgoorlie Comments (0)

Day Five & Six

Uluru (Yulara) - Kalgoorlie


After enjoying the restful day of not travelling yesterday, this morning it was time to get packed up on the road again. We refuelled at the local Service Station before heading off - $2.05 per litre!!!!! With the road headed to WA passing back through the gates to Uluru we were very surprised and annoyed to read the sign saying that the rock was OPEN for climbing today! Typical! Making the quick decision to keep driving the extra 5 or so kilometres further, we found ourselves back at the base of the enormous Uluru. After a few minutes discussion we decided that we were not going to risk letting Mack climb and since Mark had climbed it when he was 10 or so – that left me! I scampered up the first incline and had a good look at the view. Amazing! The surface of the rock itself is deceptively slippery from all the tourists’ feet smoothing it over time. Been that it was relatively early in the morning the crowds were only starting to gather. After re assessment I decided to not continue the climb – who was I going to share the accomplishment at the top with? From where I was the incline got incredibly steep, practically vertical!, and even if I did make it to the top it was the coming down that scared me!

We had spoken to a few other people about the road we were about to travel – The Great Central Highway - and all had told us that we were crazy and the road was horribly bumpy and really corrugated. Well, of course that is like a bull being waved a red flag for Mark, and the challenge was on! Turning our backs to Uluru we turned off the bitumen highway onto the red dirt. After 30kms or more we started wondering what all the fuss was about, maybe it turned bad ahead? Travelling along at 115k/h for a couple of hours we finally concluded that the road was great! It had recently been graded and apart from the occasional corrugations it defiantly wasn’t anything to get excited about.

Apart from the many burnt metal sculptures (Mark was horrified to identify that one of these sculptures was once a two-door Monaro) that decorate the landscape at least every 10 kilometre the drive is relatively boring. Of course the road has various dips and turns, inclines and a few spots where you lose your stomach driving over. We did spot some wild brumbies and a few camels and a donkey or two – giving Mack some new animals to learn about. Quite surprising is the fact that we are yet to see a Kangaroo! Driving 5 hours that day, we finally pull in at Warburton where Mark’s cousin Bethia lives. We wait at the roadhouse for her to escort us into the ‘community’ as unauthorised access is strictly prohibited. Giving us the relatively short tour of the community we then pull up at her house – surrounded by a lockable floor to ceiling barred veranda. We secure the camping trailer and ute inside, before setting off to see where she works.

We walked (half) the length of the two kilometre runway that sits alongside Warburton as is the nightly ritual for most of the white fellas in the community. Bethia had invited one of her friends over for dinner and we chatted the night away learning about this community. Needless to say it was all very interesting and eye opening to see how these people live.

The next morning we met Bethia’s friend for a tour of the Arts Gallery. A space that the Aboriginal artists can sell their hand made arts ranging from paintings to carved wood and glass. We fuel up before we leave, this time paying $2.45 for diesel!

Back on the dusty red dirt road we again resume the pace of 115k/hr chipping away at the kilometres that lead us to Kalgoorlie. Once again, not much to say about this road – very much the same as the last day! Last night when we retrieved some fresh clothes from the trunk on top of the trailer we soon realise that they are NOT dust proof and all our clothes are now RED. Oh I do HATE red dirt! I will now have to wash the lot :(

We decide that we will push on and make it to Kalgoorlie tonight rather than pulling up half way. Coming to the end of the Great Central Highway at Laverton, we are finally back onto Bitumen and that makes me (Delle) happy! It’s not the dirt that worries me; it’s the RED dirt that is covering EVERYTHING! This end of the GCH driving through Laverton and Leonora you get the very convincing impression that you are now in mining country. A large majority of the cars in the towns have the tell-tale orange flags, big aerials and vehicle identification numbers in reflective tape. Both of the towns are relatively small with a large part of the non-mining population made up of indigenous Australians.

The trucks over here seem to have a minimum of three trailers (most trucks) with the biggest going up to five! Of course Mark is loving them and even Mack it would seem, whenever we pass one with a few trailers in tow he proclaims – “BIG truck”! Once in Kalgoorlie (about 7:30pm WA time) we hit the sack! Good night :)

Mark, Delle and Mack x

p.s. We have travelled 1125kms on dirt across the Great Central Highway!

Posted by WanderingWilson 01:50 Archived in Australia Tagged ayers_rock warburton kalgoorlie great_central_highway Comments (0)

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