Broome to Exmouth 2008



Wednesday 30 July. Drove only 100 KM today to Barn Hill station. On the road we spoke to several people who told us that we had to go there. 10KM of a very sandy road to get there but the corrugations were not too  bad. The caravan park is not the best we have seen but it's charm is the location and the people. Most come here for the fishing. We have an unpowered site overlooking the ocean. That night they had a BBQ, bring everything yourself and a music man who was very entertaining.
There is not a lot of fish being caught apart from those who go a fair bit out with a boat. On Sunday nights they have a three course meal and an aboriginal band playing. By now we teamed up with a few people and had a good night.
To start off we booked for a week but have extended this another week. Towards the end of the first week we had a few days of strong wind. There is a lot of exposed red soil here and the dust goes through everything.


 Our view from the bus. Sunset at BarnHill  Pat. Leigh. Rita. Albert. Willem. Susan and  Brian.  Last night at Barn  Hill

Susan has been involved with knitting group. Every afternoon a one hour social and she started knitting small squares to make in to a rug. Also Sunday market day and Susan started massaging feet. She had a few customers and this paid for one week camping fees. She also donated money from this to the Royal Flying Doctor.
Susan's newest gadget is a washing machine. A fully automatic one would not fit in the bus, but now  she can do the washing without going to a laundromat. We also had our names put on the bus. The model Hino we have is called royal saloon. Now it states underneath this.  Licensees Albert and Susan.
We had a few social get togethers with the neighbours even a "rijsttafel" prepared by Willem.

From here we had a view over the ocean.                                                                                          Beach at Barn Hill.
We even saw some whales from the comfort of our chairs.                                                                                                  

After two weeks at Barn Hill time to move on. It is very windy. 150 KM west and we stop at 80 Mile Beach. The caravan park is enormous and all the powered sites are taken. We don't need it but others are and are placed in a queue. As soon as a spot is available it is filled again. 80 Mile beach is in the middle of a 700 KM stretch where there is nothing to see or do. The only nice scenery is the shoreline and this is only accessible in a few places. We only stayed one night. The sunset here is the best we have seen so far. There was also a talent night. Anybody who can perform could come to the microphone.

There was someone at Barn Hill who makes stickers. The model Hino we have is Rainbow Royal Saloon. Susan found it appropriate to add the rest. We carry enough alcohol to justify the name.

13 August.  Cape Keraudren. Another 10 KM of unsealed road. The facilities are very basic but a beautiful spot. Only $7.50 a night and plenty of space. I even tried some fishing here , the first time in 20 or so years, but I just fed them. Met a few people we met before along the road.

Cape Keraudren.

16 August.  Only 80 KM further down the road and a rest area. The Grey River. There is plenty of water in the river and a very popular camping spot. Here we met people we camped with in Banka Banka and Barn Hill. Susan did the washing with her new washing machine. The water for it came out of the river.
19 August Port Hedland. Susan had not been able to shop for two weeks and filled two trolley's at Woolworths. Also put 120 litres of diesel in at a very reasonable $1.90  instead of $ 2.27.
We also saw a poor excuse for the "staircase to the moon" This only happens when extreme low tide and full moon coincides when there is a large amount of mudflats exposed. The reflection of the moon on the mudflats gives the impression of a ladder goes all the way to the moon. When we heard about it the moon was already shrinking but still got an idea of what it would be like on a good day.
22 August. On the way to Newman. Here they have the largest open cut iron ore mine in the world. It took two days to get there. The place is a typical mining town. One small shopping centre and a lot of demountable housing and 50 % of the cars are work vehicles.
The mine tour was interesting but because we arrived on a Saturday we had to wait two days before we could do the tour. We spend this time besides the water supply lake.

This dump truck is small compared to the ones they use now.      There were 60 Citroen 2CV in the car park of the Newman information centre

There were 60 Citroen 2CV cars in town. They came from all over the world and had just completed the Cannington stock route. This is 3000KM of the roughest road and they had no trouble even where big 4 wheel drives got stuck. It is funny to see those cars wherever you go in a small mining town.
26 August. Karijini National Park.  The landscape is hilly but over the last few million years rain has carved some deep gorges and the most spectacular ones in Australia are here. Dales Gorge is easily accessible with a normal car. But the best ones are 60 KM over very rough roads.

      Dales Gorge.  Karijini National Park

Some very interesting rock formations

29 August.  Tom Price. The First day with rain. This is the first day we had rain since we went on holiday. It pelted down at times. Hopefully it will make the wildflowers make ever more beautiful.   Planned to take an organised tour through Karijini but not much fun when it is raining. Paraburdoo and Exmouth are next on the list. 

Landscape east of Karijini.

Paraburdoo is a small mining town which took us two minutes to go through. From Tom Price to Exmouth we stayed at two rest areas beside a dry river bed. In the wet season it would have been a few metres under water.
31 August. Exmouth. Buildings are shooting up everywhere. In a few years it will be like Broome. We did some shopping. Bought drinking water for the first time. The water that comes out of the tap is undrinkable. Too much salt. This will be the case all the way till Geraldton.
The wild flours are getting more diverse. It was on the news that this year will be the best for a long time as far as the wild flours are concerned.

 This grows beside the road or in the field as far as you can see.

 Not all flowers have a nice background.                                               Campsite in National Park.
We booked in at the Cape Range National park.  This is a marine park. The water is a bit too cold for me to snorkel but I can see the turtles from the bus. The camping sites are well spread out. It is still a bit too windy and the biggest tree here is about 1.5 metre. But no more rain. As you can see blue skies.  I did snorkel, who can resist a sea like this. The coral starts 20M from the beach and the variety of fish is fantastic.  The water was a bit cold but not too bad. The coral was not spectacular but this probably is because it is so close to the beach. The variety of fish equals that of the great barrier Reef. All day in the sun played havoc with my delicate skin and I am now red as a freshly cooked crab. The skin is all little blisters and itches. In a few days it will all come off again.
We stay here for a week before we head towards Carnarvon.

 Turquoise Bay.  Ningaloo Marine Park.                 Susan in the shade. I am red in several places