Port Augusta to Exmouth 21 March to 21 May
|Wake up in the middle of the night because
of strong winds and an hour later rain. We made an appointment to have
an oil change done. After that stopped in Port Augusta to pick up the
diesel heater but had not arrived yet. Straight on to Point Lowly. We
have camped here a few times before and it is as busy as ever. The rain
is slowly clearing. 2 Days here with a view of the ocean. The wind keeps
up. A few campers around us shift closer to some cover. Now we are the
only ones close to the ocean. No one is catching fish so I do not even
try. Had a quick look in Whyalla which is a large steel producer and
drove via Iron Knob to Kimba. Here they have the big galah and it is
half way Australia from east to west.
24 March. We did a lot of driving today. There are a lot of nothing places between Kimba and Streaky Bay. They all exist because of the grain that is grown here. Every place has grain silo's and a few houses around them. The farmers live on large properties sprinkled over the countryside. We had an easy afternoon in Streaky Bay and settled for the night in a rest area near Streaky Bay.
25 March. Only drove 40 KM to Haslam. A very sleepy town. There is not even a shop and the post office is the smallest I have ever seen. We just sat there overlooking the ocean. The weather had cleared and a blue sky. Still chilly nights of 12 degrees. Next day Ceduna. This will be the last town for over 1200 KM. Time to stock up but not on vegetables because you are not allowed to take any in to West Australia. I played my first leg of the longest golf course in the world. 18 holes over 1350KM. The course was pretty rough but that just get's me used to the rest of the course. Only the last one in Kalgoorly is a state of the art course. The next two days a few more golf courses. I play two times par which is not bad for a non golf player. I also get used to the greens which are artificial grass and very fast. From Ceduna to Nullarbor the landscape is slightly hilly and still a lot of grain paddocks with low scrubs. We went of the main highway to Fowlers Bay. The road started off with perfect bitumen but soon changed in to another gravel road. The spot really surprised us. A few houses a jetty and caravan park. Fishing is the big attraction here. But you can also see how Eucla's telegraph station looked like 100 years ago. The telegraph station here is bordering a giant sand hill which is slowly moving towards it. In Eucla the sand has swallowed the station. We spend the night in a gravel pit with a few other travellers and a lot of flies. The flies are really bad but this is just to prepare us for the fly capital state of Australia WA.
Big Galah at Kimba
Score card longest golf course in the world
|Fowler Bay's old telegraph station The greens are in excellent condition in contrast to the fairways.|
|Driving towards Nullarbor the trees are slowly disappearing and eventually just small scrubs for as far as you can see. Played another round of golf. They warned already that the crows interfere with the balls at Nullarbor roadhouse and I think they took one of mine. The countryside is getting monotonous but there are breaks. The coastline is getting interesting. High cliffs. The weather has been perfect. Slightly overcast, little wind not like the first time we crossed here. Very strong headwind and the second time cold and rainy. It saves a lot in fuel.|
|Early morning start Nullarbor plain Coast of Great Australian Bight|
|29 March. Bordertown and another round of golf. The drive from Eukla to Norsman is 700 KM of boring road. No side roads to the coast. In Eukla itself another golf course and the old telegraph station. This one has been consumed by sand but nothing has changed since we were here 8 years ago. 100 Years ago this would have looked like the Fowler Bay photo. We spend the night in a rest area. While I was watching TV, I heard some scratching sound but did not know what it was. Susan woke me up in the middle of the night because there was a mouse in her bed. We must have had at least two mice in here but lucky for me they preferred Susan's bed. The sun was up very early this morning because we had to set the clock 2.5 Hrs. earlier. It is not just when you fly west that the time changes. When you do nothing else than drive west the same happens. In the middle of nowhere a few Italian backpackers stopped us because they could not start the car. It did start but I could hear that it did not run well. 20 KM further they were on the side of the road again unpacking the car and planning to just abandon in. It was just a small thing to fix it and they were on the way again. We saw them again a few metres away from a petrol station because they had run out of fuel. When you are on the Nullarbor you can be stranded 100 KM from a petrol station and it costs a fortune to get towed. They were lucky to just push it to the bowsers.|
|The longest straight road in Australia Rough fairways Eukla old telegraph station|
|31 March. It was 9 degrees
when we woke up but the day turned out great. Arrived in Norsman. We
could finally buy fruit and vegies again. Also the fuel is a lot
cheaper. Norseman had two fairways to play. Getting close to the end of
the course. Drove another 200 KM to Kalgoorlie. They have an area set
aside for self contained RV's and close to town. Played the last two
legs on the Kalgoorlie golf course. 150 Strokes over 18 holes. I know I
need more practice.
The week nearly over and we did a lot of driving. In one week $711 in fuel.
On Sunday did the touristy sights. Super pit which is a 300 M deep open cut gold mine. Australia's most famous brothel is in Kalgoorlie. Susan would not be seen dead in there so I went by myself for the grand tour. Now I can say that I went to a brothel while my wife waited outside.
|A proper golf course Another place where they make a hole in one regularly. Kalgoorlie brothel|
Kalgoorlie super pit
2 April. Slowly working our way towards Perth. There is not much to see
the first 400 KM We have been following the water supply pipeline and
visited the last pumping station before the water reaches
We finally got rid of the mouse. It took a few times. Could not buy traps on the Nullarbor plain but Norsman had plenty. First night it ate all the cheese of the traps. The next night a bit of meat and while we were watching TV the trap went off. The other mouse probably left us earlier. Now we are getting closer to Perth the scrub is disappearing and more grain fields. We still keep following the water supply pipeline. There is a 4 wheel drive track beside the line but the highway follows it as well. 5 April the end of the pipeline to Mundaring dam. We are only 30 KM from Perth. After some shopping especially for alcohol. The last 2400 KM alcohol sales were restricted to small quantities. Wherever there are a few aboriginals there are restrictions in place. As soon as we are heading north the same happens again till we are in Mount Isa and that is a long way from here. We spend five nights with Nel Goedegebuur in Wanneroo which is a city north op Perth. She just bought a puppy which was the main subject of conversation. Janet her daughter showed us her block of land and we went for a drive to Freemantle where there were street performers everywhere.
|Busselton's famous jetty.|
|Bunburry show Nel and Janet Goedegebuur + Lucky Rita, Susan And Brian overlooking Perth|
|2 April and off to Bunburry where we met up with Ron and Jean Edwards which we have met on the road over the years. We had to play the mandatory bush rummy which is a card game the ladies in our motorhome club play relentlessly. Next day spend all day in Busselton. This is a tourist town famous for it's jetty but the town itself has that magic which appeals to me. Next day drove back to Bunburry via Nannup, Ballingup and Donnybrook. A lot of placenames here end with up, meaning this place. The road is windy, some wineries but mainly eucalyptus and pine plantations. Spend the night beside Peel inlet just south of Mandurah. Got woken up at 6 because we are parked beside the boat ramp and ideal weather for fishing on a Sunday morning. A quick drive to Perth and found a beaut parking spot in Kings Park overlooking the Swan River. All we did was sit in the shade and enjoyed the scenery. We got a visit from Rita and Brian Crombie who we met in Barn Hill 3 years ago. We had a wonderful reunion. Could not park overnight in the spot I wanted because there was a bicycle race on and the parking lot was cramped. Found a place in Applecross overlooking the Swan river.|
King's Park view over Perth
|16 April. Had a quick look in the city and went to Nel in Wannaroo. Stayed one night. The diesel heater which I send up for repairs arrived and after installing it, it still did not work. The thing must be haunted. Off to Lancelin. A sleepy little town 130 KM north of Perth. Their main attraction are the sand hills just out of town. On the sand hills all the kids had a ball sandboarding down. West Australians are affectionately known as sandgropers. Wherever you drive along the coast you can see sand hills. Next stop Cervantes. Their main attraction is the Pinnacles. The pinnacles are pointy limestone formations spread out over a large area. We had been there twice before and this time it was raining and we gave it a miss. 19 April and dropped in on a few places along the coast. Jurien Bay and Leeman have a lovely foreshore we just get our chairs and watch the time go by. Late afternoon drove another 50 KM to Cliff Head near Port Denison and to our surprise Brian and Rhonda Griffin were camping here as well. They live in Townsville and are already on the road for a year.|
|Lancelin sand hills Brian and Rhonda near Dongara|
|20 April. Heading further north through Port Denison and Dongara to Ellendale Pool. It looks like the mini Kimberly's. We do have a rugged limestone outcrop as a backdrop. Plenty of fish to catch but all too small. We spend two days here. It is a beaut spot and there is not much to do in Geraldton over the weekend. 23 April Geraldton. The last large city till we hit Mount Isa on the other side of Australia. Visited the museum and the shrine for the sailers of the ship Sydney sunk with 645 sailers on board. This is the third time we have visited this and it still as impressive as the first time. Camped out of town at a camp spot and the second night in the fishing harbour because we wanted to do the cray fishing tour. Because of Anzac day the place is closed. Second time we could not get in. Off to Northampton. When we got there we just got the tail end of the Anzac day parade. From Northampton the scenic route to Kalbarri. The coastline here is spectacular. We spend a few days here. Just parked beside the ocean. 27 April We visited all the gorges on the Murchison river. The 80 KM road was very corrugated but we managed to see it all without any damage to the bus. Susan was not a happy chappie. Spend the next two nights beside the Murchison river. 29 April and direction Monkey Mia.|
|Ellendale Pool Camping beside the river. Geraldton Sydney memorial. Kalbarri natures window.|
|One of the Kalbarri gorges. Feeding the dolphins in Monkey Mia Emu's just after a dip in the ocean.|
|After doing some shopping in Denham off to the dolphin resort. This will be the first time we go to a proper caravan park. We are amongst the backpackers because we do not need a powered site. Not much has changed since we got here last. Met up with another couple who are already travelling for four years and had a long chat with a holidaying couple from Belgium. We spend two nights in the resort and saw plenty of dolphins. We both were chosen to hand over a fish. The whole thing is overregulated but you do get close to the dolphins and you will get plenty of information about them. After we left Monkey Mia we spend all day at Denham's beach. Water clear as glass and a cloudless sky. Fresh water is very scarce here. Bore water is slightly salty. We bought 100 L desalinated water, 20 L for $1. Spend the night at Eagles Bluff. Here they made a boardwalk 100 M above sea level. Saw two sharks and one sting ray. 3 May and drove to a beach where we had camped on the way to Monkey Mia. Only this time we wanted to stay a bit longer. This is one of the best places we have camped so far. A few steps from the sea and a magnificent view. We stayed here three nights. Even caught one fish.|
|Camp near Monkey Mia, a million dollar view.|
|6 May. Parked on top of a hill overlooking a flat landscape with no sign of life and only a few scrubs with the sea on the horizon. Still 150 KM to Carnarvon. Here we spend all day filling up the supplies and laundry. Cam p in a gravel pit 30 KM short of Point Quobba. There are three caravans already so we don't have to have happy hour all by ourselves. Point Quobba has two camping grounds one is $27 with all facilities and one is $5.50 with no facilities. Guess which one we took. However the cheap one has a lot of sandy spots and we did get bogged. Luckily a few people helped us and a four wheel drive towed us back to solid ground. The cheap one is in a fish protection zone and you can snorkel from the beach and see all sizes and coulours fish. Last time we were here we did not know about the snorkelling. However someone saw a shark in the spot I swam the day before. Wait till Coral Bay for the next snorkelling. Camped four days here and caught up with a few people who we met previously. Saturday back to Carnarvon for water and some shopping.|
|Susan digging out the bus. Blow hole at Quobba Point|
|On the way to Coral bay we stopped in an rest area beside a dry river. We checked a few times for telephone reception but nothing. To our surprise the telephone rang at 7 AM and it was Luke and Paul to wish Susan a happy mothers day. Got to Coral Bay early in the morning and sat in the shade overlooking the sea. The water temperature was wonderful but the coral and fish were far less than Quobba,. But here you had easy access to the water. Had a meal in a restaurant and early next morning parked beside the ocean again. Wonderful weather and a calm sea. Left Coral Bay mid afternoon direction Exmouth. Exmouth is only the place to get supplies. For us the big attraction is Cape Range national park and Ningaloo Reef. The place is very popular and we were lucky to get a camping spot. The water is just the right temperature but there is less fish than what we remember from last time. Still excellent. We spend a week here. Snorkelling and being lazy. Made a boat trip on Yardie Creek. Saw some rock wallabies having a party. I am not much of a fisherman but our neigbours caught four big mackerel and we were lucky enough to taste some. We had a wonderful week here, no phone no internet at least sat TV.|
|The mouth of Yardie Creek Black footed rock wallaby|
Turquoise bay. Fish and coral viewing from the beach.