A Travellerspoint blog

Kirkalocka Station for a 2 nights stay

We left Mullewa parting company from Jill & Bernie & their friends Brett & Rozie as they all headed South to Mingenew.
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We drove through Yalgoo which looked to have an influx of Government funds as it had a huge undercover play area. But there was not much else in town. Nothing looked open for a Saturday afternoon.
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We refueled at Mt Magnet $1.41 per Litre. Stopped for a break and had a bite for lunch.

Arrived at Kirkalocka Station mid afternoon.
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The swing arm at the side of the shearing shed, used to move the wool bales into the carts/trucks.

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The new 'kid' on the block.
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The old shearing shed, not used since the property was de-stocked of sheep over a decade ago.
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The old 'donkey' water heater they used to use to heat up the water for the guest showers. Only recently updated to a more modern wood heater.
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The inside of the shearing shed.
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The homestead which is now for holiday accommodation.
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The old Shearer's quarters & kitchen. The kitchen is available for all campers. is also now set up for accomodation.
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We spent our nights by a lovely fire.
The first night we met fellow campers Peter, Sally & Peters Sister Judy & shared Sally's fire.
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The last night we had the Shearer's quarters, kitchen & campfire all to ourselves. Other guests were staying in the homestead so I cooked Ian a roast for dinner.

We went for a walk an explored a quartz quarry & found some wildflowers.
This property also has an operational gold mine.
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Ian had a play on the old fashioned swings. Remember these.
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Posted by iandeborah 08:00 Comments (5)

Heart Of Wildflower Country - Mullewa

It was a short drive from Fig Tree Crossing to Mullewa through the fields of green wheat & golden canola.
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Not to long after leaving camp we spied some strange domes & dishes across on of the fields. A few kms down the road we discovered a sign.
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As we were travelling to Lovers Lane (The caravan park) when Deborah snapped this lovely cloud.
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Out of now where came a train, an iron ore train at that. We stopped and watched the huge beast pass by.
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We were welcomed into Mullewa by some striking roadside artwork.

We set up camp & as we drove to our site Ian thought he noticed a familiar shape of a person. Upon further investigation Deborah confirmed the shapes identity to be Bernie with his lovely wife Jill from Mandurah, needless to say happy hour was set for 4ish.

Went for a walk into town to the info centre as you do & found the staff very informative & welcoming. Picked up our drum stick in the local store & headed off towards the Mullewa scenic lookout via the Rail Heritage Loop. Part of the scenic lookout walk included a section of the Mullewa Bushland trail where we saw some lovely wildflowers & orchards.

Our walk back from the Lookout to the caravan park took us along a section of the Mullewa wildflower walk where we saw a few more wildflowers.
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Friday was discover wreath flower day. First however we went looking for the Butteraby graves. Al9ng the way we also saw the Devils Creek Hall. Built in 1957 the hall is looking a little worse for wear but still a part of the districts history.
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The Butterabby graves is the location where several aboriginal gentlemen were hung for the crime of spearing a white man who subsequently died.
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Next stop, back in Mullewa to see the Monsignor Hawes priest house museum & the church. Father Hawes trained as an Anglican priest & an architect but during his missionary time in Jamaica he converted to Catholicism. Whilst he then came to Western Australia based in Geraldton & Mullewa he designed & had built Cathedrals, Churches & other notable buildings.
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We took a short drive to Pindar to view the wreath flowers. To our delight we found these beauties. We are told in about 2 weeks the flowers will be fully open when they have had a little more sunshine.
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Posted by iandeborah 21:53 Comments (6)

Coronation Beach Campsite

Our drive from Nerren Nerren took us past golden canola & green wheat fields. We even passed through a light shower & saw a beautiful rainbow.
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We arrived today Monday at Coronation Beach where there are 22 bays for campers, pergolas, lookout, gas bbq, & clean drop toilets & dump point. The sup ( stand up paddle boarders) use the beach in the morning as it has Easterlies. The kite surfers use the beach when the strong Southerlies blow. We enjoyed a walk along the beach but found lots of coloured seagrass & blue bottles.
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We had a quick trip into Geraldton today. It was a little different than our stopover from a cruise we did with Andrew and Margot. That stop was on a long weekend and no shops, especially pearl shops, were open. This time they were all open, but no pearls were purchased. We had a great coffee at Taste & Co. & a look around town.
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The Tuesday night sunset at Coronation Beach.
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Wednesday morning.
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Wednesday we are on the road today to our next destination Fig Tree Crossing, inland.
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We are camped by a paddock of sheep. A quiet country stop for the night.
We passed fields of canola, wheat & a purple coloured field, not sure what this is. We walked along the roadside & came across a pet cemetry.
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Posted by iandeborah 22:24 Comments (4)

Carnarvon

A tyre, a tyre my kingdom for a tyre.

We had our night at the free overnight rest area at Barradale & continued our journey into Carnarvon to source the illusive 20 inch tyre. We arrived on a lovely sunny Wednesday & parked up on our spot. (The car wash bay @ Coral Coast Tourist Park.) We had an array of entertainment from 5pm while we were there.

On the second night we had a few bush poets with Bill Gordon & other poets from Boyup Brook who read out poems & told funny stories. The third night we had Sax & the single girl play to us. We managed a few happy hours with Mel & Neil at the park.
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Due to the bull dust we picked up we thought we would take Rocky through the local car wash. Needless to say although he looked clean, he still had plenty of red dust stuck in his crevices.
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We took a 6km walk out to the one mile jetty. It is a bit sad that it's in such disrepair that people aren't allowed to walk it's length.
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We did this by following the old tramway lines across Babbage Island. A lot of the tramway line still exists although it hasn't been used for a few decades, which is a bit sad when you see all the old equipment at the 1 Mile Jetty museum area.
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During our walk we came across a lot of the Native burrowing bees which we learnt at the Cultural Centre the grubs the bees layed were dug up carefully & eaten. The cocoon of honey they lay in, made them a sweet delicacy.

We visited the Gwoonwardu Mia which is the Gascoyne Aboriginal Heritage & Cultural Centre.
Displays celebrating the history of the indigenous people of the region. We saw some movie scenes of the season changes & how the nights sky & star patterns change to help them determine when to collect emu eggs.
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Friday was tyre day. After initially being told they could not find the tyre from the shipment in the yard Ian recieved a phone call later that day to say they had stuck gold & found the single tyre at the bottom of the pile. Along he went to get it sorted.

We met Rosie at the Canarvan markets on Saturday. She was literally half the height and size of our Brodie. Such a delight. She eats bananas, watermelon and what the owners ate.
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We had planned to go to the speedway on Saturday night at $5 per person it was not to be missed. We had all agreed Mel, Neil, Ian & I at our seniors pub lunch that if it rained we would revert to have have happy hour back at the camp. The latter occurred.
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Off we travelled today Sunday and decided to rest the night at Nerren Nerren free camping area. There were lots of caravans on the road today. Covid has helped people to look around in our state & see the wonders in our back yard.
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Posted by iandeborah 21:18 Comments (7)

Wildflowers seen throughout the Pilbara Trip

Although very dry we were able to found a number of interesting flowers and bushes whilst traversing the very red dusty plains and hills of the Pilbara. The rains hadn't arrived, but what we were still impressed with how nature can push plants and flowers to life in such a harsh environment.
For instance the cockroach plant we found at Mussel Pool, thus named for the shape of its seed pods.
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And lots more....
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Posted by iandeborah 18:41 Comments (3)

Cheela Plains Station

Station camping.

We arrived after a very slow & dusty drive in convoy with the other Ian & Jan & their caravan to Cheela Plains Station. Unfortunately we had a tyre wall blow out on the car along the way. Both Ians did a fabulous job by replacing the 20 inch tyre. You know what they say 2 heads are better than 1. After now using our spare we have to consider our options going forward in the next 2 days.
Jan was so kind & thoughtful & made us a cuppa & we all rested up in a shady patch in between the hot sun & all the red hot dirt.
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We continued our drive for over an hour longer & found a lovely shady place to give the boys a break from driver fatigue by the roadside in between the trees & enjoyed a lovely lunch & cuppa & a few laughs over lunch. Other convoy vehicles passed us and some stopped to check we were all okay & they continued their journey to todays destination Cheela Downs Station. This was a nearly 8 hour drive...
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On the drive we saw a snake crawling ever so slowly across the road, a beautiful outback windmill, a pump & a big truck being loaded with cattle.
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We all arrived & took a look inside the vehicles & ours had red dust in every cupboard. Most other caravans & camper trailers were in a similar predicament. I needed to wipe out every cupboard to begin our time on the Station. It seemed even though Ian covered all the vents in preparation for the journey that the dust still came through the door of the van, and possibly through other unknown areas. We also had a few other bits & pieces we had to sort out. We chose to have a welcome hamburger cooked for us by the Station staff @ $10 a head. None of us felt like cooking that night. A few wines & stories were shared that night.

Our first full days outing took us to Cheela Springs, supposedly an old out station area. It was a very windy day, with very little shade, but some interesting old artifacts along the water course. These included a couple of old cars and one, an old Standard Vanguard, still has all its original glass intact. Not many tourists allowed in this area, so we were privileged again.
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Dinner our second night was a roast, with dessert and a glass of wine, beer or soft drink, cooked by the Station staff @ $45pp.
It felt good supporting the station & treating ourselves a station roast meal & desert & glass of wine for the night. Don't worry we cooked the last night. Some of our fellow neighbours decided to go to the homestead for a lovely hot cooked breakfast for $18 a head. Yes they had their fill before embarking on the next stage of the excursion.

Our excursions took us on self drives to explore the sites. We visited the Beasley River Gorge Time Trail. We certainly got our exercise walking up & down the mountains. This Gorge provides a unique window into the distant past. We explored the volcanic basalt rocks.
We visited mussel pool. Deborah climbed 2 rather tall mountains exploring with geologists.
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We came across a bush kitchen is situated on a prominent ridge of Boolgeeda. How amazing is this?
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The Wall was a shear wall of BIF, which is a banded iron formation. It had a large vertical waterfall after rain that flowed into one deep clear pool surrounded by jagged edges of broken BIF and directly in front was a smaller pool.
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We do have to report after much research we have decided in our best interest to depart the Naturalists excursion and head for Carnarvon as they will have our tyre in stock by the end of the week. This is where we said good bye to the group and thanks feel very privileged to be part of the excursion.

We have learnt so much from the people in this group. We even had stargazing lessons at night by the amazing Mark Patey and were shown uv lighting through fluroscing stones. We certainly have a rock/ crystal fetish now. We will make it to Marble Bar another time.

I think we stuck it rich again heading towards Carnarvon for Wednesday as we are meeting up with Ians brother Neil & lovely wife Mel C.
We are resting up tonight in a 4 star rest area called Barradale rest area.
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Our adventures continue as we hope do yours, although we have decided to return slowly to Busselton via mainly bitumen due to the tyre issue and difficulty in getting a suitable replacement . The rest the Naturalist group headed to Mt Webber for some more bush adventures.
Here we are parked up today Wednesday 12 August @ Canarvon. Guess who we have seen here? Neil & Mel. Looking forward to our next pub dinner Mel.
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Posted by iandeborah 06:28 Comments (9)

Mt Augustus National Park

We stayed at the Mt Augustus Outback Tourist Park for three days. The group parked around 2 hexagonal grassed areas & went off on walks throughout the days.
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We chose class 3 walks, but some others were adventurous and did class 5/6 walks, like the summit walk. Madness.

Places we walked include :
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Ooramboo (Edney's) Aboriginal engravings
Edneys Lookout
Mundee (Aboriginal engravings)
Petroglyph Trail, this was an easy walk that took us to an engraved wall where we sat quietly to ponder our thoughts.

Flinstone - Beedoboondu (Aboriginal engravings)
Was a short walk that led us to a large slab of rock that bridges the rocky stream when it rains. It was all dry when we visited. We crawled under the rocks to see the paintings. The large rocks were very cool & refreshing. We all enjoyed sitting quietly here and stilled our mind.
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The Pound and Saddle Trail.
This was a natural basin that was used earlier this century for holding cattle before moving them on hoof to Meekatharra. Droving would take 10-12 days.
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Gooline (Cattle Pool)
A permanent pool on the Lyons River. The walk was picturesque we enjoyed Sunset drinks & nibbles one night. We enjoyed it so much we went for a walk around the river where we heard & saw lots of birds & wildlife.
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Our nights were cool. The sunsets spectacular. A great time was had by all.

Posted by iandeborah 06:32 Comments (7)

Yinnetharra Station

We head off in a convoy this time with caravans, camper trailers, pop tops, motorhomes & self contained roof top campers. First stop, by the river in Gascoyne Junction to look for fossilised stones by the river.
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We then headed off towards Yinnethara Station, as invited guests, for a 3 night stay by the Gascoyne River, free camping. Yinnethara is a 880,000 acre cattle station.
It was an amazing camped on the banks with views of the Gascoyne River. Interesting to note that February 2020 where we actually camped was under water & it hadn't actually rained at the station. All the water came down the river from Meekathara, over 400kms away.
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And some lovely sunsets.
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The two full days we went out fossicking for rocks at old mine sites. We were particularly looking for Tourmaline (black), Mica (a layered clear, very much like slithers of clear plastic, some had pictures, like the black & white movies as you peel it off,) Beryl (Green), Fieldspa (whiteish), Dravite from the mine to find Taumaline (black), saw the shaft & overhang & underhang.
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We have found we now need to add estwing geology pick & a pair of safety glasses into our travel kit.

We stumbled across a Tourmaline shaft mine which we were all very careful to avoid falling down.
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On this site Deborah made a very good find. It was a very old metal Vesta matchbox with the lid.
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We also checked out an old wool shed & Police Station where many old items of interest were gathered. We also saw a spinifex pidgeon nest on the ground, Ian was the first to see this rare find. At the same location we also saw a striped Gecko & a Dunnart. We weren't quick enough to get a picture.
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On our drive back to camp we spotted 2 dingoe's.
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Our group had the pleasure of viewing a beautiful sunset at Red Rocks, with wine and cheese of course.
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Posted by iandeborah 06:21 Comments (3)

Gascoyne Junction - Kennedy Range West

We set of again in our convoy heading to Kennedy Range West. Although there was a little bit of bitumen road, once we turned off the highway it became a bit of a dirt goat track requiring 4WD. We were heading off to find Mukalite. It is an ornamental rock only found in a vein 2km wide x 8km long area.

We saw some wildflowers springing up along the way which you will see on a page of its own. We made several stops to collect rock samples.

We stopped for lunch by the spring just past the Muka Mine. Next to the spring is the old accommodation for some of the early miners (20th century ones).
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Yenny Creek
A few intrepid explorers continued a further 40 minutes along a goat track to discover Yenny Creek. This area had a water spring which was still trickling, a water trough for the sheep or cattle. Several brahman cattle came for a drink while we were exploring. It still had some remnants of the fence around the spring, and an old sheep ramp.
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To get to the Muka Mine we crossed a small section of the Gascoyne River, luckily it was not in flood.
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Posted by iandeborah 03:39 Comments (4)

Gascoyne Junction - Kennedy Range East

We set out in the convoy again 40 km to the Eastern Section of the Kennedy Range.

Here we were anticipating finding fossilised shells in rock formations as we firstly visited Honeycomb Gorge & secondly Temple Gorge.

Honeycomb Gorge
We went for a walk into the Gorge to find Honeycomb Gorge. The Honeycomb effect is created by differential erosion where some parts of the rock are harder than other parts. The minerals create the colouring. The iron/ mineral sometimes leach down cracks within the rock which leave different colourations. We came back from the head of the Gorge following the route of the creek bed to find fossilised impressions of shells in the rocks.
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Temple Gorge
We drove to the entrance to Temple Gorge. We walked into the Gorge to find the reason it was called Temple Gorge. At this point it splits into 2 the yellow route & the blue route. We chose the yellow route which provided some spectacular scenery although there were a few rocky steps to traverse to get to the end. Unfortunately there was no water pool as it is the dry season. We did find the Knight Templar who oversees the Temple Gorge.
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Posted by iandeborah 19:11 Comments (1)

Gascoyne Junction - Get your rocks on

We arrived Thursday.

Bernie the Busselton Naturalists President took us on a convoy to "Rock On."

We all drove in a convoy out to the Rock On owners property & were shown a huge selection of specialised rocks & fossilised items. Many of which we hope to see in the days to come as we explore the Pilbra region.

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Posted by iandeborah 08:45 Comments (1)

Carnarvon

An overnighter at the Big 4 Plantation caravan park.

Took a drive out to the Fruit Loop. It is a circle of roads lined with fruit & vegetable plantations selling fresh reasonable produce along the roadside stalls. Deborah picked up zucchini, capsicum, cucumber, tomatoes, & bananas of course. They were also available paw paw, pumpkin, lettuce, cabbage, & chillies.

Waste not, want not at Bum Baks.
We headed off in hunt of a freshly made mango icecream for Ian & a smoothy for Deborah which we thoroughly enjoyed. This shop was formed in 2017 to use rescued fruit & vegies deemed too unappealing for sale in the supermarkets. They set about making award winning ice creams h preserves. Working with local growers, Jo Bumbak rescued fruit & vegetables using produce that would have otherwise been dumped h left for rot. Its no surprise through their business they are aiming to reduce waste, improve financial industry & create delicious that contain nothing artificial & no preservatives for visitors to enjoy all year round.
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Posted by iandeborah 08:16 Comments (4)

Long Range Pilbara camping trip

Busselton Naturalists do a long range camping trip each year but due to our previous work commitments ie not retired, we have never been able to accompany them on the adventure. This year we convinced ourselves to retire and head off to the unknown.

We planned a few appointments around the trip, one being measured up for an annex prior to joining the group. The other being the caravan service at the end of the trip.

We casually headed off on Wednesday for a free overnighter at Pinjarra, only two other campers partook.
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Next morning we went to our next stop at the beautiful Karinyup Waters Caravan Park for a pleasant 2 nights stay. Our friend Annette visited for afternoon tea & dinner . We caught up & shared many stories. We visited the new cafe at the caravan park, which is open to the public, & we would highly recommend it.
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Whilst we were there our first appointment occurred & Melba was measured up for her annex walls. Once it is made it will be posted to our home address.

Whilst in Perth we took the opportunity for a quick IKEA visit which took under under an hour. IKEA was surprisingly busy with people everywhere.

Saturday we headed off on the next leg of our jouney on the way to meet up with the Naturalists (not Naturists). Lots of traffic going North & South on the Indian Ocean Drive, mainly cars, caravans, motorhomes & boats.
We stopped at Wilbinga Grove Rest Area just South of Moore River for a morning cuppa. We have stayed here overnight before. There is a sign there saying no camping. We will have to cross that one off the list Karen & Phil.
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Our destination for 3 nights was to be Cliff Head North & Ms Garmin decided that we might want to be in a slightly different spot away from all the other campers. A couple of Wily Wagtails have frequented our campsite. Singing as they glitter from the car to the tree to the awning. They seem to like running across our roof of a morning with the sound of tiny pitter pattering of feed, saying come on it time to come out & play with me. They have been such happy welcome birds. As I type this one of them is dancing on the roof with its tiny feet. I think perhaps the insects are attracted to the white roof providing dinner for this Willy. Here are some pictures from our time here North of Cliff Head.
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So we are parked up on the beach slightly North of Cliff Head North.
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We have already has a visit, yes they found us, from Neil & Melanie who were staying 30 km up the road at Dongara. Thanks for bringing the potatoes, they cooked up nicely on the fire. We have been for a couple of walks along the beach. The weather is delightful & sunny. The nights have been mild. We have been able to have a small fire each night.
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Today Monday we went for a long walk along the beach. We were doing a beach sweep looking at shells & collecting a special few. We found a nest of Sea Eagles perched at the edge of the beach. Also some Whale bones.
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Our walk entailed coming across a large gazebo sitting area with a fire pit & some fancy drop toilets. There are quite a few areas where you could park vans or motorhomes in one area.
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Tonight is our last night here. Tomorrow we have a lunch date with Mel & Neil at Dongara on our way though to our next overnight stop at Nerren Nerren.

Posted by iandeborah 02:01 Comments (6)

Big Valley Getaway

The NATs (New Age Tribe) were having an informal get together at the Big Valley Campsite, Margaret River. We thought we would take our time getting to the destination as it was such a long distance.

So we dropped into Taunton Farm for our first stop. They said said pay for 2 & stay for three. So we did. Nice caravan park, big bays, relaxed atmosphere & what better way to enjoy happy hour in Winter than to do it beside a wood fire. This is where you meet fellow caravanners around the campfire. Hello Brian & Natalie from Safety Bay. As Taunton Farm is a working farm they have a scheduled 5 pm feed the animals session where you can meet the calves, pigs, goats, donkey & the horse & if your really lucky you can feed milk to the baby calves. Deborah took pleasure feeding the calves.
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One of our local experiences we like to enjoy is enjoying a picnic lunch & a glass of wine at Fermoy winery.
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On the way back to the campsite we couldn't resist dropping into Howard Park to pick up a free bottle of wine using a free guest voucher from Taunton Farm.
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We continued our long journey on Thursday morning to Big Valley Campsite in Margaret River.
This too is a working farm & it is lambing season. They have up to 80 guinea pigs in cages & free roaming, many chickens & roosters & 2-3 (at any one time) orphan lambs that Deborah was very happy to help feed. They were named Sharona, Carina ( who did not make it), Gloria & Tiny.
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They also do a sheep feeding opportunity at Big Valley, so we hopped on the farms electric buggy and took a turn feeding out some oats.
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Walking around checking out the guinea pigs we found a macadamia tree & Deborah had Ian cracking those nuts. They were Yummo.
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Saturday we headed out to Witchcliffe & explored.
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Had a coffee at the local Witchcliffe coffee shop, Yardbyrd.
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On the way back we went for a walk around Ten Mile Brook Dam.
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Sunday we took a drive to The Berry Farm for a filling lunch.
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Off to our Sunday night Happy Hour with the group.

Monday, and it's homeward bound for us. We have had a lovely week out for our first retirement trip away.

Posted by iandeborah 19:49 Comments (3)

Pumphreys Bridge

The border restrictions for COVID-19 were relaxed so, we thought, what better way to celebrate than a road trip.
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A short stop at Peppermint Grove Beach caravan park along the way and a catch up with Neil and Melanie Christophersen, who were at the park for a week after Melanie getting great news about here cancer battle.
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Next stop Pumphreys Bridge, north of Dryandra Forest, to meet up with 9 other New Age caravans for a few days.
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We took a walk around the local area, and found the tennis courts established in 1946, so it must have been a booming farming area after the Second World War finished.
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And it still has its own CWA, with an old swing out the back...
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The old bridge, which the area is named after, has seen better days...bit of a jump to get to the other side.
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And the new bridge isn't as impressive, but certainly more structurally sound.
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The area certainly has some historical buildings, or wrecks, and an old homestead built in 1867 and used as a school from 1944 to 1948.
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A nice frolic through the bushes along the river bank provided some lovely landscapes.
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Of course our camping buddies did socially distance as much as one can when out in the middle of a recreation oval.
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Our drive over to Pumphreys Bridge took us past one of our old camping haunts, Glen Mervyn dam. The water was very low, and no water ski boats allowed this time...but there were a few campers around the edge of the lake.
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A storm warning had many of us heading back early on the Sunday morning, to each of our homes. We left before 8am, a morning tea stop at Donnybrook, and we beat the bad weather home.

Posted by iandeborah 00:27 Comments (6)

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