Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Ningaloo region

We left Karijini, stopping at the Mt Bruce lookout to get some mobile service and look at the view! We saw an iron ore train heading west – they are soooo long. Randall read somewhere they can be as long as 4kms!
We had to get fuel and groceries so we visited Tom Price. It is quite a nice little mining town, and had some lovely sculptures in the shopping centre.

Randall had heard that another town on the way to the coast, Paraburdoo, had a good little caravan park and it was where we headed next. The park was next to some miner’s quarters and the amenities were excellent. They even provided washing machines and washing powder in the price per night. We quickly did a few big loads of washing and got them on the line so they would be dry by the end of the day.

We went for a walk to the township and looked around, saw the outdoor movie theatre which looked interesting,  
and then went to the pub.It looked closed as there were no cars outside, but it was open and we wandered in to enjoy a beer. A couple from the caravan park were there and we got talking. It turned out that the bloke grew up near me in Tranmere Road and that Dad was his doctor! Talk about coincidence!

We left Paraburdoo to go to Ningaloo. Our hope was to camp up in the Cape Range National Park, but luck was not going our way. When we got to Exmouth Information Centre there were signs up saying that the campsites were full up. This happened last time and if you want to camp there you have to queue up in the early hours of the morning. There is no free camping allowed near the town - they will fine you if you do that. Our next plan was to go to either Ningaloo Station or another station called Warroora.  We decided on Warroora Station. On the way we drove into Coral Bay to have a look – we didn’t realise it was an actual resort area, just thought it was the name of a bay there.
The road into Warroora was atrocious for the first 15kms, and then improved for the next 15 kilometres thank goodness! Our campsite was a bit windblown, but we didn’t have a choice as the other campsites were all taken. We got ourselves set up and spent 3 nights there, relaxing and going for walks and checking out the other campsites at the station.


The weather was in the low to mid twenties so we didn’t really feel like swimming, but the water looked beautiful and clear. All in all we had a lovely time there just winding down, reading and walking.

As we drove out we felt a bit sad that we were leaving the warm weather behind.

Just north of Geraldton we had our first drops of rain for 3 months! Heading down the coast the wildflowers were beautiful – lots of purple ones that were very pretty.

We pulled into a camp site for the night that was a look out with amazing views. It was called the Gladstone Scenic Lookout. There were three or four other caravans there and the people were all grouped together having a chat. It was all about the ‘No Camping” signs up everywhere. Apparently the signs weren’t there a few months previously, however we decided to stay anyway.

The view was amazing and I enjoyed watching the sunset there.

As Randall was chatting to a mate on the phone, he noticed that our spare caravan wheel was leaning at a 45-degree angle. The weld had come unstuck!! We had to take the wheel off, and put it on the roof of the car, then secure the bar that the wheel was on. By the time that was done it was dark, so we felt we had an excuse if some one came knocking on the door.

We got up very early the next morning and left before 6 0’clock – we didn’t want a fine!!
We scooted down the coast stopping at Carnarvon for water and a quick walk around. We noticed that the Great Loritz Circus was in town! How amazing that we have seen them all around Australia!!
We did a couple of overnight stops to get to Perth, one at a place called Dongara rest area,
Then a place called Arrowsmith rest area about 300ks north of Perth. We made some phone calls to friends and family in Perth and arranged catch ups. We discovered that a friend of Randalls from early casino days, Chris, lived 100ks north of Perth, so we called in to see him on the way. It was quite overcast and the heavens opened up and washed some of the dirt from out car and caravan - our first bucketing since Tennant Creek all those months ago!
We decided to stay at one more overnight stop as it was getting too late to head to Perth, so we found one near where we were and bunkered down for the night. It was quite cold and our diesel heater kept playing up. It would start up and try to ignite, and lots of smoke would come out from under the van! Just another thing that has broken on this trip!!
We headed into Perth the next morning and got settled in to a very friendly caravan park.

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