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OUR BIG TRIP



DAY    135     Wednesday      21st      August

The day started with beautiful sunshine and calm, although a little cool.  With breakfast finished the Kollmorgens washed the front of the van using just a bucket and rag.  However, it certainly looks a lot better not being pink anymore.  When the lot of us were ready we set off for the Geraldton Museum and were suitably impressed with their displays.  I was very saddened by the HMAS Sydney display which explained the battle in everyday terms that horrified me.  There was, of course, a lot more to see.  The museum was divided into 4 sections:   1  The ship wreck coast.  2 The general history of Geraldton and surrounds.  3  HMAS Sydney disaster.   and 4 a special display on Australia’s involvement in Timor during WW2.

Derek and Gwen left a little earlier and checked out the new Geraldton Marina and then returned to C/P for lunch followed soon after by the Kollmorgens.   Lunch over, we all set out driving to see where the road went.  Found some nice beaches and views before returning to town to do some last minute shopping.  Derek then refitted his freezer into the car removed when car was being serviced, while Kollmorgens spent some time on the back wall of the van with the bucket and rag.  It is very clean now.  Happy Hour was held at the Kolls camp and tea was had before coffee at the Hales.

As mentioned in yesterday’s blog, the Hales and  Kollmorgens are going their own ways tomorrow, so Kay and Neil take this opportunity to thank Martin and Rita, Bruce and Virginia, and especially Gwen and Derek, for the experiences we have enjoyed over the last 135 days.

Special thanks is to be given to Derek for his gigantic effort in the planning and arranging of this wonderful opportunity we have had, and also all the everyday organising of site bookings and what of tomorrow and the day after that.

 THANKS HEAPS  Derek.         

 

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DAY     134       Tuesday    20th    August

An early morning for Derek as previously advised the Hale car is booked for service.  Derek was due down town at 8.ooam and was driven back to the van park.  After breakfast we all went walking along the beach to the grain handling area of the export section on the waterfront.  Following our look at this area we walked back to, and past, the camp for an inspection of the Point Moore Lighthouse and keeper quarters .  The property, not including the lighthouse, is presently for sale and it is quite a large block, almost the entire point.  The Volunteer Rescue Service headquarters is also located at this end of the peninsula. 

On returning to Belair Gardens C/P for lunch we decided we would do a town walk.  The Kollmorgens headed directly to the AEC, and as this is the first day of early voting, placed our votes for the upcoming elections.  This has lifted a burden off our minds as the problem has gone altogether.  We all did the short trip into Geraldton shops and started our walk looking at the old buildings and shops, and a beautiful St Francis Xavier Cathedral which had a foundation stone laid in 1916 and was eventually finished in 1938, quite a job.

The Toyota call came and the Hales were mobile again with a clean, freshly serviced car.  After a quick visit to the old Railway Station and Info Centre, we then drove up the hill at the back of the town to the HMAS Sydney 11 Memorial.  This is a fabulously designed monument with a huge half ball shape on legs with 645 sea gulls (one for each person lost on board) all over the surface.  I could not help but feel the sadness in the place while looking at the displays.

 We then returned to the camp for happy hour before visiting the Geraldton Hotel for some tea as our last meal together.  On Thursday the Kollmorgens will continue further south toward Perth, and expect to meet another couple of the Gippsland Gypsies, Jim and Maree Tuck, somewhere in South Australia, at a date to be decided soon.  The Hales meantime are turning east toward the wild flowers in the middle on their way home.  We will probably both be at Mudgee in October.

This blog will continue with the Kollmorgen side of travels, until our arrival home from the AGM muster at Mudgee.  Oh I am going to bed now.     

 

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DAY      133        Monday     19th       August

Not many Kms to be covered today so it was around 10.00am before we left for our new destination of Geraldton.  After failing to locate an entrance to the Pink Lake for a look, we had to be happy with a pile of rocks to get above the high grass level for some photos.  Next stop was to the Lynton Convict Depot where convicts were housed while they were working on local properties.  The building ruins and also restoring program of the area are amazing to see.

Continuing with our drive we arrived in Northampton in time for a town walk before lunch in the park at the rear of the Information Centre.  It is a very neat and tidy town with lots of old buildings to investigate.  Lunch over it was back to the wheel and on to the Belair Gardens Caravan Park at Geraldton.  Vans booked in and sited and washing machines oscillating as we got settled.  The Hales car has been booked in for a service tomorrow so Derek was giving the car a bit of a clean-up before it goes to the car doctor.  

A sort of a happy hour was not held, as a very cold wind had blown up and we are not used to that word “cold”, so back to the vans for dinner preparation and bed. 

 

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DAY    132      Sunday      18th    August

It was terrific to see all those happy faces at Castlemaine yesterday on Skype.

Today we needed to finish the list of things to do we had been offered from the Info centre earlier, so without a lot to do we did not get away from the Kalbarri Tudor C/P till about 10.00am, and then we headed for the Kalbarri National Park and its host of gorge and river walks at the east end.  The west end of the park could not be accessed due to road works that had closed the road.  Only problem with this closure was that the road was still open to a couple of local tour companies.  I will say no more on this subject.

The list of places we could visit, and did, this morning was Ross Graham Lookout and walked down to the Murchison River among so many rocks.  Next stop was just a few Kms further into the park and was Hawks Head which was a magnificent view of the Murchison again.  A cup of tea was had between these two points of interest.

Leaving the Hawks Head and on the return journey we stopped at Murchison House, an old station still in use but accepting campers as is the norm.  We continued back through Kalbarri to the south side to our next stop, that of Red Bluff Beach which was a bay with a complete rock base and some dolphins swimming by.

Lunch was then had at the picnic area of the Rainbow Jungle, a very large private collection of every colour imaginable in parrots.  Aviaries have been designed, and built, to best display around 100 different varieties of parrots from Australia and overseas.  There was the largest free flight aviary in the country and the biggest flock of Purple Crowned Lorikeets.  Water features and stained glass windows, black, red, yellow and white tailed Cockatoos and some colourful Blue and Gold South American Macaw.  Who has seen Bluey?

On our return to the camp the diesel pump was the next stop before Happy Hour and Tea before bed.  Tomorrow we will be continuing southward.

 

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DAY      131       Saturday     17th   August

 

After a good sleep and breakfast we all left the camp at around 9.30am and headed out to the lookouts at the southern end of the town.  The channel where all boating needs to come through to get into the town bay was a mass of boiling water being hurried on by a stiff west sou’west and we all decided it would not be nice to negotiate the channel without some know how.

After viewing the area from all three lookouts we headed off toward the south and went about 20 Km to the last of about 8 or 9 points of interest along the coast of the Indian Ocean.  These points included Natural Bridge, Island Rock, Grandstand, Eagle Gorge, our favourite - Pot Alley, Mushroom Rock, Red Bluff, back to the town and camp for a late lunch.   At this time we did a Skype connection to the Gippsland Gypsies members at their Castlemaine muster which I think all enjoyed.

During the early part of the morning Kay had misplaced her sun glasses and after much car and caravan searching the conclusion was they had to have been lost at one of our many stops today. We returned to a couple of the early sites but no sign.  We will check with the info centre and perhaps the police on Monday……Maybe?

Derek has helped to set up the Skype program on the Kollmorgen computer, so they will be Skyping  everywhere as soon as they know how.  Just a short happy hour tonight before tea.  After eating  the Hales came to the Kollmorgen van and a game of Phase 10 was played with Gwen being crowned the winner and the rest of us were the loses. Then after all this, that favourite spot of mine…    ZZZZZ.

 

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DAY      129        Thursday    15th    August

The group departed the Shark Bay Caravan Park at Denham by 9.00am and drove toward the highway, stopping first at the Shell Beach.  This beach is made entirely of shells and it is reported to be up to 10 metres deep.  This product is worked and sold as shell grit amongst other products.  Next stop was at Hamelin Pool which included the Old Telegraph Station,  a Shell Block quarry and also is the only site in Australia, and one of very few sites worldwide, where Stromatolites are able to survive.  Google Stromatolites for more info on this.  We had a cuppa here before heading off further south.

It was a big afternoon in terms of Kms as we travelled over 300 of them to reach a budget camp at Galena Bridge which was quite tidy and quiet during the night.  We did have a drizzle of rain go through which interrupted happy hour a little.  This was the first rain we had seen since the day we left Mount Isa on May 22nd.   Not a bad record, almost 3 months with no rain.  It seems a pity about the people who needed it where we were.   With happy hour cut short and light rain falling we had tea and had an early night in bed.

 

DAY    130        Friday     16th      August

 

As we were in a budget camp we had very little to pack up and therefore left the camp by 9.00am, and with only about 90 Kms to drive to Kalbarri, we had an easy morning.  Sites had been booked for the two vans at the Kalbarri Tudor (no relation to Rob) and we were soon set up on our sites.  Kollmorgens then walked to a local shopping strip for some bread for lunch.

Hales meantime had a caravan clean up and after lunch we all headed out for the Information Centre to check what was to be done, and where, in the area.  A town walk followed until we came to a caravan park the Hales thought was a possibility for some people from home to be sited at. After enquiring at the reception they went to visit while the Kollmorgens continued their town and beach walk.  An enjoyable walk along the sand was had and two lookouts were visited before turning for the camp.

Hales also returned to the camp before happy hour and as it became a little cool, it was decided to get tea over and bed.   Tomorrow we start our exploration of the Kalbarri area. 

 

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DAY   128     Wednesday     14th    August

Very early morning as we are off to see the dolphins at Monkey Mia and are expected to be there at about 7.30am.  It is 28 Km from Denham so early rise, dress, breakfast and drive it was.  Cleared the van park by 7.15am and drove the few Km to the Monkey Mia site and stood around until about 8.00am, when a ranger announced that they were waiting to see approx’ how many dolphin might be expecting their breakfast.  After some time the crowd, of about 140, were told to move down to the beach and wait out of the water for the dolphins to arrive.  During this wait there had been up to six dolphins swimming happily around the beach area.

At last we were given the go ahead to move ankle deep into the water.  Well; the Kollmorgens baulked at that idea… 8.00am and cold water on feet do not gel, do they?  The Kolls moved up onto the pier to watch the Hales stand knee deep in cold water, complete with ice cubes, for the best part of an hour watching about 12 people feed 4 dolphins.  It was not that bad, quite enjoyable actually, especially watching the water standers attempting to get circulation back into feet.

A cup of coffee was next on the list and this done we looked for our next activity.  Derek being an old salt fella was wandering down the pier looking at the sailing boats and came back all excited about a two for one deal on a yacht cruise onthe Aristocat 2, to do a 2.5 hour trip out on Shark Bay to the Blue Lagoon Pearl farm, which is a floating factory on the bay, and then on to the fishing grounds to try to locate Dugongs (a large shark sized mammal that he had seen recently).  Of course, there were dolphins all along the trip where Chris (the Skipper) would throw the boat into a tight circle, or skip sideways or backwards, to follow the dolphins for us to photograph.  It really was a great trip, unexpected and cheap also.  Great time had by all aboard.

Returning to the pier we ate our lunch and headed back to Denham, but stopped off at an old sheep station ( Peron Homestead ) now owned and run by the WA National Park Service  as the Francois Peron National Park which covers 52,500 Hectares and takes all of the land of the northern tip of the Peron Peninsula.

Continuing the trip to the camp we fuelled the cars and did a little bit of tomorrows pack up before Happy Hour and Tea.        Bed is to follow soon.

 

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DAY    127      Tuesday    13th   August.

We were up and packing the vans for a big shift.  As reported yesterday we were in an overflow area of sorts and needed to move about 30 metres to our new location.  The caravans are now all set up with water and power, nice and straight and level. 

Having a cuppa and deciding what to see and do for the day.  We headed out to have a look at  St Andrews By the Sea, Anglican Church, which had been built in 1954 from Shark Bays unique Shell Blocks which have been fossilised over lots of years and can be up to 10 Metres deep in the ground where they are cut into blocks and used just like bricks.  This makes a very different type of look. Next stop was the Caltex SS as Kollmorgens required a gas refill.

The town lookout was our next stop and much camera work was done here, before we moved on to Eagle Bluff where the WA Government has built a terrific boardwalk for visitors to gain all the views possible.  A bit of 4 X 4 sand track driving followed this and a walk along the beach.  Next stop was at Ocean Park which has an Aquarium but not of much interest to we lot.

Continuing back toward the camp we stopped at Little Lagoon for a picnic lunch and watched a kite surfer do his tricks before we again went on the sand to try to locate the connecting river from the lagoon to the sea.  After driving as far as we could we began to walk along tracks which were very deep sand that made walking hard work.  We eventually found the creek and a notice board advised it had been there for four thousand years, so it just made us look a bit slow.

Went back into the main street of Denham and did another mini town walk before a small purchase from the IGA before returning back to the Shark Bay camp for happy hour and tea.  Oh yeah.  Bed.

 

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DAY    126       Monday    12th   August

Early rise, van pack up and depart the Carnarvon Caravan Park heading south toward Shark Bay.  We had decided at Happy Hour Sunday night that we would use a budget camp for tonight, but arriving at the camp it was, ( a)  too early, and ( b)  not quite where we wanted to be.  This camp was at the top of a huge hill, and if wind came up we could possibly end across in Alice !! ?  A quick call to the camp we had booked for Tuesday and Wednesday nights at Denham to check availability of a site for one extra early night.  Site was OK, but without power.  ” No problems” we said and headed for Shark Bay and Denham.  Lunch was had at the turn off to Shark Bay at the Overland Roadhouse.  On arrival at the Caravan Park we booked in and sited the vans in a temporary area until tomorrow when we will move into a camp site with power. 

A town walk was next on the agenda and the Info Centre was used to help workout some form of itinerary for the next few days.  Naturally Monkey Mia was suggested, along with Shell Beach and a vast array of Bluffs to visit.  As we will be moving the vans into their correct power sites in the morning, Monkey Mia will need to wait till Wednesday.  We will arrange the programme to suit.  Took a short drive around the back of the town on the way back to the Shark Bay Caravan Park before a fairly cool happy hour.  The wind had come up some and indicated a wise choice in not using the budget camp on the hill top.

Tea was had a little earlier than normal and then bed.  It may be a good sleep away from all that heat for a change.

 

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DAY    125        Sunday       11th    August

Sleep in for some, busy washing machine for all.  After breakfast a visit to the Carnarvon Information Centre for some ideas on what to do, where to go.  Before we visited the Info centre we did a town walk which included a walk across a bridge that was originally part of the train system to load ships that were frequently pulling into the port for pickups of live cattle and sheep for export to overseas parts.

Following the advice we received from the Info Centre we drove to the port end of the town to the Small Boat Harbour which is home to the Carnarvon fishing fleet and some twin hull yachts that had the pulse rise just a little by one member of the group.  Then driving to the opposite end of town to the location of the current pier we looked through the lighthouse keepers cottage. This cottage was filled with wonderful items from those long ago years. Also here, for a small charge, we were taken aboard a petrol driven “Train” called the ‘Coffee Pot’, for a trip out the Mile Long Jetty and return.  It really was an enjoyable ride to take.  Returning we had our usual picnic lunch before climbing into an old railway water tank converted to a lookout, then began investigating the contents of a very good museum on the train and its history and a great lot of info on sheep shearing and the life of the shearers during the 1920’s.

Back to the cars and off to Pelican Point and watched a wind surfer out on the water doing his flying on water.  Next stop was a well used swimming hole and bore from which the town got its water early last century.  Continuing  further we went looking for the big dish,  not hard to lose, but a bit hard to find.  This dish is, or was, the first to receive that “A Big step for man, but a giant leap for mankind” message from Neil Armstrong when he … Oh you all know what he did.   The dish has not   been used by anyone since Halleys Comet went through in 1987.  However a museum has been built up around the NASA space program, but unfortunately we were too late to check it out today.

Therefore, after climbing to the dish lookout level, and seeing the area around Carnarvon so well, we walked back down to the cars and began making our way to the supermarket and fuel station before returning to the vans for happy hour and general discussion of activities for tomorrow.

Tea and bed closes Sunday the 11th of August    2013.    

 

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DAY    123      Friday    9th      August

Just a bit slow this morning and after breakfast the two Gypsy members at the Exmouth Lighthouse C/P at present (Hales and Kollmorgens, as the Clarks stayed in Tom Price to go see Hamersley Gorge)  set off to the top of the hill to the Lighthouse again to see last evenings view in daylight.  This daylight view can be so different.  Continuing on we headed South down the Western side of the peninsula to view what was there, and there was plenty to see.

First stop, Jurabi Turtle Centre which was display only as not in season for egg laying, followed by Tantabiddi Boat Ramp, very crowded with trailers spread everywhere, Mangrove Bay and observation bird hide, Milyering Visitors Centre was next where the ladies helped with a few queries before our lowest stop at Mandu Mandu Gorge for a short walk before returning to the Oyster Stacks for lunch.

On the return trip we called in at the remains of the SS Mildura, an early Steam Ship sunk during a storm in 1907 with all aboard saved, except for some cattle that were released to swim ashore.  Our journey then went back into the town and a look around the wharf and the boats moored there before we went to the other side of the marina and found an Australian Institute of Marine Science boat used to collect information regarding ocean movements , temperatures, and any science organisation needing this type of service can hire.  This boat was having an “Open Day” for all to see where our taxes are used.  It was very interesting, from the wet areas at the bottom rear, to the anchor winch and chains at the front, right up to the bridge.  It was quite a presentation and just finished our day off nicely.

We all then returned to camp, and due to the late hour had our tea.   After this, as no happy hour had been held, the Kollmorgens challenged the Hales to a game of Sequence and, of course, one family lost. 

 

DAY    124     Saturday   10th   August

A normal rise and pack up the vans and after breakfast began our drive to a Budget camp via Coral Bay.  Upon driving into this town it was all so busy, a real hive of activity.  There were lots of activity in the water, lounging on the sand, on the tennis court, just plain walking, and, of course, at the shops.

We did a town walk which included a short walk up to a lookout above the town before driving to the boat launch ramp.  We were all very surprised upon arriving at this bay.  It was just magnificent, in the water colours and coral patches showing under that green/turquoise/blue with slashes of white as waves broke over a reef out a little way out.  It seemed just a perfect spot for a picnic lunch.

Lunch finished, it was decided that a budget stay was not the way to go tonight so off we set to drive the extra 236 Km to Carnarvon after ringing and securing 2 sites for a couple of nights at the Carnarvon Caravan Park.

Vans sited, levelled, awnings rolled out and due to the hour, no happy hour.   Tea followed and as we were feeling a little weary, bed.  After all, there is all day tomorrow not touched yet.

 

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DAY   121    Wednesday    7th    August

We were all up fairly early with Kollmorgens and Hales packing their vans for the road and drove them to the Info Centre car park and left them there with fridges on gas.  All this was necessary, as the six of us were booked to do a Rio Tinto Mine Tour.  This was quite an experience right from the start with the coach driver being quite a comedian in his own way.  We found out that at Mount Tom Price, Rio Tinto have very large machinery, very large trucks, very large holes in the mountains and the way they do business, very large  ba115.  Millions of dollars are spent every day in every way, very big business.  Even the Queen is a stock holder in Rio Tinto.

This tour finished, the Clarks had decided to stay in Tom Price another day to investigate further. Meanwhile, Kollmorgens and Hales filled diesel tanks and headed toward Paraburdoo and beyond to a budget camp near Mt Stuart (doing 300 Km for the day).  This was a very tidy camp and very quiet. We spent happy hour with the occupants of the three other caravans in our area and swapped notes.  After came tea and bed.

 

DAY    122      Thursday    8th    August

Once again this morning we were up and on the move early.  Derek needed to repair a wire and fuse in the Anderson set up, so did this early.  We moved out about 9.00am and were the last of all the 7 camps to leave.  Kay drove with the van attached this morning (first time this trip) until we had a cuppa at a rest area near the turn off to Exmouth.  She handled the van very well too.

Continued after smoko and drove nonstop to Exmouth, phoning the Lighthouse Caravan Park to book the two required sites, and then did a town walk before some lunch in a car park in the centre of town (this was another 360 Km again today).   After lunch we found the Information Centre and enquired as to what to do in the area.  We then drove out the 17 Km to the base of the lighthouse to the camp and set up before going over the road from the camp to check out the beach.  Then back to camp to drive up the hill where the lighthouse stands to watch the sun set.  While waiting for the sun, somebody called “whale” and for the next 10 minutes all eyes were out to sea watching for some not so energetic mammals.  Eventually the sun disappeared and all returned down the hill.  Next came Happy hour, tea and bed.  It has been a couple of big days.

 

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DAY     118    Sunday    4th    August

This morning began a little early as we needed to pack up the vans ready to roll from the Black Rock Tourist Park at South Hedland, and then leave them on site to allow us to visit the info centre chasing information with regard to the availability of caravan sites and road conditions at Dales Campground in the Karijini National Park.  This done, and given the all clear on sites and roads, we fuelled up on the return trip to the camp and hooked up and headed off.

After stops for morning tea and lunch in road stops, (WA roads do cater for vehicles to stop at very regular intervals when travelling ) we were met by an on-coming Pilot car pushing us off the road. Off is the word, we were stopped outside the white posts along the roadside.  Along came a single truck with an extra wide trailer carrying a building for some sort of electrical works.  This gone by we continued to Dales campground and set up the vans without power or water for two nights.  Happy hour followed and some tea before a very dark night and bed.

 

DAY     119    Monday    5th   August

After a sleep in and breakfast we headed west in the cars approx’ 50Km from Dales camp complete with picnic lunch and thermos to Weano recreation area which has an abundance of walks to all sorts of Gorges, Pools, and Lookouts which we managed to see most of before eating lunch at the Karijini ECO Retreat, another camp ground in the National Park.

Lunch finished, and a gas bottle refilled, we began the return journey back to Dales, stopping at Knox Gorge, Joffre Gorge and Kalamina Gorge along the way.  All these gorges were superb and all very different in their own ways.  It was a great days entertainment.  We are to look into two more gorge displays tomorrow, one is Circular Pool and on the way out of the camp when we are packed up, is Fortescue Gorge.  These promise to be very good also.

Happy hour was held as normal at the Clarks van and tea before bed.  

 

DAY     120       Tuesday     6th     August

Early start and breakfast as reported yesterday to go see the Circular Pool and Fortescue Falls. Bruce had a swim in his underwear, and was late leaving the area as Virginia and he walked back to the car park at the top of the falls. Hales and Kollmorgens had a cuppa there before leaving and headed for Tom Price We had an uneventful trip apart from two wide loads which stopped us at a T intersection and then had us all the way off the road.  First convoy was 2 huge mine trucks and then later a two truck rig with a very big Dozer aboard.

Booked into the Tom Price Tourist Park and set up vans and had lunch.  Clarks arrived about an hour later and set up before we all went to the Info centre to ask about mine tours and road conditions to the west.  We were able to book a mine tour for Wednesday morning at 11.00am. Just a little top up shopping before driving up a very rough road to the top of Mount Nameless for a breathtaking camera snapping view of the entire area including the mines and town and all over.  There were two viewing areas, one I think was the legit lookout while the second seemed to be parking lot for the communication antenna base crews.   On the return trip we went exploring and found the greenest lake we had ever seen.  The rest of the park was so well kept we were at ends to know why the lake was so bad.  I guess somebody knows ?

Back to the camp for happy hour and tea and bed.

 

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DAY    115     Thursday    1st    August

 

Early pack up this morning and had left the Broome SDAC Overflow camp by 9.15am and turned south toward Port Hedland with a stop for a cuppa at about 10.45 and another stop for lunch at 1.00pm, both in road side stops before turning into the Eighty Mile Beach Caravan Park, which is 10 Km off the Highway.  It was a big day for us at around 350 Km.

Booked in for two nights without power and set up on the (almost) sea front sites.  There are some dunes between sites and the ocean.  We all went for a walk along that beautiful long, clean, sand with lots of shells, beach before returning for happy hour and tea.  Bed followed.

 

Day     116     Friday     2nd      August

Continued our relaxing lay day at the Eighty Mile Beach with a slow walk to the beach and a walk around the C/P to see what rigs were there.  After lunch we did some eyelid checking for leaks before visiting the park shop and having a wonderful multi flavoured homemade ice cream.  YUM.  A little more sitting down as happy hour was upon us before tea and … guess?

 

DAY     117    Saturday     3rd    August

A very early departure from Eighty Mile Beach C/P at about 8.30am and a stop for cuppa at Pardoo Roadhouse, and a top up with fuel, before continuing to South Hedland and the Blackrock Tourist Park in time to set up and have lunch before doing a sightseeing drive into Port Hedland.  Finding the Info Centre closed we did a town walk and a look around the piers, also drove to Cooke Point before heading back to the shopping centre at South Hedland.  Just caught Coles open and returned to camp for happy hour and tea.   Then my favourite… BED.

 

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DAY    114       Wednesday     31st    July

Today was again a slow day where the group just caught up on points of interest here in Broome that had been missed or required re-visiting.   There is a great caravan, camping and fishing shop that we all spent some time in and a lecture on the harvesting of pearls was taken at Signet Bay Pearl Shop, Cable Beach and the Museum were again visited and the Supermarket also.

Tomorrow we move on down South toward Port Hedland and beyond.

Meeting for Happy Hour at days end and some tea before bed.

 

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DAY     112       Monday      29th     July

As we are all in Broome after a fairly heavy week of driving and caravan and tent setups it was decided that the three days we will spend here should be lay days and do as you wish.  Nothing is to be arranged.  Blog entries will be short with just what is known.

We all left the camp separately but somehow all ended up at the Info centre and spoke to the ladies there on what is to do, just like normal, Bruce booked himself a fishing trip and a camel ride while Derek and Gwen and  Neil and Kay separately did town walks and somehow so did Bruce and Virginia .   Most did drives to places of interest learnt from the girls at the Info.  Happy hour and tea before bed finished the day.  We will do it all again tomorrow.

 

DAY        113       Tuesday    30th     July

Because of the lay day we called yesterday, all members but Bruce had a sleep-in.  Bruce had made bookings to go fishing and was very glad he did as he came home with about 7 rather good fish to freeze and be able to eat over the next few weeks.  Neil, Kay, and Derek and Gwen all went to the Broome Museum which they all agreed was extremely interesting.  After lunch the Kollmorgens went to Cable Beach and Gantheaume Point for a look and paddle and also some dinosaur prints in the rock and some great rock formations over the sea. Later in the afternoon we had a surprise visit by Martin and Rita who were on their way, eventually, to Cape Leveque. At about 4.15pm Bruce and Virginia left to ride the camels on Cable Beach and Hales and Kollmorgens went along as well to watch and photograph.

 

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Very interesting read Neil, I am enjoying it very muchly. ... Read More
Friday, 02 August 2013 06:32
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OUR BIG TRIP



DAY       106,   107,   108,   109,   110,   111       23nd – 28th      July

This blog will be a bit different to most of the previous listings, as there have been so many days without internet connection I will just touch on our locations and experiences.

Tuesday   23            Day 106

At Derby Kimberley Entrance C/P we had spent the night alone and away from the rest of the Gypsybusters due to the Clark/Hale trip to the Horizontal Falls, and on waking we began to prepare the van to be put into storage with the other two vans.  The others arrived back around 9.30 am and began preparing to leave for our next adventure, 10.00am departure heading for the Gibb River Road and another National Park at Windjana Camping grounds.  About 3 km short of the camp ground Disaster…. with Kay driving we heard great banging and I realized that we had a puncture.  Tyre was shredded so changed to spare and continued.  Set up tents and had lunch before heading out to Tunnel Creek.  It was a cave that goes right through the mountain, walking in water at times up to our knees.  A very dark and wet experience was had.  

On our return to the camp we had a great photograph opportunity with a magnificent sunset, all this before happy hour and tea.

Wednesday    24      Day      107

Very early get up due to noisy neighbours and after breakfast we made our way back out to the Gibb River Road and headed north to Silent Grove and Bell Gorge.  Did Gorge walk and watched some fools jumping into the water in the ravine.  Returned to Silent Grove for a picnic and after lunch returned to our camp via a fuel stop and did a walk to Windjana Gorge which was very colourful in the afternoon setting sun.  Also we sighted 6 to 8 varying sized crocodiles happily sunning themselves on the river banks.  Just walk up take a picture and walk on.  They were freshies after all. Back to the tents for happy hour, tea and bed.

Thursday      25           Day     108

Early rise again, this time to pack up the camp and return to Derby to have a new tyre fitted and do some food shopping before again collecting the vans and heading out to Roebuck Plains Road house.  Booked into the caravan park area and set up vans and did some washing before happy hour and tea.  Meal eaten we then took to the cars to drive the short distance to Broome to see the “Stairway to the Moon” show, as luck would have it, it was the correct night and full moon to boot.  This stairway is magic to watch as it unfolds, the moon rises; so the stairs descend or ascend whichever way you want to look at it.  Returning to camp for bed.

Friday      26        Day     109

Early, as has become the habit , and also the road noise ( we were camped next to the highway) we packed the vans for storage again and deposited them to the rear of the camp for safe keeping while we are headed for Cape Leveque at the top of the Kimberly Coast.  Our destination is to be Gnylmarung Camp Ground near Middle Lagoon and has beach frontage.  Very pretty views and after setting up the tents we all went for an enjoyable walk along the sand.  We were intrigued by the speed of the out –going tide.  Returning to the tents, and a fire lighted and happy hour and tea, sat around the fire bucket with the roar of the ocean to lull us into sleep.  Nice place, though a little dear considering  no power or water and only just amenities, but the area itself….excellent.

Saturday       27           Day  110

Kay had visited the toilet around 7.00am and came back requesting that we all come quick and look at the water.  The water had just gone, I mean GONE.  The tide had just gone out so far that it was hard to believe that it was the same beach.  After egg and bacon jaffle breakfast, and again in the cars, we all left for the north a bit more.  First stop was One Arm Point where we watched 4 sharks, and a possible sighting of a whale, before continuing to Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm, for a look around. Further on we checked out Gambanan Camp Ground before Kooljaman at Cape Leveque where we did a walk to the beach down a large hill and then had to climb steps back up to the Lighthouse and then to the car park where we had our lunch at the cars as this place was busy.  Returning to the Gnyimarung camp we had another look at that amazing tide difference before happy hour and tea and, of course, bed.  Very cosy in the tent.

Sunday       28           Day    111

A little bit of a lay in this morning before egg and bacon breakfast (it is Sunday) and then pack up and do the return trip to the vans at Roebuck  Plains.  A small mix up in communications led to the Hales who were leading become tail end Charlie without seeing either of the other cars, long story, hard to explain.  Connect up to caravans and drive the 33 Km to Broome and book into the Seventh Day Adventist Overflow Caravan Park and re-set up.  There was plenty of washing and cleaning to be done on cars and vans, before happy hour, tea and much typing before bed.

 

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DAY    105   Monday      22nd      July

Kollmorgens are up early as Kay is to fly to view the Horizontal Falls this morning.  Her earlier illness seems to have been cured by the drugs given at the Hospital, although just a little slow still.  She left in the bus at around 8.15am leaving a list of items for Neil to attend to in her absence.

Meanwhile, the Clarks and Hales had been busy packing their vans to move them into a storage area at the rear of the camp. They were all ready to move, the people who had booked the sites were ready but the storage sites were still being used due to a back log of bookings due to the two truck accident reported in yesterday’s notes.  Eventually all the vans were where all the vans should be and the lot of us, minus Kay, walked off to have a look at the old Derby Goal.  Just standing and looking into the ruins of the cells has one feeling some of the misery that the place produced during the early years of the area.  It was still very interesting to see.

Back to the camp for some lunch and wait for Kay to return on the bus.  Meanwhile the Clarks and Hales had parked up their vans in the back of the camp and were picked up by the bus to do the same Horizontal Falls trip as Kay, but with an overnight stay as well.  With the Clark and Hale pairs and Kay all missing, Neil was left in solitude but with lots of people wandering the camp there were plenty to folk to chat to. 

On Kay’s return the bank was sought and also some last minute shopping at Woolies before starting to pack the car from the van and prepare the Van for storage.

Tomorrow we are heading into the King Leopold Ranges Conservation Park, off the Western end of the Gibb River Road, and first stop should be at Silent Grove where acting on advice from the ladies at the Info Centre we have been haunting, we will not be towing the vans due to the road condition, and will set up our tents as base for the day.  This will, of course, mean that no further entry to this blog will be possible for a few days.                (  Watch this space  )

At happy hour Kay and Neil had the company of Bev and Rob, who we have happy houred with us previously, for a short visit as they were heading to the pier to catch the sunset.   After tea and dishes,  shower and then bed.

 

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Pass on our best wishes to Kay, hope she is feeling better. Safe travels, Ian Dianne
Friday, 26 July 2013 13:02
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DAY      104      Sunday     21st      July

We had agreed to a quiet day and once again visited the Information Centre regarding next weeks’ tripping and decided to borrow the key to the local museum.  Called the Wharfinger House, it was the wharf manager’s residence during the busy days of the 1920 and 30s.  We certainly enjoyed an interesting display by the locals and about the early days at Derby. 

Opposite corner to the museum was an old display of rolling stock from the early days of a tram car service out to the pier with export goods such as wool, live sheep and cattle and later a conveyer system was added to speed up the loading of lead and zinc ore bound for boats waiting in the channel.  The boats need to wait in the centre of the channel to allow for tides of up to 11 - 12 metres.

We had planned to eat out at the pier restaurant but decided to purchase take away, Barra and chips.  It was a nice meal although just a little too much for the writer and his wife.

Back to the camp via the fuel station to pick up gas cylinder, then a slow quiet afternoon to relax.

Happy hour was early, as was tea

Note:  Two Road train head-on collision on the Great Northern Highway between Derby and Broome on a single lane bridge.  This has not affected us in any way at the moment, however, later in the week we will need to cross this bridge.   Hopefully it will be cleared by then.

Oh look it is bed time…

 

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DAY   103     Saturday     20th     July

Some good news this morning, Kay has woken and walked without her head spinning or fallen over. She is on the mend and should be OK to do the Horizontal Falls flight on Monday morning.  Next was a shopping chance for the ladies to a local CWA Saturday Market, a real joy for the men.  This morning we once again visited the Info centre to confirm the bookings on the plane for Monday and to tell the bus where we are staying for the pickup.  Also a bit more info was required regarding the road condition and camp site availability for the Tunnel Creek site.  A better town walk was then taken on our return to the camp.

Driving to Woolies was next priority for the weeks supplies of food and also the caravan and camping shops were scrutinized for that something extra that will never be used or be the purchase of the century.  Food was brought back to the camp and put away before lunch.

After eating we all drove out to see the wonders of the area.  The first stop was to the second Prisoner Boab we have seen in the last couple of weeks, so can only assume that big holes in the side of Boabs were common and that they were all used as jails.  Next came the long trough, a very long trough indeed, long enough to water up to 500 beasts.  This was followed by the cattle yards and then the windmill site, and last in the area was Frost Pool, a very small swimming pool built with what materials were available during the war in 1944 to give the service men a recreation and cool down after their working day.  All very interesting subjects for the photographers to use.

A trip a little further from the town off the Gibb River Road, was to the Mowanjum Art and Culture Centre where Indigenous members of the local community do their own work and, of course, hope to sell at rather large prices.  Some of them were very good though, but not $15000.00 good.

Returning to town and out to the end of the main street to the Wharf, which was originally built in 1894, linked to the town by a horse drawn tramway.  In 1964 when the present jetty was built live cattle were exported with oil and fuel coming in.  Passenger ships also visited till 1973.  The 1990’s saw the export of lead and zinc concentrates from the mine at Fitzroy Crossing.  On our visit they were holding a “long dinner” near the pier, and on the walk we took, a band were rehearsing the entertainment for the evening and sounded quite good.

After the drive back to the camp it was happy hour (gee they come around quick) and again we had the company of Rob and Bev from Victoria.     Then a rather late tea before bed.    

 

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