Aussie Adventures 2015- The Midwest and Home

Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 05:32

Member - Muncey 72

Spent the 2 nights in Coral bay basically doing what everybody else was doing, watching the rain come and go whilst drinking heaps of tea and coffee. Did manage to get the camper open and dried out, Maz cleaned all the kitchen area. Done a load of washing and finished book I was reading (The Crucifix Killer) which was very good. Did not go for a Snorkel which was a bit disappointing due to the weather but we shall be back. The kids made some new friends and played footie and chasey which kept the amused.
Left Coral Bay for the short drive south to Warroora Station. The camp host and chose a site overlooking the ocean it was perfect. Got set up as the clouds broke and the sun poked its head out. The beach is very nice and calm as it’s protected by the Ningaloo Reef which is only about 1km off shore. We spent the next 4 nights here just relaxing, fishing with little success only Harrison catching some Dart fish, playing Uno which did get a bit lively when Morgan had to pick up 8 cards and then pick up another 4! We had a drive further south to the sandy point campground and beach which is all still part of the Station. This beach was even better than ours at 14 Mile. Had a nice sun bathe and a snorkel where we saw heaps of sea Cucumbers. The sunsets and sunrises were very spectacular and our position on the ridge gave us the perfect view. We also had the perfect view of watching whales breach on the other side of the reef as they headed north, there were heaps of them. The cost is only $10 per adult per day with kids free.
We did head back into Coral bay and have a snorkel which was great, the Coral and fish life was really good. We did also have a shower in the caravan park which was even better.
On our last day we met up with some friends that I work with, they have been coming here for years and said they would take us to a place they call the Lagoon at low tide. We followed them to a spot just north of 14 Mile were we parked and walked over the dunes. The tide had gone out about 100metres and all you could see was low stubble reef, on with the booties and off we went walking across the reef being careful not to step on the Deadly Blue Ring Octopus. About halfway across the reef was this 2 metre deep by 20mx10m lagoon. Gordy hopped in first “just checking it’s clear of sharks “he smiled. He then popped up holding a massive logger head turtle, that would have been at least 60-70 yrs. old. The turtles and other large fish get caught in this lagoon as the tide goes out. After watching the turtle swim off we all proceeded to spend the next half an hour snorkelling with the beautiful turtles and the other marine life. In the lagoon were 2 turtles, an Octopus, Wobbegong Shark and heaps of fish it was awesome. After that excitement we all just walked over the reef where we found a Blue Ringed Octopus and a couple of non-deadly Ockies which the kids sort of held. We had a great time and would never have swam with the turtles had we not met Gordy and his Family, great timing.
Packed up and because we had hired a chemical toilet from the caretakers we had to of course clean and return it. As Maz had lost so many games at Uno everyone decided that she should clean the dunny. After cleaning it Maz said “Never again will I lose at Uno” Leaving the station via the northern entrance track which was in good condition we then headed south to Carnarvon only having to stop for a fisheries roadside check.
There was plenty of traffic heading north and south as we drove to Carnarvon, we called into see our next door neighbours sister which is a of a tradition now. She owns a Banana plantation as well as growing vegetables. She had lost all the banana crop in the recent cyclone as did many of the other growers up here. Booked into the winter sun Caravan Park ($63 a night) and got set up. Lovely Park with spotless facilities and of course the customary freezing cold pool. Done a load of washing and filled the water tanks and bottles ready for our trip to Nanga Bay. Had tea at the Carnarvon Hotel whilst watching the Dockers play Carlton. Woke to the smell of cooking pancakes, the park hosts cook these up every Sunday morning at the cost of $5 for two. Much to Morgan’s disgust we did not par take so we ate Weetabix.
On the road again getting fuel first at Carnarvon $1:48 then heading south to the Overlander roadhouse where we stopped for lunch. Whilst stopped 2 very old Rolls Royce’s pulled up, one from 1919 and the other built in 1920 absolute mint condition. They had driven from Brisbane across the top and heading south at the princely speed of 45mph. We turned right at overlander heading west to Nanga Bay 80kms later we pulled into the Nanga Bay Resort caravan park. We had checked the weather forecast and it was not good for the coming days so we opted for a family unit which was pretty good. The Resort is quite old and past its heyday but we could not fault the unit, clean, great views of the ocean and great shower. Paying the extra for the unit was the right choice as we had upward of 50mm over 2 days. Whilst staying here I got a couple of coconuts from the cocas palms around the pool, using the axe opened them up and they were the sweetest coconuts I have ever tasted. It reminded me of how my Dad use crack coconuts on our back step when we were kids.
We drove to Denham to have a look, small seaside town with great views of Shark Bay. Drove onto to Monkey Mia and was surprised at how outdated the place was. The information centre displays were correct as of yr 2000, 15 years ago surely it should be updated every 5 or so years. Had a look at the Dolphin interaction beach, which look like any other beach. The weather was very windy and raining but we still saw 7 Dolphins about 40 metres off shore playing. On the way back to Nanga we stopped at the Ocean Park Aquarium just outside Denham. This place was awesome spent 1 ½ hours being taken around by a marine biologist/comedian who was bursting with information. We saw sharks, sea snakes, Rays, stone Fish, Turtles, Pink Snapper, Spangled Emperor and Coral basically if it lived in the Ocean they had it there. Very much worth the entry fee.
We had promised the kids we do quad bike tour on this trip and Shark Bay was our last chance, the tour went for 3 hrs and took us out of Denham to the Lagoon which is a natural depression in the ground which is fed by a tidal creek, up to numerous lookouts through the dunes and to South Peron were we saw heaps of Nervous Sharks basking in the shallows. The tour was good a little tame speed wise but the kids enjoyed it.
We left Nanga and headed south west 80kms to Tamala station, the road to Tamala had a road closed sign up but we had seen heaps of these along the Denham/Monkey Mia road because of the recent rain. Now as it hadn’t rained since yesterday we drove pasted the sign. The road was sealed for about 15kms then compacted sand/gravel for the next 30kms to the Homestead. The Lady was surprised to say the least to know that we had driven on the closed road and informed me that the shire does not appreciate people ignoring the signs, I apologised and she said she could send me back on the closed road and allocated us a spot at The Huts for 2 nights. We had our own private beach, when we arrived the ocean was like glass it was that quiet is was eerie. There were a few prickles about but we just kept on the thongs. This place it very unique, as I am writing this blog sat on the beach looking out into the bay watching a Dolphin cruise past the only sound is the birds and the whirl of the laptop I’m writing on. The only negative here is that it is very shallow not ideal for fishing even though Harrison managed to catch a couple of good size Flounder. We have seen Western Red Kangaroos, Goats, Dolphins and Turtles whilst staying here. You’re allowed fires here and wood is provided free from the Homestead or bring your own. Will definitely come back here and explore further west towards Carrang Station and Steep Point.
Big day today aiming to get to Port Denison 450kms away, left Tamala Station and stopped at the Overlander roadhouse for some bacon and egg sandwiches which were yummy. Had a great day driving stopping at the old town of Northampton for lunch then into Port Denison at 3p.m, got a site for our last 2 nights at the big 4 and had a lovely hot shower. Went to the Dongara Hotel for tea which was absolutely lovely, Lamb Madras hmmm and watched Hawthorn destroy Carlton. Up early to enjoy the last day away, went for a long walk along the foreshore just thinking about the last 4 months and how quick it has gone. Got back to camp woke the rest of the crew and we headed to Dongara to get some lotto tickets (you never know) and have a look around. Went to the Southerners pub this arvo and watched the Dockers in a thriller against Richmond. Met a lovely couple from our home town and spent a few hours talking footie, life and travelling. Our last night was spent at the Dongara hotel again, nothing like the smell of curry in the car for the 6 hour journey home! Travelled 1650kms.
Woke at 7:00 and started packing up for the last time. The kids were great in the car and we only stopped once for lunch as we headed south home, 5 ½ hrs later and we drove up the drive way. Chalkie went ballistic, he just kept running around and around, it was lovely to see him again after so long. So after 15 weeks and 17,000kms we made it without blowing a tyre and only seeing rain for 5 days. Would we change anything? Yes, next time will be 6 months. This country is huge and once you hit the road it only gets bigger and better. So if you are thinking about taking time off to travel then do yourself a favour and get out there. I thought travelling with the kids would be hard but in fact it was easy, they have learnt so much, seen so many amazing sights and have all these memories for ever. The hardest decision you have to make is how long shall we go for!
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