Thursday, 21 May 2015

ACROSS AUSTRALIA IN 9 DAYS

Day 1  Marcus Hill to Murray Bridge
Lots of driving with a few Tugga breaks.
 
Day 2  Murray Bridge to Kyancutta (between Port Augusta and Ceduna)
Lots of driving with a few Tugga breaks.

Day 3  Kyancutta to Border Village
Lots of driving with a few Tugga breaks.

Day 4  Border Village to Fraser Range Station
Lots of driving with a few Tugga breaks.

Day 5  Fraser Range to Perth
Lots of driving with a few Tugga breaks.

Are you getting the picture of what’s happening this trip?  We were even driving in the dark getting into Perth. Finding the caravan park and trying to put the caravan in the right place in the dark was not fun!

The trip across the Nullabor was different this year, with overcast weather and misty rain for quite a bit of the way.  The sky was grey, the vegetation was grey and the road was grey.


Crossing the Nullabor is always interesting with different things to see on the way, even on the very long straight bit.


There are some beautiful trees, Salmon Gums, in the area near the SA/WA border.


We also stopped for a Tugga break near where the original rabbit proof fence was built.



That worked well, didn't it!

There always seems to be some large piece of machinery to be seen somewhere along the way.


The Fraser Range stop coincided with my birthday and fortunately they served meals there so I got to have a real birthday dinner. 




We had stopped there last year and the food was very good.  Not so good this year, but I didn’t have to cook it so that makes it delicious. 



The big fire was very welcome as it was a bit cold.

As many of you would know it is a goal of mine to get a photo of a wedge-tailed eagle.  I travel with my camera on my lap all the time ready to get the elusive photo.  The perfect opportunity came with a magnificent specimen feeding off a dead kangaroo and just taking flight as we got near.  Unfortunately, just before that I had put the camera down.  Bummer!  I did however get a photo of one at Cocklebiddy.



This beautiful bird had been hit by a road train and was very badly injured.  It was sent to Perth to a raptor vet and after a lot of treatment was returned to Cocklebiddy Roadhouse.  It cannot be released back into the wild and the cage that has been built to house it cost $15,000.  A million dollar bird!

We stayed in Perth for 2 nights as we wanted to catch up with some friends and meet their gorgeous new baby, Harry.



Unfortunately our timing wasn’t quite right and we missed Dan as he had flown out that morning for work on the rig off Exmouth.  We did however spend a very enjoyable couple of hours with the lovely Michelle and got to have lots of cuddles with Harry.  



I also delivered his quilt.



Day 7 Perth to Kalbarri
Lots of driving with a few Tugga breaks.

Day 8 Kalbarri to Minilya roadside stop
Lots of driving with a few Tugga breaks.





Tugga travelled very well, sleeping most of the time and letting us know when he needed to stop for a break.  



He slept inside the caravan most nights as it was a bit cold outside across the Nullabor. 



Once we got to warmer weather he has slept outside.  There have been a few barking issues during the night when he hears/smells something he wants to play with.  Hopefully that little habit during the night will be resolved.

Day 9 Minilya to Yardie
Not so much driving today, a short stop in Exmouth for a few groceries and then on to Yardie for a much needed long stay. We weren’t sure what to expect after the 2 cyclones that had hit Exmouth in the last few weeks. Driving into the town, we could see that there was a lot less foliage on the trees but there didn’t seem to be much other damage evident.  I’m sure to the locals it was a very unpleasant time and that there had been much work put into cleaning up.

As soon as we pulled in to the caravan park at Yardie, we spotted the Strattons and would you believe that at 11.30 Laurelle had a glass of wine in her hand!  She did however peak a little early and had to have a nana nap in the afternoon.

It has been very welcome to stop for more than one night and get everything set up properly, and also to renew old acquaintances from last year. 



It is reasonably quiet in the park as many of the sites are not in use, having lost power to that part after the first cyclone.  It will take quite a long time to get that all repaired.  


There are also some problems with the boat ramp after the cyclones, with lots of sand making it difficult to launch and retrieve boats.  It still provides some good photo opportunities though.






The weather is quite warm but cool at night – just as we like it!  We had been warned that the flies were in plague proportions in this part of Australia but they aren’t too bad.  A little further south they were much worse.

We are all settling into the relaxed mode that this type of life evokes.  Alan hasn’t been out fishing yet, but Ray went out with one of the regulars here, Arnie, and they managed to come back with a reasonable haul. As usual, it was shared around amongst fellow campers. 




If the weather is OK tomorrow, Alan will be going out, so there might be more fish photos next blog.  I know not all of you readers are excited by fish photos, but that is the reason we come here.
Talk to you again soon.

Merrilyn x


Friday, 1 August 2014

EXMOUTH AND YARDIE HOMESTEAD

August 1st and we are still are Yardie Homestead.  We have been here for about 7 weeks now and have a couple more weeks until we start heading home.  Those of you who have been following us on facebook will know all about the weather, the fishing and the beaches already, but for the others here's a little bit of our time here.

Exmouth is on a cape (not sure what it is called, I haven't been able to find any name anywhere), that is sometimes referred to in weather reports etc as north west cape area.  I don't think that is actually  the name. There is a limestone range running north south down the centre of the cape.  Yardie Homestead is on the west side and Exmouth on the east side.  It is only a few kilometres as the crow flies, but there are no roads across the range. Yardie is about 35kms from Exmouth. 


Yardie Homestead was established in 1884 but now makes it's money from tourists, not sheep. Much more profitable I would think.  The beaches along the Ningaloo Reef shoreline are about 1 km from the park. Unfortunately not walking distance as there are sandhills in between.  The park isn't manicured lawns and fancy playgrounds.  The sign at the gate says that it is for serious fishermen.  




There's very limited mobile phone coverage, generator power which limits appliance use and bore water for washing.  However, the folk here are very friendly, the fishing is good and the beaches and the National Park are beautiful.  The sites are large, so we have plenty of room for everything (unlike Coral Bay!)


Cape Range National Park starts a couple of kilometres south of Yardie and of course we can't go there with Millie.  There is a lot of wildlife in the park, kangaroos, wallabies, emus, echidnas and other small creatures we don't get to see.  We have been into the park a couple of times which Millie has been "dog sitted"!  The limestone ridge, Cape Range, is quite spectacular.


Yardie Creek is at the south end of the National Park.


The better swimming beaches are also in the National Park.  



The ones near us are beautiful, but most of them have quite strong currents so not great for swimming.  However they are lovely to look at and nice to dip into a little bit.  The bonus with these beaches is that we usually have them to ourselves and Millie gets to have a big run.







That's part 1 of our time at Yardie.  

Merrilyn x

Tuesday, 22 July 2014


MONDAY, JUNE 2 – THURSDAY, JUNE 11    CORAL BAY

Beautiful beaches (but not dogs, so not for us)

Lovely shady grassy sites in the park (but very small, no room for
either the truck or the boat)

Delicious pasties and pies at the bakery (but only if you get there
before 12)

As you can see, Coral Bay was a mixture of good and bad for us.
Absolutely beautiful if you have a normal sized caravan and no dog.
It's just a walk across the road to a beautiful beach for snorkelling and
swimming.







This wasn't the beach across the road, these were two different beaches
where we could take Millie and we had to drive to them.  The bonus
was hardly anyone went there.

There was some fishing done, with successful results.


and sightseeing in the boat, out on Ningaloo Reef.  Unfortunately no
whales, turtles or sharks spotted, but there was plenty of coral which
unfortunately doesn't show up very well in photos.



It's not just sunshine and beautiful beaches up here, we have had some
cloudy days, and even a bit of rain at times.




Makes some interesting photos with the clouds.

Millie loved swimming here, particularly when there was someone else in
the water.




As usual there were beautiful sunsets.  Alan says "how many photos of
sunsets do you need?" But there is always the possibility that one of
them might just capture something amazing.  Anyway, digital photos -
who cares!




And of course wherever we are, there is always happy hour!




And just to show all you wonderful readers that I was there, here I am
on the beach, a little windswept this day.


That's it for our relaxing few days at Coral Beach.  Next stop Yardie
Homestead (where we are still enjoying the delights of Ningaloo Reef.)

Missing you all.

Merrilyn x

In case any of the loyal readers haven't caught up with our family
news, we are very excited to have Luke and Nell moving to Melbourne. 
Luke started his new job yesterday (Monday 21st July) and Nell will
follow as soon as everything else is sorted out.  They have an
apartment in Southbank and Luke will be working in Collins St. Just
working on getting Ben and Jamie back here now!