The drive between locations has started to increase and the drive to Waroora Station included a brief pit stop in Carnarvon for restocking of fuel and food. We had a brief lunch by the water next to a kid’s park with an impressive flying fox. Some energy expended in the park means less to vent in the car (in theory anyway).
When we finally found the Waroora station turn-off it was corrugations for the next 45 minutes or so. Interestingly, Google and Apple maps did not agree on the directions, as Amanda and I didn’t, and some time later we arrived at the wrong campsite! We had heard wonderful things about Maggies but ambiguous signposts lead us to 14 Mile beach. On the way we admired a vista of giant red termite mounds, rising up to 3m skywards scattered across the pastoral landscape.
The grey nomads appeared to be well established there, with all their neatly lined up caravans facing the ocean, many with boats. Flags were hoisted, TV aerials in place, and many seemed to be set for long stays. The camp host directed us down to the “blow in” campsite, ostracised from the main sites, beyond the car turning point. It was exactly what we wanted, away from the rest, with only beach beyond us and metres from the lapping ocean.
It was our chance to try out our own chemical toilet, researched prior on the internet, as you are required to have one, or rent one from the homestead. We were all pleasantly surprised at its success, and with a dump point nearby it passed with flying colours.
The water here was beautifully warm and for the first time the Ningaloo Reef was tempting us, just out of swimming range, maybe half a kilometre out. The intention was an overnight stay but after an early morning walk down the beach revealed a small reef closer to the beach we decide to stay and try it out.
It’s worth mentioning at this point that the flies were at their most revolting here. This is where the flies were so thick we had to eat dinner in the car to control their numbers as we hadn’t bothered using an awning!
The reef was fun, quite small with a bit of a current but we all saw turtles, plenty of fish life and first glimpses of coral. The kids scoured the beaches looking for shells, and built houses in the sand dunes as the sun went down. The sunsets were marvellous, though we still haven’t witnessed a green flash sunset yet.
Interestingly, in July the 99 year leases on the land expire and for the first time the Department of Environment will not be renewing the coastal land. It looks like it will go under National Park management, resulting hopefully in better waste management and proper toilet facilities, rather than the makeshift open site provided by the homestead.