Posts Tagged With: Cape Le Grand National Park

Ten of the Fifty Toes gives a 5 minute trip summary (#1)

Time for a few short interviews with the family to reflect on the trip. Starting with the kids, X up first. If anyone wants to ask a question please send a reply to the blog and it will be added.

“What were your three favourite places and why?”

  1. “Cape Le Grand National Park, WA. Our campground at Cape Le Grand was full of kids all the time we were there, and the road was safe and great for cycling around. The beach was close and the beautiful white sand and small waves made it perfect for swimming. At the end of the beach were great rocks to fish from, though we didn’t catch much. I liked the fact that there were plenty of snakes around. We found highly venomous Dugites, harmless pythons, and three other species, all around the campground. Great to watch and keep a safe distance.”
  2. “Swimming with Whale sharks on Ningaloo Reef. We took a boat from Exmouth to see the largest fish in the ocean. Our crew were fantastic, very knowledgeable about the whale sharks but also friendly and very helpful to the swimmers as we had fairly rough weather. We swam right alongside the huge fish, the largest was almost 8m long. It was very exciting.”
  3. “Gem hunting was a favourite activity we did at several places. I love to fossick and being able to dig up your own gemstones was particularly exciting as you never know what you may find. It is an addictive hobby. We found garnets on the Plenty Highway in NT, Opals in Coober Pedy in SA, sapphires near Sapphire in QLD, and thunder eggs at Mount Hay, QLD.”
“What was the best thing you took on the trip?”
“My dad gave us a pocket knife at the start of the trip and I used it until it finally broke and I was given a new one for my birthday. I used it often for whittling wood, making cubbies, cutting fishing line, and many other things. It was so useful that Dad even borrowed it quite often.”
“What did you miss most, or just couldn’t take with you?”
“I would have liked to take more books on the wildlife and gems and rocks but we only had one drawer each in the camper trailer to put everything in. More books would have meant less storage for clothes and fossicking finds!”
“Would you do it again?”
“Yes. I have already asked Dad to take me back on the road for a fossicking trip to find gemstones. Dad wants me to be a bit bigger and stronger so I can do my fair share of the digging”
“How did schooling on the road go?”
“We enrolled in Sydney Distance Education Primary School (SDEPS). Mum and Dad were our supervisors. We had to send our work back every few weeks. It was hard to finish so much work every two weeks, especially when other kids were around playing, or if there was a great new place to explore”
Categories: Adventure, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Road trip | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

Farewell to Le Grand

After ten relaxing days at Le Grand campsite we felt the need to keep moving. We haven’t been in WA for long and there is so much to see. We had a big dinner in the camp kitchen on our last night with our new friend Jackie cooking up a delicious Thai green curry. It was a lovely evening with great company. We’d seen so many great people and the kids had had loads of playmates.


We had also found five species of snakes, most of them passing through our site, tiger snakes, dugite, python, ringed brown snakes, and another short plump brown snake that our neighbour Rob nearly trod on.

Having had ten days of poor fishing we had to go to Stokes Inlet where we had been told you can catch your bag limit of black bream in 15 minutes. Stokes National Park was a short drive west and we set up camp before heading to the infamous Young River. Hannah had caught 3 fish before I could even get a line in the water, though nowhere near the fabled 40cm length that inhabit the waters. Everyone managed to catch several before Oscar hooked a big one that snapped his rod that he bought with his own money only the previous week. He was so distraught but still managed to land his 28cm fish for dinner. Oscar’s challenge complete again, catching and eating a fish.

With Amanda keen to get to Albany to pick up the kids schoolwork we were up early to head for Albany. Unfortunately for Amanda my curiosity took us down a 4WD track to a place called Skippy Rock. The campsite, perched above the beach was deserted except for a very friendly camphost, and we decided to stay. Roy, the camphost, took us fishing, and I caught two lovely fish for the BBQ later, a 44cm flathead and a 39cm silver trevally. No photos but they tasted delicious.

Roy was full of stories and despite being a mad keen fisherman, he was a gold prospector from Kalgoorlie who had even starred in a recent movie, Goldtown. He even had some small pieces of gold to show the kids. Everyone wanted to stay longer but schoolwork was beckoning and we were two days into the new fortnight.

Categories: Adventure, Animal Action, australia, Australian Outback, Beach, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, National Park, Natural World, Photography, Travel, Travel Adventure, West Australia | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Esperance and surroundings

We finally had to leave Quagi to re-stock supplies and get some water in the tanks again. A couple camping next to us kindly donated an inflatable boat for the kids that they no longer needed.

Next stop was Cape Arid National Park and a campsite called Thomas River, ideal for the inflatable boat. We drove the length of the beach, over 24km, then along some 4WD tracks to beaches beyond. Ranger Jo, who was brilliant with the kids told us how to get to the Mt Arid walking track, and even lent us some boogy boards. The next day we conquered the mountain which offers amazing views over the picturesque beaches and park. The mountain itself is very barren with little vegetation and lots of bare rock but well worth the 3 hour return walk. Back at camp I even managed to catch some super-sized herring that were delicious. From Cape Arid it was tempting to head further east to Seal Creek, but we chose to turn back West, passing through to see Duke of Orleans bay and Wharton beach which must rate as one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia, with its pure white sands stretching into the distance. Our next destination was Cape Le Grand National Park and Dunn Rocks, where we could camp on the beach. We arrived as the worst winds we have encountered so far whipped up from the south, giving us a true desert sandstorm experience that piled several tonnes of sand in a pile behind the trailer annex. There were thousands of mouse footprints on the sand in the annex the next morning and it began to look like we still had a stowaway! The weather improved though and before long we were swimming and fishing and the salmon finally arrived for us to start catching dinner! The kids loved playing on the rocks by the camp and Hannah even found a python in a crevice. She also found the mouse again and after it bit her a short chase across the sand saw it dispatched with my leather sandal. No more footprints since! From Dunn Rocks we had planned to head back west beyond Esperance again after checking out Lucky Bay and Le Grand beach campsites, both of which tend to be quite hard to get in at. Arriving at Le Grand first we fell in love with the place and grabbed the last camp spot, a sheltered little spot between the trees, 50m from the beach and with a kids hideout amongst the scrub. Lots of snakes here, a couple of coastal pythons and plenty of Dugites, apparently number 13 on the list of world’s most venomous snakes. Late one evening I stumbled out of the tent to hear the pitter patter of footprints scuttling into the undergrowth, and fearing another mouse infestation I grabbed a torch in time to see a crab disappear into a hole in the undergrowth. Phew! With the crabs and snakes I think we’ll be mouse free for a while. Rob and Kris, who we met crossing the Nullarbor, were at the same campsite, told us that there were wild brumbies that visit the beach daily. Hannah was thrilled and makes it her daily ritual to get as close as possible. It’s just a matter of time before the carrot supply gets raided. The kids have finally been introduced to Geo-caching too and with a few nearby we should be teaching them how to navigate expertly very soon.

We visited nearby Lucky Bay, famous for photos of kangaroos on the beach, but found a cramped and crowded campsite, a beach covered in knee-deep weed, very swampy and compared with other beaches we have seen, only worth the visit for the “kangaroo on a beach” photo. At least some of the roos were obliging on that front

Categories: 4WD, Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, National Park, Natural World, Offroad, Photography, Travel, Travel Adventure, Walks, West Australia | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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