Posts Tagged With: Coral Bay

Cyclone Quang – Exmouth

Our new friends, Helen and Matt the “Drought Breakers”, as they had quietly confessed, decided they would head out the next day seeking refuge inland. We suggested that they might seek government funding to tour some of the inland farming regions that are in dire need of rainfall. Another family, from Perth, the “Grismacs” that we had shared dinner with also decided it was a better option to get out and seek drier conditions, despite having paid for five nights. The next morning the campsite evacuated leaving us with only a couple of other neighbours prepared to wait and see, monitoring the conditions. This was pretty hard without any mobile phone reception, so we were relying very much on updates from our camp hosts.

Later that day “Roving Reeves” arrived, having pre-booked five nights at Osprey Bay. We had met Natasha and Steve at Francois Peron national park and the kids had got on really well. We had evening drinks in their luxurious caravan, after a late afternoon snorkel in perfectly calm conditions.

We could see rain and lots of weather to the west and east, but it looked like we were going to dodge it. Before going to bed it was supposed to be heading south crossing the coast at Coral Bay.

The rain started at 2am, with the wind strength gradually rising constantly shortly after. By 5am I was up in the driving rain hammering pegs in harder to keep the awning up. Ironically, I had bent three pegs driving them in as the ground was so hard when we had arrived but now, with a bit of rain, the ground softened very quickly.

At 5.30am Dennis the camp host was driving around in the dark telling us all to get out at daybreak as Cyclone Quang had changed direction and was now going to touch down at Cape Range and Exmouth.

De-camping was ridiculous! Driving horizontal rain soaked everything, and packing down the awning was like wrestling with an angry dragon as canvas flapped and whipped in all directions. Steve “Roving Reeves” very kindly emerged to help us complete the task, stating that they would probably sit it out, but by the time we left, 30 minutes later they had been told they had to go.

We headed out of Cape Range, hoping the roads hadn’t flooded yet, towards Exmouth, hoping to find refuge there. The wind and rain got worse and worse, and we slowed down to 60km/h. In Exmouth we had a unit booked to spend a week with the in-laws and we were lucky to get early access. Like drowned rats we all poured out of the car and into our new luxury home.

It got worse and worse, the unit started leaking then all power went. We waited and watched through the windows, then suddenly by early afternoon I heard corellas squawking and flying around. Thinking it might be the eye of the storm we stayed put but by 4pm we had glorious sunshine again, enough to open up the trailer to start the drying out.

Without power in the unit we had to transfer all our new shopping into our super reliant and trustworthy Eva Cool fridge-freezer in the Camprite. Some eight hours later it resumed, though half the town still had no power the next day.

Luckily the cyclone was diffused quickly by another weather system that collided with it, resulting in it passing with minimal damage. An interesting experience indeed for Fifty Toes.

 

Categories: Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Travel, Travel Adventure, West Australia | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Cape Range National Park

Coral Bay  was a short drive north from Waroora so we had to go and have a look. The caravan parks looked way too crowded for us so we headed out towards Five Finger Reef for a snorkel. The road looked very sandy so we quickly unhitched the trailer in the car park, let down the tyres and headed out. Luckily we did unhitch as the going got pretty soft and we witnessed a couple of bogged cars that managed to get out before they needed our assistance.

Some mindless fisherman had discarded a partially filleted reef shark on the pristine beach, but once in the water we were treated to beautiful coals and fish, even a dolphin cruised past the beach when we exited. A quad-bike tour roared along the beach and soon we were on our way again. The recent cyclone meant the Yardie Creek river crossing was out of the question so we took the long road back via Exmouth to Cape Range.

Our destination was Osprey Bay, only recently re-opened after refurbishment, about 10km north of Yardie Creek. One of the few places where land fishing was allowed, but also offering coral reef for snorkelling right in front of the campsite. Many hours were spent with the kids looking for lionfish, turtles, crayfish and much more besides. We saw leopard sharks, reef sharks, Hannah and Oscar even came back from a snorkel together boasting that they had patted a friendly turtle! We even had an invasion of jellyfish who came in one morning with the tide.

I explored Pilgonaman Gorge, and saw many black-footed rock wallabies. The walking is hard work and a 4WD is required to get to the gorge entrance. The hike up the gorge at Yardie Creek was easy for all of us and we got to see fruit bats, a western bower bird and dozens of budgerigars. We marvelled at the abilities of the rock wallabies who had scaled the gorge cliff faces.

The nearby site called Oyster Stacks offers great snorkelling between and around 5 oyster coated limestone pinnacles that jut out of the water at low tide. Whilst a little tricky underfoot to get in, a snorkeller is immediately rewarded with rich fish and coral life only metres from the shore.

Turquoise Bay is the next beach up the coast, offering more friendly, albeit less diverse, snorkelling from a sandy shore. Potentially dangerous currents are clearly signposted here so a quick briefing for the kids made it an enjoyable visit. The kids got their first close up of a shark, encountering two white-tip sharks.

Five days in Cape Range flew by, then we got the bad news about a Cyclone that had formed off the coast and was heading towards us. Our new friends, Helen and Matt, who we met at Osprey Bay confessed over dinner that they had a knack of being “drought breakers”. Wherever they go the rains follow.

 

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

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