Posts Tagged With: Ningaloo Reef

Ten of the Fifty Toes gives a 5 minute trip summary (#2)

Time for H to give her quick recap on trip highlights:

What were your three favourite places and why?”

  1. “Trial Harbour on the West coast of Tasmania was my favourite place because I love the endangered Tasmanian Devils and this was where I saw one. I was sleeping when it tried to raid our rubbish in the campsite and Dad woke me up. They are quite rare and this was the only wild one we saw. Luckily it was a healthy one.”
  2. “The Whale sharks can be found on the Ningaloo Reef in WA. Swimming with these huge fish was my best experience of the trip as they are not very common and they are huge! The girls in the crew were pretty cool too and I’m hoping to go back on work experience one day with them”
  3. “The campsite at Cape Le grand near Esperance in WA was my other favourite place. The people there were lovely and lots of kids to play with….”
  4. “Oh and don’t forget the chocolate factory in Margaret River – all those yummy free samples and the chocolate fondue”
  5. “And winning the watermelon eating contest at the Port Lincoln Tunarama festival……”
  6. “And trying to learn the traditional dances with the indigenous clans at the Garma festival in Arnhemland”
“What was the best thing you took on the trip?”
“My diary because I used it to stick brochures in of every place we visited. I can now look back through it and remember all the places that Mum and Dad have forgotten about”
“What did you miss most, or just couldn’t take with you?”
“I missed my toys, bike and scooter. We only had limited storage space and so took very little from home. We borrowed friends bikes along the way. I also missed my school friends. We had a spare bunk bed in the trailer but not enough seats in the car to take a friend.” Editors note – although we had a 7 seater Pajero the back seat was removed for extra storage space
“Would you do it again?”
“How did schooling on the road go?”
“It went pretty well even though it was very hard with all the distractions. Some of the projects were really enjoyable “
Categories: Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Road trip, Travel, Travel Adventure | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Waroora Station

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.


Categories: 4WD, Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Beach, Big Lap, Camper Trailer, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Mitsubishi, Natural World, Offroad, Photography, Photos, Travel, Travel Adventure, West Australia | Tags: , , , | 2 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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