ESPERANCE TO EYRE BIRD OBSERVATORY & TRANS AUSTRALIAN RAILWAY

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 16:42
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Has anyone done this trip from Esperance via the coat Isralite Bay, Point Culver Twilight Cove. We plan to do it in October this year with 2 other families. We have some very interesting info from CALM in Esperance, but would really like to hear from anyone who has actually done it. We also plan to go home via the Trans Australian Railway. I do believe they've closed some of the railway to travellers. Has anyone done that recently? Love to hear your stories.
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Reply By: joc45 - Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 19:47

Thursday, Mar 13, 2003 at 19:47
Hi Lozza,
Done it a few times. You get on the beach about 20k ne of Israelite and drive the beach for the 90km. Beach conditions can be quite changeable, from 90km/h on firm sand to 2nd gear low range, depending on season. and at the western end, almost always lots of deep seaweed. Going up the dunes on the eastern end of the beach can be tricky, and it's easier to do an east to west trip, but don't let that stop you from doing w to e.
On top of the cliffs, quite rough track (old telegraph line) with lots of overhanging mallee limbs to scratch that nice metallic paint, and s of Caiguna (before Baxter memorial), one must head back n to the highway, tho I have been told that the old telegraph track has been pushed thru to Eyre/Burnabbie by enthusiasts (can anyone confirm?).
Track pushes close to cliffs around Toolinna Cove (v.spectacular), and water is usually available at Toolinna rock hole.
Suggested camping at Pt Malcolm (20k s of Israelite), Pt Culver (back in the dunes), Toolinna rockhole, Burnabbie. Eyre telegraph station is a must to drop in on, but no camping (in a nature reserve). Accom available there tho. Burnabbie is just outside the reserve.
Bilbunya dunes along the beach are spectacular.
Re railway line, can't comment.
Drop us a line - lots of info.
rgds Gerry
AnswerID: 15115

Follow Up By: joc45 - Friday, Mar 14, 2003 at 13:38

Friday, Mar 14, 2003 at 13:38
Meant to add...
Twighlight Cove, 20km west of Eyre is a great place to visit, where the cliffs run inland. Access either via Cocklebiddy from the hwy, or drive the beach from Eyre, but there is a tricky detour thru the sandhills coz of reef. There is camping at the foothills at Twighlight.
The track from Burnabbie to Madura is interesting and quite easy.
Gerry
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Follow Up By: Lozza - Friday, Mar 14, 2003 at 16:25

Friday, Mar 14, 2003 at 16:25
Thanks Gerry, I have heaps of questions, but will stick to just a couple right now. The seaweed you mentioned. How deep and what's the ground like underneath, is it variable eg soft/hard all the way through. Also CALM have suggested we do the trip e/w instead of w/e. We may think about that now you've said it too. They told me there's a tough dune going west which is better negotiated going down than up as the environment gets wrecked a little more every time someone does it. Is that correct?

Thanks.
Lozza
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Follow Up By: joc45 - Saturday, Mar 15, 2003 at 00:08

Saturday, Mar 15, 2003 at 00:08
Hi Lozza,
Calm is basically right, but with low enough pressures, the hill is ok.
The seaweed is worst where the coast runs n-s (closest to Israelite), and lessens as one goes east. Last trip, (12 mths ago) we kept to the high side and walked some of it to be safe. To run in the wet is too risky, as there are in places 1m high walls of seaweed at the water's edge, and one could only get around them when the waves are out (extreme sports??). One cannot get onto the beach till about 20km from Israelite coz of rocks. But from the entry point, there is a track just back from the beach which follows the coast for some distance when heading east, and if one can stay on this till it runs out, you miss a fair bit of the seaweed. There are several entry points from this track to the beach. It's really only the first few kms after hitting the beach, then you have another 80km of fabulous sand.
Have done it alone, but better to have other vehicles.
Also meant to mention, drop in at Thomas River (Cape Arid NP) for a few days on the way out to Israelite from Esperance, the Calm campsite there is fab, and the view from the dunny at sunrise is a million bucks. And if you have time, north to Mt Ragged, also in the NP.
rgds Gerry
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Follow Up By: Lozza - Tuesday, Apr 08, 2003 at 16:00

Tuesday, Apr 08, 2003 at 16:00
Thanks Gerry, just spoke to CALM in Esperance and they said what you said about having to go back to Caiguna from Baxter Memorial. I've asked below here if anyone knows about that. But nevertheless the trip should be fabulous. We've now got 4 families going (one with nice new black metallic paint on their brand new Jeep) poor buggers!
Doesn't bother our tough old FJ60.

Any clues on how many jerries we should take?

Lozza
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Reply By: Member - Mal - Friday, Mar 14, 2003 at 12:17

Friday, Mar 14, 2003 at 12:17
Fully concur with joc45. It's at the top of our list of "must go back there".
Mal T.
AnswerID: 15175

Reply By: dougie - Friday, Mar 14, 2003 at 12:46

Friday, Mar 14, 2003 at 12:46
I have not done the Isrealite but will soon
I have done the railway around cook etc, track is good as the rail boys use it a fair bit.
AnswerID: 15181

Follow Up By: Lozza - Friday, Mar 14, 2003 at 16:32

Friday, Mar 14, 2003 at 16:32
Thanks Dougie, have you done the bit from Kalgoorlie through to Rawlina? Which way did you come from SA or WA. I read in the archives here that part of the service road is closed off to travellers and fines are imposed. Do you know which bits are closed off at all? We really want to go as far as say Haig and then cut down to Cocklebiddy but haven't got a clue about tracks there. Any info would be great.

Thanks
Lozza
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Follow Up By: Member - Clarrie - Saturday, Mar 29, 2003 at 00:04

Saturday, Mar 29, 2003 at 00:04
20th March 2003

Made the beach run from Israelite Bay to Pt Culver (Baxter Cliffs) on the 20th of March 2003. The first 30 kms of this 100km ocean beach drive was made along a track behind the beach due to excessive seaweed at the west end of the coastline, we then managed to get through the weed and travel on hard sand for most of the next 70 kms. A word of warning here; for we left Israelite Bay at low tide but by the time we reached the Wylie Scarf beach turn off we were at the top of the beach in soft sand with the water right beside us, I would recommend starting this run at least two hours before low tide. There was a forecast 1.02m high tide on this day and a CALM brochure recommended a beach drive is only advisable at tides of 0.6m or less. Because of the wide flat nature of the beach high swells can send the water large distances inland and you could be caught in soft wet sand very easy if you are not watching the approaching water as it runs up the beach.

The Wylie Scarf incline now has rubber mats on the track and it is an easy trip either up or down. I would recommend doing this trip west to east so that you are not confronted with trying to find a way off the beach through the seaweed with an incomming tide.
Clarrie T
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Reply By: dougie - Friday, Mar 14, 2003 at 17:09

Friday, Mar 14, 2003 at 17:09
We done east west for 300ks iddid not no about fines>
AnswerID: 15198

Reply By: Baldrick - Saturday, Mar 15, 2003 at 13:46

Saturday, Mar 15, 2003 at 13:46
I did the trip from Kalgoorlie to Rawlinna last year (August) then cut through to Cocklebiddy. Info I received before travelling was that the road was closed east of Rawlinna. The road is owned by the railways and technically you are trespassing if they close it.

At Rawlinna I asked a rail worker about the closure and they knew nothing about it. I suspect it may be disinformation from the railways to discourage travellers. (The road is no longer maintained so I guess they are worried about being sued if someone comes a cropper). I was short of time and couldn't afford to double back so didn't test the theory.

The road between Kalgoorlie and Rawlinna is a good gravel road, easy for a 2wd. The track between Rawlinna and Cocklebiddy is slow going, took 4.5 hours to cover 70km. It is mostly limestone and therefore very rough in places. The start of the track is hard to find as there are many station tracks criss-crossing the area which aren't on the map. A GPS helps. Once you have found the right track then navigation is easy.

Good luck.
AnswerID: 15262

Follow Up By: Lozza - Tuesday, Apr 08, 2003 at 15:49

Tuesday, Apr 08, 2003 at 15:49
Hubby & son drove thru Cocklebiddy last weekend and while there asked about the road to Rawlinna & Kal. Apparently its slow and rough as you say. Takes some 3-4 hours but Rawlinna thru to Kal is just gravel and open all the way. So looks like this is a goer.

About the Esperance/Eyre Bird Obs trip we are planning, just spoke to CALM in Esperance and was told that we can't get past Baxter Memorial, have to go up to Caiguna then east along the highway to Cocklebiddy then back down to Eyre Bird Obs from there. They said a recent 4WD tour couldn't find their way through because of numerous tracks, so we will never do it. Hmm! Anyone know about this?

Lozza
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