Thrombolites, muddy tracks,beaches and the Toffee Factory

Friday, Oct 16, 2015 at 18:12

Navigator 1 (NSW)

3rd October – 9th October 2015

After quite some time in the Perth/Mandurah area, it was time to move on.

Our first stop was Lake Clifton to visit some very, very old organisms.
The lake is renowned as one of the few places in the world where some of the earliest known life forms, [url=[url=]Thrombolites, still exist today. It is home to the largest ‘lake bound’ thrombolite reef in the southern hemisphere. We took a stroll along the boardwalk to learn more about these prehistoric organisms and to look for bubbles, an indication that they are alive.

Always happy to see the beach and the ocean we drove to Preston Beach for lunch then to the nearby campground at Martin’s Tank. The campground is located beside Martin’s Tank Lake, one of ten lakes within the Yalgorup NP. It is thought that the lake was named after an early pioneering family, Martin, who camped here in the early 1900’s and erected a water tank. At times the lake can be three times as saline as sea water, hence the rainwater tank. Since our last visit in 2009 impressive improvements have been made with designated camping areas for caravans, camper trailers and of course motorhomes.

Chicka decided he needed a dip in the lake to freshen up but he came out as stiff as a board. The saline level of the lake was as indicated. Thank goodness for the on board shower.

Once again a beach visit, Belvidere Beach, where we could look not too many km south to Bunbury, and onto to nearby campsite of the same name.

From here we planned to revisit the two lighthouses but we decided to go to Lake Jasper which impressed us on our last visit.

Recent rains had left long, dirty, black water holes along the track. After splashing through several we said, ‘Oh well, we’ve been here before’ and made a wise decision and turned around. Bogged in this isolated area, without any friends, was not an option so we pressed onto Shannon NP, another old favourite.


Well, wouldn’t you know it, Shannon campground was closed to campers and looked sad and forlorn. In 2017 it will reopen with improved facilities and new provisions for caravans.
We could now smell toffee and hastily made our way to the The Toffee Shop, 17km west of Denmark, S34.99191° E117.17630°. This business has come along in leaps and bounds with now over 200 distributors of their products. As well as toffee, a multitude of sauces, jams, chutneys, tapenades, delicious homemade ice creams and ciders are available. We just had to indulge!

Laden with goodies we made our way to Shelly Beach in West Cape Howe NP. Camped right on the beach, we soaked up the view for two days. Out came ‘Oink’, our Ozpig, and we cooked a rack of pork with all the trimmings. From the cliff above the daring adventures jumped off and soared above us with their hang gliders and paragliders. And I didn’t take any photos!

Just east of Hopetoun we stayed at Mason Bay for several days and then into Esperance. While loading our shopping we were approach by Ian, a young local, who wanted to know all about the truck. Rather than paying $45 for a powered site in the caravan park (which we had no intentions of doing) he offered to let us stay on his 5 acre block just out of town. The green truck certainly attracts friendly people.
The outback calls
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