Return to Francois Peron National Park

Monday, Aug 31, 2015 at 16:20

Navigator 1 (NSW)

From Steep point we just had to revisit Francois Peron National Park an area of 52,000ha of arid shrub lands, rolling sandplains and clay pans bounded by spectacular coastal scenery. Our memories of red cliffs, white beaches, green vegetation and blue waters were the draw card.
The park plays a key role in PROJECT EDEN, a bold environmental project that is attempting to reintroduce locally extinct species to the peninsula by controlling feral predators. Bilbies and malleefowl have been returned to the park and the woma pythons are flourishing.
At the southern end of the park is the Peron Heritage Precinct which offers and insight into what life was like during the pastoral era. The old hot tub is also a popular place to soak in artesian waters.

An ‘air station’ is provided for deflating tyres before proceeding on the deep, soft sand tracks. Adding contrast to the sand we past vast areas of salt lakes. It is these areas that make the track impassable in wet weather.
The strong prevailing wind was from the NE/SE so Herald Bite, the one camp on the eastern side was out of the question. However, the park provides a number of sites on the western side from which to choose .. Big Lagoon, South Gregories, Gregories and Bottle Bay. We made our way to Gregories and settled in for the afternoon. At high tide the adventurous can snorkel and explore one of the most accessible reef systems within Shark Bay. But, one must always remember why it is called, Shark Bay.
We took a walk along the beach to the nearby headland and watched the cormorants on the rocks drying their wings. A never before sight for us was a group of 15 very young gulls playing on the sand and in the water.

The colours were beautiful and back at camp it was very relaxing watching the swallows and blue wrens flitting about in the scrub. Try as I may I failed to capture them on camera, most were too fast.
In the morning we continued north 8km to Cape Peron. It was just as we remembered it, picturesque! From the orange sand on the cliff top we could see a line where ocean and bay waters converge. Hundreds of birds, predominantly cormorants, gathered to fish. If you are lucky you will often see sharks, turtles, manta rays and dugongs. We had to settle for a few rays.
A beautiful cliff top walk took us to Skipjack Point where an extensive boardwalk enabled us to walk very close to the cliff. I sat on the seat and took in the view of the lighthouse, the colourful cliffs, the sand and the endless ocean that stretched out before me.

We headed south through the park to South Gregories for our second evening. This camping area is very popular spot for fishermen as it is right on the beach. It was a wonderful afternoon and evening.

Completely satisfied with our second visit to this park we made our way back to the ‘air station’, inflated our tyres, and headed south to Denham, an overnight stop at Eagle Bluff campsite, Shell Beach, Hamlin Pool and back out onto the highway.

Next blog we finally get to see Wreath Flowers, Leschenaultia macrantha
The outback calls
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