Gnaraloo to Perth

Tuesday, Sep 28, 2010 at 00:37

Member - Alex B (WA)

From Coral Bay we drove a bit further down the coast to Gnaraloo Station. We thought it would only take a couple of hours but what we hadn’t realised was that you can’t cut across from the highway and drive directly there. You have to drive all the way down until you nearly reach Carnarvon then take the turnoff and drive another 1.5hrs back up the coast! We finally arrived late afternoon and set up our campsite. We had a great site, right on the edge of the ridge looking straight out over the ocean. Most of the coastline along here is just huge cliffs so there are only a couple of places where you can get down onto the beach. Fortunately Gnaraloo has an access point to the right of the campground where you can walk down onto the beach and the kids can safely splash around. If you want to fish anywhere along here you really do need to have a boat. You can fish from the cliffs but they are seriously high and can be quite dangerous. Plus it is almost impossible to avoid the rocks or reef. However, Alex was talking to a guy who had been out on his kayak and pulled in an 11kg Spanish Mackeral! Gnaraloo is a very popular spot for surfers, wind surfers and kite surfers of which there were plenty! However, not for the faint hearted as there are some pretty big waves breaking directly over reef and they get some pretty big sharks around here too! We took a drive up past the homestead and found Gnaraloo Bay. This spot was absolutely beautiful. Pristine beach, crystal clear aqua water and excellent snorkelling. There are showers at Gnaraloo but hot water is limited as they chop the wood and light a fire around 4.30pm each afternoon. The water is also very hard and salty. We also visited the blowholes. These blowholes can spurt water up to 20m high and the kids thought they were fantastic!
After Gnaraloo we were supposed to be heading to Tamala Station which is just outside of Denham and Shark Bay and close to the Francois Peron National Park. However, we had a rethink on this and changed our plans at the last minute as we are starting to run out of steam. The motivation and enthusiasm to set up and pack down our gear is dwindling fast and we are keen to start heading back home now towards Perth. We decided to head to Carnarvon for a few days so we booked into the Wintersun Caravan Park. As far as caravan parks go, this wasn’t too bad. Heaps of showers and a great campers kitchen which we used instead of our own because we just couldn’t be bothered pulling our gear out again! The kids had a ball playing in the swimming pool and on Saturday we all gathered around the TV to watch the AFL Grand Final. About 10 minutes into the game I said I thought it would be good if it was a draw!.... I don’t think anyone actually really expected that! We had a bit of a look around Carnarvon. One Mile Jetty is worth a visit and apparently good fishing from the end of it. Heaps of fresh produce too.Carnarvon is a huge horticultural region and they supply nearly 70% of Perth’s winter produce. Cheap too! You can drive out to the farms and buy direct from the growers.
After Carnarvon we drove to Monkey Mia. Because of the school holidays this place was packed! When you arrive at Monkey Mia you have to enter via the DEC gates and purchase a visitors pass. A standard National Park pass is not valid here so it cost us $29 for the car for 2 days. The resort itself consists of various levels of accommodation depending on your budget. There are dorms, camp sites, lodge rooms which just have a double bed and one set of bunks and a shared ensuite with the neighbouring room and also beach side villas which sleep up to 4. We are staying in one of the lodge rooms as it was the only thing available. The camping area is absolutely chockers so we are glad we are not down there! They are like sardines. The parking is an issue too as there are not enough spaces. We had to park our trailer up out the front of the resort in the main car park and walk back to it if we needed anything. We have had a lovely couple of days here and the weather has been fantastic. Alex went out on another fishing charter out of Denham and this time had to throw his fish back because they were too big! We just can’t win can we!!!... Still, he did come home with a lovely Pink Snapper for dinner! We hired 2-man kayaks down on the beach at the resort. Alex took Zoe out and I had Amy and all the girls wanted to do was race each other. The only problem was that they were not very good at paddling and Amy nearly smacked me in the head a couple of times and kept banging her paddle into mine and flicking water up all over me. By the time we got out we were soaking wet and absolutely exhausted! Of course we also had to go and see the dolphin feeding session down on the beach. The girls were fortunate enough to be picked out of the crowd and got to go up and feed a fish to the dolphins.
Well that’s about it for our travel blog! As I am writing this everyone else is asleep after a very busy day. We have packed up everything and we are checking out of the resort at 7am in the morning and driving back to Perth. All going well, and with a few stops along the way, we should be back in Perth for dinner! Oh, a decent hot shower! Oh, our lovely comfy beds!... we can’t wait! See you all soon!. xxx
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