Perth to Cape Leveque

Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015 at 16:39

Hugh D (WA)

Day One 4th July

Perth to Carnarvon
900km
9 Hrs
With an early start, 0730, we made good progress heading north. The traffic was OK so a stop at Ragans Ford for a late brekkie was in order.
From there to Gerro, fuel and lunch then on to Carnarvon. 46 Km south of Warra we came across water over the road, about 200mm deep and flowing well. Only came across one cow and few other animals. Pam freaked out thinking it was going to run out in front of us with sweaty palms being the result. The lone cyclist we passed would have trouble wading through the water as it was flowing fairly rapidly. Our friends in Carnarvon offered a bed for the night so no tenting. Dinner also wonderful and a good nights sleep followed.

Day Two 5th July
Carnarvon to Warroora Station
~190km
$10 per person per night.

Enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at the one mile jetty. From there caught up with more great friends and had a good old chin wag. Lots of catching up to do.
Pushing on to Warroora for the night had us passing many caravans and camper trailers. To check in we swung past the homestead and asked where there are spare spots. 14 mile and most camp sights north were booked out so heading south we settled on Black Moon Cliff. On arrival we walked into the sand bowl looking for a spot to camp. Busy so preparing to head away I was approached by a man. Turned out Pedro is the area caretaker and he invited us to share his spot in the bowl. We set up right beside him with minimal wind and a good view. We walked down to the beach and wandered around the rock pools. We had the privilege of watching a squid changing colour to blend in with it's surroundings. Further on we came across an octopus foraging for food in the cracks of it's pool. We then noticed another ocky approaching and wrapping it's tentacles around the other ocky. It also put on a colour change show for us, wonderful. Sunset to die for as are all up in this part of the country.



Day Three 6th July
Warroora Station to Clearville Beach with time in Karratha

Today we had a change of mind and did not wander into Coral Bay instead choosing to push on North. Last night we had a home cooked dinner before watching the stars and turning in. During the night the wind changed direction and became stronger. It whistled in over the top of us shaking the tent and keeping us awake.
Traffic busier on the road today with more caravans to overtake. Heaps of road works between Manilia and Karratha, some stopping us for lengthy periods to allow traffic to head south.
With a strong head wind we pushed onward. Reaching Karratha at 1630 we had to decide whether or not to push on to Sherlock River. Not was the decision so Pam found Clearville Camp site. Wow what a find, now sitting under a evening sky with the stars starting to shine, a beer in hand and nothing to do but contemplate the joy of living.




Day four 7th July
Clearville to Pardoo Station with time in Port Headland

After a wonderfully quiet night beside the beach we headed off to Pardoo. The Clearville camp site was supposed to be charged but as we arrived late the caretaker instructed us to find a camp and set up. I let him know we were only here for one night but no difference. A few mozzies but few flies. A top spot to camp.The run to Pardoo was again shared with caravans but a good run. Stopping in Port Headland I was interested in the changes. It sure has grown and looks a lot cleaner than I remember.
"$35 per night powered site, dogs on leads only", the word on Pardoo.
Pardoo is reached after a short 13kn dirt road. We arrived to be told only 2 or 3 spots left. Happily we settled on the first spot we found, opposite the stock yards with many cattle in residence. Could be noisy tonight so finding the ear plugs could be on the agenda. Two night here so tomorrow a lay day with not a lot planned.






Day Five 8th July
Pardoo Station
Last night the cattle were lowing all night. They are in the stock yards 50 mtr away from us and presently they are being de-horned, vaccinated and checked for pregnancy. It also looks like they have weened of the calf's so quite a sing song all night. At present relaxing doing very little. A weak internet signal but unable to connect so will try to get on line later. Sun shining from behind mottled clouds and hot when breaking through. New solar panels cracking along belting out the amps and recharging the batteries. Well back to relaxing. Tried to use the local Wi-Fi connection but to no avail. Will have to wait until we are in Broome to connect. Enjoying the sunshine and gentle breeze.









Day Six 9th July
Pardoo Station to Broome
400 km
4 hrs
This leg was actually longer, about 500km. We pushed into a firm head wind and I slowed down to conserve fuel. Sitting on 100Kph did not appear to add much to our travel time. The usual stream of caravans and other holiday makers heading in both directions. This would be one of the most uninteresting sections of the journey so far with nothing to see scenery wise and a relatively flat road.
We arrived at our Broome caravan park late in the arvo, booked in and enjoyed a late lunch. The managers ( two ladies) made us feel welcome and placed us in the end room as we had booked into a cabin for this stay. Although the park is 28Km out of Broome, it is easy enough to get into town and back.
In the early evening we headed into Broome for a look around. Hoping to catch the supermarket before closing and stock on food for diner, we stopped off at Metso's brewery for a refresher. Enjoyed a ginger beer and a dark ale, very tasty. OK we did not make Coles so into the Egyptian restaurant for a very enjoyable wrap. Back to camp and enjoy a hot shower and bed. Tomorrow a full day in Broome.


Day Seven 10th July
Broome

After a continental breakfast we load up and head for Broome. Bazza decides this is not on and refuses to start. Plenty of fuel, battery not flat, what is his problem. I consider the starter motor is not getting power so up with the bonnet and find the wires to the starter motor are not that tight. A wriggle and away he fires. Onward and upward. We visit Carnarvon Street, enjoy a long stop at the museum, head down to the port to see a cattle carrier being loaded, walked on the port beach then headed for Cable Beach. A quick walk to familiarise myself with where to get onto the beach then back to a café for fish and chips. Driving on Cable beach is a joy, it was very firm and almost low tide. Chairs out, lunch underway. The overcast skies did not open up on us so with the light breeze to keep the flies away we enjoyed the view and scenery. Being aware of the speed the tide comes in we kept in mind the distance we parked from the water. Next stop the Japanese cemetery. As with a lot of Broome it was stepped in history. Now to re-stock and refuel ready for the run up the coast tomorrow. Back to camp and more relaxation before traveling tomorrow.

http://www.broomesgateway.com/broomes-gateway-home-broome-caravan-park-accommodation

$132 per night booked into Cabin for two nights.

Day Eight 11th July
Broome to James Price Point
75 km
3 hrs
This leg took a little longer as the road is not the best. Still OK for Bazza. What a piece of paradise,, we found a spot down by the beach sheltered from the early morning wind. Yes not a breeze but this is wind. It dies down as the day goes on but aggressive in the morning. The spot is under a small cliff with the road above us. Traffic can be heard but not too great a problem. Walking on the beach and exploring the rocks fills the balance of the day.


Day Nine 12th July
James Price Point
Wonderful sunsets, wonderful beach, so warm and calming, just what the doctor ordered. Again the day was filled with leisure activities, doing little or nothing. Another memorable sun set followed by a windy night.


Day Ten 13th July
James Price Point to Gnylmarrung
160 km
5 hrs
Pulled up sticks and on the road by 0900. we started to head north to explore Coulomb point. Interesting with another magic beach. The access on soft deep sand so stayed off and walked in. From here according to the map a track snakes it's way across to the main road north but we could not find it. The only track we could find was not on the GPS so gave it a miss and backtracked to the main road. As the first 80Km of the Cape Leveque road is dirt we slowed and put up with the dust. Road busy in both directions. A sign on the way up stated no caravans or dogs but we see many caravans and a few dogs, very confusing. Beagle Bay, the only thing of interest is the church, very beautiful in an un-kept kind of way. As always needs funds to keep it up. The rest of the town an local town with all the trappings. Now on the bitumen we look for the turn off to our retreat. The road becomes a track with soft sand, short sharp undulations and narrow sections.

26Km later we arrive. What a gem, we are overlooking the beach with drinkable fresh water, hot showers, free fire wood and a no cost phone to land lines. We are shown to a spot to the back of the area and set up camp. A walk on the beach and a wade in the warm water takes us out to the reef. Coral is visible, the occasional fish or crab scurries away leaving us in awe at the beauty of this place. Back to camp for a hot shower, dinner and plan tomorrows adventure.



http://gnylmarung.org.au/






All dogs are welcome, just let us know when you are planning to come.



Day Eleven, 14th July
Today we travelled north to look at the remainder of Cape Leveque. After a breakfast of egg, bacon, toast and tomato we unload the car, pack up the tent in readiness for away. As we cannot take Ruff with us we sort out a spot out of the direct sun with water for her to drink and her bed for comfort.
Heading up the main now bitumen road we look for the turn off to Lombadina. The Catholic school and church are worth a look at and the settlement is neat and tidy. As it is not too hot it is pleasant to stroll around looking At some of the older buildings which may be originals.

From there we head to Cape Leveque and find it behind the Kooljaman resort camping ground. On asking we are told $5 per person to walk in and look at the two beaches and the light house. A bit rude so no thanks and we leave.

Next stop One Arm Point. Again access only after paying $15 per person and then we can drive to the beach and view the turtle hatchery, all of 30 minutes if you lingered. We moved on now heading for the Cygnet Hill pearl farm and joining a tour.
The pearl farm is on the original site and founded by an Australian and now run by his children. The tour was very interesting, explaining the whole process of growing pearls. The setting of the farm is also to die for, set back from the beach on a slight hill side, their restaurant commands magic views of Kings Sound. Blue water, boats bobbing up and down and the sun shining, idealistic.


Happy with our adventuring we return to our slice of paradise. Ruff is alert and warmly greats us. We set up camp, Pamela prepares a fire and we settle in for a quiet evening of reflection.
Day Twelve, 15th July
Today we are staying put. Walks on the beach, quiet times and nothing in particular. More great pics and memories.



Day Thirteen (16 July)
Gnylmarung to Boarder line road
A change of plans, today we are starting to head home. Although this is a beautiful place there are some things very lacking. The ablutions are not up to standard, any standard. The showers are dirty and very fragrant, the toilets work but again could do with a good clean. Hot showers are in limited supply as the solar hot water runs out early in the day. A shame as it spoils the stay.
On the road early after a light brekkie we make for Broome. The short dirt road to the main road has us bouncing around but enjoyably. A short section of bitumen before the dirt road back to Broome. A re-stock, refuel and coffee and we turn our heads south. At Sandfire road house we top up with fuel as we are going down the Boarder line Road. This we take us via Shay Gap to Marble Bar and on to Newman. It looks like a short cut but tomorrow will tell. Tonight we free camp under the stars being entertained by the singing birds.


Day Fourteen 17th July
Boarder Line Road to Gascoyne River camp area.
After a quiet night camped beside the road we headed south. The Border line road proved to be a well maintained road going through interesting terrain with rocky outcrops, creek crossings all dry and varying altitudes. Shay Gap area had very few marking of the activities that used to go on here. The waste piles re-vegetated and the area in general looking natural. If anything the waste dumps gave it away as they were rounder then the surrounding hills who have craggy appearances.

From there we made our way into Marble Bar. What to say, disappointing, not what we expected or thought. Everything looked closed, the pub was restocking and few people around. It appeared a clean neat town but well past it's used by date. Give this a miss when up this way next. Now pushing on to Newman. Passing through Roy Hill , the new iron ore mine, activities could be seen in the distance. The new railway Gave rise to sections of bitumen were ever the road crossed the line but alas it did not last long and we were back on gravel. Still this road could be driven comfortably at 90+. The closer we got to Newman the more trucks we encountered, mostly triple set ups both loaded or empty. Hitting the Great Northern we turned south, giving Newman a miss. The road house 11Km further on was our refill stop. Fuel prices not too bad but unfortunately we were not able to top up our water supply so running on empty. At the Gascoyne river camp area we drove down the track past other campers here for the night or longer, some with washing lines in place. At the end of the track we pick a spot and set up camp. Water would not come from the tank, bugger on the wrong angle so out with the jack and lift the front of the car the push the water to the outlet. All good so a beer and dinner before spending the evening listening to the many trucks heading to their destinations.


Day Fifteen, 18th July
Gascoyne river camp to home
After a cold night and a slow start we packed up camp and hit the road. The camp area was fine, plenty of private space only shared with a horse and the birds. During the night we heard the trucks rumbling past on their way both north and south. Cold, very cold after our time north so rugged up and away. This part of the trip is all on good roads. Busy with trucks, caravans and other road users plodding along. The scenery changed from the rugged rocky county to scrub with medium height trees to hundred acre paddocks growing wheat. Wild flowers could be spotted along the way with bright reds, vivid whites, pinks and yellow flowers on show. We went from a cold morning to a cold wet evening arriving back in Perth. Viewing the small towns like Cue with wonderful buildings from a past era to places best forgotten the day and the miles washed away.

Home, wonderful, dinner a hot shower and in our own bed without a ladder to climb, tonight will be a good nights sleep.
Our trip was over 5000km with many memories to keep for ever.



NOTE:- Sorry no pics as unable to upload, not sure why.








Hugh Dorey
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