Burton’s – Waves, beaches and tin horses – Part 3 Jan 19 2013

Sunday, Feb 03, 2013 at 12:27

Red Dirt Australia


Kookaburras laughed as Kate and Julie packed up the Coleman dome in a flurry of energetic activity. Jack is more laid back and still manages to handover the tent prior to us having to finally shut the Odyssey. Quite an efficient pack up with us heading out to the Quaalup gate by 8 o’clock. The inviting red orange dirt roads gave us a smooth ride thanks to the Old Man Emu shocks…and the local grader no doubt!

We were to meet Amanda’s Mum and Dad in Ravensthorpe, they having travelled down directly from Williams this morning. The UHF was squelched on Channel 40 – we had no luck calling them so cruised on into the Caltex to try out the new Long Ranger tank for the first time…gulp. I seemed to stand there forever filling up, people coming and going, Mike still filling. They were even looking out the windows of the Roadhouse wandering what I was doing with all this fuel! The Cruiser took 254 litres for a grand sum of $439.00 @ $1.79/litre. Gulp! This equated to 29 litres per 100km…certainly not the best economy is it? With this sort of petrol guzzling we can get a range of about 900km out of the tanks. The poor economy is a result of all the Cruiser mods, the extreme weight and towing the Oddy….the last contributor is my lead foot! BFG muddies, snorkels, roof racks, space cases, etc etc don’t equate to wind tunnel performance figures unfortunately.

As we turned out nose up at the fried fat smells coming from the Roadhouse chips, chiko rolls and cheese sausages and headed down the road to the Ravy Country Kitchen, always good for a decent feed. Lo and behold Pat and Jeff’s Hilux pulled in behind us. Coffee, bacon and egg sandwiches and lots of catch up chatter saw us on our way towards Stokes National Park, not too far down the road. The Cruiser does seem to wallow a bit with all that fuel and the extra weight…thank goodness our next trip to Cape Leveque, Broome, Rudall (now known as Karlamilyi….another bloody name change) and Marble Bar in May will be much more light weight!

The iPad and the large scale Hema Stokes map navigated us precisely down Torradup Road and onto Springdale. Things were looking up as nothing was signposted to indicate a national park or camping. At the dogleg a nasty sand track was concealed, the iPad urging us to take it. A large “Four Wheel Drive” only sign bought huge grins to our faces as we pulled over to air down.
We’d been using Tyredogs for years now. On our last epic trip to the Cape our four wheel set finally died around the Simpson. We’d move the whole set backwards, covering the Cruiser’s rear wheels and the trailers, figuring it is easy to detect an issue with the Cruiser’s front wheels – this worked a treat for about 3 years. As a birthday present we picked up a u beaut, all singing and dancing 6 tyre set in Maroochydore – these things come with a separate relay transmitter which we’ve not used before. The problem was it never worked! We struggled for thousands of kilometres trying everything we could think of and consulting ‘experts’ only to have wheels mysteriously drop out every time the Cruiser was switched off and on again. I said some not very nice things about them on the Cape blog, finally making a formal complaint to Troy at Zylux the Melbourne distributor after all $650 is a reasonable amount of money (just over one tank full nowadays LOL). Well, I need to retract those ill considered diatribes…Troy couldn’t have been more distressed over the problem and more helpful in trying to rectify it. We spent a number of weeks emailing each other, visiting an auto electrician and trying all of Troy’s suggestions to no avail. In the end Troy replaced the unit with a brand new design…..only to find that it didn’t work either…what is going on here? Brian Wallis at Autotainment in Victoria Park solved it. It seems it has something to do with the Toyota Landcruiser’s electrics. If the relay unit is wired into the car’s 12v system the Tyredog will not operate consistently and tyres drop off. If the relay is operated via the included battery and disconnected from the car everything finally functions properly…Thanks heaps and recommendations to Brian of Autotainment and Troy of Zylux – Tyredog is now a favourite tool once again. Note – it detect differential pressure and alarms if limits are exceeded – this is the best indication of a slow OR fast leak.

The track into …Margaret cove (Hema Map) or Skippy Rocks (Department of Environment and Conservation) deteriorated into very boggy sand. We let Pat and Jeff in the Hilux go first just in case the heavy Cruiser with trailer decided to bog and we needed a snatch. Fortunately this didn’t happen and the Cruiser handled the deep sand without any struggle and just idled through – good tyre pressures I guess.

Skippy Rocks camp site was a surprise! It was empty! Not a soul to be seen. The campground consisted of around 9 sites, with 3 for caravans (one is a pull-through site) and
6 smaller tent sites. I’m guessing caravans may have some trouble getting in that’s for sure!
Amenities include gas barbecues, picnic tables, and clean drop toilets. The site is surrounded and protected by lush coastal bush and the sounds of waves crashing echo everywhere. Bookings do not apply at this campground as it operates on a first come - first served basis. There is no supplied water and all rubbish must be removed. This is one thing we try to do very well. Leave nothing but the proverbial footprints – the last job after packing up if for the kids to do a rubbish search all around, we usually find other peoples rubbish including cigarette butts. Nothing is more distressing than finding where unthinking people have littered areas with white toilet paper – it is pure ignorance or laziness, I’m not sure which. The back seat of the Cruise is equipped with a small shovel, toilet roll and box of matches…the kids learned this practice years ago…leave nothing but footprints….and we might be allowed to come back!

I must say this place was a rare find – no people, pristine and stunning coast. We walked the paths, beach combed, body boarded, smelled the salt air as the big waves pounded the rocks. The clean white powdery sand squeaked as you walked, massaging bare feet. What a wild and beautiful coast to have all to ourselves!

Mike & Amanda
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