West Coast Day 125 - Ningaloo Reef

Tuesday, Nov 24, 1998 at 01:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

We packed up this morning, much faster than the Adcocks with their camper-trailer, and so we took the time to do a few walks in the National Park. Thankfully, it is so much cooler here than where we've been, through Kakadu, the Kimberleys and the Pilbera, where it was too hot to attempt the great walks. We found a walk up through the Mandu Mandu Gorge and took photos of the view back towards the Ningaloo coastline. It was well worth it. We drove on further and stopped in at all the beaches and camp sites for a look before stopping at Yardie Creek - a 4WD only sandbank crossing. The Adcocks and ourselves wanted to do the crossing together since we both had the trailers (our sand anchors) to take across. We'd agreed to meet up with the Adcocks at 12 noon and we were a little early so we did another walk, this one taking us up through the Yardie Creek Gorge. We returned to meet them in the carpark and to walk the crossing and prepare the vehicles. It took us about an hour to let down all the tyres on both cars and both trailers and to send David across in the Troopy first without trailer to check the softness of the sand. Both cars and trailers crossed with no problems but we took video footage just in case! The ranger had told us that the road was not gazetted for trailers and our friends Mark and Sharon had left us email warning us it would be tricky with the trailer, so we had to be careful.

Once on the other side, we had to use the air compressors to pump up all the tyres on both cars and both trailers. The girls prepared the lunches while the boys did the work. Of course, on this side of the crossing there was not a single tree to shelter under for the hour that it took to fill the tyres.

The road from here on down the Ningaloo Coast is soft and sandy with many tracks leading off to the right to the beach and some free beach camps. It is only 110km from Yardie Creek to Coral Bay but it was 2.00pm by the time we had left Yardie Creek and the boys were getting tired. We agreed to start looking for a good (shady) beach camp site. The girls consulted their books and maps and directed the boys to a sheltered bay along Winderbandi Point. The books confirmed that fishing was allowed and the water looked a superb turquoise colour so we ventured in along the soft sand track. The track quickly degenerated into a sand bog and we had to let down the tyres of both cars and both trailers again before moving on. Dorothy and I walked ahead to confirm the suitability of the camp sites and although we didn't find many trees to shelter under we found a camp site behind the dunes with the water just a few metres away.

We arrived too late to catch fish for dinner so I cooked the last of our meat - strips of beef in sesame and teriyaki sauce with rice. David asked me to keep a few strips of beef to use as bait for tomorrow, so it was a small dinner.

Our free beach camp is perfect except for one thing - the wind. It seems we are stuck with the prevailing 25 knot south westerly for the rest of the WA coast. I keep thinking about getting out my sailboard, but stories of TIGER SHARKS have reduced me to a nervous mess in the water. My sailboard is sitting on top of the trailer, closely guarded by our mascot SHARKY.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Always working not enough travelling!
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