Saturday, 29 September 2012

The Nullarbor

It took us two and a half days to put the Nullarbor behind us. the weather was pretty good and not too windy which made the driving relatively easy with the exception of the roadtrains and wide load trucks we had to negotiate. We had two bush camps along the way and the night stars put on a great show. I had a play with Pete's fat camera lens with some interesting results.

The kids quickly entertained themselves creating Smurf village with toys purchased along the way.We had bought three Smurf lucky dips, Brielle got Puppa, Zoe and Codi both ended up with Gargamel. One happy kid, two not....back to the store. Round two - Brielle gets Clumsy, Zoe got Smurfette whilst Codi scored Azriel, two happy one not, sorry Codi none left in the shop. One of the Gargamels is ow called Goodgamel, Gargamels good twin brother visiting from Belgium.

Other highlights along the way were...

Being overtaken by the Rebels bike gang on their way to Canberra to "annoy the ranga" - their words.

The Caiguna Blowhole, it was blowing a gale down in the hole whilst still above it.

Seeing around ten whales in the shallows at Head of Bight.

The clifftop views were one of a kind.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Quagi Beach and Esperance

Along the short drive to Quagi we stopped at Ravensthorp for a quick shop and to refill the water tanks before some bush camping.


We arrived before lunch and pretty much hit the beach straight away as the good weather was not going to last too long. The kids had an absolute ball playing in the dunes using the long plant roots to drag themselves up. The entire area is now closed for revegetation but our kids had a good time.

The water is crystal clear and surprisingly warm, I had a fish but found weed on each cast due to large incoming tide and southerleys that had been blowing previous days. That arfternoon saw the arrive of Darren, Stacy, Evie and Remy which we were all looking forward to. We set up camp and settled in for the evening.

The next day was mild with wind and showers, having set up the tarp next to a shelter we were able to still have a good fire to keep spirits up and stay warm. The winds were now northerlies so we had a go at balloon fishing off the rocks without any luck, in fact about 40mins into the session the heavens opened up and drenched us so we pulled the pin. The afternoon cleared up briefly so the guys took the kids for a walk along the beach whilst the girls got some deserved peace and quiet with their books in the sun.


Had another shot with a balloon the next morning and had a couple of good bites but none landed. We took the short drive to Esperance where we had planned to spend a few nights before heading down to Cape LeGrand NP for a few nights.

We were given ripper spots at the caravan park overlooking the water and playground. The first afternoon we spent around the park.


The next day the guys went for a fish in the morning and the girls went for a shop in the afternoon. Unfortunately in bucketed down in the afternoon so we found ourselves entertaining five kids in our annexe, they baked scones which they enjoyed. That night the weather had calmed so the guys headed out for some squid. We had just hooked a nice one but it got away as the height of the pier made it difficult (the next time we do this trip I will be carrying a drop pot) yet we still thought we were in for a good session. 20 minutes later I was in bed after being saturated and walking on a 45 degree angle to get off the pier as quickly as possible as a storm front came from nowhere, the pier seemed to go forever!


The weather forecast was terrible for the next few days so instead of waiting for good weather to go down to LeGrand we decided to tackle the Nullarbor early in the hope of good weather at the other end. It was also a Public Holiday in WA on the Monday so getting a spot in LeGrand was not guarenteed, in the end the decision to push on was a good one.











Saturday, 22 September 2012

Wave Rock and Overshot Hill Nature Reserve

The idea now is to hot foot it down the coastline through Perth to Esperance where in a couple of days we were to catch up with Darren, Stacy, Evie and Remmy who are currently in Kalgoorlie.

We progressed well and broke the drive up quite a bit with a stop at Joondalup so Ves could get a new phone...she is now the proud owner of an I-phone 5, as luck would have it on the first day they were released. Changing lanes, traffic lights and highways were a change from the norm, albeit Perth traffic, but still raised the stress levels somewhat (from zero to one that is). We had promised the kids Maccas on the way through and luckily stumbled across one on the Eastern outskirts, the kids first trip to the golden arches for the holiday.


We stopped for the night in Corrigan at a nice little park and still had enough time to walk the town viewing the old farm machinery museum, visited the playground complete with helicopter and wishing well and mucked about in the skate park.


The next morning we had a short drive to Wave Rock which is the main reason we took this one route of many from Perth to Esperance. As a child I recall a picture of wave rock being on the front cover of our family's set of Australian encyclopedias and it looked pretty cool, finally I get to live my childhood dream and see it myself. Well I may be exaggerating slightly there but it was still pretty cool.

As if the skate park wasn't enough, here is a little more "Parenting 101". Zoes leggings went in the bin afterwards.


Even though there are some aboriginal links to the region unlike Uluru there is a lack of regulations of where you can and can't go, you can pretty much freely walk all over the rock here and the local council even used one side of it to build the town dam.


After we left Wave Rock we stopped for lunch in Lake King township for our lunch. Fortunately being the weekend we were provided free access to a fantastic playground...that also happened to be the local primary school.


The final stop of the day was at Overshot Hill Nature Reserve which we found via the Camps 6 book. We collected some wood for the evenings fire as it was going to be a cold night. The kids decided to build their own fires and the final "Parenting 101" moment was to light we had three small fires going at once.

And then of course there was marshmallows...most in the fire, some on the stick and even fewer in the mouth.

A couple of pre dinner drinks

Did I mention a cold night!