Jun 17, 2019

June 2019 - Ningaloo plus




Two years ago we made the decision to not do our annual trip to Ningaloo, that decision was made easy as we were embarking on another Kimberley, Gulf and Cape York trip. We didn’t miss not going but thought for 2019 we would give it another go. Why the reluctance you may well ask, well the answer to that is familiarity, we 1st went to South Lefroy Bay in the 80’s and lost count with the number of times we have camped there. We have seen the best and the not so good times, the weather is the number one reason that can turn a great stay into Armageddon, plus we have seen a huge decline in the fish caught and if you haven’t got good weather, calm water and fish your just left with sand and a mini suburbia of other campers.

So we made the decision to give it another shot but with a difference, we chose a different location to camp. Instead of basing ourselves at site 15 we headed north closer to Point Billy and camped at site 60. But first we had to get there and we were in no rush to do the drive in a day or two, instead we took a week to get there, we called in at our mates new home in Geraldton and finally saw what we had been hearing about for 12 months or more, a stunning home with plenty of room to park our van. We had a great night catching up and lots of laughs but with both our mates having to work the next day it wasn’t a late night and we said our goodbyes that evening as they both started work early the next morning.

We had intentions of stopping at Coronation beach but decided to continue on to Galena Bridge before the crowds arrived. We took the prime spot down the end facing the river and during the day watched the nomads arrive, it’s a large area with camping both sides of the river but it still doesn’t stop some travellers from pulling up literally a few metres away from our van, apparently I’m not allowed to express my thoughts these days and to take some big deep breaths, I can tell you neither works. It’s not something I would do to other campers and I don’t like it.

Galena Bridge

Our next stop was Worramel Station, we have stayed here before for a night and enjoyed the bird life, this time we booked in for two nights and were almost carried away by the flies. They were horrendous, persistent annoying little bastards! I had misplaced my fly net which made life hell but luckily found it the 2nd day so things weren’t as bad. Very few birds to be seen apart from the Pink & Grey Galahs, maybe the fly's ate them all ... A walk around the station rubbish dump was interesting with many different vehicles in different stages of rust, there was even a section for white goods and lawnmowers.


Worramel Station








We were happy to have our two days end and decided to head to the coast and stay at Warroora Station which is a short distance from Coral Bay. This was also our 2nd visit to Warroora but this time the site we were allocated was nicer than before. We had privacy and a lovely view of the ocean, I was content to just chill and go for a few walks knowing that I would be at South Lefroy Bay in a few days time and the kayaks could be used then.

Warroora Station 14 Mile, too busy for us.




On the 27th of May we arrived at Ningaloo station, the road in was its usual corrugated self but with tire pressure down we had no issues. A chat with Phil to pay our fee and pick up the key to the locked gate and a half hour later we were parked up at site 60. We were patting ourselves on the back on making the decision to change sites, we were literally metres from the waters edge with stunning views of the ocean and reef and behind us was the Range. That 1st and 2nd day were the best, then the wind started and pretty much didn’t stop for two weeks, on the Friday 36mm of rain came down and because we were so exposed to the conditions it wasn’t a fun time. Our new awning copped a beating with the over hanging flap getting torn and we discovered a water leak in the van which I was luckily able to find and fix.

Groundhog Day describes our stays at Ningaloo these days, that’s not meant to mean it’s not a beautiful place, it is superb and not many places in Australia can you camp in such a beautiful place, but because we have been so many times previously and the amount of travelling we have done, we have admitted to ourselves we prefer to keep the wheels moving after a week or so.

View from our bedroom window
Site 60 South Lefroy Bay







Point Billy looking towards the Range
Point Billy looking towards North Lefroy



Wild Dingo in poor health

Norwegian Bay Whaling Station





With the forecast for more rain to come we broke camp and left Ningaloo after two weeks. We thought we would head to Mount Augustus along the Lyndon road but after refueling at Minilya roadhouse we found out the road was closed. We instead drove south to Carnarvon and headed East on the Carnarvon Mullewa Road,this would have to be the best maintained dirt road we have encountered in all our travels. We stopped 40klms along at Rocky Pool where we stayed the night, the last time we had been here was around 1991 and this visit was a lot different, water and lots of it greeted us, it is a very pretty place and the contrast between the red rock and blue sky was lovely.

Rocky Pool









In two days we drove along the road we did not see any other cars, it wasn't until we reached Gascoyne Junction we saw anyone. Then after leaving Gascoyne Junction we again saw no one for another full day, excellent road, very pretty camp places and no people, how good was this. We spent an enjoyable day at Bilung Pool where we were presented with a magnificent sunset and star filled sky.We will definitely drive this road again and hopefully get to Mount Augustus next time.

Sunset at Bilung Pool




Bilung Pool


Well 19 ET Hooley Stock Route

Well 19 ET Hooley Stock Route

We stayed a night at York and treated ourselves to an evening meal out at the Settlers Inn, the meal was better than average but still not what i would class as better than what we eat at home or in the van, an entertainer singing and playing guitar was a nice touch.

The next day we arrived home, everything was how we left it. The rest of the day was spent unpacking.

May 16, 2019

Birds on our travels

I enjoy bird watching on our travels, below are a few photos I was lucky to take.

I’ll try and name the birds I know, no guarantee's i will get them right, feel free to correct me in the comments below.

Thank you Helen and Vince for letting me know some of the birds correct names.

Gouldian finch
Pelicans at Noosaville

Crimson Finch, Gregory River Qld

New Holland Honeyeater, Lucky Bay Esperence

Galah, Worramel Station WA

Brolga FNQ

Australian Darter, Manning Gorge Gibb River Road

Purple Swamp Hen

Black Kite, Burdekin Qld

Silver Gull, Safety Bay WA

Stone Bush Curlew, Babinda Falls Qld

Casowary Babinda Falls Qld

Gouldian Finch, Wyndham WA

Egret? Gulf Savannah

Rainbow Lorikeet

Welcome Swallow or Red Capped Robin

Stone bush curlew

Lorikeets

Australian Darter

Pied Butcher Bird

Blue Winged Kookaburra

Laughing Kookaburra's

Fantail Wren

White Faced Heron 

Sacred Kingfisher

Silver Gull

New Holland Honeyeater

Whistling Kite

Willy Wag Tail

Pacific Duck

Nankeen Kestral

Pelicans over the Coorong

Magpie-lark

Lyre Bird

Intermediate Egret

Purple Swamp Hen

White Winged Fairy Wren


Purple Swamp Hen



Intermediate Egret's 

Bush Turkey

Cassowary

Stone Bush Curlew

Masked Lapwing

Blue Faced Honeyeater

Galah

King Parrot

Magpie

Bush stone Curlew

Crimson Finch

Brolga

Osprey

Crimson Finch

Singing Honey Eater i rescued from our bird bath

Aussie Emu