With all the changes the Government has made after taking control of the Ningaloo pastoral lease it’s not as simple as it once was, previously we had a standing booking for a minimum of a month sometimes we would stay longer, now it’s a maximum of 28 days, 14 if school holidays are in the mix. Now 28 days isn’t such a bad thing but the booking system is. We can only book 6 months in advance and the design of the booking web site doesn’t make it easy to find what’s available without juggling dates, the other issue we have found is many of the sites are not available but when we have stayed we have seen many vacant sites. We feel this is due to the refund policy of only 50% return if cancellation is a month out, no refund after that. So many campers who have booked but because of whatever situation, Covid / Lockdowns / etc are not bothering to cancel in the hope they do get to travel.
Ok ... with that out of the way .., our recent trip to Ningaloo was only a 9 day stay though we managed to get an extra day after checking the Park Stay booking site when we realised we would be arriving sooner than expected. Like most stays we would have the company of the Billy’s who had been on holiday up North and were booked in for the same entry date.
We left home a week early and traveled up via Beverley, Northam, Mullewa, Murchison, Gascoyne Junction, Carnarvon and onto Ningaloo. It was a very pleasant drive with not much traffic and we much prefer the smaller towns and it also coincided with the Wildflower season.
Our 1st night was at a RV free camp in Beverley, we were the only ones there and we went for a walk into town but very few businesses were open even though it was only around 2pm.
Next day we stopped at Toodjay and discovered another superb Bakery! The vegetarian pasty and lamb & rosemary pie were superb. That night we stayed at Buntine Rock which is a great camp to see the wildflowers. We had been here a few times previously so only I was inclined to walk to the rock and take a few photos. We were camped near some rock pools which had hundreds of tadpoles in them, I don’t think they would reach the frog stage as the water level was already low. That night we had a superb camp oven roast of Pork Belly, a few drinks and our favourite tunes on the Bluetooth speaker, ... Bliss
Our 4th night we stayed along the Mullewa Murchison Road, this is a mix of dirt and bitumen sections, it’s a good road which any vehicle could safely travel. We stopped at Ballinyoo Bridge, what a gorgeous camp ! We were close to the river and around us were flocks of green budgies, it was so lovely watching them flying around us and feeding their young. At night we had a camp fire and cooked some steaks and chips, a few more drinks and more tunes saw the night out watching the stars.
5th night was different for us as we chose to visit Glenburgh Station, it costs $15 a night and if you need to you can use their amenities for a donkey shower & toilet, there is also a camp kitchen and a few out buildings to look around at. We’re totally sufficient so didn’t need to use anything but we did take some walks around which was interesting. Our site was close to the river with plenty of birdlife and the other campers were far enough away to give everyone space, we probably wouldn’t bother visiting again but glad we did.
We had intended to stop at Rocky Pool which is approximately 40klms from Carnarvon but the day was early and Vickie suggested we go into town for a shop and fill up with water and travel on closer to Ningaloo turnoff, I suggested I check the Park Stay web site and see if we could get a night early, as things work out the Billy’s heading down also had the same thoughts and we all met up at the gravel pit near the entrance to Ningaloo Homestead.
So here we were, camped at Ningaloo. The weather was warm but windy, in fact the 10 nights we were there we only had two days we took the kayaks out and sad to say only managed one squid. We gave beach fishing the token effort, even knowing the tides were not right and Dave did catch a small rock cod but not even some fresh squid could entice a Spangled Emperor to the
Some days we drove to the other camp sites to see what they were like and also did some beach fossicking. With the latest changes there are no locked gates only camp hosts at each camp ground, the good thing is we can visit easily without having to get a key, but so can everyone else, so the security of leaving your camp is not as trusting as it once was.
With our ten night stay over we left and traveled home the same way we went up, except we didn’t go via Toodjay & Beverley, instead we came home the Midland Road which bought us out at Bindoon, Did anyone mention Bakery ? 😂😂
One of our shortest but also pleasant and relaxing