Yellow route: Cervantes to Tom Price - 3280 km
Total so far: 17'380 km
After a pleasant but grown-in little road from Nambung Station to Cervantes, which took us a while to get through, as Oliver was cutting quite some branches or even part of trees, we just made it as far as Cliff Head for a peaceful camping. In Geraldton we didn’t do much apart from stocking up with food, water and fuel. The camping at the well known Coronation Beach was pretty full and therefore not as pleasant as it could have been.
For once the driver had the easier job on the way out of Nambung Station and no ticks afterwards
The fly nets prevented us from going mad with these flies
In Kalbarri we were impressed by the vastness of Murchison River’s mouth, delivering a constant flow of brown water into the clear blue sea. With 820km of length Murchison River is the second longest in WA (Gascoyne River being the longest with 978km). On the following day we got to see more of it in the stunning Kalbarri Gorges. Due to the floods some of the walks were cut short, but we still get done some decent walking in beautiful weather and therefore the colours were just amazing.
The next highlight was to follow shortly. After a wonderful camping at the highly rated Hamelin Station (Wikicamps shows a rating of 4.8 out of 5) we headed off to François Peron NP. On the way to the parks entrance there was much to see. We started with the Stromatolites at Hamelin Pool, the picture perfect Shell Beach, the ancient Coquels Quarry and the Eagle Bluff where we spotted two types of sharks, dolphins, an Eagle Ray and some unknown fish. Unfortunately no Dugong, maybe we were not patient enough. We spent 3 days in the park, but camped twice at South Gregory campground, which we really liked. The walk and the lookout platform at Cape Peron were so nice that we could have spent the entire afternoon there but didn’t for the flies.
On our way back we just had to see the dolphins at Monkey Mia. Even though it was one of the most touristic places we came across so far, it was worth it and they treat these lovely creatures in a sustainable manner. We made sure to go back to Hamelin Station on the way back in order to meet up with the lovely hosts Shane and Jason.
Hamelin Station - a traveller's dream
Stromatolites at Hamelin Pool
Coquels quarry - the bricks were used to build houses and last....
Unique Shell beach
Eagle Bluff – a wonderful spot to observe Marine life
Cape Peron - 360° view at its best
Camping at Cape Peron NP
For once we had a real sun-downer
What a fabulous place to have lunch - unfortunately we preferred to sit inside because of the flies:
Ocean Restaurant near Denham
Carnarvon was very much a service stop for us before we crossed the Tropic of Capricorn. We approached the Ningaloo reef from Coral Bay and first had to do a Scuba Diving refresher course as our last dive was in Hawaii some 13 years ago. Apart from the two very enjoyable dives we got the chance to swim/snorkel with 3 Manta Rays which was an amazing experience. After the busy Coral Bay we enjoyed the remote camping at Maggie’s beach in Waaroora Station very much as well as the snorkelling next to the beach we had to ourselves.
For the famous Navy Pier dive we went to Exmouth but the cyclone Olwin destroyed part of the pier and therefore no diving is possible at the moment. As an alternative we did two dives on the upper Ningaloo reef and saw not only more colourful corals but also more fish. At the very start we were face to face with a white-tipped reef shark. The snorkelling in the Cape Range NP at Turquoise bay and the spectacular Oyster Stacks was fabulous and just like swimming in a aquarium.
We think that camping can't get any better than that !
Another spectacular sunset at Waaroora Station
Diving at the Ningaloo reef
From Exmouth we went straight to Tom Price and got a new spare tyre (the old one got an irreparable cut from a stick down at Waaroora Station) and couldn’t resist to drive up Mt.Nameless. A real 4 WD to the summit which offered a magnificent view of the Rio Tinto mine, the town and the adjacent hills and valleys.
View from Mount Nameless, Tom Price
Iron-ore mine Rio Tinto