Victorian BorderOctober 16, 2018 in Australia
Hello Victoria, been a while
Friday 13th October 2018
Drove to Madura, stayed in the Roadhouse Motel there overnight, weather was atrocious, very windy, a short downpour after we got there – lucky. Had dinner in the restaurant, pork chops for Mick, Seafood basket for me, not bad meal.
Saturday 14th October 2018
Arrived Ceduna about lunch time, stopping at the Oyster Barn to get some Oysters for lunch to share with Gina, very nice they were too, very fresh. Spent the afternoon catching up with Gina, showing her some of the photos of our trip and swapping music and movies from our hard drives.
Sunday 15th October 2018
Spent the day with Gina, walked on the beach, collected some shells ad some unusual, what we think is coral. Some very beautiful shells with very different colours, including one bright orange, purples and gorgeous mother of pearl.
Went to Mozzies for coffee, sat on the foreshore to drink it, very pleasant until with wind whipped up. Spent the afternoon watching movies, Gina made some caramel popcorn, very nice. Stayed at Gina’s for the second night. Incredible thunder storm started about 10 o’clock, best light show I’ve ever seen. Managed to get some pictures of the lightening, not very good. Storm lasted until early hours of the morning, although the spectacular lightening moved on within a few hours, leaving a little light show behind it that was still going when I got up for the toilet in the wee small hours.Read more
Drove to the WA/SA Border, arriving about 8.00 am (WA time). Drove the old Eyre Highway from Border Town, 173kms of unsealed, corrugated, rocky road to the Nullarbor Roadhouse. It was great fun when I got to drive about 20kms of it. We came across a couple of wildflowers I hadn’t seen before, but mostly plants had dried up.
Got footage of the drive on the mobile phone and the camera, it is a drive you have to see to really appreciate it. One off Mick’s bucket list. Also got some footage of two lizards either fighting or mating, don’t know enough about them to tell which one. I’m hoping I got some good shots of two Wedge Tailed Eagles who we surprised on the side of the road and took off when we stopped.
Camping again at Murrawijinie Caves on the Nullarbor plain. Very bloody windy, but not as bad as Le Grande, so hoping it doesn’t get worse and blow us away in the middle of the night. Still very warm for all of that.Read more
Packed up camp early and back into Esperance to get our gas cylinder back, the guy who boiled our billy for us, told us the caravan park near the jetty refills them for you. Got to Bunnings, found we were able to buy a $9 part for the one we swapped that would enable us to use our gas burners.
On our way to the miserable, half empty IGA to buy water, we discovered a Woolworths behind the main street. We had both spoken about how could that miserable little IGA support a town of 15,000 people? Answer, it didn’t. There was a whole shopping centre up there with a Target, Reject Shop and a host of other shops, including a big supermarket! Got our water and a few other supplies. Mick finally bought a new watch (he discovered when we entered WA that he couldn’t change the time on his watch as the pin had fallen out) and I finally found a purse with a clip coin part, not a zip. When I got back to the car, discovered it wouldn’t fit my cards, ah well I can re-gift it to one of the kids, they will love it.
Stayed at the Madura Road House Hotel, very basic but clean; linen is a hundred years old, as are the pillows, very uncomfortable bed. At least it had a hot shower with a big shower rose, enjoyed very much after not showering since Paul & Sally’s on Sunday. Had a very nice meal in the restaurant, Mick had the Pork Chops and I had the Seafood Basket, I’m sure they just used frozen crumbed seafood, but it was nice and very filling.
Heading east again, putting as much distance as we can towards the Nullarbor so we can stay there tomorrow night before hitting Ceduna and a weekend day that we can spend with Gina.Read more
Tuesday 9th October, Leaving the track at Norseman, we travelled to Le Grande National Park, hoping to camp at Lucky Bay, but settling in at Le Grande Beach camp site instead. It was incredibly windy, winds up to 30 knots with the camp volunteers telling us it’s the worst they had seen.
We had to tie the tent to the car and cook inside the tent. The tent at times bent sideways, falling on our heads. Went to boil the billy for a cup of tea, using the last of the gas in the cylinder. This meant we had to go back into Esperance the following day to swap the cylinder and we “umm’d” and “ahh’d” about packing up and heading back into Norseman to camp again at the old town or whether we stay another day to explore Le Grande National Park.
Wednesday 10th October 2018
Decided to stay another day to explore Le Grande. Went into Esperance first thing, changed the gas cylinder over and did some washing, getting two coffees in the process.
Explored Le Grande for the remainder the day, visiting,
• Frenchman’s Peak, solid granite that extends thousands of meters below the ground. 12,,000 million years ago this granite was born as a huge mass of molten rock deep within the earth’s crust where it cooled slowly and solidified into large crystals, mostly quartz and feldspar. Over eons that followed, rain, rivers and glaciers gradually wore away covering material to reveal giant domes in the granite. 40 million years ago, when the sea level was at least 250 meters above its present level, waves relentlessly pounded this granite peak, slowly carving out the caves and tunnels near the summit.
• Hellfire Bay,
• Lucky Bay,
• Rossiter Bay and
• Thistle Cove.
Absolutely spectacular scenery, I’d go as far as saying the best we’ve seen to date, if not it would be up there with the best. Pristine white, squeaky sand, turquoise blue water, rocky outcrops, it had it all. Also got some great wildflowers that I hadn’t seen before.
Back at camp, it was just as blowy as it had been the previous day and we discovered that the gas cylinder we had swapped had a different fitting so we couldn’t use it to cook anything. Rustled up some cheese and salad and had that in a sandwich for dinner plus copious amounts of biscuits as that is all we had to eat that day. Put the billy on the BBQ to heat water for a cup of tea, only it wasn’t hot enough to boil the water. Most of the campers were using the camp kitchen to cook their dinner, using their own butane burners to cook their meal (BBQ not hot enough; too windy to use their gas at their own camps – a very valuable lesson learned for our next camping expedition). A very kind fellow camper boiled our billy for us so we could have a cup of tea.
Spent a miserable night in the tent with the wind whipping the tent in all directions. No real choice but to go to bed and read and go to sleep early. Neither Mick, nor I got a very good night’s sleep and were up, packing up at 5.00 am, well I was up about 5.30 am. Packed and out of there by 7.00 am.Read more
Finished travelling the track, passing McDermid Rock, where the landscape changed being dominated by eucalypt woodland. Got some great photos of the Salmon Gum during sunrise this morning before we broke camp.
Stopped at Lake Johnson View Point. Lake Johnson is a major pan stretching far into the distance on the south side of the road. To the east of the lake is a large ‘dune’ or ‘lunette’, built by countless grains of salt and sand blown off the lake surface by prevailing westerly winds.
Just past the lake there is an open ‘savannah’ around and immediately east of Lake Viewpoint. Disappointment Rock lived up to its name, looking more like a mound,Read more
We then took the Granite Trail (Hyden-Norseman Road), 300 klms, passing through one of the world’s greatest untouched temperate woodlands, a vast mosaic that is both beautiful and fascinating with its patchwork of heathlands and distinctive granite outcrops, it is unique and intriguing piece of outback Western Australia. The trail has 16 designated stopping places focussed on a particular aspect of natural or cultural history, including McDermid & Disappointment Rocks, Lake Johnston, Woodlands and crossing the Rabbit Proof Fence. Many of the plants look the same from the car, but when you get out and look, there is a profusion of wildflowers. Botanists suggest there could be close to a hundred different species. Got some great wildflowers that I hadn’t seen previously as well as a picture of the fence.
Perhaps the strongest impression of travelling the trail is the changing patterns of vegetation along the route. Some of these are dramatic from heath or shrubland to woodland and back again
Breakaway is an area of mineralisation that hosts both nickel and gold deposits, with some very dramatic rock formations. Along this part of the route we found the tall spindly flame grevillea. Camping at the Breakaway Camp about half-way down the track. First time we’ve set up camp for 6 days, it actually feels good to be back in the bush with no-one else around but us, cooking on the gas burner, sleeping in the tent. No toilets, no showers.
Off to Esperance again tomorrow, planning on spending a few days at Cape Le Grande as we didn’t get to do this on the way up.Read more