We headed north in our Toyota Coaster Motorhome and visited beach areas such as Hamelin Bay. We continued on to our next camp at the Conto Field Campground in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. There are a few camp areas around here to choose from. This was a great camp with a short walk to the beach and facilities such as toilets and water but no showers. This is a really good spot with plenty of room but can be very busy in season. From here, you can do the short walk to the Lakes Cave where you can pay $20 per person to do a tour into the cave to view the amazing suspended table among other things.
After a few days, we packed up and headed north and toured the area around Margaret River, we visited Gabriels Chocolates and the House of Cards winery. A very special area and all in close proximity. We did the coastal drive up to Eagle Bay and then headed north to spend a few days in Busselton, a major city in the area. Busselton hosts the longest timber pile jetty in the southern hemisphere of around 1841 metres, however if you don’t feel like the walk there is a train that will take you on a return journey out to the end of jetty and the underwater observatory. Keep in mind, It can get very windy and can be closed due to high winds.
From Busselton, we backtracked slightly to go inland through Nannup where the tulips were flowering and then up to Bridgetown, Boyup Brook and then up to Collie to look at the history of the coal industry. We then backtracked south to our next overnight free camp at Glen Mervyn Dam, which was only 18klms south of Collie. A great free camp with lots of walks around the dam however, you need to be fully self sufficient as there are no facilities here, except for a drop toilet that is also used by the travelling public. Whilst in the area, we did the short drive to the famous Gnomesville where there are over 5,000 gnomes placed on the site from various locals and overseas visitors.
We by passed Perth this trip, and continued heading north west towards the coast then inland to visit the wonderful town of York on the free camp beside the Avon River. This free camp has water, toilets (no showers), rubbish bins and dump point and there are about 4 sites that you can access power for free. York is a quaint town with lots of old buildings and friendly people and is a must see place. We stayed a few nights in York to soak up the atmosphere before taking the short drive north to Northam and then turning east along the Great Eastern Highway, where we made our next overnight stop at Meckering.
Meckering is a small community that was devastated by an earthquake on the Queens Birthday Weekend on October 1968. There is a lot of history here and lots of Canola Fields around the area. This is a good stop that is in close proximity to Perth. We continued across the Great Eastern Highway to visit the railway and army museums at Merredin. Following Merredin, we stopped to look at the famous Rabbit Proof Fence, which is the longest fence in the world. It was then on to the small town of Southern Cross, where we stopped for a bite of lunch at the local café and walk around the town and then continued on our journey to our next free camp at Karalee Rock and Dam. This free camp has an amazing rock structure that was built to capture water and feed it into a dam using an aquaduct. Water is very precious out in these areas so they devised various ingenious methods in the old days to capture the sparse rainfall in this dry area. There are lots of walks to do around the camp area as well as around the rock formations where you can see close hand the work of the pioneers of 100 years ago. The only facilities here are a toilet and dump point with lots of camping sites to choose from and no fees.
Next we stopped at Coolgardie and the Railway Museum free camp. There are no toilets or showers here, but there is a dump point, rubbish bins and access to fill up water at this site. Coolgardie is nearly like a ghost town with very few facilities but a lot of history from the gold mining days. We stayed a couple of days and visited the very informative museum. After Coolgardie, we made our way to the famous town of Kalgoorlie/Boulder and stayed at the free camp set up by the council for self contained vehicles only at Centennial Park. Whilst you have to be self-contained, there is access to water, toilets and rubbish bins only. Council does a daily check to make sure RV’s are complying and only stay the maximum of 24 hours. This was a good hub to visit the famous attractions such as the Paddy Hannan Tourist Mine and the huge open cut mine called the Super Pit. It is amazing to see the size of the open cut mine with huge vehicles being used in this industry.
In next months newsletter, we share the final stage of our trip.