Travelling Oz - Part 2 Across the Nullarbor to Southern Western Australia
Continuing on west through the village of Nullarbor we made our next overnight stop at a free camp just 13 kms east of the WA border at the scenic cliff top lookout overlooking the Great Australian Bight and Southern Ocean. Be aware it can and did get pretty windy here. The views from the top of the cliff of the Southern Ocean were amazing. The Next morning we ventured the 11kms to Border Town. After going through quarantine and a time zone change, we were now in WA and we headed across the Nullarbor and across the longest straight stretch of road being 146.6 kms long. We made our next stop at a free camp at Baxter Rest area, which has toilets, dump point and mobile reception. There are a lot of interesting small towns along the route, which are worthwhile pulling into to look at the local history.
We progressed and continued the long and interesting journey to arrive at Norseman in WA, where there was a dump point and water facilities at the local information centre for a small donation. After fueling, we headed south to Esperance, where we stayed at a Caravan Park on the beachfront. This allowed us to catch up on much needed washing etc. After a couple of days at Esperance, we headed east to the Lucky Bay Campground in the Cape Le Grand National Park to spend a few days relaxing on the beachfront. The park costs $6.60 per night, per person and has showers, toilet and a camp kitchen. It is being done up by the National Parks to further improve the facilities. Be aware that the weather can change very quickly with strong winds in the area. There are great walks over to Thistle Cove and even kangaroos on the beach. Following a blustery few days here, we headed back through Esperance and onto Ravensthorpe, where we made a detour south to visit the small village of Hopetoun. After a lunch on the beachfront, it was back on the road through Ravensthorpe and north to visit the famous Wave Rock.
On the way to Wave Rock, we had a beautiful drive through the farming communities of Lake King and Holt Rock. Wave Rock has a caravan park in the area, where you can spend a few days exploring Wave Rock and the surrounds. Wave Rock is an amazing rock formation and is very popular for visitors that want to do day tours from Perth. We continued our journey through the farming areas of Kondinin and stayed at the Kulin Overnight Stop, this is a top free site to stay at with hot showers and dump point. Whilst in this area we travelled along the Tin Horse Highway, with its amazing metal structure along both sides of the highway. After spending some time in this area, we decided to head south through the beautiful lakes area including Lake Grace and Pingrup and down to the Stirling Ranges National Park, where we stayed a few days at Moingup Springs Campground. There are some great walks in the area including the walks up Mount Hassell.
The Next day we packed up and headed for the Granite Rock Skywalk, which is on the road between Mt. Barker and Porongurup. The 2 klm walk takes you to the skywalk structure that hangs out over the rocks, Entry to this area is free. We then made our way to Bettys Beach to spend a few nights at the free camp. There is 9 klm of clay road from the highway. This can be a very busy spot during the salmon season as there are a lot of salmon shacks erected in the area. This was a nice and relaxing beachside stop and well worth the visit. After leaving Bettys Beach, we headed into Albany to look at the famous Anzac Memorial. Entry fee was $20 per senior. This is a must see attraction. We headed out of Albany and stayed at a free camp area at Cosy Corner. This is a wonderful camp right beside the beach. After Cosy Corner, we ventured west through the beautiful areas around Denmark and the Land of the Giants tree top walk near Walpole and then to Gloucester tree in Pemberton.
From Pemberton, we drove down to Windy Harbour, right on the southern coastline where we spent two nights. Unfortunately it lived up to its name and rained and blew for the entire time we were there. We left Windy Harbour and headed for our next campsite at Blackwood River National Park, Sue’s Bridge Campground. This is a quiet retreat in amongst the trees and is right beside the Blackwood River. There are plenty of great walks around this area and plenty of wild flowers on display and lots of wildlife around so you need to pack your gear way at night so the possums do not get into your gear. We then headed over to Augusta and inspected the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, the most south-westerly point of Australia and the tallest lighthouse on the Australian mainland. Cape Leeuwin is the point where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean.
Stay tuned for the next part of our adventure to Hamelin Bay, Busselton and Kalgoorlie.
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- 'The Journey' February 2015 Edition
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