On the Road to "No Where" and lovin it - Darren & Janet's Outback Adventure - To the West Coast

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 22:27

Member - Darren M (VIC)

Eyre Bird Observatory to Kalbarri. 18/6 to 26/6/2012

The trip into the bird observatory was by 4wd track through the sand for 25km (yay, off the bitumen). Malcolm and Fay where our hosts, they are volunteers that have a myriad of tasks apart from bird observation and data collection, Eyre is a weather station, they must record and report to the Beauru of Meteorology 3 times a day (very interesting) and also cook, clean and pamper wayward visitors like us. The building is the old telegraph station that has been refurbished which provides accommodation (A night out of the tent, luxury) and houses a museum. Apart from photographing birds and wildlife we undertook several guided walks.

We left Eyre after lunch and headed for Fraser range station (100km east of Norseman) where we stayed 2 nights, this was to be a couple of lazy days catching up on washing and checking out the wildlife around the station. The storms that they had in Perth decide to catch up with us, the days were sunny but the nights decided to provide a months’ worth of rain in two nights. Janet made friends with the emu’s and the halfa horse thought she was wonderful.

Passing through Norseman for fuel it was off to Kalgoorlie to re supply, visit the super pit mine and gold museum. After pitching the tent (to let it dry out) we hit town for food, some grog and then off to the super pit mine (absolutely amazing). Over dinner we chatted to a couple of guys that are off prospecting / metal detecting for 6 weeks up around Leonora. We reassessed our plans and decided to head North and then across to Geraldton instead of going to Perth and up the coast. Lake Ballard was the main reason as it has the “Inside Australia” statues on the salt lake.

The first stop today was the gold museum and underground mine tour, (Bloody joint was closed for renovations), I rang the name on the gate to express my disgust, he was sympathetic but wouldn’t let us in. From here we headed for the town of Menzies where we planned to stay, it was only lunchtime so we did the tourist bit around town and headed for Lake Ballard along a red dirt road. After walking the lake, taking a few pics we decided to set up camp, collected wood and had a campfire (it was needed as it was another cold night.

Tonight’s destination was Sandstone 160km of red dirt road, however we arrived around lunch and decided to press onto Mt Magnet. The history around Sandstone was amazing especially the guy that had set up the brewery, along the way we stopped many times to take pics of the Wedge tail Eagles and anything else that looked like a bird or something a tourist should take note of. Arriving at Mt Magnet we set up in caravan park (on some grass) cracked open the cob for homemade pizza. Across the creek were two Wedge Tail Eagle nests which were well photographed.

We were on the road early as we wanted to get to Geraldton and check the place out and being a Sunday we were unsure of what was open. As they were predicting more rain we decided to stay 2 nights and book a cabin, unfortunately they only had one for the second night so it was in the tent for the first night. The rain wasn’t an issue it was the wind, I thought us and our tent were going to end up in Perth. The washing machine and dryer got a work out. We checked out town and the port.

After packing up the tent we shot into tourist information to plan our days activities, which because it was raining included a visit to the museum and lunch at the bakery. Our idea of the cabin for tonight was ace, it didn’t stop raining. The cabin had a T.V which shows the same crap here as what it is at home. We decided to do the live lobster factory tour in the morning.

Awakening early we packed up, said good bye to our five star accommodation and headed into town for our tour, we were early so decided to visit the HMAS Sydney II memorial which we had read about in the museum the day before, absolutely amazing. 645 sailors were lost and are all listed with their rank, it is a very well done memorial and if you are in town should be on the places to visit. Janet and I were the only people lined up for the live lobster factory tour so Bryan our tour guide gave us the royal treatment, providing an insight into the lobster industry and the going ons in Geraldton. All Lobsters processed are for export to Asia and can be caught, processed and in Asia within 30 hours. From here we headed off to Kalbarri (battling a very strong head wind) and booked another cabin due to bad weather. We did the tour of Rainbow Jungle (Parrot and bird breeding place) and headed off to the national park to check out the gorges, as it was getting late we didn’t do the loop walk but wandered down to the “Look out” and also “Natures Window”, breath taking views and would be a great place for a canoe expedition. The weather has not let us down and it’s still raining although it is no longer freezing cold.
“Not all those who wander are lost.”

J. R. R. Tolkien
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