With the experiences of Geraldton behind me, I didn’t have to travel far to find a little touch of paradise. After having a look around Drummond Cove, which is sort of an exclusive northern beaches suburb of Geraldton, the Coronation Beach turnoff wasn’t much further north, with an 8km drive west off the Highway, the last 2km being a steep descent to the beach below. The campsites were well laid out and plenty of gazebos, toilets and bins. Also a dump point but BYO water. Each campsite is numbered, enough for 2 or more vehicles to share if so inclined. No 12 at the end looked good as I could stretch out and take up all the bay and angled so I would be in the shade of the bus in the afternoon sun. At $8 per person this I considered great value. Apart from staying with family or friends, the best camp site so far on my trip.
I had committed to attending the Northampton Lions Club meeting the following night so I stayed the one night at Coronation Beach and drove the short distance to Northampton the next day, in time to wander around town and look and read about some of the historical buildings in this town before driving to the Golf Club on the outskirts of town where they had a campsite. I was the only one here. Not even any golfers about. Whilst the entrance sign read “Men Sundays, Ladies Wednesdays”, the course looked somewhat overgrown and unkept.
It was a pleasant walk into town for an evening meal at The Miners Arms Hotel and good company with Northampton Lions. The next morning I called into the visitors centre and also spent some time at The Northampton Museum. I must say the Visitor Centres that are manned by volunteers seem to provide a more personal level of service than those that are manned by employees. Perhaps it has something to do with wanting to be there or not?
It was then back to Coronation Beach where I intended to stay a further 3 or 4 days just enjoying the sound of waves and the cool breeze air which is condusive to less flies around. Enjoyed this place so much that I ended up staying here for 3 weeks. Met a couple of guys who both on their own were seasoned travellers and one in particular helped me out with some ideas and did several modifications to my set up to make things work better and more efficient. Thanks George for all your help, guidance and assistance. I keep saying you don’t know what you don’t know, but I am gradually learning some new skills. Enjoyed several “happy hours”. Nice to just sit and dribble shit for a couple of hours at the end of the day! One of them had a big screen TV. 32″. That’s big when you are on the road. So enjoyed watching a few games of AFL. Went back into Geraldton weekly to get supplies.
I got plenty of reading in while in Coronation Beach and also watched some DVD’s on my laptop. Also had a couple of fishing days. So good to have fresh fish to eat. Lovely whiting among other varieties. George and Kevin were staying there a bit longer and invited me to travel north with them. As much as I enjoyed their company, I have my own travelling agenda and so moved on when I was ready to do so.
Next stop was Hutt River Province for a couple of nights. Enroute I called into the small seaside villages of Horrocks and Port Gregory and spent some time at the aptly named Pink Lake. Plenty of people doing the same including a bus load of Asian Tourists. The “pinkness” varies depending on the clearness of the skies and the time of day. Mid morning is apparently normally the best viewing time of day which worked out well as I was there around 11am.
Hutt River Province is an interesting place and best described as “quirky”. Whilst not a bucket list item I was keen to see this place for myself. I wasn’t disappointed although the road in was a bit rough for Rhonda. Being an old girl she rattles and her bones creak when she gets the shakes. The camping was excellent though with (flushing) toilets, camp kitchen, and hot, yes HOT shower for the princely sum of $5 per person per night. Prince Graeme is, well, Prince Charming. No question was off limits or unanswered. I was interested in the history and brought a book but wanted something a bit more “meaty”. He said he didn’t have anything else for sale but after further discussion he went to a drawer and pulled out a more comprehensive book, albeit written in 1979, and said I could have it. Free. It was a comprehensive read and what I was after. Thoroughly recommend a detour to this place. They were shearing sheep while I was staying there and spent some time in the shearing shed observing. Is about 2 hours to see and read through the various buildings but if you have the time I recommend staying at least a couple of nights.
After 2 nights at Hutt River I was up early the next day to head off to Kalbarri. Stopped at all the cliffs on the way in to town – there are about half a dozen of them or so – and then grocery shopping and relaxing on the river foreshore before tackling the gorges. This is best done early morning and as I was there early afternoon it was very hot – 40deg – and full of flies. Definitely need a fly net and plenty of water. But Wow! Well worth the effort to see each of the lookouts and if feeling energetic, to do one or two of the walk trails. They are currently building a Sky Walk near Natures Window. This will jut out some 25 metres into the gorge below. No doubt this will be a major drawcard, at an additional cost, but what an experience. It should be open before Christmas 2019.
I then had overnight stops at Galena Bridge, Nerren Nerren and Edaggee (all 24 hour rest areas) before arriving in Carnarvon. Each of these stops are nothing more than a parking area with toilet and dump point and tables but are very welcome facilities for anyone travelling. The one thing they all have in common is they are FULL of flies. They do drive you crazy and I spent a fair amount of time hibernating in the bus, which is not easy when the inside temperature is around 40 degrees.
As I write this up I am sitting at the Town Beach and the sound of the small waves crashing is bliss. I can see the one mile jetty across to my left but unfortunately it is in disrepair and closed at present. I have a few other things to see and do in Carnarvon including the Space and Satellite Museum before I head out to Gascoyne Junction and to the Kennedy Range. These will be reported in the next post.