Road Trip – 5030.7km & 16 Nights!

Cue

From Fremantle we drove approx 670km to Cue for our first night. In 2006 its population was 328 so I would imagine it has dropped even more since then. It has the feel of a ghost town about it but still an interesting place to stay for one night and soak up the atmosphere of an old outback town. We stayed at the Queen of Murchison Hotel, which is now a B&B and had dinner at the pub across the road.

Cue was established in 1893 when gold was discovered – the roads are wide to accommodate the camel trains that were used in those days. A couple of the photos below show ‘pensioner huts’ which were moved from the Big Bell mine sight in 1958 to provide accommodation for pensioners. Until a few years ago, they appear to have still been in use but are now currently unoccupied and in need of repair.

Karijini National Park

Our second night was actually spent in Newman but the less said about that place the better! (Mind you I did have the best meal of the whole trip at the Seasons Hotel so it wasn’t all bad).

We spend three nights at the Karijini Eco Retreat. With hindsight two nights probably would have been enough but it was a wonderful place to stay.Wildlife does include red kangaroos, euros, wallaroos, echidnas, geckos, goannas, bats, legless lizards and a large variety of birds and snakes including pythons but unfortunately for us we hardly saw anything apart from bats at Fern Pool and the odd lizard.It may have been something to do with the time of year we visited which was at the tail end of Spring so coming into the hot weather.  It was great to hear dingoes howling on our last night but unfortunately didn’t see them.

Karijini is the second largest national park in Western Australia and covers 1,550,390 acres.

Exmouth

Nights 6 – 8 were spent at Yardie Homestead outside Exmouth, close to the Cape Range National Park. The area relies heavily on tourism. Exmouth was established in 1967 and in the 2011 census it had a population of 2,207 which swells during the tourist season to over 6,000. Temperatures often reach over 40 degrees Celsius in summer.

Cape Range has spectacular gorges and covers an area of 506 square kilometres. We had hoped to see turtles nesting whilst we were there, but although we saw tracks and large dips in the sand where eggs had been laid we didn’t see any turtles come up onto the shore. We did see plenty of heads bobbing about in the ocean though!

Coral Bay

We spent two nights at Coral Bay which is a small town approx 1,200 kilometres north of Perth. It relies mainly on tourism and fishing. The Ningaloo Reef is a popular diving and snorkelling site with a large variety of coral and fish life and is one of the best places to see whale sharks and manta rays. We did go out on a manta ray cruise but only saw one of these giants (which measured approx three and a half metres in width – some get up to eight metres in size!) and visibility unfortunately was not very good due to weather conditions which had stirred up the sand in the water.

Shark Bay – Monkey Mia

Regrettably we had only booked two nights and one full day at Monkey Mia, Shark Bay but we loved it so much that we are going back for a four night stay next year – it is a place to truly relax.

Shark Bay is a World Heritage Site covering an area of 5,438,550 acres, approximately 800km from Perth. In the 2011 Census there was a population of less than 1,000 people with none permanently living at Monkey Mia as there is only one resort there.

Shark Bay is home to about 10,000 dugongs (sea cows) which equates to 12.5% of the world’s population. They feed on the seagrass meadows which cover over 1,200,000 acres of the bay.

Dolphins have been visiting Monkey Mia since the 1960s and Rex saw them in his youth before the resort was built and before it turned into a tourist attraction. Their feeding is strictly monitored and managed by the Department of Parks and Wildlife which is a good thing as interaction with humans is kept to a minimum and their health and wellbeing is the prime purpose. They do come in most days but their attendance is not guaranteed.

Kalbarri

Kalbarri was our home for the next three nights. It is approximately 600km from Perth and when we visited was relatively quiet due to the end of the tourist season. The area has some spectacular scenery/coast line and is where the Murchison River meets the ocean. Again, this town relies heavily on tourism and fishing.

Attractions include the Kalbarri National Park, the Murchison River and daily pelican feeding.

Nature’s Window is spectacular and a very popular place for photographers. It overlooks hundreds of kilometres of the Murchison River.

Cervantes and Lancelin

We reluctantly left Kalbarri knowing that our road trip was almost at an end. We travelled towards Cervantes stopping at Northampton on the way (a quaint town where we were sad to see many shops closing down due to lack of trade), before stopping at Okabella Homestead (a few kilometres outside Northampton) which was supposed to be haunted, for a cream tea in the tea shop. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to stay for a tour.

We then visited the Pinnacles Desert before reaching our last night’s stay location of Lancelin and then all too soon our wonderfully diverse and spectacular trip was over but the memories will last a lifetime!

Cue
http://www.cue.wa.gov.au

Karijini
https://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/park/karijini

Exmouth
http://www.australiascoralcoast.com/destinations/ningaloo-reef-region/exmouth

Coral Bay
http://www.australiascoralcoast.com/destinations/ningaloo-reef-region/coral-bay

Shark Bay
http://www.sharkbay.org.au
https://parksandresorts.rac.com.au/park/monkey-mia/

Kalbarri
https://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/park/kalbarri

Oakabella Homestead
http://www.oakabellahomestead.com

Pinnacles Desert
https://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/site/pinnacles-desert-lookout-and-drive

Lancelin
https://www.lancelin.com.au

One thought on “Road Trip – 5030.7km & 16 Nights!

  1. Dearest, Thanks so much for this. Loved it. You really have an eye for the closeup and it was great to travel down the road again that we took on our West Coast adventure. Excellent shots of Karajini and the galah upside down and the sea eagle in flight are superb shots. My love. Bxx

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