Wednesday 21 October
Up at 5:00, on the road at 6:00. Crossed Yardie Creek with 20 psi in the tyres with no problems but forgot to get any photos! Stopped for breakfast at 7:00 and put the tyres back up to the dirt road pressure of 28 psi.
The road started off corrugated and got even more corrugated as we progressed. Lots of termite mounds and spinifex. The second photo above shows the Cape Range to the left and sand hills to the right.
After about 20 kilometres we left the national park and entered Commonwealth land. Aircraft use the range on this land for gunnery practice but not at the moment for bombing and free camping is allowed on the coast.
You could actually camp right on the beach here. However as we are finding, this part of the coast is known for not only its coral but its wind.
Leaving the Commonwealth land we entered Ningaloo Station. The station allows camping on its property and charges only $20 per week per person which is pretty reasonable but of course there are no facilities. You need to bring plenty of water, your own shade and windbreak.
Ningaloo Station runs sheep and goats, not sure if the goats are feral or actually farmed. The left photo above shows some of their sheep at a watering point behind the dunes. See if you can spot the lone emu. Look at the colour of the water those goats are looking at.
Another fantastic camping spot. We were checking out the turtles close in to shore. They are about ready to come ashore to lay their eggs.
As is my wont I decided to explore a side track that looked to go to a good camping spot. However the sand got softer and deeper all of a sudden and we ended up bogged. Let the tyres down to 20 psi (including the trailer) but that didn’t do it so let them down to 15 psi and dug out around the wheels. Vicki then had the sensible idea of using our 2 doormats to aid traction. We then drove out without too much difficulty. If we hadn’t got out I would have uncoupled the trailer, got the car out and then snatched the trailer. It would be good insurance to have a winch just as a precaution however as I don’t I will probably get a set of Maxi Tracks (a traction aid). They seem to be carried a lot in this part of the world. Once again we didn’t take any photos during this episode.
Just before Ningaloo Station homestead we put the tyres back to dirt road pressure. The homestead is right behind the dunes and looks out over the reef. Incredible location. Vicki talked to the lady of the manor and she assured us that even in the busiest season there was room to camp on their property. So no more Cape Range National Park for us, next year it will be Ningaloo Station.
Had lunch at a fantastic spot just above the ocean then continued on through various stations until we reached Coral Bay at about 1500. We only averaged about 20 kilometres an hour because of the corrugations but what a drive, the scenery was superb.
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