Rained heavily Saturday night at Coronation Beach. Sunday morning it was still raining and with an overcast sky the weather was not what we were hoping for. We decided to move on so Bob and Heather packed up their camper in the wet.
Called into the Billabong roadhouse to get a hamburger for lunch. This would have to be the worst managed roadhouse I have seen. Imagine ten to twenty cars, almost all towing something coming from both the north and the south trying the get fuel. The cars heading north realised after they had turned in that to get to the solitary diesel pump, if they required diesel, they had to first get past the petrol queue to reach the sole diesel pump on the north side of the station. Some tried to back out and go around but this was not always possible. It was mayhem at the pumps. It was even worse inside where one girl was trying to take payment for fuel, serve fast food and take orders for meals. This resulted in long delays in paying for fuel and subsequent longer queues to get fuel. This was made even worse by the rain which had turned all the approaches to the roadhouse into a quagmire.
Because of the heavy rain we have noticed that a lot of the minor roads leading of the Brand Highway are showing “Road Closed” signs. So unless this weather lets up we may not be able to return via the Gunbarrel. Bob and Heather wanted some grass to pitch their camper on so we stayed at a small caravan park behind the Wooramel Roadhouse Sunday night. Not much grass but at least it wasn’t mud.
It is hard to describe the amount of caravan, campers etc that are on the road. Three quarters of all traffic would be some type of recreational vehicle. It is both the main tourist season here and school holidays for WA, NT and SA so of course that adds to the traffic. The main tourist season lasts until about the end of September when the lead up to the wet commences and things start to heat up. Then all the grey nomads head south. Personally I like the heat so I prefer to be here in October onwards when it is nice and hot and travellers are few.
Monday we headed to Carnarvon to stock up on supplies as from now on we intend camping on stations on the coast and supplies will be very difficult and expensive to get. On leaving Carnarvon we decided that Warroora Station was too much of a distance to make in what remained of the day so we headed to Quobba Station about 75 kilometres north of Carnarvon. There is a sealed road for the first 60 kilometres which takes you to the blowhole and the blowhole camping area. The blowhole was working and with several whales just of shore blowing it was a pretty spectacular sight. We then went to check out the blowhole camping area. Remember what I have previously said about most caravan, motor home people not getting off the dirt road and liking sealed roads and there was a sealed road right to this camp. Even so we couldn’t believe the amount of RV’s crammed into this little bit of beach. There was literally only less than a metre separating them. We took one look and decided it wasn’t for us. Fifteen kilometres further along a very degraded dirt road we camped on Quobba Station. This station has facilities such as showers and toilets so its a bit expensive at $22 per night. Also there is no swimming as a rocky ledge extends offshore. But the beach is great to walk on and explore. Fishing is supposed to be good and we spoke to a person who had just caught a large Golden Trevally from the beach. Monday afternoon at low water we explored the rock pools the receding tide had left behind. They were full of clams, small pearl shells and multi coloured corals. I even found a blue ringed octopus in one pool.
Had a great night Monday night in that it didn’t rain and the morning dawned with a clear blue sky. The weather has certainly warmed up and we are all now in shorts. There are only about 20 vehicles camped here and there is plenty of space about the homestead so we have a good camp. However we will move on to Warroora soon as the camping is more remote there and we want to swim. We are hoping that there are not too many camped at Warroora. The school holidays end this coming weekend so some of the crowds may go.
Quobba Station run sheep. Not for wool but meat. They run a South African variety that is not shorn, they are purely grown for their meat.
It’s still warm and sunny – unbelievable.
As some might know the year before last I had a problem with my roof rack when it pulled loose from some of the pop rivets holding it to the roof. This happened near Mt Dare on the Western edge of the Simpson Desert. We had to pack the second spare tyre and the rack into the camper until I could get it partially repaired in Alice Springs. When we got home Sam, my nephew kindly put new stainless steel pop rivets in the track and these held well for our trip to Cape York last year. However on the corrugated Menzies – Sandstone road a corner has loosened again. So we have had to take the second spare from the rack and put it in the back of the ute for the rest of the trip. A nuisance but at least we can leave the relatively light weight recovery gear up top. Roof racks are a known problem on remote corrugated roads, I have seen them abandoned by the side of the road more than once.
Quobba Station, Tuesday 19 July 2011