A Travellerspoint blog

Fortescue/Karratha/Dampier/Point Sampson= Car Problems

30th September- 6th October 2012

sunny -35 °C

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We departed Ningaloo Station and decided we would call in to Onslow, just because we had never been there before. But as Jenna and I have realized on our journey so far, plans are made to be broken. We had heard a bit of a bad report about Onslow, so we decided to make our mind up once we hit the turn off, and we decided to keep on driving……

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It was just as well, as we experienced car problems not far after the turn off. The big 200 series would not find 5th gear, and it also wouldn’t go over 100km per hour, which even though I usually sit on about 90 to 100km per hour, was definatley different.

I pulled over and popped the bonnet, even though I know next to nothing about cars. I pulled the air filter out, and it was really dusty and dirty. I gave it a bang and a blow out with the compressor, but it really didn’t make much difference.

So we limped into Fortescue Road house where we would stay the night. It’s a really nice overnight stop, with a bit of lawn for Cedar to run around, and FREE washing machines. Jenna made the most of the washing machines; she completed about 5 loads of washing!!!!

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We took it pretty easy into Karratha, but the car was still not right. We managed to get straight into the local mechanic, which was amazing as everywhere we rang was a 3 to 4 week wait. The only reason we got in was our friend who lives in Karratha made the call for us, so thanks heaps Simon!!!!

Turns out the air filter was completely blocked, so no major problem. I had no snorkel on the landcruiser, and the air intake is under the drivers front wheel, which seems pretty stupid to me.

New filter, and I purchased a Safari Snorkel from TJM Karratha. Same wait to install, 3 to 4 weeks, and $500 price so I decide to install myself. Now like I said, I know nothing about cars so this was a big call. I took my time, brought the correct drill bits etc. and ended up the install cost me $150.00 and about 4 hours of my time. Overall I’m real happy.

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We arrived at Point Samson and checked in at The Cove Caravan Park. It wasn’t planned to stay out at Point Samson, but Karratha turns out to be very NON dog friendly. Not to worry, because none of the parks in town looked very appealing anyway.

Karratha is absolutely booming, in every sense. Its so busy, neither of us could believe it, It really is amazing. Building and road works are everywhere, which is good to see because the town is now a major hub.

Point Samson Caravan park was great, although pricey at $49 per night. We got an ocean view site, and the amenities were excellent. We got the bikes off straight away and headed to the marina for a look. The town has a great holiday feel to it.

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We headed into Karratha the next day which is only 40 odd km’s, and we did a major shop and also brought a few things that needed to be done to the van. We also caught up with our friend Simon again. He mentioned that fishing the creeks could be the go for Saturday, so our stay was instantly extended.

On Friday we again drove into Karratha to pick up some mail that had arrived, we decided to drive out to Dampier and have a look while we were at it. Its really nice out there, but again we were blown away by how much is happening on the way both mining and civil works. We also stopped at the “Iconic Red Dog” statue, more just to say we’ve been there than anything else.

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Saturday came, and Simon was kind enough to pick me up so Jenna could have the car and have an explore by herself, so I could concentrate on the important things, like catching the elusive Barra. We launched the boat at Cossack, and the tide was really low, but we didn’t let that stop us. We must have flicked our rods 500 time and to no reward. But we did catch a feed of crabs, 1 decent muddy and 2 blue swimmers. Overall a great day.

Jenna took the car out to old Cossack town, and fell in love with the old buildings. I think she thinks I’m going to build a house like that when we get back to Denmark….. (Not likely). There are many historic buildings that have been restored in the town, a tourist trail explains the buildings aswell as the history of the area. She also took a drive out to Roebourne to visit the old Jail which has been also restored, however unfortunately it was closed, it would have been good to see.

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On Sunday we met Simon and his wife Kylie and there kids at Wickham back beach. This is a locals spot, and is also home to Port Walcott Sailing Club. Its an awesome spot where you can order lunch which consists of fish and chips or fish and chips!!! But they were amazing, I would defiantly recommend this little spot. We parked the cars up on the beach, set the shades up, had a few beers and ate fresh fish and chips! What more could you want?

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On Monday we departed Point Samson, headed for Pardoo……
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Posted by Jenaben 04:21 Archived in Australia Tagged car safari snorkel karratha fortescue troubles Comments (0)

Ningaloo Station blog 2

23rd Oct - 30th Oct 2012

sunny 32 °C

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We ended up staying at Ningaloo Station for 2 weeks and to be quite honest I could easily have stayed a couple of months but we had to continue on in our journey around Oz. There were only 4 other camps along the whole stretch of beach who were all really friendly, one couple had been living there for 8 months. One of the campers Chris let us have a turn on his kayak trimaran which was really good fun although I was a little worried that I might end up in Africa if I couldn't turn around.
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Whilst staying at Ningaloo Station we also visited the old homestead and lighthouse, it is closed to the public as its falling apart and quite unsafe however we got permission from the station owners to go and have a look at the remains. Once again it was great to experience such history and we could only imagine how beautiful the homestead must have looked back in 1910 when it was first built from hand carved limestone blocks. The views from the old lighthouse were unbelievable, you could see 360 degree views over the ocean and the station.
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A short drive from our camp thru the sand dunes and you could get fresh water from the small bores in the sand, this meant we only needed 1 trip into exmouth to get fresh supplies(you can never have enough fresh fruit and veg, and of course a visit to the pub to catch up with Mick.) The first drive across the dunes to the water holes was a little nerve racking as it was really windy and you couldn't see 2 feet in front of you. there were massive cut outs in the dunes and not knowing the area if you were take the wrong path you could end up 15 metres down a sand dune.

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Our friends from Exmouth Mick, his brother Pete, Petes wife Ange and friends Asha, Zac and Nick came and joined us for a few nights. The boys drove the boat down from Tandabiddi so they could fish and dive, they had a successful couple of days fishing catching a mixed bag. Mick took us out on the boat Snorkelling one afternoon which I really enjoyed as I got to see alot more fish then what I had seen previously when I had just gone snorkelling off the beach.
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Once again our trusty "Warm Beer" game made an appearance to our new victim Zac, his face ended up covered in Charcoal. Rules of the game are to pick a new person to the group, go around the circle and play a memory game of drawing imaginary shapes on the person next to you's face. eg first person draws an imagenary circle on the person next to thems face and says "circle", that person then draws an imaginary circle on the next persons face and adds a square. etc etc. While this is happening the person sitting next to the Warm beer victim is heating the can of beer with a lighter. The victim thinks that this is just warming the beer up for the person who forgets the shape sequence to have a skull of the warm beer, however the person with the lighter is making a nice big pile of dirty soot on the bottom of the can. When it comes to the person with the cans turn to draw a shape he rubs his finger on the soot from the bottom of the can and "walaah" A charcoal painted face. The victim has no idea because he sees everyone elses face is normal and he doesnt know he has a face full of black mess.
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I was a little upset to leave Ningaloo Station as it is truley amazing spot, The bay was sheltered so it was pretty much perfect Baby swimming weather everday. I couldnt keep Cedar out of the water which tired her out for a good nights sleep. morning beachwalks, Sunset runs and and a new addiction of Jim beam and coke every lunch time, I can safely say we will be returning who knows this may be our 6months of the year home when we move to Denmark.
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Posted by Jenaben 05:25 Archived in Australia Tagged fish beach sun station ningaloo snorlelling Comments (1)

Ningaloo Station

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Well all i can say about Ningaloo Station is we were supposed to stay for 2 nights, and we are still here 9 nights later!!!! the place is amazing, and the weather hasn't even been that kind to us. Cedar has been loving the beach, and even if the wind is blowing, South Lefroy bay is reasonably protected.

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The station road in after the hwy from Exmouth was in really good condition having just been graded, but the tracks into South Lefroy Bay were soft as!!! there were defiantly a couple of tense moments trying to back the 3.5 tonne Bushtracker fully loaded with water into the spot. But it was all worth it as the spot is great! Its a weird feeling being in this bay, as North is almost straight out to sea.

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We also visited the abandoned whaling station ruins at Norwegian Bay. Its a pretty amazing site, even though really sad also. All we could think was how tough they must have had it back in the day. It was amazing how much infrastructure they built for the operation. We got back to camp and googled info on them, and its really its incredible how many whales they killed. It really is no wonder the numbers declined so much.

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Its been a really relaxing time here, and we still have a few days to go. We have our mates from Exmouth coming down for the weekend, and the forecast is looking great.

Written by Ben.....
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Posted by Jenaben 04:45 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Exmouth Western Australia

3rd-16th October 2012

sunny 33 °C

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The drive from Warroora wasn’t the best, we somehow managed to hit an eagle, the sheer size of it took up the whole windscreen. The poor guy was in a bad way and the best thing to do was stop his suffering. Needless to say it was a quiet drive the rest of the way.

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As we had no choice the only dog friendly accommodation in town was the Ningaloo Coast Caravan park which we were extremely disappointed with. $45 a night for a spot of dirt up the back. The facilities were in poor condition and when the water was working, you ran the risk of a cold shower. The toilet dump point was out of order as there was no water switched on and 1 particular care taker was a GOP (Grumpy old Prick.) We were lucky enough to stay across from him so we experienced his very unpleasant personality. The only thing I can say that was nice in the caravan park was the pool area which we definitely made the most of.

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We still had our new travel friends with us and did most things with them while they were in town. We also caught up with Mick Nyguan and Kate who flew in the same day we arrived. We spent most nights having a few drinks and Bruce got to experience our specialty game of “Warm Beer”

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Benny went out on one of Micks Fishing charter and was decky for a day. As always Diversity charters came thru with the goods and his clients for that day cleaned up. All thou I don’t agree with taking more than you can eat, you gotta give it to him, Micko knows his shit when it comes to fishing and the ocean.

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We spent one day at the gulf where we caught octopus, razor fish and mudcrabs for that nights dinner. I say “we” caught mudcrabs but the truth is I left it to the boys as I didn’t want to lose a finger to the crabs claws. It was a great day and there was lots of wildlife in the areato see.. The only down point of the day was getting eaten alive by sandflies which kept me itching for about a week.

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Another day was spent at turquoise bay snorkeling and although I have snorkeled here on a few occasions before, it was still a magical experience with some of the best snorkeling I have ever done. Turquoise bay is one of the many bays situated in the Cape range National Park so no dogs are allowed and you will need a National Park entry pass which can be purchased at the visitors centre or at the rangers station at the park.

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Ben , Cedar and I took a drive out to Shothole Canyon and although there was no water in any of the waterholes it was definitely a nice drive and walk up to the lookout point. Once again no dogs aloud but this time there were no rangers around so we took the old mate with us.

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Whalers Restauraunt does a fantastic feed. It was so good we went back twice. and both ordered the same meal. First time we caught up with some old friends Exmouth locals Matt, Jade, Zane and Taya and the 2nd time was with Bens Parents. We also rate the health food shop as a fantastic breakfast feed.

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Mick, Kate and Our five travel companions left us about day 7 in Exmouth and Bens Parent made a quick visit to come and see us or should I say see “Cedar.” DeA-aarn and Trevor drove up a friends car who has recently moved up to Exmouth. They stayed in a overpriced 1 bedroom tiny, dirty chalet at the same place we were staying at, $185 a night(would definitely not recommend it was just convenient.)

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With our wonderful babysitters in town, we spent the next 3 days at Bundegi Beach, going on a walk at Yardi Creek Gorge and swimming by the pool. Once again I have done the yardi creek gorge walk before but it is a must for all visitors as there are fantastic views in every direction and if your lucky you may get to see some of the local rock wallabies. It was great catching up with the inlaws but it was soon time to stock up a the local IGA and continue on to our next part of the journey

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Posted by Jenaben 21:06 Archived in Australia Tagged snorkelling reef western_australia exmouth ningaloo Comments (0)

Warroora Station Western Australia

24th September-3rd October 2012

sunny 30 °C

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We headed to Warroora Station, stopping along the way for our cheesy photo stop at the Tropic of Capricorn sign. The track in to Warroora is fine for Caravans and although it can get quite windy we got a beach front site. Ben has been coming here since he was a baby and now here we are bringing our little girl here 30 years later. The caretakers were lovely and at $37.50 per week per person, it is a cheap stay for such a fantastic location. You must have your own chemical toilet to stay here and there is a chemical dump point and rubbish tip site. There is however very limited water in the area, we went to Coral bay to fill up however I heard you can get water from the Warroora homesite.

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The first few days the weather was perfect not much wind at all but after that the wind did pick up a little which was expected for so late in the season. We spent the first couple of days just relaxing, exploring the station and going for big walks. We went for a drive South of the campsites, to the border of Gnaraloo Station. It was great to see this beautiful coastline with not another single person all the way along and we were totally blown away by the inlet in the middle of nowhere just North of the Gnaraloo Border.

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A few days into our stay our Bushtracker buddies from Carnavan joined us, followed by Bruce and Deb a couple of days later. Both couples had roof top tinnies so the boys went out fishing most mornings. There wasnt a great deal caught and Ben and I both agree there is definitely a reduction in the amount of fish in this area since the last time we came here 5 years ago. Our crewall catch up in the arvo and have big cook ups, drink and sit around the camp fire at night. Lucky for me I couldnt escape the Grand Final AFL even in the middle of nowhere and I was on the edge of my seat the whole game (NOT)

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Our travel group took a trip into Coral one day and had lunch at the pub. Cant say Im a huge fan of coral bay, I find it overpriced and pretty dog unfriendly, however it is good to get basics and top up on water (although I wouldnt drink the water as last time our friends got sick off it)
Another day we drove out to Pelican bay, a nice little sanctuary zone so no fishing etc allowed. I personally think we need more of these areas along the West Australian coastline.

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We would definitely recommend this fantastic place, Beautiful coastline and great company always make a fantastic stay.

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Posted by Jenaben 05:44 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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