Saturday 21st May 2011
Day 51 - Cervantes to Geraldton - 224 kms via Indian Ocean drive.

  • Weather: Started off cold again, we are heading North, so where is the warm weather. It did end up a beautiful sunny day about 20°.
  • Wind: 10 to 20kph Easterlies.
  • Daily distance travelled with fiver: 224 kms. Total towed this trip: 5,403 kms.
  • Next G Mobile reception at Geraldton: Yes but flaky.
  • Next G 'Blue Toaster' reception without external aerial: No used the aerial but still lost connection, very flaky.
  • Next G Telstra WiFi Modem reception: Ran out of plan.
We left Cervantes at 8:45am and drove the 224kms to Belair Gardens, Geraldton. We turned left and continued along the Indian Ocean drive. Our first stop was at Grigson Lookout to look for a cache, it was about 600 meters off the sealed road and we found the cache and took some photos. Next stop was at Dongara for another cache, we found it stuck to the metal crayfish. We arrived at Belair Gardens CP at 12:30pm and setup camp, including the Satellite dish, the internet was very flaky, even with the aerial attached. The CP is right beside the train line from the Port and was a bit noisy, I did have a train go past sometime in the wee hours and it is also close to the road that the road trains use to get to the Port, so it is noisy but apart from that the CP was very nice.
During the afternoon, we did some shopping at Woollies, as it closes on Sunday and also looked for a cache but it was in a small park and had kids playing there so we decided not to go looking as the kids may take it, so we gave it a miss. Back at camp I watched the V8s on TV, while Marg relaxed.

View from Grigson lookout.

Me and the Crayfish at Dongara.

A Road train near our CP.

Sunday 22nd May 2011
Day 52 - Caching and sightseeing in Geraldton.

  • Weather: Started off cold again but turned into a nice warm day about 20°.
  • Wind: 10 to 20kph Easterlies.
I used my sleepingbag as a blanket last night and was as snug as a bug, it dropped to about 5° this morning.
Today, I wanted to visit the HMAS Sydney 11 memorial and the WA museum, while Marg also wanted to go caching, so we did the lot. First cache was in a park near the Port, we found that one. 2nd cache was somewhere near the Yellow Submarine, but we couldn't find it. 3rd cache was at another park on the beach, but we couldn't find it either and we were starting to get depressed. 4th cache was at a miniature railway and we found it. 5th cache was at the old lighthouse and we found that one, we are on a roll. 6th cache was about 10kms north of town amongst trees, we found it. 7th and last cache was back in town and we couldn't find this one. Total score we found 4 caches out of 7.
While in town, we visited the HMAS Sydney 11 memorial, it is on top of the hill, overlooking town and was beautiful. Last attraction was visiting the Museum, which cost a donation to enter, this was interesting. we finally go back to camp about 3:45pm and were knackered.
The Internet between 4pm and now (7:45pm) has been absolutely shithouse, it has stopped and started intermittently, and we are both pissed off with it. I hope Kalbarri tomorrow has better Internet reception.

Cache 1.

5th Cache.

6th Cache.

Today turned out rather nice after a cold start.

HMAS Sydney 11 memorial.

HMAS Sydney 11 memorial.

Monday 23rd May 2011
Day 53 - Geraldton to Kalbarri - 155 kms via Port Gregory Road.

  • Weather: Started off cold again, but it did end up a beautiful sunny day about 20°.
  • Wind: 20kph Easterlies. off shore.
  • Daily distance travelled with fiver: 155 kms. Total towed this trip: 5,558 kms.
  • Next G Mobile reception at Kalbarri: Yes.
  • Next G 'Blue Toaster' reception without external aerial: Yes.
As we are only going to Kalbarri, a total of 155kms away, there was no need to leave early. So we didn't. I left Marg at camp and was 2nd into Wollies at 8am to buy bottle water for Marg, back at camp by 8;10am and started packing up. We left about 9:20am and headed out along the John Willcock Link which connected to the 1 North West Coastal Highway. We drove about 50kms north to Northampton where we turned left and headed along the Scenic drive to Kalbarri, and it was very scenic. About 6kms along the scenic drive, we stopped at a Rest Area to look for a cache, as we pulled up another caravanner also pulled up, so we told them that we were looking for a cache and explained that to them, so they wouldn't think that we are too loony. Anyway, we found the cache, so we were happy and we also showed it to the couple, they thought that we are mad. We continued along the scenic drive and stopped to take some photos, as it was very scenic. We arrived at Tudor CP about 12:15pm and setup camp. We were under trees and had a wire fence behind us, so after about 30 minutes of trying to setup the Sateliite dish, I conceded defeat and used the normal fiver's antenna. It worked enough to get GWN7 and WIN9 Perth, so we are happy watching the Australian Amazing Race.

About 30kms out of Kalbarri, we noticed a sign "Hutt River Province" and we thought that would be a good place to visit and met Prince Leonard, if he is still alive. We left camp about 2:30pm and headed off to visit Prince Leonard, the signage is absolute crap and are driving 30 odd kms along a gravel road, we did a u-turn and headed back to camp. After checking on the Internet, we were on the right road and about 10 kms from Hutt River. What a bummer. We will visit Hutt River tomorrow morning.
On our return to camp,I wanted to visit a few of the ocean view sights etc. As we were checking out 'The Natural Bridge', a pod of approx 14 dolphins frolicked below us and we were spell bound watching them. My photo didn't capture them properly. After leaving the dolphins, we visited a quad bike tour place and we are now booked into tomorrow's 2pm 2.5hour quad bike guided tour. We can't wait, it is on Marg's bucket list, she has a dilemma, whether to drive her own quad bike solo or be my passenger, she will sleep on it and make a decision tomorrow. I reckon she will be solo. We will wait and see.

Marg holding the micro cache in her fingers.

Some of today's magic views.

We made it to Kalbarri.

One of the Dolphins.

The Natural Bridge.

Castle Cove.

Tuesday 24th May 2011
Day 54 - Visiting Hutt River Principality and Quad Biking.

  • Weather: Again started off cold again but turned into a nice warm day about 20°.
  • Wind: 10 kph Easterlies.
This is the current norm, I used my sleepingbag as a blanket last night and was as snug as a bug, it dropped to about 5° this morning.
Today, we left camp about 9:15am and headed the 70 odd kilometers to visit Prince Leonard in Hutt River. The first person we met was Prince Ian, who informed us that Prince Leonard and Princess Shirley are in Perth, with Prince Leonard visiting a doctor, he is in his late 80s. Anyway, we checked out Hutt River and it is nothing startling, but worth a quick visit, I did buy a $30 Proof coin of Prince Leonard for $45. It is very nice.

We went back to camp for lunch then headed out for some sightseeing before arriving at the Quad Bike area about 1:45pm. Marg had never driven a gokart or anything apart from her car but she wanted to drive a Quadbike, well she did drive a quadbike, for over 2 hours and loved it, had a ball and from the person who drove behind her all day, she did a great job and we will go quad biking again.
There were 5 quad bikes in our group, Ashley our leader riding solo, an older couple sharing 1 quadbike, another younger couple sharing 1 quadbike and Marg and I going solo. We followed Ashley from their property overlooking the Indian ocean over the dunes to the beach, then we drove about 10 kms along the beach then we headed into the dunes and finally stopped on top of a large sand dune with an awesome view over the ocean, then back to the beach and back to the start, but we stopped many times with Ashley pointing out various features on land and in the water, like the pod of dolphins, the oysters growing on the rocks and finding some crabs amongst other things. They said that the quadbikes are speed governed to 35kph, but at various stages my speedo was going over 50kph, like down dunes after I stopped to take a photo of the group and then I would speed off to catch them. We both loved it.

Tomorrow, we head to Denham about 375 kms.

At the entrance to Kalbarri harbour.

Still at the entrance to Kalbarri harbour.

Red Bluff cliffs, diffrent to the ones in Melbourne.

Welcome to Hutt River.

Marg and Prince Leonard.

the Royal roller.

Before the start, raring to go.

The seasoned pros.

Marg loved it, so did I.

Wednesday 25th May 2011
Day 55 - Kalbarri to Denham - 385 kms.

  • Weather: Started off cool and finished at about 21°. A Beautiful day.
  • Wind: calm.
  • Daily distance travelled with fiver: 385 kms. Total towed this trip: 5,943 kms.
  • Next G Mobile reception at Denham: Yes
  • Next G 'Blue Toaster' reception with external aerial: Yes, but it suffers drop outs.
We had a big day for us (385kms) today, so we left about 8:15am and before we left Kalbarri, we visited the Dump point aka 'emptied the shitter'. We headed from Kalbarri, 66kms to the North West Coastal highway (Highway 1) and turned left and heading North to the warmth. It was about 100kms along the NW Coastal Hwy to Billabong Roadhouse, we sat behind a B Double truckie for the entire 100kms and had a nice chat to the truckie for the majority of the trip. We pulled off at Billabong for fuel and he was driving to Fortescue River about a 900kms up the road. Another 50kms up the road is the Overlander Roadhouse and then we turn left and head for Denham for approx 135kms, arriving at Seaside CP at 1:40pm. Our site has a view over the ocean, there is another level higher, but our site is very nice, we set up camp including the Satellite dish, but didn't set up the awning, as there is no need, we have some shade.

Are we there yet?? Nearly.

Denham's main street.

What we have to put up with. Eat your hearts out.

Thursday 26th - Friday 27th May 2011
Days 56 - 57 - Having fun in Denham.

Thursday 26th May
Day 56 - Visiting Monkey Mia and Ocean Park Aquarium.

  • Weather: Started off mild and turned into a beautiful day about 25° and clear blue skies.
  • Wind: about 5kph S.
A mild night, I only used my blankets, but I could have used my sleepingbag before dawn, but didn't so I was cool.
As you may remember or I didn't tell you, we have been having a battery problem, while driving it has been cutting out and turning the fridge off. Anyway, last night while watching TV, the 12 volt system turned completely off, as the batteries had dropped to about 11 volts, so our battery protector (Motormate) turned off the 12volts, our battery charger (C-tek) throw a hobbly and went to FAULT mode and refused to charge. A slight dilemma, I found out that the fridge will not work on Gas, if you do not have 12v to activate the circuit board. By turning off everything that ran on 12volts, I received enough power for the fridge to work overnight. So with Marg's insistence, we called into a battery man at Denham this morning and told him of our problem, he said that he would come out at 2pm to check out the fiver. David arrived about 2:30pm and after a phone call to Trailblazers, between themselves, they worked out a plan of attack. At present, we have a temporary fix and on Saturday morning, as we leave Denham, we are meeting David at his factory, so he can complete his wiring job.

We left David and continued onto Monkey Mia, arriving about 11:30am, and were told by the lady at the gate that the dolphins had been fed and will not be back until tomorrow. So we walked around Monkey Mia, nothing startling, and then drove to Ocean Park Aquarium at Shark Bay. This place was brilliant, cost $15 each, and you just joined the current tour and got off whenever you wanted too. For example, when we arrived they were at tank 3 and then we stayed until we got back to tank 3, there are approx 10 tanks in total. The tour guide, Will, was brilliant and extremely knowledgeable. We had lunch at Ocean Park cafe sitting on the balcony looking out across Shark Bay. Life does not get much better than that.

We got back to camp about 1:45pm and waited for David to arrive, which he did. While David was here, a traveller came upto us and introduced himself to us, it was Brian a fellow forum member of rvtravelau forum. After David left, Marg and I walked all of 50 meters down to the beach and collected shells. Very nice shells. It was so romantic, well maybe not romantic, but it was still nice walking along the beach.

Tomorrow, we hope to be back at Monkey Mia (about 25kms from Denham) for the 7:45am feeding and then off to Shell Beach (about 45kms from Denham).

This is a poisonous fish.

One of the pools.

A red Emperor.

2 of the sharks in the shark pool.

A tropical fish.

Our lunch overlooking Shark Bay.

Friday 27th May
Day 57 - Visited Monkey Mia and various beaches.

  • Weather: God must live in Denham. Started off beautiful and stayed that way all day. Got to approx 257deg.
  • Wind: Calm. Not a puff, Shark Bay was a mirror.
A mild night, I only used my blankets, but I could have used my sleepingbag before dawn, but didn't so I was cool.
We got up at 6:45am, got dressed and drove the 25kms to Monkey Mia, it was due East from Denham and the sun was an absolute pain inthe eyes. We arrived at Monkey Mia about 7:25am, well in time for the 7:45am feeding, paid $12 to get in, parked the mighty Navara and walked to the viewing area. There were approx 50 people already there, but by 7:45am, there would be between 150 and 200 people waiting. The rangers do not let you on the beach until 7:45am, so the people do not stress out the dolphins. When we were allowed on the beach, Marg decided to go to the beach and try her luck to fed the dolphins, while I went to the little jetty to take photos. The 2 rangers got the crowd to stand in a longish line, because the dolphins swim along the line. After 20 minutes or more of the rangers telling the crowd which dolphin was which, due to their dorsal fin markings. Next the volunteers came down into the water carrying the buckets of fish. Each feeding dolphin is fed about 3kgs max of fish. The volunteers randomly pick out the people to fed to the dolphins. Marg missed out. When it ended the crowd are told to leave the water and the dolphins know that this is the end, so they swim off, they can come back within 10 minutes or longer. Marg and I decided to walk through the Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort and check it out, we were happy that we stayed in Denham, I think that there is more to do in Denham than Monkey Mia. We drove back to camp to have breakky and then off to visit the Beaches.

First beach was Shell Beach about 40kms from Denham, and guess what, it is made of shells and quite magnificent. Then we went to various other beaches or bluffs, basically driving back to Denham from Shell Beach and turning left at every track. The views were absolutely stunning with Eagle Bluff being the highlight, when we saw a shark about 50 meters offshore. Back at camp, we had drinks with Murray and Kerry our next door neighbours.

Tomorrow, we are driving to Carnarvon about 325kms, but we have to visit David the electrician at 8:30am to finish the wiring job, that he started yesterday, it should only take an hour. Hopefully.

Marg - 2nd left - We fluked the weather it was unsurpassable.

My best dolphin photo.

Marg at Monkey Mia Dolphin resort.

Shell Beach it is beautiful.

A shark spotted at Eagle Bluff.

Check out the weather. Beautiful.

Saturday 28th May 2011
Day 58 - Denham to Carnarvon - 329 kms.

A mild night, I only used my blankets. You should have seen the overnight dew, it was wet everywhere.
We had to be at David the battery man at 8:30am, because he needed to finish the wiring job that he started on Thursday. So we were. He had finished by 9:30 but he told me that our 2 batteries are stuffed, won't hold the charge and that he suggests that we buy new ones. We agreed and he contacted the Battery man in Carnarvon and we have an appointment at 9am on Monday. A slight problem as we are due to leave Carnarvon on Monday morning, so our plans have to be amended.
We left David (Shark Bay Technical Services at 9:40am and headed the 122kms to the Overlander Roadhouse on the North West Coastal Hwy. We arrived at the Roadhouse just on 11am and topped up with diesel and then headed North towards Carnarvon about 200kms away. While driving I thought that we would call by the battery man in Carnarvon today, just on the off chance that he may still be open, so I sat on 105-110kph the whole 320 odd kilometers. The roads were upto our speed and our only slow bit was when we came across a 5m wideload, after talking to them on Ch40, we were off again. The radio is really a safety item, it is so useful on the road.
We arrived in Carnarvon about 1:15pm and sure enough, the battery man was closed, so we checked in at the Marloo Retiree and Old Folks CP,it is a bloody pearler of a CP.

Nice scenery.

The 5 meter wide load.

Nice scenery.

Sunday 29th - Monday 30th May 2011
Days 59 - 60 - Exploring Carnarvon.

Sunday 29th May
Day 59 - Visiting Point Quobba Blowhole and Quobba Station.

  • Weather: Started off mild and turned into a beautiful day about 25° and clear blue skies.
  • Wind: built up to 15-20kph N.
A mild night, getting warmer now, I only used my blankets.
We left camp about 10;30am and headed over to the Tourist Centre, it was open today from 9am-Midday. We wanted to go to the blowholes, quobba station, jetty and go for a tram ride. The lady told us where to go, in a nice way. Our first port of call were the blowholes at Point Quobba about 70kms from town. We drove 20kms out of town then turned left into Blowholes Rd and continued for 49kms, as you come over the last rise, we saw the blowholes operating. It was great to actually see a blowhole 'blowing', a bit different to the ones around Albany, they just growled with no water. There were also 3 fishos sitting on the rocks, but the wind was from the wrong direction and they sat around and drank. After taking a few photos, we drove to Point Quobba, which just happens have its own little very sheltered island and bay, where we saw at least 10 people snorkelling and maybe 20 other adults and kids playing in the shallows. The campground is overlooking the beach and you have to be self sufficent.
Next port of call was heading about 10kms along a very smooth gravel road to Quobba Station but about 1 kilometer before, was the HMAS Sydney 11 cairn, so we stopped and we walked to the top and took photos, then continued onto Quobba Station. We stopped and brought 2 soft drinks, the lady told us that the guys are all out on the 187,000 acres mustering their 10,000 sheep. Driving back to the blowholes, we then did a bit of 4WD driving up the steep (for us) track to the lighthouse. We stopped at IGA just near our CP and did a small shop, then tried to find a service station so I could re-inflate the mighty Navara tyres, but being Sunday, there were no areas open that we could inflate our tyres. It was Sunday after all. And if you have forgotten that WA closes down on Sundays. We spent the remainder of the afternoon, just chillin' out, on the internet and watching TV.

Tomorrow, we take the van to the Auto Electrician, so he can see what size batteries to order for us.

A warning at the Blowhole.

Dare she blows.

Marg at the blowhole.

Point Quobba beach. It is beautiful.

We weren't the only ones there. It was crowded.

HMAS Sydney 11 cairn.

Our 4WD track to the lighthouse.

Point Quobba from the Lighthouse.

The blowhole from the lighthouse.

Monday 30th May 2011
Day 60 - Visit Carnarvon's 1 Mile Jetty.

  • Weather: at 4am, I was up closing hatches as the rains arrived. It was a very warm night, currently 21°.
  • Wind: Calm.
A very warm night, only a used a sheet. We are up and it is only 6am, we didn't sleep real well last night, as it was very warm.
It started raining just after 4am, when I had to get up and close all the hatches. The 6am weather forecast is for a morning thunderstorm and some showers clearly in both Denham and Carnarvon, both are paradises.
Today, we plan on taking the fiver to the Auto Electrician, so he see what size batteries to order, hopefully, that will only take 15 minutes and then we take the fiver back to the 'Old Farts' CP and set it up again. Hopefully, the rain will stop long enough to visit the Carnarvon 1 Mile Jetty and some other Carnarvon attractions. We will have to wait and see.

It's 9:40am and we are all set up back at the 'Old Farts CP'. Bob, the auto electrician, measured and ordered 2 batteries for us, they will be coming overnight via TNT and should be at the Carnarvon courier about 8:30am tomorrow. Again, we will wait and see.

Our paradise has turned into a very, very humid day. The sweat is running off me. I know too much info.
We are watching 'The Morning show' on GWN7 as Marg is doing her needlework and I am updating our website. The sun has just broken through, but there is still heaps of rain cloud around.

Well, the clouds disappeared and it was a beautiful sunny afternoon, so we visited the Carnarvon 1 Mile Jetty this afternoon, it isn't a patch on Busselton 1.8km jetty, but the train which has seen its day was still enjoyable, it no longer goes to the end of the jetty as the pier has sagged and the train is not allowed past that point, so we walk the last 100 meters to the end. The museum was only open between 10am and 1pm. so I missed that. On the way back to camp, we did some shopping at Woollies, as we hopefully leave for Coral Bay tomorrow, that's if our batteries arrive as expected.

The Jetty Train.

It's a long way to shore.

Marg and I took over the train.

Marg is quite comfy.

View from the top of the Water Tower.

The Jetty from the top of the Water Tower.