NW of WA Shark bay to Port Headland

  14th Sept- Lazy pack up(they all seem to be) then off to Shark Bay with Ken and Olive bringing up the rear(TEC), with lunch at the Overlander roadhouse which was not cheap and a bit ordinary. Stopped off at Eagle Bluff which has a good board walk and we managed to see a shark, a couple of rays, lots of birds and even a dugong! 
Have booked into the Shark Bay Caravan Park for 2 nights before we head up to Cape Peron NP. Went out to the The Old Pearler Restaurant for dinner with Ken and Olive, shared a nice seafood platter with a good bottle of Alkoomi wine.
  15th Sept- Today was all about housework, with washing of clothes, cleaning the camper and re-arranging things all done in the morning. After lunch we hopped on our push-bikes and rode down the hill to see what the thriving(?) town of Denham had to offer. Found a pub, had a drink and rode back to camp for roast dinner.
  16th Sept- Up and off mid morning leaving Ken and Olives caravan at the park, they will be tenting it for the next couple of nights. After picking up some last minute supplies(including a lighter that works!) we headed up to the Peron homestead which is now a museum for a look around. Interesting stopover and worth a look. Now it was time to let our tyres down and hit the 4WD tracks heading into Francois Peron NP. First stop is Big lagoon which looks lovely but the camping area has not been done up yet, very sandy with not much room and a billion sand flies. Needless to say, Olive didn't want to get out of the car! The ranger told us we would be better off continuing on to Gregorys or Bottle bay which we did. Gregorys was full so Bottle Bay it was, which we thought
was nicer anyway and no one else there. 
Campsite was large and flat just behind the beach. After setting up the camper and tent the fishing rods were cracked out to catch us some dinner! Only caught a small flathead and a whiting which Sherron called Fred. Back they went but we enjoyed it. That evening while we were having dinner, a small yellow banded burrowing snake visited us. Very interesting and not dangerous as most snakes tend to be.
  17th Sept- Michael and Ken took the kayaks for a paddle with Michael having a go at surfing his with mixed results.......one result was him being dumped by a wave and ending up with several deep scratches on his arms, legs and foot from the limestone reef!
More fishing yielded a couple of whiting for lunch after which we all drove up to the cape for a look. Saw several dugongs, schools of rays, large silver fish, a turtle and lots of gulls from the viewing platform at Skipjack Point. Great to watch. Tried more fishing later that arvo until sundown but no luck. Woeful but relaxing.
  18th Sept- Windy with clouds coming up. Looks like rain. Packed up and headed back to Denham with a stop at Little Lagoon for a look. Would be lovely for kayaking and swimming and BBQing if not for the damn wind. Back to the caravan park to pick up the van then down town for fish and chips for lunch. Out to the highway and north to the Woodliegh-Byro rd to find a campsite for the night. Found an old gravel pit with plenty of firewood for the campfire tonight. Still windy.
  19th Sept- Jaffles on the fire this morning and the wind has dropped off. We loaded up with firewood and then said goodbye to Olive and Ken. They turned south and we turned north. Checked out a few possible campsites on the way, Gladstone which was OK, New Beach and Bush Bay which were YUCK. Just open salt flats and mangroves. No thanks even if they are free! So we continued on into Carnarvon and stayed at the Coral Coast Tourist Park for 2 nights where we did all the washing, stocked up on supplies and washed the car. 
We also did a little sightseeing(still a lot of damage from the Feb floods) and called into a plantation shop for some fruit. You can see the flood level on their front gate! 
 21st Sept - Packed up and left town by 10am all loaded up with wood, food, booze and water, heading for Ningaloo Station for a few days or so. Nothings changed at the homestead in the 5 years since we were here last. 

Only difference is now you need to get a key to access the camping areas. Still pretty cheap camping($40 a week for 2 people) and right on the beach. All set up and then went for a swim. Saw a lot of turtles about, a couple just up the beach from us only 2 or 3 meters off shore so we walked up to have a look. Turned out they were bonking! Making baby turtles. Seemed to be a lot of that going on. Went for a walk on the beach that night and saw a lot of crabs of all different sizes, cleaning out their holes. Too windy for a campfire tonight, bummer.
 22nd Sept - Still windy, sand in everything! Michael went for a paddle out round Point Billie and found a much nicer beach so when he got back we went for a drive to see if we could find a better campsite. Found a lovely one with more shelter from the wind and much better for swimming. So back to the camper to pack everything up again and move. Great spot, wide white sandy beach, crystal clear water, shame about the wind though. Went for a swim to cool off after setting up. Very nice in the water. 
Lazin about now, shower is set up and hot water is on.
 23rd Sept - Wind has backed off a bit(maybe wishful thinking). Plenty of turtles about doing their thing. We had a go at fishing, Michael went out in his kayak to try his luck but got snagged on the reef and lost his tackle. Back on the beach he had better luck, hooking a big long tom, almost 1m long! Lots of sharp teeth so we very carefully removed the hook and let it go. Spent the rest of the day playing cards and reading. Campfire tonight.
 24th Sept - Sherron went for a kayak while Michael was snorkling alongside, saw some more turtles but they took off as soon as they saw us. Lots of small neon fish and also some schools of bigger silver fish(what sort? I don't know!). Had hamburgers for lunch and drank all afternoon!
 25th Sept - STILL WINDY with a line of cloud off the coast. We are moving on cause we have had enough of this wind! Sorry to leave such a nice spot but it wasn't letting up. Had an easy run out to the main road avoiding a family of Emus, then across the Burkett rd to the highway. Lunch at the Yannerie river then up the Onslow rd to Old Onslow to find a campsite on the river. Lots of trucks going past where we were going to camp, a new gas processing plant is being built there! So into Onslow itself then to the caravan park. $35 p/n and not that flash! Ouch. Roast at the pub was alright though. Quite a few rigs set up for long tern stays though we couldn't understand why. Must be all about the fishing.
 26th Sept - Packed up and got a few things from the little supermarket before visiting the museum. They've got lots of stuff there, some interesting some not, and plenty of old photos. 
Took the Peedemulla rd out to the highway, cuts a lot of ks off. Then turned off to Panawonica where we fuelled up and got a tip on a good spot to camp down on the Robe river just out of town. Lots of big shady trees, river is flowing cool, clear and fresh water. Should be a great spot for a few days.
 27th Sept - Lovely and quiet last night, even with the odd ore train every so often. No moon and lots of bright stars, awesome sky! Did some washing this morning and went for a little paddle in the kayaks downstream. Lazed about, made some brownies and curry for tea.
 28th Sept - Another lovely night followed by another lazy day. Had a hot shower and played cards. Thats about it!
 29th Sept - Packed up and gave the camper a wash. A quick top up of supplies in the Pana supermarket where even the checkout chicks wear hi vis and steel cap boots!
Then across to Millstream and camped at Crossing pool which was already half full. Michael went for a kayak up the pool.
 30th Sept -  30th Sept - Weather is becoming quite warm now, which is great for swimming, not so good for sleeping though. Michael was up early riding his bike to the old homestead and back. Will make a decision tonight after a phone call to the Millers tonight whether to go to Wickham or to Wittenoom.
As we were sitting around having drinks in the picnic area with a few others, a brown snake(king or western?) slithered through our little gathering, right between one guys feet! We all imediatly put our feet up on our chairs and watched him go by although a couple of the guys thought they'd scare it away from camp with brooms, which just made it upset(of course). Drinks then continued with guitar by Tom from Tamworth and another bloke from NSW on ukulele and some singing until well after dark. Sherron went back to camp to discover a mouse in the house! Michael was on his way back to help evict him when he trod on a big centerpeid which bit him and drew blood! Mouse eventually got chased out and a cold pack and panadol applied to relieve the aching of Michaels foot. He couldn't sleep so watched a DVD till about midnight.
 1st Oct - Michaels foot was better this morning so packed and headed down to the crossing on Snappy Gum Drive where he went for a paddle in his kayak while Sherron splashed about and caught a small fish in a bucket! On the way out we passed quite a few cars heading in to Millstream. Drove down towards Wittenoom and turned off up into Bee Gorge where we camped for the night.
 2nd Oct - Moved on into what remains of Wittenoom town, a few buildings including some houses which appear to have people still living there. Nothing remains of the pub that Sherron stayed at in the 80s. Continued up into Wittenoom gorge which is very pretty, lots of greenery and flowers. Stopped at Pyramid pool for a look, beautiful. Drove all the way up to where the mine village used to be, only concrete slabs remain along with lots of planted trees, olliander, aloe vera and bougainvillea. You can still see much of the mine tailings cascading down the gorge slopes and a lot of asbestos on the ground downstream. 
Set up camp at Scout pool. Water is so clear with lots of fish, beautiful sounding birds and loud frogs after dark. Great camping, pity about all the asbestos.
 3rd Oct - Had a very casual pack up this morning. Didn't really want to leave this beautiful spot, but...................didn't like the thought of all that asbestos either. Had a swim before we left and headed east. Found the track into Yampire gorge so decided to see how far we could go. Used to be a graded road that went all the way to near where the Karajini visitor center is now, but has a lot of washouts and deteriorates about 15km in to become just a rough track after the old mine workings. We unhitched the camper and continued for another couple of kms through water crossings and overgrown track. We decided that we would be able to get through but would most likely end up at a locked gate so turned around, picked up the camper and drove back out to the highway. Stopped at Auski roadhouse for an icecream, $10.80 for 2 drumsticks!! Fuel there was $1.80 per liter so glad we didn't need any. We have stopped for the night at Mt Robinson rest area. Pretty bare but a good view of the red cliffs. And an interesting little gorge behind the campsite.
 4th Oct - Continuing on towards Newman, we called into a waterhole called Wanna Munna where there is quite a lot of rock art carved into the rocks if you look. Small stagnant pool at this time of year and a popular spot for cattle to drink it seems so not very inviting at the moment! Followed signs to Eagle rock falls the long way around as there is now a big Rio Tinto mining project in the way(Hope downs). Very rough track in to the creek and then quite a climb up a very steep rocky section which we didn't fancy tackling with the camper in tow so parked and went for a walk to have a look. Someone already camped there and not a lot of water or room so back out and on to Newman. Stayed at the Kalgans Rest caravan park which was more mine accomadation than caravan park.
 5th Oct - Went on the Mt Whaleback mine tour this morning, all dressed up in Hi Vis, hard hat and safety glasses. This is one big hole in the ground! Used to be a mountain and is going to be a lake when they've finished!
Roast chook for tea and a swim in the pool. Noice!
 6th Oct - Packed up and went to the visitors center to get our permit to access Kalgan Pool. Called into Opthalmia dam for a look. Mozzies everywhere so we didn't even get out of the car! Not much to see anyway. Found the track to Kalgan pool via the Yandi mine road detour. So many mine tracks! Road in is very sandy with lots of bulldust. Good drive in! Collected some fire wood on the way in. The pool is not large but deep and cool, someone has put some old conveyer belting on the bank as a water slide, FUN. The rock walls are quite dramatic. Heaps of birds and a small mob of cattle came down for a drink late arvo.
Some other folks came in for a swim about lunchtime and then left so we had it all to ourselves for the most part. Squid for tea, yum.
 7th and 8th Oct - Killing time a little here because we want to catch up with Cal and he's on night shift at the moment. Had a very relaxed couple of days with not much to do but watch the birds, play cards and swim. One other couple with a 2 dogs camped 1 night and then left by lunch, and a couple of day trippers only so pretty much had the place to ourselves. Watching 3 hawks/eagles come in each evening for a drink. Cloud came in sat arvo, maybe a change in the weather?
 9th Oct - Slow pack up and a swim then back into Newman to the caravan park. Swam in the pool and caught up with Cal that night. Not a late one as he had to start work at 6am.
 10th Oct - More cloud but quite hot. Swimming pool got a work out. Did the shopping and a bit of sightseeing. Wind got up with some black clouds and just before dark a dust storm swept through and covered everything in ron ore dust!
 11th to 14th Oct - Fueled up and headed to Karajini NP, Dales gorge camp-ground. Spent the next few days swimming at Fern pool and Fortesque falls, bike riding, chatting to people and more swimming. Michael went for a swim in Circular pool and had it all to himself then hiked up Dales gorge to Fortesque falls.
 15th Oct - Moved over to the Eco Retreat by 10am. Camping bays are closer here but you get flushing loos and showers at twice the price of Dales campground. Did the Joffre Falls walk, quite a climb to get down but a nice swim at the bottom. Cycled around the camp for a look and met the others as they arrived. Checked out their eco tent but for $330 per night for 4 its a bit rich! Nothing flash at all.
Then the drinking started......Karen got wrecked and passed out at dinner time, and Sherron drank a whole bottle of champers! She slept well that night.
 16th Oct - Drove over to Weano and climbed down Hancock gorge. Sherron went as far as the amphitheatre while Michael kept going to Kermits pool. Back up top we checked out Oxers lookout and Michael went down to handrail pool by himself. Later in the arvo Sherron had a haircut in the campground by a fellow camper. Young couple also travelling around, spent a while chatting to them. Dinner at the restaurant was nice.
17th Oct - Michael and the others went for a walk/climb into Joffres gorge early while Sherron stayed and started packing up. Craig, Michael and Mark swam the Olympic pool to the end and were greeted with an awesome view. Got going on the road again by 9:30am. By the time we got to Auski roadhouse for lunch it was pushing 40`C and it was 43`C when we pulled into Indee stn. $18 per night, no power but good amenities and they put on nibbles and chat for happy hour.
 18th Oct - On to Port Headland to do some washing, wash the camper and fuel up. Ended up staying the night at the Cook Point caravan park($50!) nice pool though.Maccas for dinner.
 19th Oct - Swim in the pool before leaving and on the way out noticed one of the shocks on the camper was stuffed. We had a spare with us so pushed on to DeGrey river where we would find shade to park under while Michael swapped it over. It was so stuffed, it fell to bits when he pulled it out! Very warm, 40`C.


Next, Into the Kimberley!