|Esperance to Fitzgerald River NP
This album has 17 photos and will be available on SkyDrive until 26/02/2015.
Arriving at Cape Arid NP we drove up the beach about 20 minutes to a cleared spot behind the headlands that Christian from the boat cruise told us about. It was a magnificent spot that we had to ourselves with our own secluded bay and only saw one group of people the whole six days we were there. While we were there we climbed Mt. Arid and enjoyed views out to Middle Island and the Recherche Archipelago as far as the eye could see. We also had long leisurely walks on the beach everyday, went for a drive one day to check out the other beaches with the wildflowers and tried a bit of rock fishing but not even a nibble.
From here we went to Duke of Orleans Bay for three nights. Another lovely spot which is very popular in the holidays. We took the canoe out along the edge of the bay and had a heart stopping moment when something big swam under us. Up jumped a seal and it swam along with us diving in and out of the water and showing off like a puppy dog. You could almost hear it saying ‘look at me, look at me!’ Lucky there wasn’t a big white fish following it (well, we hope not)!
Next camp was at Cape Le Grande NP for another three nights. We climbed Frenchman’s Peak which is very steep and hard going but the views at the top are beautiful. We could see Woody Island and the cruise boat heading out there and texted them to wave to us! We had one really hot day where we got a swim in but otherwise it was quite windy and a bit cool so we drove round to the other beaches for a look including Lucky Bay which was voted second best beach in Australia. Not sure what number one is but hopefully we will find it in our travels!
While we were here we unfortunately received sad news of my brother and sister-in-laws middle son Luke tragically passing on. Our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to Pete, Marion, Adam & Tim.
We returned to Esperance via the beach getting bogged on the way. The waves were almost lapping the tyres and lucky another car came along and snatched us out. We saw him later and he got bogged in the same spot on the way back but could get himself out as he wasn’t towing a trailer. We stayed for a couple of days before heading west to Quagi Beach for a few nights. Greg got up with the sparrows one morning, went down to the beach with his camera and saw a pod of dolphins surfing. We did a day drive to Fanny Cove stopping at Moir Homestead on the way to see the ruins of an old sheep grazing property. At Fanny Cove we were fortunate to score a good size fish off a fisherman who came back in his tinnie with an eskie full of snapper. Easiest fish we ever caught though we didn’t get the snapper!
Went on to Munglinup Beach for another three nights which had a beautiful lagoon but the beach was so soft and hard walking. No way you would take your car on it! Starvation Bay was our next stop at another great camp we were told about and again had it to ourselves and could have a fire. Caught a couple of flatheads but they were undersized, bad luck.
We then went to Hopetoun for a couple of nights on the edge of Fitzgerald River NP before heading out to the park where we are now. We will stop at a couple of camps in the park and keep heading west probably to Bremer Bay before heading north to Perth to catch the plane back to Sydney for a month over Xmas where we hope to catch up with most of you.
There is no doubt that WA have some of the best beaches in Australia. We thought East Coast was special and it is, but they don’t go anywhere near some we have seen here with the sand so white and fine and the water so blue, but they are also damn cold down here!
|Cape Arid NP to Cape Le Grand NP
This album has 15 photos and will be available on SkyDrive until 26/02/2015.
We arrived back at Esperance two days ago and are now getting ready to go out to Cape Arid, Duke of Orleans and Cape Le Grande National Parks for a couple of weeks exploring. We totally enjoyed our time out at Woody Island and was sad to leave but time to move on and more experiences to be had!
While on the island we saw a Southern Right whale breaching out the front and had a visit from a pod of dolphins with their calves all day. We had a cruise in at the time and a few people went in snorkelling with them. Should have got in as it would have been a good opportunity and most people pay hundreds to do that but it’s still too cold! The ones in swimming said there were chunks of fish floating around which the adults must have been chewing up for the calves.
Greg went back to the mainland for two nights after he was poked in the eye with a stick while cleaning up the campground. He went to outpatients to be looked at and get some drops. All is well with no permanent damage! I spent a couple of nights on my own till there was a boat to bring him back. Only of a night was I worried about pirates but I had no visitors, thank God! Anyway, that’s all for now……….. we will probably be out of range for the next couple of weeks.
|More Woody Island Photos.
This album has 10 photos and will be available on SkyDrive until 27/01/2015.
On Friday the 26th September we both finally finished up our jobs in Kalgoorlie. What a feeling! It took us all weekend to pack up and have our final farewell drinks with many of the great people and friends we made over the last twenty months but at long last on Monday the 29th we drove out of town.
First stop was at the hat tree just out of Kalgoorlie where Greg hung his hard hat up for the last time (well that one anyway) with many others who escaped as well! Then it was on to Esperance where we stayed for two nights arranging storage of the car and trailer and getting our supplies before heading over to Woody Island about 15kms south-east to live and volunteer caretake for the next month.
A cruise boat comes over some days when they have enough numbers at 11 am and stops in for morning tea which we have ready for them. We’ve now mastered the art of scone making and also laid on the Anzac biccies and muffins as well. While here they can go for a bush walk, bird watch, swimming, snorkelling or just enjoy the view and then they’re back on the boat at 12.30 and we have the island to ourselves again. The only other thing we have to do is make sure the amenities are clean and maybe a bit of maintenance or cleaning up of the overgrown or dead plants when and if we feel like it.
So far we’ve done the walks on the island, gone fishing and even went for a quick snorkel one day. Very quick, the water was freezing! But there’s heaps of coloured fish to see and apparently a couple of sunken boats as well. I’m a bit paranoid about sharks myself!
When we need more supplies we give the boat crew a list and they bring it over with the next cruise so we don’t leave the island at all till the end of October but that’s no hardship and honestly, someone has to do it!
What to do now…..go for a fish, have a siesta on the deck…..decisions, decisions! God, I miss Kalgoorlie!
This album has 16 photos and will be available on SkyDrive until 8/01/2015.
Early April we had Greg’s mum Sue come over to Kalgoorlie for a weeks visit and was absolutely great having her here. Greg took a week off work to show her around and take her on day trips. I’m sure he wore her out! They also went on a scenic flight over the Pit and the town before she left.
We both got the week of Easter and Anzac off from work and went camping. As we have too much stuff that you tend to accumulate when nesting we had to borrow a tent! Many people told us that a great place to go was Niagara Dam about two hours north from here. So off we went and when we arrived we were both blown away by the size of it! It looked a lot bigger in the photos! We are obviously spoilt for waterways back on the east side and maybe we take them for granted as out here they get excited over a bit of water which isn’t much bigger then a yabbie dam! But we enjoyed ourselves and had a relaxing time. We did a couple of day trips to Kookynie and Gwalia which were both big bustling towns in their hey day of mining. Kookynie still have people living there and the pub is popular with travellers. When the ‘Sons of Gwalia’ mine closed down the town emptied overnight from 1200 to 40 as they all got on the train and left. The old shacks are being restored to how they were originally and is now a tourist attraction. The mine is now up and running again having being brought out by St Barbara. There is a photo here showing the mine but as it is actually an underground mine it goes down another 1200 metres which you can’t see.
On the Anzac weekend we went to a spot on the map called Rawlinna for the Nullarbor Muster. It’s about 380kms east of Kalgoorlie on the Trans Access Road which follows the Trans Continent railway line to the east. Once a year they have a rodeo as well as heaps more activities and entertainment going on from Friday afternoon till Sunday. They had about 850 people camping there which was down from the previous year as they had a bit of rain (but not enough to stop any events). We were surprised by the variety of people there from young families, grey nomads,international tourists as well as the expected groups of blokes and women. Next to us camping on one side were three young blokes from Holland who are currently WWOOFAing/working on a property at Wiluna (which is way out in the middle of no where). They all decided to have a go at the bull riding and did, not once but twice and still got up and walked away. On the other side of us camping were a retired couple travelling around Oz. They declined on the bull riding! Other events they had included skeet shooting(clay shooting), arm wrestling, iron man and women racing, boat racing (similar to the Todd River race at Alice Springs), barrel racing, charity horse race and heaps more. The whole weekend had a great atmosphere with everyone enjoying themselves. The trip home was slow as the road was getting chopped up and one car we came across only about 20kms into the trip rolled over (obviously going too fast)! They had a long wait ahead of them for a trailer to come out and get them!
Since then we’ve been back at work and Greg is now playing hockey again. We went to the races one weekend with a couple Wendy and Doug we met here at the park. They came over from Sale in Victoria to caretake Davyhurst mine which is currently mothballed till the price of gold picks up and production starts again. While at the races Wendy picked the trifecta, got excited and stepped back in a hole which you couldn’t see and broke her foot! She didn’t think it was so bad till the next day when she couldn’t walk on it and no, she wasn’t drunk! She’d only had one beer at that stage!
We had a visit from John Phillipson’s son Ben and his partner last week who are travelling Australia as well. It was great to see them and hear some of their stories and adventures as well as news from home!
We are now on the countdown till we leave in October and continue travelling ourselves. As we want to spend a couple of months down the south of WA we decided to stay here and work over winter as it will be too cold and windy now. Hopefully by the time we go the weather will be great! Till then, cheers and hope everyone is well!
|Nullarbor Muster–Something You Muster Do!
This album has 24 photos and will be available on SkyDrive until 14/09/2014.
|St. Barbara’s Day Festival.
This album has 28 photos and will be available on SkyDrive until 24/05/2014.
Since our last post we have done a few things around here as you can see from the photos. In December they had their St Barbara Day Festival where they have a big parade and bring some of the big machinery out for the day and pelt lollies at you. Actually we were on the wrong side and the wind was blowing them back at them! The dump truck in the photo here is as tall as the two storey pub on the corner.
For my birthday we did a half hour scenic flight over Kalgoorlie and the Super Pit which was great and you get to see just how big the hole is next to the town. You also get to see there is a whole lot of nothing beyond the town too!
After Xmas we went for a drive with Helen and Graeme (also from this park) up to Menzies and out to Lake Ballard (about two hours north). This is a huge salt lake with 51 sculptures spaced out on it. In the distance it looked like there was water in it but it was only a mirage. Lucky we took plenty of water with us as the day we went was about 45 degrees but out on the lake was more like 50!
Another day over the Xmas break we went to the local brothel for a tour which was well worth doing and the madam had plenty of stories to tell as you can imagine! It was only $20 for about one and a half hours opposed to $280 an hour with one of the girls!
On Australia Day weekend we drove about 400 kms to Hyden to see Wave Rock. Amazing how this just pops up out of nowhere. There’s also a salt lake which actually had water in it and is seven times more saltier than the ocean! They have made a pool using the same water so you can go for a dip and you can’t sink! You just bob around in it!
Recently we had a couple of days good rain and Kalgoorlie had a river running through it. Funny how people bring their blow up boats and canoes out and get in it! But also the lakes around here filled up with water so we went for a drive last weekend to have a look (one we went to twelve months ago was bone dry) and was surprised to see ski boats and jet skis in them.
The weather here is starting to cool down a bit with the days being around high 20’s to mid 30’s, perfect! We brought ourselves a portable air con for the hot nights and glad we did. But it probably won’t be long now before it will get cold again!
|The Latest From Kalgoorlie!
This album has 13 photos and will be available on SkyDrive until 13/02/2014.
We’ve not done a great deal, both still working and looking forward to the day we leave! The weather is warming up now, but then again, it can be 39 one day and then 22 degrees the next! But one thing for certain is the wind off the Superpit every morning is about 20 to 25kms/hour when I’m riding to work(head wind) and then it changes direction so I get it coming home! No, ‘Ferris’ is still going, I thought I would get some exercise!
Well we ended up having about 200 Rebel bikies’ here for the night when they went through on their annual run from the east coast to Perth. We knew of about 40 booked in and I was ‘gobsmacked’ when I came home and saw them all! They were fairly quite until the next morning when they all starting leaving about five am. Would have been nice if they pushed their bikes out!!
In September we went to the Kalgoorlie Cup Race Day and even though we weren’t lucky we had a great day anyhow! The fashions were up there with the Melbourne Cup and just about everyone dressed to the nines! Also enjoyed the Jimmy Barnes concert too and went to the rodeo another night but it was freezing!
One Sunday we went for a drive to have a look at Wendy’s Gully not far out of town. It wasn’t much more than a big yabbie dam but we saw plenty of wildflowers out and there was a lot of old abandoned mines. Most are not fenced off, so you wouldn’t want to be stumbling around in the dark! There are also lots of dirt 4WD tracks running off in all directions and it would be easy to get lost! We followed one track that went alongside the power lines and used the GPS on the phone to come out onto another main road.
Never a dull moment here in Boulder with a couple of incidents that we know of! None of these made the local paper for some reason! The first, was one local indigenous attacked another outside the bottle shop in the middle of the day, mid week with a Passion Pop bottle. Apparently it was a mess with the streets closed and unfortunately he didn’t survive!
The other incident was a armed robbery at the local mini supermarket one Saturday. We had no idea about it, but I’d just got back from the line with the washing when about a dozen police officers armed with rifles came sneaking past. Apparently someone saw this guy near here and unbeknown to us they had the park closed off not letting anyone in or out while they staked the place out. We didn’t know whether to hit the deck or go inside….but I don’t think the canvas walls would have saved us if they had a shoot out! Never heard any more so we don’t know if they found him or not(but the car was seen getting loaded onto a tow truck out the front here on Monday)!
Last month they had Boulderfest (Boulder’s Oktoberfest) which a few of us decided to participate in. The idea is, at the first pub you buy your pint glass full and then do a pub crawl filling it at each one. I think we only missed one pub! A good day was had by all with a couple of bands and good food as well!
Last weekend was Greg’s birthday…..’Happy Birthday’! We had a quite day and walked up to the local pub for dinner. And that about brings us up to date!
It will be Xmas before we know it, so we’d like to wish everyone a Merry Xmas now and have a great New Year….
This album has 11 photos and will be available on SkyDrive until 12/10/2013.
We’ve settled into the ‘Kalgoorlian’ lifestyle with both of us working fulltime now. Greg got a job as a fitter with ‘Orica’ where they make explosives for the mines. (He’s actually making a cake now as I write this, good man!) . We’ve moved to a bigger, more permanent site, so Greg brought a tarp and did some extensions and now we live in a palace!
We were thinking of staying here 12 to 18 months and saving as much as we can and then head off on our next adventure and hopefully have 12 months off. But having said that, the mines are slowing down with the gold prices and a few people are getting laid off, so we’ll just see what happens. Even though neither of us work directly for the mines, they try and support the locals here first before going outside for their resources so most companies here rely on them for the majority of their business.
A few things we’ve done so far include seeing the ‘Hockeyroos’ playing here against the best of the locals, the ‘Kalgoorlie Allstars’ about six weeks ago and even though they didn’t win they still put up a good fight and it was a great game to watch.
We went on a ‘Superpit” tour a few of weeks ago which was quite interesting and you get up close with the big dump trucks. Another weekend we went for a drive to Kanowna, about 20kms away where there use to be a town but now only has a lot of old mine shafts and a couple of pioneer cemetery’s! There’s also a gold processing plant nearby, Barricks’ Kanowna Belle.
On Anzac Day we went to the races and even though we didn’t do any good with the horses we had a good day anyway. They have the races on every Sunday here until the Kalgoorlie Cup in September and then it’s over till the next year as it’s too hot in summer. Jimmy Barnes will be playing at the ‘ Kalgoorlie race round’ and we got tickets for that, something to look forward to!
A few weeks ago Ewan McGregor was here filming scenes for his new movie “Son of a Gun’. I watched a police chase scene which was just up the road from here, but missed seeing them roll the car! We’ve also had Jon English and Frankie J Holden staying at this park (not at the same time).
On the long weekend we went to Esperance about 4 hours drive away and it was great to see blue water and white sand again! The weather wasn’t great but it didn’t matter as we were just glad for a change and we stayed in a motel anyway. We did the tourist drives and went out to Cape Le Grande National Park for a look and to Lucky Bay which is suppose to be one of the best in Australia . It was overcast but on a good day the water is really blue and the sand is like powder. We even saw a whale!
A couple of weeks ago we brought an old bomb named ‘ Ferris, the Blue Ferrari’ so I don’t have to ride to work anymore and good timing too, as that week we got 2 and 3 degree mornings with frost! A couple of mornings I’ve even had ice on the windscreen. Brrrrrrrrrr! What happened to the plan of ‘no more winters’!
Well, that just about brings us up to date for now! Hope everyone is well and keeping warm and we would love to hear from you!
This album has 1 photo and will be available on SkyDrive until 6/07/2013.
I can’t believe it was February since our last update! Where has the time gone?…busy,busy!
We enjoyed our trip back home to the Coast for Henry’s birthday party and and I think he was genuinely surprised to see us! It was great to catch up with both family and friends again that we could in the amount of time we had, which wasn’t long enough of course!
The trip back was a long one getting up at two in the morning and arriving in Kalgoorlie 10.30pm WA time. We worked out we were up for 24 hours!
Since we’ve been back, it was out there looking for jobs again and doing the rounds of the labour hire places. I ended up getting a full time permanent job as a store person/delivery driver at an auto spare parts shop. I especially like doing the deliveries and getting out and about and I’m really getting to know my way around Kalgoorlie now. Greg has done a couple of ‘shut downs’ but they were only for one or two days. At the moment he is back on the Central Coast at Vales Point Power Station doing an ‘outage’. Toshiba flew him home and hopefully he will be back in a couple of weeks with a healthy pay pack. Also he could have a permanent job when he gets back to Kalgoorlie, fingers crossed!
So far we have been for a couple of drives out to Coolgardie, Douglas Lake(which was red), Broad Arrow Hotel, Ora Banda Hotel for lunch and Rowles Lagoon which was empty. It’s amazing how many mines are around here. One day we went out to the Bush Two Up where they were betting minimum $100 & $200 throws! Needless to say, we didn’t have a bet! One bloke we reckon had about ten grand in his hand and the majority of the other betters were Philippino women! Their husbands were probably at work! We’ve also been to the speedway and the community fair which was pretty poor, especially as it was $15 dollars to get in and not much to see. The speedway was good and I have since been back again with a family we met(Karen,Mick,Joel & Tye) who are also living in the caravan park. We also ran into a bloke living in this park that I worked with at Woollies warehouse…small world!
Greg has joined the local hockey team and had his first game before he went back to the coast. They put him on the wing and made him do some running! I believe he felt it a couple of days later!
Last weekend was Easter and I had four days off. Wasn’t much to do but I went for a bit of a drive and took some photos of the old buildings around the town, some which date back to the early 1900’s. There’s a lot of history here with the gold fields and miners and also the pipeline that comes all the way from Perth(650kms) with their water supply. Other than that, there’s a lot of open space and red dirt outside of Kalgoorlie and a long way between towns!
Well,it’s 4 p.m. and must be happy hour so I’ll just toddle off to Karen and Mick’s place for a couple of cold ones. Cheers!