Monthly Archives: September 2015

Rocks and Rays

Spring had spring, the grass was rizz

– so off we went, without a tizz.


For short cut to the video story,  see the YouTube below:


This time, a fairly short 4 week trip into the north-west corner – taking in the Pilbara, then north-west to Ningaloo,  and home again, home again jiggity jig –  down the west coast with a side trip to the Kennedy Ranges.

First destination was Karijini National Park with its rugged beauty of the gorges, it’s beautiful waterfalls and sparkling rock pools.  We had stayed there about 4 years ago where we had first spotted Ultimate Campers in the wild – and we decided this was the way for us to rough-it.

Fortescue Falls - Karijini

Fortescue Falls – Karijini

We stayed a couple of nights at Dales Gorge, covering all the walks and swimming holes there before moving on to the Karijini Eco Retreat area, which is closer to the more interesting gorges and somewhat more challenging hikes.

Waeno Gorge – Handrail Pool

Then onto a new find – which delighted us beyond expectations – the Millstream Chichester National Park, accurately described as “an oasis in the desert, nestled within the chocolate brown rocks of the Chichester Range, dotted with spinifex and snappy gums”  Great swimming holes and expansive camp grounds.

Lily Ponds – Millstream NP


From there to Dampier to restock and catch up with FIFO son.  The library in Dampier another gem with friendly staff and fascinating local history, including true stories on the legendary Red Dog.

Red Dog Statue – Dampier

Heading west, we tackled the heavily corrugated road into Ningaloo Station for a prized three days camping on the beach with the reef just meters off-shore.

Beachside Paradise – Ningaloo Station

To experience the best of Ningaloo Marine Park our next camp site was at Osprey Bay.  As the crow flies this was just 30km away – but Yardie Creek was flowing so no vehicle crossing could be made, and we are not crows.  SO … the long way round via Exmouth – 180kms!

This was the turn-around point.  Heading home we stayed at Coral Bay to take a boat trip to swim with the Manta Rays and scuba on the reef.  Worth it?  Hell yes!

Swimming with Mantra Rays – a rare black bellied one

Tracking inland 150 kms from Carnarvon is the Kennedy Range National Park, which was quite a different experience – the ranges are rugged red sandstone known for wild flowers at this time of year.  It gorges did not hold much water when we visited, but we will be back at a wetter time as I’m sure it would be spectacular.

Gasgoyne Region – Crossing the Lyons River – not so wet


Best Bush Musician

Then home via beach camping at Gladstone (WA), a Murchison Station stay, the Kalbarri cliffs and an impromptu catch up with delightful Mad Max.

Camping on the Murchison River

So highlights were:

  • Millstream Chichester National Park
  • Swimming with Manta Rays
  • The bush musician’s fire side concert at Kennedy

Score – 4700 kms, and for once no damage to us.  But we did see a totalled caravan, and did our fair share of assisting the others.


When things turn pear shaped – one I couldn’t fix