So what is all about? Well... hopefully, by the time we are done, it will be a comprehensive journal about a family of 5 who have travelled around Australia to see the sights and also do some volunteer work around the country! In Mid 2010 we started thinking about what it would take to fulfil a life-long dream... We wanted to bundle up our 3 kids, pack-up the house, jump in the car and hit the road - probably for about 12 months. It sounds so simple ... At the start of January 2013, after almost 15 months on the road; we finally completed Our Big Aussie Road Trip. We hope that you enjoyed following our adventures, trials and tribulations as much as we enjoyed having them!

25 April, 2012

Exmouth / Cape Range (Part 1)

We arrived in Exmouth on Thursday the 12th April having driven from Warroora Station.  We had heaps of washing to do (as we’d been in free/cheap camps for the previous 7 nights), so we got to the Exmouth Caravan park, got setup and started the loads of washing (once the power to the laundry was back on after an unexpected blackout!).  Once we’d got some of the washing underway, we went for a drive to the visitor centre to see what Exmouth has to offer.  We picked up some maps and brochures which will be useful for our time on the Peninsula.

After lunch, Mike wanted to pickup some things from the hardware, so we found the store.  Opposite the hardware was the mechanic, and we wanted to get an oil change for Bruiser (our Landcruiser) and the mechanic was happy enough to do it on the spot for us which was perfect.  While Bruiser got an oil change, we browsed the hardware and bought the bits that we needed.  When the car was ready, we headed back to the caravan park for a swim to cool off in the hot afternoon.

After we’d swum and had dinner, the kids and Liz went to watch a talent show that the caravan park was running (as it is school holidays).  Mike skyped into his fortnightly Prayer Group (which he tries to do whenever we have Internet reception and it’s the right Thursday night).  The kids really enjoyed watching the talent show and seeing other kids performing skits and showing off their talents.  After the talent show, they were showing the movie ‘Kung Fu Panda’, so the kids watched the movie on the big screen they had setup outside.  The kids had lots of fun, and didn’t get back to the van until about 9pm.

The next morning we went out to see ‘shothole canyon’ and ‘Charles knife gorge’ which were only about 30km’s away from Exmouth.  The Shothole canyon was very spectacular.  We drove along the bottom of the canyon and looked up at the cliffs towering above us as we drove along.  There was no water in the creek/river, but it was a really great place to have a look at.  We then went along to the Charles Knife Gorge and this time we drove along the top of the clifflines and looked down on the gorge below.  Again it was a really spectacular sight.  We drove out to a lookout which gave a great view over the Exmouth Gulf as well as a lot of the peninsula.  It was quite hot, but we all enjoyed looking at these great and rugged places.

Liz and the kids with Shothole Canyon behind

A spectacular view through Shothole Canyon

The Lookout at the end of the Charles Knife Gorge Road
Charles Knife Gorge
Looking over the Exmouth Gulf from the top of the Range
After lunch we did a very brief shop at the IGA and then headed for a swim in the pool at the caravan park.  We decided to celebrate the fact that we have now had 6 months on the road with some take away pizza – which everyone enjoyed thoroughly.  That evening there was another movie showing for the kids, the Bee Movie.  Sam and Natalie were exhausted, but it was quite nice watching the movie under the brilliant stars in the warm April evening.
Saturday morning, we packed up the car and the van.  As we were packing up, the tailgate on the car broke which meant that we couldn’t open the boot of the car!  Luckily we managed to use the broken door handle clip to get into the boot and once the door was open we rigged up a ‘pull string’ mechanism to open the boot with a piece of string, so we’ll probably have to use this to open the boot until we can get it fixed in Darwin.  Anyway, we were out of the van park just after 10am and started the 75Km drive to our next campsite in the Cape Range National Park.

As we drove from Exmouth to the National Park, we passed some huge radio transmitters (which we later found out were radio transmitters used to communicate with Submarines around the globe).  Anyway, we drove into the National Park and stopped at the visitor information centre to pickup a map and some info on the park.
We had pre-booked our National Park Accommodation online, and we picked a campsite called "Kurrajong";  we made our way there and setup the van.

Liz and the kids with our Kurrajong Campsite in the background

Kurrajong Campsite - Cape Range

Once we were all setup, we decided to go for a snorkel at the beach just behind our campsite.  The kids rode bikes around the campsite with a new friend they had met (a 5 year old boy who was from Sydney as well and who’s family is travelling around Australia too).

The beach just behind our Campsite

Josh, Natalie and Sam exploring the Beach
After we’d had dinner, we joined the camp hosts Dave and Judy on the beach to watch the sunset.  It was a bit cloudy, so it wasn’t the best sunset we’d seen, but it was still very nice, and was an enjoyable evening chatting to some fellow Christians and watching the ever-changing ocean in front of us.

On Sunday Morning we had organised to meet up with Lachlan and Bec Edwards (who are the ministers in the Anglican Community Church in Exmouth), so we had an early breakfast and were in the car by 8am to get to church by 9am.  We really enjoyed going to church in Exmouth, and met some really lovely people.

After church, Lachlan and Bec invited us back to lunch at their place, so we went back to their house and had lunch with them and their kids; Emily and Tim.  They were sooo hospitable to us and we really appreciated their company and their local knowledge.  Our kids loved playing with their kid’s toys and Emily and Tim were so great with our kids.  Thanks Lachlan and Bec.

It was quite late by the time we left Exmouth, but on the way back to our camp we stopped at the old Exmouth Base (which is now abandoned) but supported a few thousand people in it’s heyday, and we also stopped at Bundegi beach and the massive Submarine Radio to have a look.

Some of the massive Radio Towers near
Exmouth.  That building is a 5-storey
When we got back to the campsite, the kids did some more riding before we went down to the beach to join all the other campers at the Kurrajong Campsite to watch the sun go down over the ocean.  The sunset was absolutely beautiful and we had a good chat with Alex and Bel who are from Sydney and are travelling around Australia too.  Once the sun was down it was time for dinner and then bed.

One of the MANY beautiful sunsets we watched
while at Cape Range National Park
On Monday morning, we went to Yardie Creek (at the south end of the National Park).  It was a perfectly cloudless day (like we've had so much lately) and by the time we got to Yardie creek it was warming up to well over 30 degrees.  We went to the Gorge at Yardie Creek and did both the walks we could do.  It was a lovely gorge and we had a good (but quite hot) walk.

Yardie Creek Gorge behind Liz, Josh, Natalie and Sam

Yardie Creek, Cape Range National Park

Looking over the cliff down into the gorge deep below

A view of Yardie Creek Gorge from the top of our walk
After we left the gorge we had a brief morning tea before heading to Turquoise Bay to snorkel at the Cape's most famous bay.  It has 2 sides, a drift side and a bay side.  We went to the drift side which has a current running over the coral and allows you to drift over all the marine life underneath (and hop out before the current takes you out to sea!).  All the kids got to have a good snorkel along the drift loop.  We saw heaps of fish, an octopus, lots of coral, a stingray and so much other life.  We stayed a few hours at Turquoise Bay and we all thoroughly enjoyed it.

Snorkeling at Turquoise Bay

Natalie enjoying the crystal clear water at Turquoise Bay

Once we’d eaten a late lunch, we had a rest-time (particularly for Sam, who was very, very tired (the heat really seems to make us all more tired than we were expecting we should be!)).  Sam slept for a few hours while the other 2 played games, read books or did beading.

When Sam was awake again, we decided to go fishing at the beach behind our Caravan.  We all went down as the kids really wanted to have a go.  Mike setup all the kids with a rod or handline, and no longer than 30 seconds after the line hit the water, Sam had hooked up with a nice sized Silver Dart.  There must be a lot of silver darts around, because Liz, Sam and Mike all caught one.  Josh caught a big puffer fish (north western blowfish).  We threw all our fish back, but we had heaps of fun casting out and having a small fight with a fish –it was quite a thrill for everyone.
Sam caught this Silver Dart

That evening we joined a large host of people (I think people from all 10 campsites were there) to watch an absolutely beautiful sunset over the Indian Ocean on Monday evening.  We had a late dinner that night, but once dinner was done, the stars were well and truly out, so we sat outside in our camp chairs and stargazed for a while.  Natalie spotted many satellites, and Mike and Liz pointed out some of the well known constellations.  The kids really enjoyed the stargazing.

Another Amazing sunset at Cape Range

No comments: