Paying over the top prices for camping really gets up my nose so here’s a couple of alternatives I have tried recently. After leaving Oakabella Homestead I decided to try some more Homestead/Farmstay camping.
Linga Longa, or Lynton by the Sea, is not far from Northampton on the way to Port Gregory, and offers clean basic facilities. The original homestead is in the process of being restored but the property has an interesting history as a convict depot.
This is the most intact convict hiring depot remaining in Western Australia. It is located a few kilometres south east of Port Gregory and is open to the public as is the nearby Sanford Homestead.
The convict depot was opened in 1853 and convicts from here were taken to work the lead mines 40 miles north east at Geraldine.The depot did not survive due to the difficulties associated with living in the area and the lack of transport.
Just 500m from the depot is Captain Sanford’s house, stables and mill. These buildings are slowly being restored and they provide a marked contrast to how the convicts and their pensioner guards had to live just out of sight around the hill.
The timber used in Sanford’s house was mostly salvaged from flotsam washed up on the beach. The supporting beams along the balcony were once the masts of sailing ships.
Information courtesy of WANowandThen.com
Sanford House sits on the hillside, originally a Georgian style home which had verandahs added to it at some time in its life. It has magnificent views over the Pink Lake (Hutt Lagoon) and to the sea.
There is a walking trail up behind the house that takes you to the ridge for even better views over the valley to the sea.
Back at the current homestead there is a beautiful old granary mill that just glows with the warmth of natural stone. Hmmm… this almost inspires me to get out my paints!
Camping at Linga Longa is fairly basic and costs $20 per night per site whether you have power or not. I wouldn’t rush back there to camp as it didn’t represent good value for money for me – one person in an unpowered site – but I’m sure the couples in caravans hooked up to power thought it was a bargain!
I left after only one night, choosing not to linger longer, and popped down to Port Gregory and past the Pink Lake for a look. It was a rather overcast day, but when the sun did shine through, the lake was certainly very pink. They actually farm the algae that causes the pink colouring of the lake.for beta-carotene.
My next night was spent at the Principality of Hutt River, which was the subject of a previous blog, but with so much to see in Kalbarri I was on the lookout for some affordable accommodation.
Big River Ranch was the answer! Only a couple of kilometres out of Kalbarri township it was half the price of the caravan parks in town. (I paid $17 a night for a powered site) Sure, it was a lot more basic but it gave me a base to explore the magnificent Kalbarri National Park, which will be the subject of another blog. Being so close to town there was fantastic phone and internet reception too. You’d have to like animals to stay here! There’s a goat, sheep, lots of horses, chooks, dogs, turkeys and peacocks. Murchison House Station Stay normally another alternative but it is closed for mustering from the end of October.
I can’t wait to show you some of the photos of Kalbarri National Park but I still have some more exploring to do before then.
November 21, 2014 at 4:41 pm
Hello Rosemary. Glad to see you’re still enjoying WA. In relation to camping costs, do you have a resource like “Camps Australia Wide” with you? If you plan to stay in WA for a while you might want to get a concessional “Annual All” Parks Pass from the WA Department of Parks & Wildlife. I think the concessional pass costs $50, but it gives you a year’s free access to all the national parks and conservation reserves in WA except for special attractions like the Treetop Walk near Walpole. You still have to pay camping fees, but they are usually very reasonable and you don’t have to pay the $9 vehicle entry fee into the national park. GrahamS
November 21, 2014 at 7:02 pm
Thanks for the suggestions Graham. My Camps 6 book (Camps 8 due out in January) helps me plan all my trips and stopovers and I use a smartphone app called WikiCamps to fill in the gaps. I really like this app because it has user input, so rather than just being given the basic info about a campsite users can post comments, photos etc. For $4.99 it’s money well spent. I also have loaded Camps 6 onto my GPS so once I have decided on a destination I just hit in the camp number, or the co-ordinates, and Lee, my friendly Garmin navigator tells me where to go. Sometimes I tell him where to go, too, and I’m not as polite!! I purchased a National Parks Pass some months ago and have certainly had my money’s worth from it. Off to Monkey Mia tomorrow to see the dolphins and enjoy the beach – and bird life if it’s not too hot to do the walk to the bird hide. Cheers to you and Donna.
November 24, 2014 at 12:03 pm
HI Rosemary-and did you get your paints out ???/