Our first stop after Stockton Lake was in the Wellington National Park at Potters Gorge, where we stayed a couple of nights and enjoyed cooling off in the water as it was very hot during the day. I was so glad I woke up early enough to get this photo of the fog lifting as the sun came up. (I had actually woken up much earlier and it was a complete white-out the fog was so thick!)
A quick trip to Bunbury then stocked up my supplies, filled up my petrol tank, water bottles and gas bottle and it was time at last to visit – ta da – Gnomesville! It’s not a town – it’s a magical experience on a roundabout in the middle of nowhere! It has its own website that tells you all about its history and lots of other well gnome (sorry, couldn’t help myself!) facts and stories, so if you didn’t follow the link before, click here to find out all about it.
With a smile on my face I waved goodbye to all the happy little gnomes and headed to Busselton to collect some mail. The lovely Ladybird had sent me her CMCA Calendar, which I no longer get because I read The Wanderer online. I use it daily to record where I am staying and what I am doing and it’s just the perfect size for me. Anyhow, back to Busselton! I wish I had spent more time there as it seemed to have a pleasant ambience and I felt it would be a place I’d like to get to know. It’s definitely somewhere I want to go back to. Barry and I parked our vans on the waterfront and wandered down to the Information Centre and the famous Busselton Jetty. As it was school holidays the waterfront parkland was alive with families and activities for the kids.
We had missed the early train that took you to the end of the jetty and the next one would have made it too late in the day to go to our next camp so that’s another reason to return! I HAVE to do the Jetty Train ride!
At Potters Gorge some fellow campers raved about Canebrake Pool as a great campsite so we programmed it into our respective GPS’s and headed off. Barry’s took him one way and mine took me another! I wish I’d followed Barry as I ended up doing about 15kms more of dusty corrugated gravel road before I finally found the camp. Looking for something to make me feel happier about being here I discovered these right beside my van.
Our rough trip in had certainly coloured our experience of Canebrake Pool so we only stayed one night before heading off through the Margaret River area to Alexandra Bridge.
Camping Info. Very small National Park campground with only about 9 sites, no power, shower, water, phone or internet, access via a very corrugated road, $6.60 per night Seniors, long drop toilet, swimming hole
I have included this map because it shows the next 3 camp sites we stayed at, all of which I would recommend.
Although busy over the Australia Day long weekend when we were there it never really felt overcrowded. Lots of fishermen were using the ramp to launch their boats and try their luck. I rigged up my rod to fish from the river bank but only caught two little black bream that had to be kissed goodbye and returned to the water to grow quite a few more centimetres before they would be legal size. We stayed here for four nights and I would happily go back.
Camping Info. Flush toilets, cold outdoor shower, boat ramp, water, no power, internet or phone, $10 a night per person
Loved Chapman Pool! Well, why wouldn’t I when I caught two beautiful big black bream!
But that’s not the only thing I caught. My first night fishing I also caught quite a large long neck tortoise who was really upset having a hook through his lip – and I was really upset putting it there – and also getting it out! And I gave up fishing the next day when I caught another tortoise that had swallowed, literally, the hook, line and sinker! Still, I was catching something and Barry was catching ……ooops, nothing!
We stayed here for four nights and enjoyed the swimming hole as the temperatures were in the mid to high 30’s every day. The locals were telling us this used to be a boat ramp but National Parks closed it and it is now used by many families and campers like us. You can still launch kayaks and canoes here, though.
We had a hungry little visitor each night, too! The first night it beat us to the punch and demolished the peas before we had even finished dishing up ….
As we left we took a turn up to the lookout which shows where Chapman Brook joins the Blackwood River.
Camping Info. National Park, $6.60 a night for Seniors, gas barbeque, picnic tables, long drop toilet, no water, shower,power, phone or internet, swimming
After a quick trip to Augusta to collect more mail – I had to get my voting papers for the Queensland election – we headed back to Sue’s Bridge, another National Park camp ground. On the way to Augusta, though, we took the scenic route and visited Hamelin Bay.
With mail collected and some basic shopping done we were off to Sue’s Bridge. Friends Paul & Tania had given it a glowing report but unfortunately our experience wasn’t as good as theirs. Our neighbours had very noisy children and also very noisy visitors who partied late. While the swimming hole was pretty, it was very shallow – and, there were no fish to be found!
Camping Info. National Park Campground, $6.60 per night Seniors, gas BBQ, camp kitchen, long drop toilet, no water, power, shower, phone or internet,
We stayed a couple of nights and then made our way to Shannon National Park, via the Blackwood Meadery on the Brockman Highway, where we stopped for a tasting. The building was very inviting and the owners very friendly and informative. We tried several varieties of wine made with honey and I bought a traditional mead, which is like a honey liqueur. Lovely for those nights when I have a craving for something sweet before I go to bed. Cheers!