The Snail Trail

Travelling with my home on my back and in no hurry to get anywhere

Lucky Bay Western Australia


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Lucky Me – I’m Back in Lucky Bay, WA

Around this time last year Lucky Bay was a wonderful introduction to Western Australia so it seems only fitting that my last week or so in WA is back here at Lucky Bay. The camp host, Christopher, was also back here, and Richard, who I had met here, also made the journey from Perth. It was a bit like coming home!

And how spectacular it is! I’ve tried to capture the feeling with a new poem called simply, Lucky Bay.

Lucky Bay Western Australia

First glimpse of Lucky Bay

Lucky Bay  Western Australia

Lucky Bay Western Australia

It was great having Richard camped nearby as we shared the cooking and ate our meals together – and Lucky Bay is certainly an experience you want to share. One of our neighbours launched Richard’s boat and we headed off on a fishing expedition one day. I wasn’t the champion fisherman this time. Actually neither Richard or I caught anything worth keeping but Rob, our companion, caught a decent size squid.

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A friend of Richard’s, Jay, came from Esperance to camp for a couple of nights and took us out 4-wheel driving along Rossiters Bay and Dunn’s Beach and then up into the sand dunes. Just spectacular and something I’ve never experienced before. If you have a 4-wheel drive you can drive from Le Grande beach all the way back to Esperance on the beach,too.

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The sand at Lucky Bay and nearby beaches is pure white, and Lucky Bay didn’t disappoint, with the friendly kangaroos lolling on the beach and around the camp sites. One night a kangaroo polished off the remains of some very spicy salad dressing out of my bowl so I think their tastes are very cosmopolitan due to the number of people from all around the world that stop here. They were obviously comfortable enough to stop and feed the joey one night right under Richard’s table!

Kangaroos at Lucky Bay Western Australia

Time for a drink!

Richard had the view from his campsite so it was the meeting place for Happy Hour – nothing better than a glass of wine, a spectacular view, acrobatic New Holland Honeyeaters in the trees, and good conversation.

Oh dear, does this really have to end?

 

Coronation Beach camping


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Coronation Beach – A Great Place to Stay

I should know – I’ve stayed there three times now! Although my first experience wasn’t fantastic, (blown away by strong winds), I came back a few weeks later and had six nights here. Sometimes it’s not the place, it’s the people you meet when you’re there, but Coronation Beach ticked both boxes my second time around.

A very friendly group included me in Happy Hour every day thanks to another solo traveller, Kevin, who was camped nearby me. This whole group got on so well that many stayed longer than they intended. One night we had a group barbeque at the facilities there and ended up playing a dice game that Kevin had learned at Barn Hill. It seemed to go forever, but there was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, unfortunately not won by me!

We collared a couple of backpackers to take a group shot for us and they couldn’t believe that we had all only just met each other over the last few days. They were convinced we were a Caravan Club that knew each other well! It was a great fun group and I really enjoyed their company.

A couple of the guCoronation Beachys had crab pots in and caught this wobbygong (shark) in one of them – no crabs unfortunately. It made a brief appearance for a photo shoot and then was quickly released back into the sea where, with a bit of encouragement, it swam away….very relieved I would imagine.
The group disbanded with everyone going off in their own direction and I took a detour back to Geraldton for some shopping before wandering off to Oakabella Homestead, which was the subject of my previous blog.

After a few days at Oakabella I decided to go back to Coronation Beach and although I enjoyed it once again, the friends I’d made had moved on so it was a more solitary experience.
Every afternoon the wind blew up and the windsurfers and kite surfers arrived to test their skill. What amazing strength they must have to battle the wind and the surf as they do. My favourite part was when they were getting out of their wetsuits and into dry clothes…..plenty of nicely toned cheeks on view πŸ™‚

I have to share with you the colour of the sky one night. It was after sunset and it truly looked like the sky was on fire – spectacular.

When I left Coronation Beach I once again headed back into Geraldton (only about 30kms away) to do some shopping but this time I took the opportunity to visit the stunning HMAS Sydney Memorial. The link I have included here has a page on the elements of the memorial that is well worth reading. The memorial itself sits high on a hill overlooking Geraldton and is dedicated to the 645 lives lost when the HMAS Sydney was sunk. Visiting here is a very moving experience and it’s interesting to read about the history, the sinking and the controversy that surrounded the whole event.

The dome is made up of 645 bird images – one for each of those who died in November 1941.

Then, with my cupboards stocked and the wine cellar replenished, I showed great imagination and went back to Oakabella for a few more days to enjoy Loretta’s company – and scones!


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Wearing Wobbly Boots at Cape Riche

After leaving Lucky Bay I headed back to Esperance to find a Laundromat, and washing done and dried I travelled towards Ravensthorpe. I hadn’t really thought about where I would stay tonight, but checked out my Camps Book and settled on Munglinup Beach.(NO phone, NO internet!) I hated it! Not fair, I suppose, to make such a judgement because I only stayed overnight, but the road in for about 19kms was rough and dusty corrugation, I wasn’t feeling 100%, the beach was covered in weed, and it was late in the afternooon when I got there and I kept thinking about that horrible road that I had to go out on the next day. I couldn’t wait to leave and get it over with so I was up early the next morning and headed back along that bone-shattering red dust road.

WikiCamps came up with my next overnighter – Tozers Bush Camp on the way to Bremer Bay. I am so sorry I didn’t take any photos here to show you the fanastic set up here.

Funny how something makes you lean favourably toward one thing or another. As a kid we had camping friends by the name of Tozer, and as the reviews in WikiCamps were ok I rang ahead and Robert Tozer assured me there was a spot for me. There was a spot alright – I was the only one there! What a shame this place isn’t better known. Robert has done a great job levelling a lot of sites and has built one of the best amenities blocks I have ever seen. Fantastic hot showers and toilets – luxury – and you should see the Happy Hour/Camp Kitchen he has there. It’s massive, with a huge deck that overlooks his land, and great facilities inside. I finally had internet access here, basically for the first time at a place I had stayed since the start of my journey about two weeks ago . That alone was worth the $20 a night fee – which is probably a bit over the top for what is there. I wish there had been more campers here to enjoy the Camp Kitchen and Happy Hour with, but Robert left to go back to his home in Bremer Bay and I was left with the internet and a brilliant night sky for company. He did say, though, that when the wildflowers are in bloom, he expects his camp to fill up and he has made walk trails over the property for his guests to make the most of what he has to offer here.

I must admit I was a little nervous for the first time ever as I really was in the middle of no-where, and alone! That is, except for the big green frog in the toilet! I left Robert a copy of my Green Frog poem when I departed the next day.

I decided to head to Cape Riche for a few days, and what a good choice that turned out to be.Β  (apart from NO phone and NO internet again).

Cape Riche

 

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The little birds were really friendly here and hopped all around me – they were kind enough to let me take a couple of photos, too. The one on the left is a White Browed Scrub Wren and the one on the right is a Splendid Blue Wren that becomes a vivid all over blue when it is mating – little show off!

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Found this photo on the internet to show the colour that little fellow becomes when he is breeding. Now, what female could resist him!

blue wren breeding

I spent a couple of quiet days here and on my last night I was invited to Happy Hour at a neighbouring camp. When I got there I discovered there were three guys on a fishing trip – and me! I drank far too much red wine and staggered back to my camp in my wobbly boots after Noel, Peter and Nigel had cooked up a storm for dinner, which they shared with me. Feeling much the worse for wear the next day I started the day with Panadol and a bottle of water but think I probably should have had it the night before instead of all that wine! The fellas cooked me bacon and eggs for breakfast the next day and while they headed off with their boat to catch some fish I packed up and I was ‘on the road again’!

The amount I am spending on petrol is killing my budget – I need to find a place and just prop for a while. I decided to go to Parry Beach.

 


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Lucky Me – Lucky Bay in WA

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After shopping for some supplies in Norseman I decided to head south towards the South-East Coast of Western Australia, with an overnight stop at Salmon Gums. (NO phone, NO internet). It is named after the beautiful salmon gum trees in the area.This is a small community run caravan park with hot showers, clean amenities, some powered sites and a laundry with washing machine. There was only one van there when I pulled in and no-one around but it wasn’t long before some caravanners, Bob and Carol, arrived. (No Ted and Alice!) It was only $5 for an unpowered site so I did some hand washing, hung it on the line and decided to stay.

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Β There were no flies, which was a bonus, but there lots of little bitey ants. The next morning my washing wasn’t dry so I hung around and it wasn’t long before more vans pulled in. We all started chatting and I decided to stay for another night and enjoyed a great Happy Hour with new found friends. John and Helen were one of the other couples and Helen and I started talking blogging. Helen has a travel blog called www.magfowl.com which is really interesting.

It was Saturday when I left and headed to Esperance to stock up the cupboards and fill my gas cylinder to keep the fridge running. I shopped first – big mistake! After midday there is no-one that will fill a gas cylinder and the only changeovers available were 9kg and I needed a 4kg one. On the recommendation of a friendly customer in the last servo I went to looking for gas, I headed off the 65kms to a little place called Condingup. Yes, they would fill a gas bottle for me! I’m now on my way to Lucky Bay after a 130km round trip for gas. As I came over the crest of a hill Lucky Bay came into view and I thought, yes, this has been worth the hassle.

Coming in to Lucky Bay

Coming in to Lucky Bay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The beaches along here have been voted the whitest sand beaches in Australia and it’s easy to see why. The pure white sand disappeared in to clear aqua waters, the bays curved towards rocky headlands, the Recherche Archipelago was just off-shore – it was picture postcard perfect. See what the WA Parks people have to say about Lucky Bay in the Cape Le Grand National Park here. There’s also some wonderful photos on this web-site and links to other bays in the area.

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I enjoyed four beautiful days here for $6.60 per night (plus National Park fees). (NO phone, NO internet).There is a solar shower, a great camp kitchen and believe it or not a coffee van that sets up on the beach most days about 10 o’clock. John and Helen came to visit me while I was there and booked out of their Esperance Caravan Park and camped nearby at Cape Le Grande. My fitness neighbour, Richard, joined me for a walk along the beach one day and we shared Happy Hour that evening before I left the next day.

The other beautiful thing about this camp was the birds and I was really excited to see a stunning finch called a Red-eared Firetail. Typically I didn’t get a photo – red eared firetail3all the birds I aim the lens at are extremely camera shy, but I found this one on the internet and can guarantee this is exactly what they look like.

 

As I was packing up my camp one of the camp ground kangaroos got upset with me and growled! Did you know they do that? I thought they only made Skippy noises and I got a hell of a fright. Anyhow, a few days later I wrote my first children’s poem called The Angry Kangaroo. I won’t include it here, but you will find it on the Poetry page of my blog.

Here are a couple of kangaroos that made themselves at home around the camp.

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Lucky me – I had spent a wonderful four days in Lucky Bay!


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Camping the Tasmanian Coast

I’ve been so busy finding all these wonderful camp sites that I’m having blog withdrawals – as some of you must be judging by the messages I’ve had about the lack of blogs. So here goes my attempt at blogging on my iPhone
Rather than tell you lots of stories in this blog I’m going to concentrate on the camps! Hope you enjoy the pics.
Mayfield Bay
Great little campsite. Donation box. Long drop toilet. No showers.
The first pic is of a convict built arched bridge and the second of my sister, Marion, on the beach.

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Lagoons Beach
Right on the beach. Heaps of campsites with level ground and trees between the camps so although there was a lot of people there the camps were quite private.

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Binalong Bay
Day visit only. Lovely clean beach

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Swimcart Beach
Another lovely free camp right on the beach. It was quite windy when we were there but there were more protected sites back off the water.

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Paper Beach
On the western side of the Tamar River. Toilets, water, camping between 5pm & 9am for about 6 vans.

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Jose and I both managed to wash our vans here as they were covered in white mud from all the roadworks we’d been through.
Preservation Bay
Nice grassy free camp near Penguin. No facilities but a lovely beach.

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Detention River
Not listed in Camp 6. Heading west on Bass Highway turn right before the Detention River bridge almost opposite service station. Big open area by the road but drive down the track and there are lovely protected and private sites along the river and towards the river mouth. No facilities. This is what this lifestyle is all about!

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This next photo was taken as we left the next day and the tide was out. Taken from a similar spot as the first pic.

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Boat Harbour Beach
Another one not in Camp 6. Free. Good clean toilets. Water (recommended to boil). Grassy site for about 10 vans. A local couple came around to welcome us and give us an info leaflet. Sisters Beach is now closed for camping and this is the closest spot to there. Beautiful clean beach. Kiosk open during the day.

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Today, Jose is off to rodeo in Ulverstone (not Galveston!) and we’ll catch up again tonight to head towards Queenstown and Strahan. She’s looking the part, don’t you think?

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