Lewis' Exploring Oz

On and off the beaten track…………………….

Sunny days and cold nights

Posted by lewisfamilyexploringoz on May 30, 2010

Hi Everyone,

Well we’ve set up the dish and have managed to fluke the internet again so here comes the next installment of our adventures.

Kids in Bunbury

We managed to catch up with Em and the kids in Australind on Sunday – and yep i brought my jacket but wished i’d had my scarf and beanie too.  Went out for lunch and kids played at park by the lake and had a ball.  Thanks for a great time – it was a good practice run for the next few days!

We had decided to name our caravan and a family vote was unanimous for “The Swamp”.  Not because we are messy individuals but more for the Shrek reference: We each have an alter ego from the films: Joel is Shrek (The loveable grouch) , I am Pricess Fiona (quit fitting as i am a gemini), Daniel is Donkey (incessant talking) and Wade is Puss in Boots (those eyes man get him out of trouble all the time!  Thanks to Tamara and Sue for orgainising the sticker for our van with such short notice. It looks great.
The rain was starting to get to us as normally when it

rains in Karratha we usually get out and dance in the stuff, but it was just cold and wet.  So we decided to do as much as we needed and get the hell outta town.  So we did.  We

The Swamp

left and headed north towards Karijini NP.   Originally i had wanted to go tot Steep Point (the most western point on mainland Australia) but rang the ranger there and she said they were expecting more miserable weather like Perth was having and if they got any more rain they’d be closing the roads in.  So we decided to head up the inland road as we always take the coast road when we travel to Perth usually and thought it would be nice for a change.  OMG. It was still raining when we left Perth, pouring in some parts in fact.  We just drove and drove to get away from the rain.  We stayed the first night at Jibberding Rock about 22km N of Wubin after travelling about 30kms.  Pulled up about 7pm, whipped up dinner and watched a movie with the kids and rugged up well for bed.  Woke to a chilly 2.4 degrees, whoa baby!  We jumped into the car in our PJs, and drove for about an hour and a half, stopped for brekky and change of clothes and off we went again – norhtwards to the sun.  At least it had stopped raining, -halelujah brother praise the lord!- (and yes to all our k-town friends, if i could’ve sent it up there i would have!) We saw dingoes, emus and kangaroos, all crossing the roads in front of us and luckily they jumped out of the way for us too!  We did a long day of driving today and pulled up to camp at another roadside rest area at Gascoyne River (MIddle Branch).  There were quite a few campers there already but there was heaps of room, all along the river bank, which was dry.  But being at a roadside stop meant that we could have a fire!  So as soon as the wheels stopped moving, the boys were out scoping the area for wood and they scored big-time!  We put dinner on to cook and set-to making our fire.  It was a beauty and so nice and warm.  Had a port, played some I spy, yep in the dark! and watched the stars with the kids.  Nice night!  We had a sleep in then brekky first this time as it was 3.5 degrees! and packed up and on the road. We headed into Newman for lunch and a bit of a squizz as we’d never been into the town before.  The visitors centre was amazing.  It leaves the Karratha one for dead!  It is open 7 days a week, had open and clean toilets and some great memorabilia from the pastoral and mining sectors.  The kids loved climbing on the haulpak (massive big mining truck) that was like a statue out the front.

Kids on Haulpak in Newman

Heading out of town we got a call on the UHF radio, commenting on our rig.  Good thing too cos’ we’d had some trouble with the squelch and noise on the radio so was glad to have it working again so we can chat to the truckies going past.  Kept on driving and got into Karijini NP about 4pm.  Got a nice site in Dales Camping area as we wanted the choice to use the generator if we wanted too.  Good feed of spag bol and then after clean up we played cards with the kids. First we played spoons, then we played Black Jack.  Taught the kids how to gamble with matches and scarily they knew more of the rules than me!  Spoons is a fantastic game we learnt from some friends the kids made last year on holidays in Exmouth.  You have one less spoon than people playing and each person has 5 cards, so usually use A, K, Q, J and 10 for the four of us.  Deal out all 20 cards then idea is the first to get 4 of a kind grabs a spoon from the middle of the table.  Last one to grab a spoon loses.  It is heaps of fun and never ceases to end in fits of laughter!

Kids Swimming in Weano Gorge

Today we all slept in till 7:45 and it was 11 degrees by the time we ventured outside.  We ate and packed the car and headed off to the visitors centre to find out some more info on the walks at Weano Gorge area.  We headed over to the far side of the National Park and started on the Weano Gorge walk.  We stopped at one of the pools and the kids had a dip – OMG IT’S FREEZING they said! Crazy, crazy! ‘cos the water was like ice! We walked on further and got to another pool and after taking our shoes and sox off we were wading thigh depth through when a group of guys came across from where we were going.  They said it was even deeper in the next few pools and were concerned about the boys making it through.  Wade was all keen, but as i had my new camera and didn’t feel like swimming in -10 degrees we waded back to shore and re-dressed and set off to do another walk. We went to the Oxer and Junction Pool  lookouts and saw the memorial to Jim Reagan, an SES volunteer from Newman who had sadly died whilst trying to rescue an injured walker form the gorge below us.  Very sad but sobering to remind us of how dangerous the park can be.  So for the millionth time i yelled at Wade to stop running near the edges of the walks and cliffs- my heart just couldn’t take it anymore! We headed towards Joffre Gorge and did the Gorge walk and took some pictures from the Lookout.  We had not intended to be so late back to camp but didn’t want to make the 50km drive back to this side of the park tomorrow as Joel’s back was starting to wear from all the days of driving and sitting in the car.  We didn’t pack lunch but we had juice, water, muesli bars and sultanas so we kept going and had an early dinner instead. Was well worth sacrificing lunch for.  The places here are so awesomely beautiful.  You just wouldn’t get shots like this if you didn’t do the climbs down to the bottom of the gorges.  Beautiful, absolutely beautiful! Back to the caravan and set up the sat dish so we can check emails and i can update the blog.Off to do some more walks and perhaps even a swim for me too tomorrow.  Stars are out with a late full moon rising – big and yellow. Life is very good.

Till tomorrow


Joffre Gorge

Karijini pool


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