Lewis' Exploring Oz

On and off the beaten track…………………….

Camping at Middle Lagoon

Posted by lewisfamilyexploringoz on June 13, 2010

Hi Everyone,

Well we decided to spend an extra day in Port Hedland to have a bit of a look around and swim at Pretty Pool. Driving around we found a street and the kids and I wanted to get a photo under it and send to our friends the Websters – We were thinking of you a lot when we were here. We left Hedland and stopped overnight at the Stanley Rest Area on our way to Broome.  We got in early so we thought we’d make a fire and cook on it tonight.  We used the camp oven that Joel got from his mates at work – here it is in action Frank, thanks too,  it was a really nice roast and we thought of you guys while we ate:).

Webster Way street sign

Camp oven cooking

The Swamp at Stanley Rest Area

When we were in Hedland I rang the Palm grove Caravan Park in Broome, after a powered site for 2 weeks.  Everything was solidly booked out in town but as luck would have it, someone had just cancelled their booking that morning so we fluked a powered site for almost 2 weeks. We got into Broome and we looked at the site they gave us – OMG, but with help from our neighbours Trevor and Judy, we managed to squeeze our 25′ Swamp into the site.  We were in the overflow area, amongst cabins.  We backed onto a nature reserve of some sort and Wade found that a heap of wallabies and birds would congregate right near our annexe, just on the other side of the fence.  They are friendly and cute little critters.  The boys found a way to get onto the other side of the fence and were almost able to pat them. Wade is very stoked!

We wanted to go up to see Cape Leveque and Middle Lagoon on the Dampier Peninsula so we managed to book a few days so off we went.  We had to re-pack the car as we would be tenting it along this part of our trip. The first part of the road is dirt/gravel and they were grading it when we were going through so it wasn’t too bad.  The last 20 – 30 kms before the bitumen was the worst of the corrugations but still not too bad.  It was weird to hit the bitumen after so much dirt but not for long as Middle Lagoon is another 40 odd kms along dirt. The campsites up here are all managed by aboriginal communities.  We found our allocated site at Middle Lagoon but there were heaps of empty ones, some closer to the beach so we asked to swap to one closer to the beach.  The powered sites are set back a little way from the beach but the unpowered ones are either just back from the beach or right along the edge of the grounds, almost cliff edge views.  The wind picks up a bit in the mornings so we opted for a site just under the trees, but full view of the lagoon.

Our camp at Middle Lagoon

Middle Lagoon - paradise

Wallaby at Broome CP

Our neighbour, Trevor, had told us he drives some of the tours up to Cape Leveque, etc so he gave us a bit of a run down on the things to see and do up there.  We took a full day to drive to Cape Leveque and One Arm Point but the only dirt is on the road from Middle Lagoon back to the Cape Rd as the rest is all bitumen.  Unbelievable! The last 5 kms into Cape Leveque itself is dirt though.  The resort there is very nice.  The office is surrounded by green, buffalo grass – a very stark contrast to the red dirt surrounding it.  It was amazing to see the different sort of accommodation available there – there are powered sites, cabins, on-site tents, some unbelievable safari tent cabins too.  Very schmicko! and the view from them would be amazing.  We had to stop in at the office, even for day visits, as you need to register and pay a day pass fee.  We asked about the Aqua hatchery in One Arm Point and set off to go see.. We got to One Arm Point and stopped in at their office and paid another fee just to be able to have a look around.  We found out that we had missed the last tour before lunch – i don’t know why they couldn’t tell us that at Cape Leveque before we left – Agh! So we drove back to CL and had lunch at the restaurant. Lucky it was only 17kms apart and all bitumen but still!  So off we went back to One Arm Point to see the Aqua Hatchery there.  Was so worth going back for.  Bloke called Barry runs the hatchery there and does a short tour to show you what he does.  There are about 16 fibreglass tanks that he uses to rear barramundi and other aquatic animals, corals and sea creatures.  The turtles were our favourites and you can put your hands in the tanks and scratch their backs – they weren’t shy at all.  Barry got a few unsuspecting folks to feed the big barras – my god- he explains it as a sucking noise/action as they take the fish from your hands.  Each time someone fed them, you waited for the splash but it still made us all jump even though you knew what was coming.  A thoroughly enjoyable and informative time was had by all.  We bought a polished trochus shell there – very nice.  I think Joel and I loved this place just as much as the boys did.  The hatchery is located right on the edge of the peninsula and the edge of the King Sound.The tidal currents running here are about 12-14 knots and it didn’t look like a good place to swim! We headed back to CL for a swim and then back to Middle Lagoon.  We underestimated how long it would take to get back and managed to get back just after dusk – not good when driving on dirt roads!

Hatchery - Dan petting a turtle

King sound Tidal currents

One Arm Point

Dirt rd on Dampier Peninsula

Kids fishing at Middle Lagoon Beach

We spent all day at Middle Lagoon today. Tried to fish in the morning but no bait at the office till the afternoon.  We don’t have a throw net so we used lures instead.  The kids had blast just casting in anyway, but no fish for tea tonight:( They did try over near the rocks but after a few snags and mum and dad getting in to free them, they decided it wasn’t their day.  The tide was in so we decided to go for a snorkel instead.  Good choice as there are heaps of rocks around and we saw heaps of different fish.  The tide was moving out pretty fast and Wade wanted to explore the bay so he and I went off to do some more snorkeling.  Dan came over later to see us and he was yelling to come quick.  We raced over and saw hundreds of little crabs – but these crabs had bright purple/blue backs and reddish legs.  There were literally hundreds of these things coming out of the sand – it was an amazing sight. We watched them, mesmerised, for ages.  I wanted to get to the cliff top for some sunset shots so off for early showers and wash the salt off. There are solar hot water showers but as everywhere first in, hottest showers and tonight it was us – yeah!  Went over to the cliff with a drink and managed to get some absolutely beautiful shots.  Hard not to really as the place is just so god damn beautiful and peaceful!  We had decided to stay another day but alas got a hole in our air bed and the ground is just too hard for Joel’s back- We had tried re-inflating it, in the hope that it had just lost air and didn’t have a hole but both of us woke up with sore backs and a flat mattress.  We added the puncture repair kit to our list of things we had forgotten when we are tent camping!  It was  good though as it made us sit down and write a list of things and change a few ideas we had for storage, etc, which will serve us well on our next camping adventure on the Gibb River Rd.

Purple Crabs

Sunset at Middle Lagoon

Colours in the sunset are amazing!

We packed up to leave and had eager campers waiting to jump into our spot – couldn’t blame them really as we did have a really nice spot.  On our way back to Broome, we stopped in at Beagle Bay to see the Church there.  It is truly a work of art.  It was built by the pioneer Brothers and Aboriginals of the community at the time.  It took Father Droste, the Sisters and local Aboriginals 2 years to decorate the inside of the Church with mother of pearl and cowrie shells.  I’d heard about it but it is an amazing site to see. Even the 14 stations of the cross pictures are framed with a shell border. Amazing.   Trip back to Broome was not quite as bad as on the way up as the road was not as corrugated. The grader must have made its way right up to the bitumen. We left on a saturday so no grader on the road but we did see a few big rigs in Beagle Bay with half a house on each of them.  We followed the pilot vehicle for a short time back towards Broome – glad we didn’t get stuck on the road when those big buggers were going through though! Back to Broome for some more touristy stuff- Croc park, Cable Beach, Kayak Tour, Dinosaur footprints, etc.  Big week ahead!

Beagle Bay inside Church

So till next time


“The Swamp”


One Response to “Camping at Middle Lagoon”

  1. Dee said

    Hi guys, sounds like you are having a fab time & so you should cos u guys have worked hard enough for you.im just counting down till xmas time..cant wait to see you all.keep up the pics they’e great.luv dee x

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