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South & Western Australia trip

jhn.holgate

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Friday morning at 7.30am the big trip west begins.  Work is slack during September so I figure I have the time to do this trip now, so I should do it while I can.  Not looking forward to the first day drive from Ballarat to either Crystal Brook or Pt Pirie, somewhere around the 900km mark. I figure I'll go via Mildura and skip the drive through Adelaide.   From there I'll head to Fowlers Bay which is another 700km, and I'm hoping to arrive there late afternoon on the Saturday.  Huge dunes and whales seem to be the main attraction there.  Not sure how soft the dunes will be and whether they will be buggyable or not for me but there's one way to find out.  Figure I'll stay and explore the place on the Sunday and Monday then head across the Nullabor on Tues stopping to take lots of pics of the cliffs.  Hopefully, there'll be some wind to get the kap rig up over the bight for some interesting photos.  Overnight somewhere around Cocklebiddy then off to Lefroy on Wednesday....unless the wind is wrong and it's wet, then it will be down to Esperance and maybe have a buggy on the beach with Chook, Gumnuts and DJsylk.

Will try and use the phone for some updates and pics as I go and should have a shirt load of photos & vids when I get back.  I'll keep an eye out for good buggy spots on the way over and can always stop and spend a day or two on the way back.



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Fowlers bay is certainly worth a look John. The head of the Bight also, but it will cost you a pass to get in there.

At Eucla head down the old pass road to the now nearly covered telegraph station and the old jetty. It's just a short walk from where the track gets sandy.

At Caiguna just 5kms to the west of the roadhouse is a blowhole just 10 mtrs or so from the road. It's well signposted.

Half way between Balladonia and Norseman is Frasers Range and this is a great campsite/caravan park at the old station. Plenty of interesting gear laying around and a great meal. Usually plenty of Wedgetail eagles circling the ranges.

In Norseman refuel at the Caltex just to the left of the T junction as the BP roadhouse (right on the corner) is on the Eyre highway and the fuel prices are not controlled and much dearer usually.

I love the Nullarbor and could easily live out there. I haven't travelled it by car for a long time but have made 53 trips across it. My first when I was very young,we left the bitumen 3 miles out of Ceduna and hit the bitumen again 5 miles out of Norseman.:eek:

You will enjoy it John. There is always something to see and there is plenty of traffic. Just remember the check point at Boarder Village that will swipe your fresh fruit honey and spuds. Western Australia has the toughest quarantine laws in Australia.

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Cheers Chook.  I remember the WA border inspection from 10 years ago.  Same restrictions apply from Vic into SA.  They'd better not try and take my muslie slice!!!!  But yeah, I'll make sure I don't try and take any fresh produce over the borders.   Thanks for the tips - I will check them out. :good:

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Nearly all packed except for food/ice/cold stuff and camera gear.  I might take an extra stop off at the Fraser Range CP (does look good thanks Chook) which will give me a bit more time to do some photography across the nullabor cliffs and do some whale watching.  Might mean an extra overnight stay around Border Village somewhere.  Looks like Ceduna is about the last of the 'cheap' diesel as prices seem to go from mid $1.30's to high $1.70's once on the Nullabor.

Made a little vinyl cover for the seat to try and keep things a little bit clean on the buggy.  Bigfoots on the roof to try and keep as much spare space in the back as possible so I can pull over and have a kip at any time.  Exaust is a good 3 feet away and not angled towards the midi's but I'll keep an eye on it as I go.

The number plate is quite readable, I've just blanked it out with photoshop.

Ute_ready_to_go.thumb.jpg.969f9ba5d398efBuggy_from_back.thumb.jpg.ea42aac9a9014bBigfoots_rear.thumb.jpg.7d8722022b409c05Bigfoots_front.thumb.jpg.49e152bd73358eb

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Driving through Woomelang today and seeing the 'adopt a highway' scheme gave me an idea for all the really shitty bits of highway.  So I thought I'd start the 'Disown a Highway' scheme where you can nominate all the really crappy bits.   Made Port Pirie this evening so an overnight stay in the caravan park then head for Fowlers Bay tomorrow.  Buggy seems to be ok on the rear rack - so far so good. 

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Wow just looked at where Port Pirie is on google maps, hope the first leg was uneventful?

A week today I'll be sat on Lake Lefroy with you and Chook, I can't wait, the R1 is not going to get here until Thursday arvo, so I'm hoping I'll get an opportunity to give it a go on Friday when I get there.

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Pretty smooth run yesterday with no problems.  Crappy night sleep last night being 'entertained' by the local hoons racing up and down the street in PortPirie.   Hot cakes & coffee at Port Augusta this morning then off to Fowler's. 

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Holy smokes there's some BIG dunes here.  Pity I don't have a 4wd to get me and buggy up them.  Might be able to drag it up.  Quite a few 4wd'ers here at moment ( some of them seem right yobbos).  Sand varied from really hard to very soft with no apparent rhyme or reason.  Beach looks like it might be really nice at low tide too.   Very nice coffee at the kiosk. 

image.jpg

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Looks awsome John!  What's your ETA to Lefroy?

eta is Thurs morning assuming wind is in the right direction.  Found out the reason for the 'yahoos' at Fowlers Bay.  Two local football teams have their breakup on the other side of the dunes at Scott's Beach.  Talk about unfortunate timing.  Should be less traffic on dunes tomorrow. 

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Did lots of kap this morning then a buggy in the dunes - fun but limited with soft sand and avoiding steep drop offs.  Need a week just to find all the good spots.  Then some static flying in the dunes when the sun came out.  Will prob head for Eucla tomorrow but will re visit Fowlers Bay on the return trip. Reception is pretty hit n miss here. Got lots of pics and some video. 

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Did lots of kap this morning then a buggy in the dunes - fun but limited with soft sand and avoiding steep drop offs.  Need a week just to find all the good spots.  Then some static flying in the dunes when the sun came out.  Will prob head for Eucla tomorrow but will re visit Fowlers Bay on the return trip. Reception is pretty hit n miss here. Got lots of pics and some video.

Crossing the border into sunny Western Australia:beach:

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There sure are some wide loads on the Eyre

image.thumb.jpg.3c4c159eb9e9c9d77d2c5be4

Glad I didn't get stuck behind one. There's always the return trip I guess.  Spent lots of time rubbernecking along the bight today.  Saw 5 whales but none really close.  Standing on the cliff edge watching two whales this arvo I was reminded just how small the world is.  An English gent wandered over when he saw my buggy and we started talking all things buggy related.  When he mentioned living in the UAE and doing lots of buggying in the desert I realised I had to talking with Dave aka Sand Yeti.  What are the odds of that? Was really great to meet and chat with you, Dave. 

The view wasn't half bad either. image.thumb.jpg.bfb37ce1c101449136d41af1

tonight's at Eucla then to Fraser Range Station CP tomorrow and then arrive at Lefroy Thursday morning.   So far I've really enjoyed the trip ( maybe not Port Pirie)!

 

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All looks good John. Was Sand Yeti going to buggy at the lake?

Remember that you could have been travelling in the back of Doug and Mary's car nursing the dog...............

Michael

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An English gent wandered over when he saw my buggy and we started talking all things buggy related.  When he mentioned living in the UAE and doing lots of buggying in the desert I realised I had to talking with Dave aka Sand Yeti.  What are the odds of that? Was really great to meet and chat with you, Dave. 

 

Dave's in OZ!!! 

Hope his better half (Bridge) was there keeping him in check. :punish:

Enjoy yourself's!!

 

I wonder if he came back to finish the rest of the Birdsville Track?? 

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Hey John, on the way back stay in Gladstone instead of Port Pirie.

Its only 40 k's away but a world of difference in night life ;)

Really sleepy little country town with a caravan park.

Hope you have a great time on the lake, wish I could be there too.

Edited by jaysmith

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image.thumb.jpg.46f75ed80c07ccea61e94005image.thumb.jpg.6bac0d456a2f57d84d292a40image.thumb.jpg.01d3e2196a44243080d2a119At Fraser range station this eve - a very nice spot indeed.  Thanks for the heads-up @Chook

Not sure if you can read the menu but tonight it's beef pie, quiche and sticky date pudding.  I'm in for that!

saw lots of this today

image.thumb.jpg.a6491173dda18dc3c31a5c92

And to my surprise, two Dingoes.  Didn't know they were over here. 

Resupply in Norseman tomorrow morning then up the road to Lefroy. 

Got a nice shot of a whales tail but my camera shots will have to wait till I'm home.  Just phone pics for now. 

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