Trip Start Oct 31, 2013
14Trip End May 01, 2014
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The Indian Ocean Drive is beautiful. It starts just north of Perth and finishes at Dongara, although you can continue up the coast road as far as Geraldton – which is what we did.
We had a day in Yanchep National Park which was lovely, but more of a country Park. We did lots of walking around – it had different naturally occurring areas – wetlands and woodlands and wildflowers. We saw snakes and Roos and birds but also Koalas. They were captive – a strange situation as Koalas haven't inhabited WA or Northern Territories for many years, but some had been brought to Yanchep many years ago and so they continued to keep them. Then there was the Wedding
We stayed in a Rest Area (freebie) that night. We had stayed there last year and met a couple who were stranded there because their extremely expensive vehicle had gone fairly disastrously wrong and they were waiting for parts. They had already been there a couple of weeks when we arrived - the advantage for us being that the lady was keeping the drop loo immaculately clean, using a Banksia flower for a loo brush! The loo wasn’t quite so good this year……………………
Up the coast road we went. A significant part of it has only recently been tarmacked and now there is a building frenzy. One or two of the early towns are within a couple of hours drive from Perth and are fast becoming the outer suburbs with estates of perfectly manicured homes and immaculate foreshores. Blue skies, blue seas; John reckoned they looked like Seahaven from the Truman Showhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men's_Sheds
Further north the little towns are still unspoilt and just south of Geraldton was a piece of coastline a few kilometres long with only a few fisherman’s huts where we found a place to camp practically on the beach. There we met a couple who were gold prospectors – ‘nugget hunters’ - they were the second we had met this week. It’s a very serious hobby with clubs you can join giving advice and instruction. The equipment is expensive – a decent detector sets you back $7000 – and then they have to be equipped to go into the outback fully prepared for the conditions; so GPS (perhaps 2 – one for the vehicle and the other hand held so you don’t wander off), off roader vehicles, Uncle Tom Cobbly and all…………………. But the enthusiasm was infectious and one chap brought out his gold to show us – tiny nuggets but worth a few thousand dollars!
And so to Geraldton where it was raining !