BARN HILL – RED DIRT, BLUE SEA
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
325Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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JOURNEY: Broome to Barn Hill Station 130kms
WEATHER: hot, 30 degrees at 8am. Blue sky.
MILEAGE: 24169 kms
The 7th Day Adventist Overflow Caravan Park closes today; we pulled in late last night on our return from Cape Leveque, and took up our favourite spot among the mango trees.
It is a hot sunny morning and we call in at Woolworths to stock up on groceries and diesel; we are doing 100kms on 9 to 10 litres which is pretty good with Sheila sticking to 85-90 kms ph on the highways.
We have heard so much about Barn Hill Station as a camp ground, both good and bad as usual. It is hard to get accurate information about the state of the 9km road in and because it leads to the coast we wonder if we will encounter sand! Sifting through all the comments, we decide to give it a go and we are certainly happy that we did. The camp ground is huge and stretches way, way along the amazing coast of red cliffs, monumental rocks, pale sand and a cool and aquamarine sea to swim in. And swimming was really the only way to escape the hot dry weather.
Reception is a plastic table under a make-shift tin shelter that also houses a "general store", which sells cakes, bread and pastries baked daily by the station kitchen and basics like milk, butter, sausages and eggs when they receive supplies. You could also put in for sausages rolls by 9am to be delivered by 11am and order a pizza for dinner by 2pm delivered by 6pm! Now that is what we call room service out here in the bush! Just as well, because some campers move in around June and stay until the season is over in September. These people have grown lawn and little gardens of greens to keep them going without doing the 2 hour trip to Broome. A group have also got a bowling green going!!
The amenities were basic but hygienic enough and the toilets and showers were without roof, and some wag suggested it was to prevent roof removal during cyclones.
The land is part of the Barn Hill Cattle Station and people say they would make more out of the thriving camp than the cattle. We guessed they could accommodate around 500 campers and at $10 pp a night that is a good outcome. The week before 400 people took themselves to the “roast dinner night” and they seem to have lots of similar events to create a friendly village type atmosphere and with many people returning each year to escape the southern Australian winter the regulars appear to be increasing in numbers.
We were allocated a sunny spot with ocean views and had to clean the red dust off the solar panels to take advantage of the sun which was unrelenting and hot, although lots of happy campers were telling us that this was fabulous weather. Sheila put out the canopy for a bit of shade but in the afternoon a cooling sea breeze gave some relief.
Gazing at the sea views and the 360 degree sky was relaxing and compelling and at night you could watch satellites and planes far above in a black night sky although the nearly full moon changed the sky to a midnight blue as it made its way across the sky. The sight of the moon setting below the horizon was a new experience.
We took a 5km walk along the beach at 6am and watched the moon set over the horizon and enjoyed paddling in the water; swimming in the cool clear water was a popular daytime activity and beach exploring was spectacular around 5pm when sunset colours impacted the cliffs and rocks.
The Kimberley coast is certainly spectacular and the pindan soil, cream/red rocks and cliffs and calm intensely blue sea make for holiday paradise! Oh forgot to mention the forever blue sky and consistently warm/hot temperatures and the fact that there is no rain during the Dry season mean holiday planning is easy.
On Wednesday night a strong wind formed and red dust had settled on everything as we packed up Thursday morning.
Then it was back on the road south. Strangely the highway surface changed from white to black at intervals; we had become accustomed to the white, sometimes blinding white surface. The country side is still flat and sparsely vegetated and the road straight.