PEACE, ISOLATION & BEAUTY AT CONTO'S
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
325Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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SATURDAY FEBUARY 5 2011
JOURNEY: Margaret River, Redgate Beach to Conto
WEATHER: Warm, sunny, 25 degrees at 9.30.
MILEAGE: 34257 KMS
Back on Caves Road, we enjoyed breakfast at Redgate Beach, another surfing mecca! Then it was full speed ahead to Conto's!
You can never be fully prepared for what you find when you arrive at your designated camp ground; sometimes no matter how much research goes into the decision making the camp ground is below expectations. Conto’s at Leeuwin-Naturaliste NP was a very positive surprise; shaded by forests of peppermint trees, each site having its own BBQ, wooden table and benches and well spaced from camping neighbours. We settled in Hamelin Hollow, site 6, where we could get sun on the solar panels but had shady areas to enjoy. The camp kitchen was very clean and had gas rings as well as BBQs.
We caught up with camp hosts Elizabeth and Bill who were friendly and informative and ranger Alan waived camping fees when we explained that the DEC office in Perth was posting our "camp free" letter to us this week.
The walk to Conto beach was half an hour, perfect for the morning leg stretch and a very attractive surfing beach that was busy on the weekend but deserted on Monday. Taking up a section of the Cape to Cape trail along the cliffs above the sea was breathtaking; the colours and views were magnificent!
Birdlife around the camp ground was prolific the golden whistler, blue wrens, white breasted robins, PL parrots, white browed scrub wren kept us entertained and enthralled. Kath reckons she saw the Western Rosella but too briefly to count as a real addition to the bird list.
The camp ground is a paddock cleared by cattle runners in the early 1900’s and Conto was the name of an Orlando fortified wine- port probably- that was very cheap, popular and plentiful in the 1940/50’s. The shack on the beach became a busy destination for local lads who brought in the flagons of wine on fishing trips, leaving the empties in the shack. So the beach, springs and paddock came to be called Conto’s.
This was a relaxing and interesting camp site and we relished 4 happy nights here. Perfect weather, sunny days and cool nights, magnificent night skies and absolute silence had us asking “what more could you want?”
There were some good walking trails including the Cape to Cape to add to the attractions and the camp was so close to the wineries, restaurants and galleries of the region. The beautiful Lake Caves were just a pretty 20 minute walk away, visited later.
On Wednesday morning we packed up, heading south to Augusta to catch up with our friends, the family Thompson.