A taste of The Nullabor

Trip Start Jan 23, 2010
Trip End Jan 29, 2012

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Where I stayed
Fraser Range Station 90kms East of Norseman

Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hello Campers!

Thank you so much those who are sending messages and leaving comments, good to know you are enjoying keeping in touch.

Upon leaving Esperance, we found this amazing place called Fraser Range Station, it is a working sheep station of 437,000 acres. Amazing oasis at the beginning of the Nullabor Plain.  It is 180kms round trip out of our way!  But when you are traveling the distances we are, what's a few kms out of your way??!

However let's first finish off with Esperance.  Now whilst this is the most beautiful scenic coastline, I don't really feel we embraced it as much as we should due to the fact......we don't like the rain.  I know, I know, we 'need' it, but frankly...not for me.  Just makes everything look dreary!  Yes green the NEXT day, but on the day....dreary....so......we need to revisit this area when the sun is shining once more.

One day we set off for Lucky Bay which is apparently a 'must' for visitors of the area, it was at this moment that I realised that I need to research a bit more before setting off!!  We had about two and a half hours before we were going to catch up with just about everyone from Doubleview School, so I suggested we 'pop' to see lucky bay to kill some time.  Well!  It turns out it's about 70kms away!!  140 km 'round trip'.......to fill in some time.......ANYWAY!!!!!!

 Spent a lovely night catching up with the crowd and nice to be able to have a chat and drink and relax with people you already know.  We were done with the cold and rain though and thought it time to head North.  Got the heads up from some fellow campers about at spot called Fraser Range Station and headed there.  Felt good to be warm again and out in the middle of nowhere again.

Then we found out that Fraser Range Stations hosts the 6th hole of the Nullabor Links Golf Course, the longest golf course in the world! As luck would have it Fabio had packed his and Jacks clubs (essential items for camping ...... apparently!)  And so we all headed out to play the hole.  It's a par 3 (It can be done in 3 strokes - for all you non golfers like myself)  I managed 7, Fabio 5, Leila 10, Adam 11..BUT all those lessons paid off and Jack 'parred it'!  (is that an expression??)  He got it in three!!  The station gave him a free cap!  So excited.  So now of course our mission is to do the whole course, next stop Norseman for a hole then Kambalda for two holes and then Kalgoorlie for another two there, where normally the course ends, but we started near the end so no doubt will have to finish next year when we revisit the Nullabor on our way back.

As mentioned before the Fraser Range Station is the sort of camping I love (children not so much) so, when they mentioned that they needed a couple to run it for a couple of months, it was tough to walk away. So we drove instead!! (Ha Ha!)

Did the Norseman hole, and arrived at this strange campsite in Kambalda.  Only $20 per night which is cheap for this party of 5 and with free washing machines, a pool, a gym and a restaurant with all you can eat for $15 adult and $7.50 per child!  It's a site pretty much geared up for the local gold mines, so lots of little cabins and the campsite is pretty much incidental.  So we stayed here and visited Kalgoorlie.  Super Pit was a site to see, although not sure I liked the gaping hole in the earth....but spectacular at the same time.  We visited the Mining Hall of Fame, which incorporated a gold melt and pour and a trip down one of the first mines in Kalgoorlie - learnt quite a bit and even managed to find some slithers of gold!

The boys played golf and us girls shopped.  Nice to be in a city for a while.  I actual like this whole goldfields area much more than I thought, the red earth and the mines dotted around everywhere, still seems to give it a feel of expectancy, you can't help but scour the earth, looking for that gold nugget!!

Time to move on and we found ourselves out in the outback at a place called Niagara Dam.  No facilities, just us and the elements and one 'drop' loo.  The dam was made by C Y O Conner to supply water to the goldfields, but after it was built it turns out that it didn't rain as much as he anticipated and the pipeline went through any way! So basically it was used for swimming.  Was standing on the dam in the middle of nowhere and my mobile rang, it was my dad, from England!! How's the serenity!!!!

We camped overnight and made a fire, sat around it when the children went to bed, watching the shooting stars sprinting across the sky.  What is the story with those stars?? They just can't all be suns, I know they are, but it's just too huge when you really try to get your head around the vastness of it all!  The flies really seemed to want to get inside our eyes and ears, we had the face nets to combat that and they worked a treat. 

From Niagara dam we headed North and was trying for another free camp spot but time got the better of us and we headed for a town on the map that had very little tourist info about it, but indicated there was a campsite.  BINGO, we stumbled into a greatlittle town called Leinster, a BHP closed town, meaning they own and control everything.  The campsite was cheap and clean, the town had a free pool to use, a BMX track – which the children loved and generally a great feel to the place.

We went to the mess for another 'all you can eat' and I bumped into an old work colleague from the casino!  Haven’t seen in over 11 years!!  Couldn’t believe it.  So Laurie Coffey on a secluded beach bike track in Esperance and now Rudy in a mining restaurant in Leinster.  Where??? 

By this time we are loving the red earth and just feel I should be scouring the floor for gold...just in case there’s some just waiting to be discovered.  But we want to get back to the West coast to start heading North. I know that we have almost come back...but there is so much to see out here. We are already discussing the ‘off road caravan’ that we want to buy for the next trip.  Whilst the car is more than capable, I feel every bump for our dear old van!  I have come to love the Goldfields and am really surprised about that.  I can't wait to return to the more remote areas.

Surprised also to find out four days after leaving Kalgoorlie – Boulder a 5.0 earthquake hits and causes quite extensive damage.  Could really relate to the places shown and relieved to have missed this ‘once in a lifetime’ experience! So we head off again and we have quite a long trip ahead and
according to our 'Camps 5' bible, there are a couple of nice overnight stops on
the way to Mt Magnet and you can get about 100 metres away from the road (rather than another campsite), so we are considering doing that.  However on the road, whilst we only saw 8 other vehicles in 315 kms, 4 of them we road trains and in this part of the world, they are huge!  And loud!  So we decided against it a heading into Mt Magnets campsite......WELL  bit of a mistake as it turns out, only 20 metres from the road and not on the quiet road we were on, but the intensely busyroad on the way to Meekatharra and Cue.  Approximately 12 MASSIVELY LONG AND NOISEY
ROAD TRAINS EVERY 30 MINUTES!!!!  EVERY 30 MINUTES.  OMG, could do no more than laugh and laugh and hysterically laugh some more, high pitched and insane laugh! 

So we are now in Greenough near Geralton and frankly 'too cold and rainy' again....so might be a quick visit....I'll keep you posted!

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Karen Appleb on

Fabulous! Love the snaps, just amazing xxx

kelly milne on

This is so great! It looks like you are having a great time and even have pictures to prove it, lol! Congrats Jack on your Par 3! We miss you all so much but what an amazing experience for all of you. Poppy is doing great, she is cuddled up on my bed right now and is getting quite bossy with me if I don't give her immedite cuddles at night, she is head butting me. My tomato is also startinf to closely resemble yours, but everything else is tip top. Keep in touch and I will speak to you soon. Safe travels!

From your favorite rang'r

Theresa champ on

Hi Mandy , fabio and children been reading your blog , look like your all having such a nice time, what a lovely thing to be able to do, can now see why you like living in australia, keep writing , take care, happy camping! Theresa.
ps. mum and dad send their love x

Claire Doughty on

Hiya Campers
Finally got around to reading your blog and are just a triffle jealous of your journey, now I could bore you with some P&C updates, yes, I should of had those books audited by now but the books have not only fallen to the bottom of the pile, at last glance they fell off the desk and shuffled out of site - but currently rectifying that situation....or should I bore you with the Grade 6 project which was set over the school holidays on 'Choose an ecosystem and write a thesis', isn't life stressful enough during the school term in the demands of chores, homework, afterschool activities, sporting travel, not to mentioin making the team in the first place....holidays need to be restful, to rejuvinate the soul, parents and children should not to be in conflict over an ecosystem that needs to be documented first week back at school.....lucky you are on the road and pleasantly home schooling through the natural events of life.
Aahhh the great north west, spent 7 years amongst the red dirt, balmy nights, amazing stars, tranquil sunsets, coastal plains, beach camping - seven mile beach before Broome (mind you it was 1983, only a little younger and I am sure a lot less people but still worth a look) and exploring water holes and mind blowing scenery. Yes those road trains are something else, all hands clenched as they go by. Drove down from Darwin to Karratha and did the out of town camping, lot younger and no children so different but still the same, many amazing experience, and none better than those off beat camping spots and water holes. Not sure of your timing, maybe a little early but we lived in Karratha for a number of years (not so pretty and just another town) but they use to have a fundraiser out at Karratha station which embraced an afternoon of hi tea, two-up, local band, croquat and frivolity. Keep an eye out for any local events as they are always very memorable. Went to a Rodeo somewhere along the track from Darwin and it was all cowboys with all the gear and egos to match, so interesting though when you get down talking with them and where they are from and what they do for a living...but for me back too piecing together somebodies tax and financial woes (mine included). As always send an email to remind me to check out the blog, only seem to remember things outside of the helta skelta of work by being prompted.
So what did you think of the book title.....P&C Treasurer and her sidekick!
Hey take care and enjoy always

Linz on

Hey Guys....No honestly I'm not green with envy!! ; P
Looks like your having a fantastic time, what great pictures and what a great adventure. Cant blame for for heading for the dryer climates, why would'nt you?
Keep happy campers xxx

Riccardo on

W O W ! ! ! that's ab so lu te ly a m a z i n g ! ! ! f a n t a s t ic ! ! ! I see you're having a goooood time over there...!!! hope everything would get better and better guys! kisses to all of you from Italy!

Tania Jones on

Hello you all,

You all look like you have a fantastic time......It is all very beautiful...with still so much more to see....think of you all often......xx

Dylan on

Hi Adam and family,

sounds like you are having a great time. I started Auskick today but I got a bee sting. We have started dance lessons (with a girl), lucky you are on holidays. It'll be good when you get back.
Your mate Dylan

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