Perth to Jurien Bay (staying at Windoo 72hr rest stop)
Started our trip in the morning and it was quite the chuckle as I had bashed my leg on the steel recliner arm lift, and my head I smacked into the car door window. I thought was still open. Yes, we both laughed so hard it bought tears to our eyes. So, it’s 6 am the next day, and my head still aches, and my leg still throbs but enjoyed the first day of our trip to Broome.
Before leaving Perth we took up 4 parking bays at Jaycar to get advice on an antenna. After, we purchased a travelling pie and coffee from the snack bar next door and headed off on our new adventure.
At 1 pm we stopped at the windmill roadhouse for fresh bread and cold drinks. The windmill was massive. In the van we turned on the TV and kicked back in recliners, watching a Netflix series before driving the last hour to our destination. Today it was to a free overnighter just outside Jurien Bay called Wandoo 72hr rest area. Nearly didn’t stay as it was empty and absolutely no reception. But another couple followed us in, so shrugged. How could we leave a fellow vanner by themselves, and stayed?
In the van, I get horizontal as my thrombosis leg and concussed head needed rest lol. Well, that was my excuse (chuckle.) Lazily watched hubby set up this new-fangled device from Telstra we just purchased. The Cel-fi he assured me was going to give us reception anywhere. Funny to watch. He was in and out of the van, walking back and forwards to the road, and up the road trying to get a signal just to download the app. Only there was only one bar. So finally giving up, he laid down beside me hot and ticked off. No, not hot, merely sweaty hot lol. He had failed his mission and was not happy, Jan. Chatting, time got away from us and the next thing we knew, it was dinner time. The day had gone! But it was not all lost. We found an oldie but a goodie movie on a memory stick and watched it while grazing on cheese noodles followed by chocolate ripple biscuits I had soaked in fresh cream. Yum. I have named this dessert, choc cream crunch. (Thanks to sis Karen for the idea from her delicious easy to make choc ripple cake) And a true story, since having cream on these biscuits at night, I have no more burning after meals, and most days the pain went on for hours from my hiatus hernia. Amazed I have now stopped having daily attacks where I’d be in trouble after eating… anything. With the Nexium she suggested and her miracle dessert she was making us when staying in Perth, my sister has given me a lifeline towards good health again. And considering I can’t have dairy normally, I’m thrilled. Loving those Nexium tablets, thanks, Karen.
So, today, we had planned to stay an extra day to get some work done, but without reception and access to the cloud that’s a no-go. Instead, we are now a day early so will bring our caravan park booking forward. No drama all sorted and with a spring in our step to get going, we moved on to our next port of call. Yes, travelling buddies. Plans are always changing for us. That’s just how we roll.
Moving day unplanned. Yay, love it.
Jurien Bay to Geraldton (staying at the RV rest stop, free 24hr site)
Today we woke to a paddock of sheep. Not a sound did they make, so it was a pleasant surprise to see a couple of hundred woolly blends grazing near our van. After breakfast and a hot shower, we drove into Jurien to the servo and took pleasure in seeing all the coastal banksia out in bloom lining each side of the road. Pods freshly opened like pearl bulbs lit our way into town. We have already ventured all along the South Coast Highway, so all fuelled, we headed off to see something new. It wasn’t long before the burnt remains of a fire that must have ravaged this area stole our attention for quite some kilometres. Even for some time after, the charred remains from spot fires that had jumped to the next hill were so noticeable. It was about an hour later when we saw a lovely photo opportunity where land meets the sea. We pulled up in the rest stop to do so and to make a cuppa and a snack. But OMG, was that a fight. Arms waving like windmills to stop flies following us into the van. And when we came out, not only the angry flies attacked me, but bees went burco swarming us like wild banshees. I grabbed a tea towel this time and swung that baby around like a crazy person as we made our way to the car. Shaun is allergic to bees so unless I wanted to be driving him to the nearest hospital while he talked like Darth Vada, I had to take one for the team. I showed them bad boys who was boss. Yes, it was a showdown and we only just escaped with our lives. So sorry, no picture.
And that is why it was pleasing to get to the RV Stop at Geraldton. No flies, lovely cool sea breeze and you guessed it, internet. Yay. So, I am currently horizontal, typing this on my phone while watching hubby set up a cel-fi booster (a mobile signal booster) to help our Nighthawk when it cannot find us a good enough signal. We are hoping this puts end to our internet issues as we travel in the future. So apart from the fan falling and hitting me in the same sore leg and Hubby smacking his head on one of the open windows, our day ended well. We decided we deserved a night off, not trusting either of us around hot pans after being so accident prone and had KFC for dinner. Last night was hubbies pick, Hunter Killer and so my pick tonight was Moxie. Both good movies, but mine went better with the takeaway.
Geraldton to Billabong roadhouse
It was a windy night by the Port of Geraldton, yet warm in the van. Might have had something to do with no fan, as I think it has gone to fan heaven since falling off the bench and attacking my leg. Glad it finally bit the bullet as it hasn’t oscillated for months and is too big to be attached to the roof or wall. Minor details you don’t think of when making purchases as a newbie traveller. We thought big was best. How quickly we learned. Still, it has lasted us 2 years so can’t complain, but knowing hubby he will get it working again and squeeze a bit more life from its fins.
It was our last shop at ALDI on our way out of town. Not another ALDI now until we reach NT. With 7 packs of water and a couple of minor items, we were done. The van was chockers. No more room for anything but us.. After making a hot cuppa and grabbing a pack of biscuits, we stopped next door at the petrol station, filled up, and did a swap and go. The poor lady at the servo had so much patience as we arsed around choosing a bottle of gas with a small enough rim to fit in the holder. Most star crafters would know what we mean. But job done, it was out on the highway and off on the day’s adventure.
There were many sights along the way, but we have covered those twice now, so for this fly-by trip, we looked at what we hadn’t noticed. Like, how green it was as we left Geraldton and then an hour later, the dry aridness that blended in with the rural sector. Although holding its own beauty, we felt for the farmers who must struggle in this drought-affected area.
We pulled up in a parking roadside stop an hour out of Billabong to make ham sauce and cheese on Turkish bread rolls while boiling the kettle. Thanks to hubby’s handy work, we were out in the never-never, and having perfect reception, kicked back in the recliners, and watched a series while having lunch.
The sky took my attention for the final hour of the trip. The last time driving through these parts I noticed how unusual the clouds were and they did not disappoint today. They were wispy but mucked up, with no rhyme or reason to the oddness. Black clouds followed us for a while and when breaking free it was like driving from gloom to a brighter day as the blanket lifted, leaving its horizontal mark in front of us.
It wasn’t until we got to our destination for the day did the genuine beauty reveal itself. Hundreds of butterflies fluttered about us as we disturbed the trees driving into the freebie camp at the Billabong servo. For those travelling, it’s not the first petrol station, you pay to stay there. It’s the second one. Has it written on the big sign out front? The first time we missed it and drove 50 kilometre’s to the next stop.
So, parked up, it’s stinking hot and what did I tell you, yep, hubby got the fan going so all good for now. As the sun goes down, I get dinner while hubby captures the sunset for me. However, it wasn’t until we sat to eat dinner did the real magic happened. The golden glow changed to the prettiest pink, but we were both too caught up in the nightly phenomenon to take a snapshot. Get out here travelling buddies and experience the Australian bush by night. It’s sure is a pretty place to explore.
Day 4 & 5
Billabong to Carnarvon (2 nights at Big 4 caravan park)
It sure makes the trip go fast when there are interesting changes to the norm. The rain clouds we saw yesterday must have dumped their water between the Billabong roadhouse and Carnarvon. Overnight we heard a sprinkle on the roof as it passed overhead. Yet, as we drove today, each side of the roadside had puddles of water between the thick green unruly paddocks. I mentioned the last trip how flat and dry the land is as you stare off into the distance once you pass the Carnarvon Shire sign. And now it’s not just flat but green, and there’s “grass!” So what, you say? Well, we have been up and down this highway many times. Not just this trip to WA, but when we lived here 20 years ago. I was a Deli specialist with FAL then and travelled all over WA visiting their stores, but this is the first time I have seen green. So, for us, it was quite a talking point. To think the farmlands just a few hours back needed rain so desperately. Yet here with the spinifex and shrubs, Mother Nature has taken a preference to look after her unbearable land instead.
As we did the last trip, we stopped at the roadhouse 75 kilometers up the road. Here, we found this was the place to stop for a good hearty pie. We were told last trip, by the owners, that people apparently travelled for miles to get their pies. But today, not so. Not sure what has happened, but service was met with a glare of, “hurry” and the pies were yuk. Mine went in the bin. Tasted rich and of liver. Shudder! No recommendations to stop here, travelling buddies.
Carnarvon came up quickly. The trip between seemed to go past in the blink of an eye. Helps when chatting about the many places we wish to visit after we leave Broome. And of course, what we saw along the way.
After spending a bit of time sightseeing, we drove to the big 4 caravan park. We passed some nice caravan parks and noticed they had a discovery park, but when googling places to stay we couldn’t find it. We much prefer the discovery/top parks and advise you will too if staying here in Carnarvon. But it is what it is when you book online. The big 4 parks turned out to be a big 4 baby bust. Small sites, lawns overgrown, toilet and showers old and in need of a makeover. They warned us when arriving to watch for snakes as a lady got bitten in the toilets the day prior. We are both very pleased we have our own loo on board. Eeek! So, it’s the park from hell for two nights so we can do our washing, and tomorrow we will be off and running… real fast lol. Chased by snakes or maybe take one or two on the road with us. The ones that wrapped up and under the van, no doubt. Chuckle. Hope not.
So, warning to travelling buddies, chose wisely when looking to pay for a site overnight. Some of the ones for free may not have all the mods and cons but for us, waking up to the pretty views outweigh a little thing like power. A week in one of these parks would pay for a solar power set up of your own.
Stay at freebies where possible, save cash, stay happy.
With towels already washed and dry, we sit down to a generous helping of veg with some freshly cooked chicken breast. Amazing how in aircon, you feel like not only cooking but eating. Will lap up the cooler for these two nights, then it’s off to free camps and the heat again. And yes, we have a generator to run our aircon, but until we can get it put on the back of the van in the box we carry, it must stay in the back of the car. And while hitched, we can’t open the back door. Joys of a Mitsubishi Pajero. Even with the tire moved up, it’s still too low and won’t allow the door to open. Will sort the carrying issue out in Broom.
Thumbs up to the experience, no matter the elements. Love this life.
Carnarvon to Lyndon River East (24hr free rest area)
Carnarvon was a mix of upmarket estuary living meets old school grunge. Pretty place and plenty of wows, but in other parts, it was pre-loved and in need of repair. For those who love to shop, it’s more like you would find in a small country town. First impressions on our last visit didn’t excite us, and yet this time we felt humbled by the friendly people who have joined the mix that now make Carnarvon a memorable holiday destination. While in Woolworths, the management handled our complaint so well it stunned us. We left feeling grateful for their generosity and willingness to make us feel like a welcomed shopper.
And then there was the caravan park we grumbled about when first arriving. News of a snake bite the day prior and disgusting facilities were amongst the grips. But I now take back that swipe at the Big 4 in Carnarvon. In the two days we were there, the new owners had shaped and trimmed the overgrown shrubs on each site and cleared the undergrowth. With the lawns mowed and the whippersnappers still cutting edges and trimming as we left, it wasn’t looking too shabby after all. Not only that, but tradespeople had arrived the day before we left and had pulled out vanities and renovating, as they are currently updating the toilet and shower block. We looked around before we left and both decided that with all the lovely gigantic trees in this park (that now stood out) and manicured lawns and bushes (leaving nowhere for snakes to hide), we would definitely come back and stay here next trip. Big4 now gets a big from us.
Washing done and feeling well-rested having the power to run the aircon, we set off for our next destination, Lyndon River East. It’s on the river and with all the flooding up this way, we hoped it would be full to give us relief from the heat seem we have no aircon again for two stops. Just past the big Carnarvon banana plantations, it was stop-start, stop-start where the road had washed away this wet season. They filled the big chunks of the road lost during the recent flood with gravel, and the sides of the road were being shaped to help the water runoff it. I guess, to prevent less damage next wet season.
This time last year we had left Kalgoorlie and drove through the Pilbara and joined up on this very highway a little further up. So, it was not a surprise to see the last 10 minutes of the trip, some of that Pilbara red magic showing in the hillside replacing the flat floodplains of the Gascoyne.
We pulled up at Lyndon River East just after lunch and phew. Was it hot? Not an ounce of water left in the river and the heat unbearable. The fans are useless as they wafted heated air that on contact felt hotter than the slight breeze blowing. So, it was out with the wet washers and there we sat watching Netflix (yes; we had a good reception with our new setup), wiping down and enjoying a couple of seconds of coolness before the fans dried us off. But it got us through, and as the sun went down, we ventured outside to take some happy snaps of the pretty area where we were to stay for the night. The river was dry but still didn’t stop us from enjoying this cool change and the lovely ghost gums lining what once was the shore of a raging river.
WA is for sure a beautiful state to travel around. Vast, and not much between towns and cities, except for the prettiest complex scenery that has had us gobsmacked, in awe, and fully kept amused every kilometre along the way.
Back on the road again today, and such an intriguing one it is.
Lyndon River to Robe River rest area
Hi there, it was another big day on the road today. Hot, yet lots of water still pooled by the roadside. No road works today, so we had a good run. Arrived at Robe River and look forward to a no-car day when we reach Karratha tomorrow.
Robe river rest area to Karratha caravan park.
Karratha to Port Headland (RV friendly 24 hr free stop over.
Our stay for 2 nights in Karratha extended to 6 nights. How plans can change. Concerned about the heat and not able to access the generator while hitched had us rethink our air-conditioning needs. We had put in a call to 6 star who had worked on our solar last trip but not hearing from them, packed up Monday to leave. As we were driving out, they rang, so we took the van to them. Unfortunately, we found we could not fit another of their panels on top, so that idea went by the wayside. However, so willing to help us, they put us in touch with KAW Engineering to fit our generator box on the van we had been lugging around with us (also in the back of the car.) KAW couldn’t fit us in until the Thursday, so we went back to the caravan park and booked in another 4 nights. Just hoping we didn’t lose the shirt from our backs as the price to get work done in a mining town is right up there. But we will wait for the quote to come through before commenting. 💲💰💸💱
We both love Karratha, so it was no worries staying a little longer. Just wish they would upgrade their caravan parks here. Stayed at discovery caravan park this trip and I’d say no worse, no better than the facilities in the only other caravan park in town. Sorry, guys. Big one star only from me and that’s because of the friendly staff. Cracked cement guttering, showers were cold, fix it signs near laundry never got fixed, and old facilities. Big open gap between wall and roof allowed every creepy crawly to fly, slither or crawl into the loos. Shudder. I jumped and ducked so many times I lost count lol.
Apart from that, we enjoyed being back here and did brave the heat a few days and went and did some of the touristy things again. Took so many pictures last time, I just sat back and enjoyed it this trip.
But have to say, a big call out to KAW Engineering in Karratha who put our generator box on the back. And yes, lol, we lost the shirt off our backs. Typical mining town pricing, but you expect that up North. Still, they did a genuine quality job and included the wheel in their figuring, which was something others had not. So, we didn’t have to put it under van as we expected. Yay! We must do a little patch up paint when we get around to it, but for now, the generator is out of the car and has finally got a home where we can easily access it from. So, it was goodbye to Karratha. We will return as you have knowledgeable and helpful tradespeople, and we have also enjoyed chatting to the friendly people in town.
A deadline to reach Broome for a meet and greet had us back on the road. Halfway to Port Headland we stopped for lunch at Peawah 24hr rest stop. It was a stinker of a day, so looked for a tree to shade our van. It was the only one giving of a stick of shade and I got a laugh out of it so had to take a happy snap. After a ham, lettuce & mayo
Sango, a cuppa, and a Netflix series, we headed off to do the last leg of the day’s trip. Arrived at the free camp in pretty Port Headland late afternoon and being so close to the ocean, the breeze was up and a delight. Looked forward to seeing the sunset in the gorgeous clear blue sky. Enjoyed the entire trip so far. Some rivers were still full of water, hills look like a green frothy grasshopper cocktails sprinkled with nutmeg, and the sky was as blue as blue can be. Stunning scenery this time of year.
Want to see more on Karratha. Here are pictures of our first visit. Stunning place to visit. LINK HERE!
Port Headland to Stanley Rest Area (24hr free)
Big hot trip today. 📈🥵 Ended up hanging my thin scarf from the window to stop the sun beating through the passenger’s door. Cooled the front of the car down instantly. We looked like we were in the movie ‘Queen of the desert’ when we stopped and the strong winds grabbed hold of it 😉🤣🤣🤣
Pulled up for lunch at Sandfire roadhouse, the last fuel stop for us between Port Headland and Broome. Filled up, had a bite to eat and after, tackled the last hour watching rain clouds burst, raining below on what we think was a cattle farm. Fascinating to watch. The picture I took was after the rain cloud had practically emptied. The rain at first was dark grey and pelted down. That’s the thing, so busy watching and discussing it I almost forgot to capture the moment. Other clouds started to rain too but them, not so heavy, yet still interesting to watch. It amazed us how much came out of just one white-fluffy cloud with a grey flat bottom.
The rain, together with green hillsides and flat plains painted a pretty picture. The wet season has brought this region to back to life in a very special way.
Stanley rest stop was a welcome site and with every fan going still, as night falls, we are happy of the rest.
Yes, it was hard to drive past the lovely Cape Keraudren and 80 Mile Beach, two other fabulous holiday spots, but we are not on a holiday, we are on a mission to get to Broome so hubby can complete a project he has been working on, helping out a mate. We estimate one month in Broome before we start a real adventure, travelling around this wonderful country of ours.
Last stop before we reach my most favourite beach in Australia thus far. Cable Beach, here we come! 💏👍♥️😎🙋♀️🙋♂️
Want to know more about the places we didn’t stop at like Cape Keraudren and 80-mile beach. Click on link to see our last trip and how lovely this stretch of road truly is. LINK HERE!
Had a fun day on the road as it was the last leg of the expedition and we felt like we were nearly home. I think that’s because we have stayed in Broome longer than any other place in WA. Also, we feel at home at the park we stay at. The owner sure is a pleasant person and welcomed us with a sit down and chat while we munched on pies and melted choc biscuits. After, he followed us down to our favourite site on his ride on and mowed it for us. (Yes, I swear there was grass this trip.) And I can tell you from experience, we don’t get service like that in any other caravan park. Ah, it’s good to feel we are home.
In the afternoon we set up camp and putting oil and petrol in the new generator, hubby kicked it over and got the aircon working. It excited us the gennie wasn’t that loud. Cooled our van down and after a rest, we turned it off and enjoyed the lovely cool breeze through the windows and surprised we have needed nothing else.
Yep, we sure are happy to be back.
Oh, and check out the lush green paddocks and pools of water still flooding the road on the way into Broome. If you have been to Broome before during any other season, you would understand why this is so exciting. Red dust and dirt now covered and there is green everywhere… and fair dinkum… its grass!
We are here for approximately a month while Shaun completes a minor project he is enjoying, so until we leave,