We take a dip in the spa there,an old tank that has had bore water flowing through it for around 80 years.
Kalbarri is next and we are still playing catch up with Chris and Libby. A visit to the National Park there but with the wind blowing from the east it brings with it millions of flies, and quite frankly, I personally, am all gorged out and after walking to Natures Window, we return to our cars to eat our picnic and drive back to the caravan park.
That night Chris, very kindly, took us all out to dinner at a local restaurant to celebrate`Libby's birthday.
Next day Chris and Libby left and we are headed off to visit the Rainbow Jungle, when Jackie and John Wells arrived. Rainbow Jungle is an excellent aviary displaying parrots from all over Australia and around the world.
Taking the coastal drive out of Kalbarri we stopped at Northampton for coffee, before driving on to Geraldton.
We visited the HMAS Sydney memorial and the maritime museum there.
Then Cervantes next, via Jurien Bay and after setting up we hurriedly took off to visit the Pinnacles, before the rain blows in from the sea. This is a truly amazing place like something from another planet.
Big city next and we headed for Fremantle as our base in Perth.
We arrived on my birthday and along with Carol and Bill, we are joined by Chris and Libby and John and Rhonda, who we last saw at Broome for a night out in one of the local pubs.
Three nights we are celebrating Bill's birthday and are joined by old friends, Bob and Rhoma, who we last saw in Katherine, and Mick and Brenda who flew in from the Gold Coast.
Bill and Carol flew off to Brisbane late that night and Mick and Brenda took over their caravan for a week.
While in Freo, we visited Kings Park, Rottnest Island, Hillarys Boat Harbour, John Forest National Park and spent a day at the Red Bull Air Race. We spent Melbourne Cup Day with Mick, Brenda, Bob, Rhoma and their friends Norm and Eileen. No big winners but a good day.
Bill and Carol flew back in and Barry and Cheryl joined us again from Sydney.
Unfortunately we had seen all we wanted to of the Perth area and decided to leave for the South West so after a farewell to all we headed for Busselton.
We only made it to Mandurah on the first day and spent two nights there. We drove to Dwellingup and caught up with Penny and Greg who we met at Daly Waters. Greg owns a winery,(The Wine Tree) and a pleasant afternoon ensued tasting the cider and non alcoholic ginger beer.
Busselton next and Jackie and John were there. Carol, Bill, Barry and Cheryl drove down to do the Margaret River region and we caught up for a beer at the local.
Cape le Grand NP
We used Busselton as a base to visit Cape Naturalist,Yallingup, Smith's Beach, the Margaret River wineries, Augusta, Cape Leuwin and the surfing beaches of the area.
Pemberton was the next stop and we followed John and Jackie there. A ride on the tram through the forest and a drive to Bridgetown the following day after farewelling Jackie and John.
Then it was on to Albany and the weather and drive through the forest was very reminiscent of Tasmania.
Albany...and the Big 4 right on the beach was a beautiful spot but the weather was not kind , very windy, cool and even a hail storm. The wind, however, made for a spectacular visit to The Gap and Natural Bridge with the salt spray blasting up the cliffs.
A visit to the whaling station was very interesting although Jo preferred to sit and enjoy a coffee and scones instead.
Jackie and John caught up again but then we were off on the long haul to Esperance.
The weather improved and we enjoyed a day at Cape le Grand National Park.
I even went body surfing for the first time since Broome. At the park we met John and Gail in their Winnebago, who just happened to know Jackie and John. We spent Happy hour there with John and Gail, Roly and Carol, Peter(Chum), and Nerida. Went to dinner at the Gibson Soak pub with Peter and Nerida and cycled along the foreshore.
Blast at the Super Pit Kalgoorlie
Another big drive to Kalgoorlie next and the temperature hits 42C by the time we arrived, so it was set up and into the pool to cool off. John and Gail were there and we got together for Happy Hour.
We visited the Super Pit, and the Kalgoorlie Museum. We decided to pass on the Miners Hall of Fame as we feel the $30 admission is a bit too steep.
The second evening there as we were again enjoying a cold drink John and Gail's friends Evan and Florence pull in after driving from Perth.
The following evening at Happy Hour, Evan, who is a Country and Western singer pulled out his guitar and entertained us. Then was off to the Exchange Hotel for drinks and nibbles, or was it drinks and nipples?
Fraser Range station was our next destination and we are pleasantly surprised to see our friends pull in about half an hour later as they had planned to drive to Cocklebiddy.
Fraser range is a working sheep station with an excellent caravan park and immaculate facilities.
The old jetty at Eucla
The campfire was lit and we and our fellow campers were privileged to another night of songs from Evan Platschinda.
It was the night you always imagine when you are thinking of travelling Oz but rarely get to experience.
We decide to spend another day at Fraser Range but it was so hot we just sat in our caravan all day with the airconditioner on.
We were fortunate! Our friends got caught 70kms further east in a fatal road accident and spent eight hours waiting to be let through. We picked them up the following day along the Eyre Highway and made our way to Eucla.
I will end this story here Garth and do a final one for the year in a few weeks.
Editor's Note: Also See -
Cape le Grand NP