After spending a few nights in Canarvon sheltering from the rain. It was a good opportunity to prepare for our stay on Quobba station.
We made sure the shopping was topped up with the essentials and our water tanks and jerry cans were full. We had extra desiel on hand as well.
A day or two before driving into Carnarvon Nixon was surprised with some early birthday money from his Nan and Pop, we thought he may have had to wait a while to spend it ( the further north we move the more remote) Carnarvon was probably the last place we thought would have a toy world but it did and they were running a huge Lego sale too! It was one of those meant-to-be situations, excitement levels were an all time high from the back seat of the car! We stopped in of course. Nixon and Raff shopped their little hearts out – thanks to Mum and Dad. It made their day!
It was an awful start to our Canarvon stay. We were jammed in like sardines amongst a sea of old grey nomads in a small caravan park. The rain had started and I felt like I had to keep the kids in tow after the man behind us stuck his head out of his annex and told me to watch the kids he doesn’t want the to trip on his waste pipe and pull it out. ( In other words keep your kids away from my site!) First impression wasn’t great. Pon and I are struggling to get used to the morning bathroom noises in the ablution blocks.. Quiet often returning to the caravan pale, queazy and in no mood for breakfast! I think in general we can’t wait to get away from caravan parks they’ve been so expensive along the west coast. This next stretch of coast has been what we’ve been dreaming of since the beginning. We can’t wait!
The road out to Red Bluff and Gnarloo is a dirt road, and at times, in really bad condition. We stayed on in Canarvon until the weather was due to change. In that time the old Nomads around us lighted up and turned out to be super nice and very generous. One couple even gifting us some delicious, sweet chilli sauce. They had been brewing it outside our window the entire day before.. the smell was a tease!! It tastes just as nice, if not better! We also bumped into Neil’s! My brothers good friend from Wollongong, was camping at Gnarloo and had come back into Canarvon for supplies when Pon had crossed paths with him. We intended on staying at Red Bluff but considering he was at Gnarloo, we changed our minds. His reports on the campground and surf seemed perfect.
Canarvon is situated at the only point of the Australian coastline, where the outback meets the sea. It supply’s up to 70% of WA’s winter vegetables- tonnes of fruit and vegetable are shipped out of this place every year-giving this place the nick name of the ‘fruit bowl’. We made sure we stopped in at one of the many working plantations, to stock up on some cheap and epic fruit and Veges. It was quite weird to see the crops growing here in the desert-like red dirt. The ground seems dry and dusty yet the produce is incredible!
The weather forecast was looking great for the next five days, we were in good shape to make the 150km journey north to Gnarloo
Homestead – the 3 mile camp. It’s a working pastoral station, which offers a wilderness and Australian outback experience like no other. You feel so far away from anything else, no reception, no internet ( unless you use the Gnarloo wifi service of $100 for 500 mb!!!) your out in the middle of the nowhere, with the most pristine coastline at your fingertips, your surrounded by a campground full of other like minded surf enthusiasts, ocean goers and fisherman families. The vibe is all time! Everyone is out for a good time in the ocean, back to basics. Geez it felt great!
It was pretty well set up, almost luxury to have flushing toilets and salt ,bore water showers available out there. There was even a little kiosk for the campers and a big deep freeze if you needed it. Every camp spot faced the ocean and overlooked the beginnings of the Ningaloo reef and the waves that broke along it. In front was a picture perfect lagoon underneath the rocky shelf we sat upon. Once again the sunsets were killer! But what topped this experience, and this view, were the endless flow of migrating humpback whales upon the horizon! By the end of the stay, we stopped pointing the whales out to the kids, they almost became as common as the pesky seagulls! It was pretty incredible!
Pon surfed tombstones for the very first time the day we arrived. It was head high and a perfect left hander peeling of the reef, the water temperature was comfortable. It was semi crowded and he only managed to get a couple of waves but they were one of the best his ever ridden, we were in for a treat!
We met Neil’s late on our arrival day. He was with an old friend of his, Jess who, like Niels, was a mad frother for the waves. They were totally surfed out after being at a beach further south towards Red bluff called Turtle Beach. He assured us it would be good the next day and gave us directions for the 20 something minutes it would take to drive there.. It went something like this … “Just Stick left all the way till you get to a sand dune.. Drive over a broken fence and then over some bigger dunes and you should see our car”
45 minutes later, driving through the baron, desert, station country, over hell corrugations and rock formations over big sand dunes we were feeling stumped! we found a broken fence but surely one you wouldn’t drive over. With Nixon begging us to take the fence on! we came to a boundary fence which meant we had gone to far. We took a turn and pulled back into that area to try the only one other way we hadn’t taken yet to find we had driven over a much flatter broken fence and were on the right sandune!
Over we go and there they were! Woo hoo!
The surf was up and it was only Neil’s and Jess in the water. Pon paddled out and joined them. They scored it to themselves for about 40 minutes before an instant crowd turned up. The waves were solid, quality wegdy waves that thankfully Pon felt comfortable surfing. The boys and I were happy on turtle beach collecting the huge shells and creating our own reef of dry coral. The dunes provided hours of fun for the boys to ride their body boards. Thankfully Raff recovered from his scorpion stack quickly and had sand free eyeballs just a mouthful instead.