After yet another trip back to Carnarvon for a night to top up on food, water and essentials we were on our way north to another wilderness camping spot, one that had been recommend to us from some guys back home and one we thought would be right up our alley! We had planned to hang out there for two weeks until the school holidays were over. It’s again one of the few working stations along the Ningaloo reef where the outback meets the sea.
Even though this station is only about another 40 km north of Gnarloo you can’t access it from the same road in. We had to back track to Carnarvon and take the highway up instead.
We had read some reviews from other campers to take the southern road in if your staying at Sandy point ( which is were we wanted to stay on the station) once we hit the southern road, we came across a sign, it read – ” All Two wheel drive and caravan campers, take the northern road to 14 mile beach. ) With no internet, no real map detailing these dirt roads we stuck to our guns and took that southern road regardless of the sign. We came across another sign, now on the dirt road saying this… ” deep corrugations and washouts ahead ” arrrrhhh we’ll be right! We can let the tires down! Well! A good hour and a half later, going almost walking pace at times to avoid shaking the contents from the van over mountain sized corrugations we knew we should have taken the northern road! It’s was just us and about a gazillion oversized termite mounds in the middle of the station towing our “semi off road van” through what we later learned was a closed road! We finally made it to the camp and learned that sandy point was fully booked, and a waiting list applied. So we pulled up in the shitty overflow area and felt totally defeated! Probably the worst site on the entire station. We had looked forward to this stay the most, so far it didn’t seem like things were going to plan at all!
The next day it was Nixons 7th birthday. Somehow the evening before, regardless of feeling low, I picked myself up and helped decorate his cake and blow up ballons. I later wrapped presents and wrote out his song that Pon and I came up with back in Gnarloo on a hand crafted birthday card with a few more lines of celebration. Nix was so extremely excited for his birthday! He had planned and scheduled how he would like his day to roll out that I was almost nervous if I’d forget something!
That night we all slept terrible except for Raff as Nixon tossed and turned in the excitement of the day that was pressing! He kept saying that he thought he was already growing because his feet were touching something on the end of his bed! ( I regretted piling the presents up there! )
He finally dosed off and was shortly woken by his brother who seemed just as excited as Nix! Presents were opened! He was stoked to find a new guitar, a fishing reel and a big box of Lego! I cooked up some of his favorite banana pancakes and he spent the next few hours playing with his gifts.
Pon had snagged us a new camp spot just behind the dunes at 14 mile beach so we did the quickest pack up of our lives to relocate and not take away from the birthday boys excitement. It was heaven! A big spacious white sandy site about 20 meters from the most turquoise watered beach. Our two weeks here were looking up!
Nixon’s birthday went exactly as had planned it, but was better! We hit the beach and Nix had some special one-on-one fishing time in the boat reeling in ‘Charlie courts’ cod (on his new reel) by the dozen! The legal bag limit is only 4 per license so plenty went back. They caught some squid aswell, providing entertainment for Nix as one cheeky squid released its bag of ink all over Pons face!
After the cleanup we settled In for a game of cricket and some birthday cake! The boys and I ran the beach kicking a ball before hitting the water for a sunset swim (sea bath). The sky lit up in all its glory and we returned to the van, slipped on some pjs and danced under the stars to a bit of John butler trio with glow sticks and sparklers after a nice dinner of fresh fish, squid and chips ( as Nixon requested) that they caught earlier in the day. We settled down for the night reading our final chapters of Charlie and the chocolate factory before a nice end to our big boys special 7th birthday!
We had three beautiful warm sunny days. The wind seemed to die down just after our lazy mornings routine, in-time for the day’s activities. I found a new love of shell collecting. On my morning walks I’d come home with a handful of the most colorful, mixture of glossy shells. All shapes and sizes! Some have been the biggest and best I’ve seen! I couldn’t help but take some home for gifts they would look great on a side board hosting the car-keys or even a dresser with a few bits of jewelry. The occasional turtle sighting would be a delight!
Pon was in his element having the boat parked out on the beach. He would leave it out alongside the other boats. Some days he jumped in it with his board all suited up and motored over 5 minutes to the surf break in front of sandy point, he through out the anchor and paddled over to an uncrowded pristine wave! For him, this was a first! The boat came into its own out here! It’s been so worth while having made the effort to bring it along with us! Even if it sits on the roof for the next few months, we will be happy!
Most days we took the boat out fishing. Sometimes all of us, sometimes just Pon and Nix. Raff has never been a huge fan of fishing, often getting frightened by crabs, insects, actually most slimy, nipping, biting animals. It was here, at Woroora that he caught his very first fish independently! He got the bites, jagged it and reeled it in all by himself and thankfully ignited a new interest in joining in.
It was short lived. One particular day we had multiple hook ups, Nix was reeling in a cod. I’d caught a squid and Raff was on to a cod too! In our small tinny, the commotion was hectic! I had passed over my line to Pon so he could bring in the squid Nix had his cod dangeling mid air when Raff noticed the squid surfacing, he began to panic! The anticipation of ‘when the squid will ink’ is too much for him and he gets scared. We promised this one would be fine, as it had inked in the water a whole heap, I yelled out “Pon just hurry up and put it in the bucket already” to try and ease his freak out. I had figured it was like a bandaid type situation “the quicker the better” As soon as Pon lifted it out of the water, this ‘terminator’ like squid lined Raff up and sprayed its slimy black ink all over him! The poor kid was now traumatized! And climbing my body to escape the alien that was now in our boat! Plus, in all this commotion I still had a damn cod to reel in that Raff had totally abandoned! It was something I’m sure will stick with him for years to come.
We caught ample Chinaman cod (commonly known by the locals as Charlie’s ) they are now a new favorite of ours! Super nice to eat! And plenty of squid! Pons biggest mission was to catch a spangled emporia ( kinda like a snapper but tropical looking) he tagged along with a guy called Brad and his family who we became quite friendly with they seemed to know their stuff with fishing! Brad had caught a beauty one day, that only exacerbated Pons desire to catch one.
He persisted most days until his rod took a beating! The whole thing bent over, just as he had saw Brads do the day he caught one in the same location. He was ready! Heart pounding! This was it! Only to lose it in a split second and realize that he had forgot to release his drag after escaping a snag only moments before. He was rope-able! He looked defeated when he returned. He said it was such a rookie error that possibly cost him his big opportunity.
After a good week we drove into Coral bay to top up on some food and water. Thankfully the caravan park rents out their washing machines for $3 a load… Bargain! Coral bay was a full house! The caravan parks were bursting at the seems these school holidays! I’m so happy we timed the holidays in with our stay at Waroora! We are so much happier there paying our $100 a week rent and enjoying the secluded, unpopulated paradise.
Another few days went by and I was desperate to return to Coral Bay to see it on a sunny day and snorkel the reef just meters off the sand. It was glorious! I can understand why it’s such a popular tourist destination. All four of us snorkeled around the reef and saw some pretty marine life. The coral wasn’t very colorful, maybe we needed to swim out that bit further. The water was turquoise and clear but the sheer number of people was enough for us to clear out soon after. We hit the bakery up for a delicious pie and coffee before returning home to Waroora.
With only a dot of Telstra reception on the top of the sanddune, it was adequate enough to feed our connection to the outside world. With no TV and limited battery dependent on the solar energy we had to be mindful of our energy consumption. The fresh water we brought in had to last us the week, thankfully we had use of an artesian salt water bore we had to pump light olden days to fill buckets we used to wash in. Sometimes Pon would use our biggest wetsuit bucket to throw his fish and squid in, ( it was now stained black from squid ink) This was also the bucket we used with an inch of salty water to wash down each night! Showers were just no option, it was a luxury we sacrificed for this special place on earth.
We loved living so simply. You don’t waste food, appreciation for the most simple luxuries, like power, showers, food and water become real. We live like kings and queens most of the time and most things become unappreciated with the rush and pressures of everyday life.
The best part of this trip is having the time to reflect back upon the lives we once lived back home and the things we need to change. We’ve learnt the best things we’ve loved on this trip cost the least. It’s simply having the time to sit and be present in each other’s lives. Having the time to talk and play with the kids with no other agenda racing through our minds about things We are halfway through or in need of doing. Just being 100% present and engaging with enthusiasm in what we’re doing. Nixon has already said that when his old and has kids his going to do this trip. When I asked why, his reply. “Because it’s so fun. It makes everybody happy.”
On the last day, Pon rigged up his rods for one last attempt at catching a Spangled Emporia. He timed it so high tide was coming up. And disappeared down the sandy old track for the next two hours. He later returned with a huge smile on his face. Holding up not only one, but two Spango’s!!! He was happy man!
It topped of an almost perfect two weeks!!!
This place has been awarded best camp for us so far. If your a lover of fishing, surfing and pristine beaches. Put it on your list! It won’t disappoint! It’s been everything we were hoping for and more!
We will be sad to leave this place, but one day we will return.
Onwards to Exmouth. The whale sharks await!