Headed into the area and our first stop was Hamelin station (500,000 acres) ………..fantastic station stay made all the better by the great caretakers Julie and Arnie Petersen………..(yes radiographer crowd that would be ex FMC Julie, I nearly fell over when I saw her behind the desk, it was great to catch up with her. They are both looking very relaxed and enjoying their seachange). The station has fantastic facilities with probably the best kitchen we have seen and well used every night by all the campers making for a very social night. We went and saw the stromatolites in the super saline Hamelin pools, these have only been there about 6000 years but are one of the earliest forms of life and their ancient predecessors gave us oxygen in the air…………….. very important I think. We then checked out shell beach………..a whole beach made of tiny brillant white cockle shells – Beautiful. We camped for a few days in Francois Peron National Park on Big Lagoon………… yep it’s a big lagoon! We saw the dolphins at Monkey Mia which was not trashy touristy as expected but fabulous and well done by the NP rangers and volunteers, Woodsy and the boys got picked out of the crowd to hand feed the wild dolphins, all very controlled and limited so they stay wild. We loved Cape Peron and its very sandy tracks. The boys tried fishing off the end with no success but we saw turtles and rays and lots of fish teasing them from the lookout. On our way out we rescued a Chinese couple who hadn’t let their tyres down for the sand (and then realised that the sandy tracks were quite beyond them so turned around). There was a great little museum on all the history and shipwrecks of the area and a Marine park with marine biologists who gave you the full run down on the locals swimming in the bay as well as a cool shark feeding session.
Our last fabulous day in the area was spent with a great couple of people we had met while travelling, we had a little convoy of 3 out to Steep point the most westerly point on mainland Australia. Safety in numbers as the track out is very sandy and at least if any of us got bogged we would have some help, however we all made it easy…………..the Ssangyong sailed through. Just an amazing drive, past beautiful bays and beaches, through dunes, fabulous views of Dirk Hartog Island and then finally spectacular cliffs with waves crashing.
Shelter Bay - near steep point
stromatolites at Hamelin Pool
Boys feeding the dolphins at Monkey Mia