It’s true, Australia is the most incredibly photogenic country on the planet (IMHO)

Link to a few pictures here:

Carnarvon, Kennedy Ranges & Quobba Station

My updates are like London buses, you wait for ages for one to come along, and then of course there are two together 😊 but as we are here in Carnarvon, with a good internet connection, some data left on the mobile broadband plan it’s best to get another small update out before I forget where we have been and what we have been doing.

We arrived in Carnarvon in the middle of a dust storm and decided not to put the tent up and seek refuge in a small cabin. Turned out to be a wise decision as the rain came and hung around for a couple of days bringing much needed rain to the region but causing frowns on all the travelers in the area.

We visited the Space and Technology Museum on the edge of town, turned out to be really good for the kids, lots of interactive items in the museum and lots of old technology to keep me interested. I especially enjoyed the old films depicting the town in the 60’s and 70’s when they built the space tracking station and Carnarvon was an unlikely part of the NASA space effort, keeping track of orbital and lunar missions. We dressed up in some space costumes and took a ride in the lunar simulator, made you realise the astronauts were really super human in their ability to stay in cramped conditions for days and operate complex technology to enable them to eventually land on the moon. Great stuff, and although the old stations were decommissioned some time ago they have built the NBN earth station right next door which is a link to the future of remote rural communications is Australia through the Sky Muster Satellite Program.

After a couple of days and as the roads around town opened again, we headed east to the Kennedy Ranges, these are about 250kms out of town and the last 70 kms on dirt roads recently closed because of the rain. The roads were fine of course but it was fabulous to see some water alongside the roadways and some of the small creeks flowing for the first time in a while.

There was only one other couple camping at the Kennedy Ranges NP, so good to get a National Park almost to yourself 😊. The ranges are typical of West Australia, rugged, remote, beautiful, surprisingly fragile in places and always glowing with vivid colours in the early morning and late afternoon sunshine.

We completed a number of walks, awestruck again with the beauty of these landscapes. We were still waiting for a replacement camera lens to arrive in Carnarvon so most of the photos are from our trusty iPhones, not great quality but enough to give you a glimpse of the surroundings and our camp setting.

We only stayed a couple of days, too short really but we are working on a plan to get to Cape Range National Park where we have had to forward book our accommodation, a real rarity for us as we usually just turn up and hope to get a spot.

We went back into Carnarvon, stopping on the way to try and get pictures of the Wedgetail Eagles [failed] but we did spot a very thin and scrawny looking lizard on the road into town. We stopped and watched as this obviously undernourished lizard walked slowly off the road and into a culvert drain, we felt so moved by its condition that we left some chicken breast and minced beef by the side of the drain and were delighted to see the lizard eat some and who knows, maybe it will have a better chance of survival especially after the recent rains. Life in outback Australia can be unforgiving for all, local wildlife included.

After a quick restock in Carnarvon we headed out to Quobba Station, just 80kms out of town with 80kms of pristine coastline to explore and hopefully try to fish although fishing from the rocks is somewhat specialized and a little dangerous. This is all code for saying I didn’t catch anything from the rocks but at least I have a good excuse.

The coastal scenery is once again stunning, the power of the ocean crashing into the rocks and cliffs awe inspiring, even on relatively calm days. We visited a few spots to try our luck fishing but to no avail, I did lose a fair bit of tackle [known locally as a fishing tax] and was somewhat intimidated by the location.

The station owners have set up a spot overlooking the beach by the homestead with a fire pit and a few benches for people to gather and enjoy the sunset over a glass of wine or a cold beer and inevitably the talk is either of travel in the region or success or otherwise trying to fish the coast. A great end to the day.

Next day we set off to explore Red Bluff, a further 60kms from the homestead, another location with superb scenery and a powerful surf beach.

The campground was set along a ridge line extending down to the beach with some amazing looking Eco-tents and Chalets set higher up overlooking the beach and with billion-dollar views.

While we were there the clouds started to build and looked ominously like rain was coming, this was our cue to head back towards the homestead but not before detouring out to a lookout near Cape Cuvier where there is a terminal for the nearby salt mine. The pile of salt was shimmering in the distance along a sheer cliff line and stunning ocean vistas. The clouds continuing to build were creating an amazing play of light contrasting with the ocean, simply stunning.

And sure enough later that evening, back at the homestead the rain came, at first just a light shower but quickly followed by a string of really heavy thunderstorms and raindrops the size of golf balls [or so it seemed from inside our tent]. We had one guy rope come loose during the deluge and so I was nominated to go get a soaking and fix things up. All part of the experience. We survived the storms, seemingly the only crazy people under canvas that night, but the sun came out and soon dried the tent allowing us to pack up dry and head back to town.

And here we are again in Carnarvon, we attended to the local races on Friday afternoon, good to see the colour and spectacle of the country race meeting, the girls getting to see real race horses and jockeys in the silks thundering down the race track, great stuff.

Of course, we were supposed to leave town today but there is Speedway racing tonight, so we decided to stay and go watch, sometimes these local events are more fun than big formal events in major cities, everyone is more relaxed here and you can get closer to the action for a fraction of the cost.

Plan B or C or D has us leaving town for Warroora Station for a day or two before heading to Cape Range National Park just past Exmouth.

Here is the blurb and the link to the station for anyone who is passing by… Warroora Station (pronounced Warra) is a family run cattle station adjacent to the World Heritage Ningaloo Reef coastline, offering eco-friendly wilderness beach camping and authentic Station Stay Accommodation.”

And that’s a wrap for now, expect further updates as the mood or the availability of the internet takes us,

Regards Roy, Helen, Sophie & Zoe

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