Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Back on the road again today as we head further south down the Western Australian coastline.  
Eagle Bluf

Ian, Kathy, Steve and I decided that we would like divert off the road and drive the 4kms in on the dirt road to check out Eagle Bluff.  John and Barb weren’t too keen, but as they needed fuel, decided to head for the Billabong Roadhouse and we would meet them there. 

I am so pleased that we decided to check out Eagle Bluff.  The views were spectacular, with coastal views in every direction you looked.  Even looking back towards the land, there were views of another amazing turquoise lagoon.

The bluff wasn’t a solid rock face like others we had seen, it was more like a broken sandstone rock that was sloping like a sand dune.  It overlooked beds of sea grass and two small islands that were home to nesting cormorants. The water below was crystal clear and you could see right to the bottom.  From this height, you were able to see all sorts of sea creatures below, including the turtles, dugongs, dolphins, and several different kinds of sharks.  

We walked the 200m long boardwalk right along the cliff edge enjoying the spectacular views and trying to search for the sharks and dugongs.  Even the return walk along the dirt track offered spectacular views of the bay on the southwestern side of the point.

We left here to drive the 120kms back to the main highway (Overlander Roadhouse).  We had a quick pit stop here before continuing another 50 kms to meet up with John and Barb at the Billabong Roadhouse.

By the time we arrived there, John and Barb had already booked us in to the Principality of the Hutt River for the night and had had their coffee and scones, but as it was almost lunch time, the rest of us decided to have a bite to eat as well, although we chose toasted sandwiches and hot chocolates.

We probably spent a good hour or more here as we tried to sort out our accommodation for the next couple of days that we wanted to spend at Kalbarri.  We had a difficult time finding somewhere to stay, as every caravan park and homestead we had rung was booked out until at least the following Thursday.  In the end, Steve rang the Information Centre at Kalbarri and they gave us the name of a van park at Wagoe which is about 20kms south of Kalbarri and they were able to fit us in on unpowered sites for $25 per night, so we are booked there for a couple of nights after we leave the Hutt Province. 

Scenic drive to the Hutt River Principality

Our destination today was a visit to the Principality of Hutt River.  This province is comparable in size to Hong Kong.  It is a independent sovereign state which seceded from Australia on April 21 in 1970.  This was over an argument with the state government over wheat quotas. It now has its own government and policies with tourists being warmly welcomed.   The province has it’s own currency, stamps, a crazy religion and is exempt from Australian tax laws.  

In saying this though it is now more of a quirky tourist endeavour but Prince Leonard, even in his 90’s seems to take it all seriously.  He has some very odd theories on religion and mathematics and has interwoven them together to come up with numbers and formulas for the Big Bang, life and everything.  The Province  is open to visitors from 9am to 4pm daily and has a caravan park, which you can stay at for $5 per person per night which is really good value considering that they have flushing toilets and a hot shower as well as a camp kitchen shelter (which did need a bit of cleaning up, but at least provided a sheltered place to eat away from the wind.  Not only that, there was even access to a free washing machine. What a bargain! The down side was that there were a LOT of flies here. Out came the fly nets that we'd put away after leaving the Centre of Australia. Also there was a nearby swamp that was home to some very noisy frogs who serenaded us all night.

 Prince Leonard’s principality has been developed with tourists in mind and the administration building contains a government office, a post office and a charming interdenominational chapel.  You can even have your passport stamped here or pay $4 to get your own signed visa. 
Masses of wild flowers out alongside the road

The drive to Hutt River was one of the prettiest drives yet. We were entranced with the beautiful scenery and the abundant wildflowers along the way, especially as we drew closer to Hutt River. The dirt road into the Principality itself is very well-maintained. No corrugations and barely any dust. We had booked to stay one night on the property and when we arrived mid-afternoon we had the whole site to ourselves. Later two more vehicles arrived containing foreign back packers, no doubt happy like we were to be paying only $5 per head to stay there.
Our arrival at the Hutt River Province
Government Offices and Post Office

Hutt River Postal Box.
As it was mid afternoon when we arrive, we figured that by the time we got set up, there would be very little time to have a decent look around, so decided to just chill out for the afternoon and then head back up to the main area in the morning to go exploring. 

Setting up at the Hutt River Province
We enjoyed cheese, crackers, and a cool drink under the shade of the large trees growing in the camping area, and then had a rest before setting up in the sheltered camp kitchen where we enjoyed dinner all together.  We enjoyed a feed of Steve’s freshly caught fish (salmon and flathead). 
Camp Kitchen needed a tidy when we got there.
There was plenty of water for us to use...
  We really enjoyed our evening here. We were joined in the camp kitchen by the two girls in a Subaru. A Dutch and a German who'd met while working on a horse farm in NSW and decided to travel around Australia together. Steve helped to repair their old gas camp stove and John loaned them our butane gas stove to cook their meal, and we had a lovely chat with them afterwards while we all ate our meals.

Sitting in there was a welcome break to shelter from the cold winds that have been battering the Western Australian coastline these past couple of weeks.

The cold weather sends usually sends us back to the warmth of our vans quite early, so it was nice to sit and chat for a little longer last night and it was after 8.30pm before we returned to our van.  As we have no power here at the Hutt Provence, we were in bed by 10pm.


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