Wednesday, October 11, 2017


We were all up for a sleep in this morning as we didn’t have to be up and gone early.  We only had about 60kms to travel today and Prince Leonard was keen to meet us but would not be available until around 9.30am.

 By 9am, we were all packed up and went up to the main reception area, which comprises several buildings, including a post office, church, souvenir shop, and some other weird and wonderful shrine type buildings. We were shown around by one of Prince Leonard's daughters who was very happy to tell us all about the history of the place.
Meeting Prince Leonard's eldest daughter
From talking to his daughter, it seems that Prince Leonard has handed over the Princedom to her brother and it will be up to him to maintain the fight.

Meanwhile this eccentric gentleman is bringing a lot of tourism to the area, and the nearby towns actually benefit from that. We spent quite a bit of time in the morning having a good look at the whole setup and buying some souvenirs. It was all good fun!

 Visiting the chapel at the Hutt River Province provided an insight into the life and character of Princess Shirley, Prince Leonard's wife who passed away in 2013. The one thing that we noticed about the chapel was that all the windows were blue glass which threw a blue tint through everything.  Not sure why the blue glass in the windows.  Maybe it had some numerical value.

Inside the Chapel of Nain
Steve testing out one of the thrones.

The Education Centre dedicated to Princess Shirely

Barb supporting the Principality who souvenir shopping.

 We were very fortunate and got to meet Prince Leonard himself. He is getting on in age, around 92 years old and not in the best of health. The effort of getting up and dressed is enough to make him quite breathless with his emphysema. He is still very sharp mentally for his age, although a little forgetful in the day to day trivia ( like remembering people's names)  The maths brain is still all there. Most of it went right over our heads, (even Steve who has a degree with a major in mathematics) when he started trying to explain his theories. John thought it was a load of clap trap. But you have to hand it to him. He's managed to stay one step in front of the Australian Government in maintaining the status of his self-proclaimed Principality.
Prince Leonard is now 91 years of age.
A copy of the letter from the Queen that he received
Talking with the Prince
A personal tour through his Museum
His own diplomatic passport has allowed him to travel the world.
The Hutt River Province Flag

         It was lunch time by the time we headed to our next lot of accommodation at Wagoe Beach which is about 35 Km south of Kalbarri. We were unable to secure spots in any of the Kalbarri Caravan parks,  as it was still school holidays.  Wagoe Chalets offered un-powered caravan sites for $25/night, so we were pretty happy with that. It was a bit tired and run-down and very windy and exposed here,  but the views were excellent and  at least there was a partly enclosed camp kitchen which we were able to share for the two nights we were there.  It would've been impossible to sit outside by our vans or put our awnings out as the wind was so strong. We felt very sorry for those poor souls in tents or even camper trailers in this weather. Inside our vans we were warm and safe.

Entrance to Wagoe Chalets and Camping Grounds

The views from our van

 After setting up, we headed into Kalbarri for fuel up and check out the town.

The views on the drive in were spectacular and we could see why it is such a popular tourist destination.   
 What a beautiful town it is! No wonder we had no chance of getting a caravan site in town itself.(We rang three go) It's a perfect destination for both families and tourists.
 The town is set on a lovely inlet of the Murchison River. The approach by boat through the mouth of the river looks rather treacherous but once inside the water is tranquil and a lovely place for gentle water sports such as kayaking, sailing, kite surfing, fishing and swimming. There's also a good beach for children to play and there's pelican feeding every morning right opposite the caravan park.

We explored a few dirt tracks looking for that perfect fishing spot and also enjoying all the beautiful wildflowers that were out. 

We'd noticed on the 30 km drive into town a number of roads leading to various viewing spots along the coastline, so we thought we'd explore some of those on our way back to the campsite. Just out of town on the south side is Chinaman's beach. It seemed to be quite popular with the locals  who were fishing, and some people were even trying to surf here.

 Our first stop was Zuytdorp Memorial.  The Zuytdorp (“South Village”) was a Dutch East India Company merchant ship smashed against Shark Bay’s coastal cliffs in June 1712 whilst voyaging to Batavia (Jakarta, Indonesia). Aboard the Zuytdorp were about 200 passengers and crew and a rich cargo, including 248,000 silver coins. The precise circumstances of the wreck remain a mystery, because no survivors reached Batavia to tell the tale. Some did live for a time in Shark Bay, however, where they were helped by local Aboriginal people. This contact with Europeans was probably the first ever made by Australia’s indigenous people.

Further along, down Blue Holes Road we came upon a very pretty spot with lots of deep and shallow rock pools and calm safe water ideal for young children. You can also snorkel on the reef from here, but it was a little cold and blowy for our liking. That didn't seem to deter plenty of families who were taking advantage of the spot.
Wittecarra Creek was our next destination.  Steve was keen to check out the fishing options from here.  It  led out onto a lovely little sandy beach, although the creek did not run out into the ocean as it was closed off by a sand dune and some rocks,  it was a pretty little area and one used by locals and tourists alike for picnics.

The next road we turned down led to Red Bluff lookout. Red Bluff has the highest elevation in the area with its soaring 100m cliff face. There is a cement pathway navigable by wheelchairs and prams all the way to the lookout but with the wind blowing so strongly and sheer drops on both sides of the pathway, it felt like you would get blown over the edge.    Steve decided to do this walk and I waited back at the car for him.  Even at the car the views were amazing and Steve would testify that the views were even more amazing from the lookout and well  worth  the walk out. We could even see whales breaching not too far offshore. Wonderful!

Our final stop for the afternoon was Mushroom Rock,  this was not as spectacular as some of the other spots we had checked out.  It was just a rather large rock that you could walk around.  By now time was pushing on and as we were on dinner duty tonight, we thought that we had better head home.  

It was after 5.30pm by the time we got home, but  we were in awe of some of the most spectacular scenery we had enjoyed this afternoon.  We arrived home in time to see the sun setting over the ocean.  Feeling very blessed and thankful for the opportunity to see and enjoy this wonderful country we live in.   


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