Tuesday, October 3, 2017


We didn’t end up having the famous Bullara scones this morning as we wanted to get away as early as we could.  We still had an 80 km drive to get to Exmouth and we were to meet Barb and john around 10am at the Exmouth Information centre.  

 The drive into Exmounth was really quite pleasant.  For a good part of the way we followed the coast and could see the whales breaching and playing in the waters in the bay.  Three were also many termite mounds around this area with a rest area even being named after them.  The Learmonth RAAF Base is sitatued along this stretch of the road, along with a solar observatory.  We also passed the road into Charles Knife Canyon but unfortunately, that will need to wait for another trip across to the West, as the road did not look suitable to tow a caravan in on.  
Old man emu with his chick...

One of the highlights of this drive was seeing a father emu cross the road in front of us with one of his baby chicks.  Not often you see something like this out in the wild.  

Barb and John were there waiting for us by the time we arrived.   After the customary hugs and photos with the big prawn, we headed off to to post a card, and grab a few basics from the supermarket like bread and milk before we went off grid for three to four days. 

We probably spent an hour in Exmouth, before taking off for the National Park. 

 We had a good sixty kms to travel until we got to our camp site at North Mandu.  We had to pass through the National Park check point and make sure our parks sticker was valid, and we then stopped at the Milyering Discovery Centre to check out tide times for snorkelling on the reef and just to check out the centre as a whole. 

  There was lots to see there and even video’s to watch on the reef, but we were keen to get to our campsite and get set up, so thought we would leave the exploring until another day.

Our vans at North Mandu

North Mandu was way better than we had expected.  It was a small camping ground with only 5 camp sites, so it really was a miracle that we were all able to book in here for three nights.  In fact I am sure that it was a God thing as even the girl at the Discovery Centre couldn’t believe that we were able to get three sites together for three nights with such late notice.  The Camping grounds are booked up for us to twelve months ahead.   We were very thankful and very grateful. 
Barb sitting on our beach
No sand, just this...
Our beach at North Mandu
Very friendly - they would even come under our awnings. 
The only down side to North Mandu, was the rocky beach, although that didn’t worry us too much as there was really no camping at the swimming beaches anyway, so we still would have had to get in the car and travel.  The other downside was that we were a no generator area so couldn’t use our generators.  Still our solar panel seems to be handling the load quite well, as by the end of our stay we would have been off power for a week, and we didn’t experience any issues. 

 In fact, we were so happy with our site, that if we were ever to come back we would probably try and book the same camping area again.  We were quite sheltered from the winds here also.   There were quite a few friendly kangaroos, which would come to visit us, and right in the middle of our camping ground was a couple of shady trees with a picnic table under neath.

One thing about the Western Australian Government.  They did National Parks and Rest Areas well.  Their amenities in these places are  much better than anything we experienced in the Northern Territory. 
Once we were all set up we took off for a drive down the coast to check out some of the other camping grounds along this stretch.  We went as far south as Kurrajong and went into each camping area along the way.  Steve was looking for that perfect fishing spot, as we were in a marine protection area where we were staying at North Mandu.

Looking from Oyster Stacks back to our campsite at North Mandu
 On the way home we went back north as far as the Milyering Discovery Centre to check out Oyster Stacks, Turquoise Bay and Lakeside Beach.  We were pretty impressed with them all and couldn’t wait until tomorrow to actually get out on the reef and go snorkelling.
Checking out Turquoise Beach

We arrived back at our vans not long before sunset, so it was a bit of a scramble to get together our chairs, wine, cheese and nibbles and head up to the top of the sand dune (or should I say rock dune) to watch the sun set over the ocean. 

 It was a lovely sunset, and the added bonus was being able to see the whales out there also breaching and playing in the ocean.  We also noticed a few reef sharks cruising up and down just in front of us as well.  They were very close to the shore. 

    As we hadn’t organised dinner, and the afternoon was getting on, we decided on an easy dinner tonight, just grabbing some snags out of the freezer and having sausages on bread for our first meal back together again.  They tasted great, and the night was perfect, with us all generally being delighted to be all back together again. 

Big day tomorrow, we are off to snorkel on the reef. 


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