AWOL Around Australia… Kalbarri National Park

Next day we took a short drive around the local area. Mostly to check out the pink lake at Hutt Lagoon, Port Gregory. There are a number of these pink lakes in Australia, in varying intensity of ‘pinkness’. Why pink?
Hutt Lagoon is a pink lake, a salt lake with a red or pink hue due to the presence of the carotenoid-producing algae Dunaliella salina, a source of ß-carotene, a food-colouring agent and source of vitamin A. The lagoon contains the world’s largest microalgae production plant, a 250-hectare (620-acre) series of artificial ponds used to farm Dunaliella salina.[2]
Seems that plant is run by BASF (judging by old mate at the campsites work shirt), the German chemical company who any fans of iconic racing car liveries would know.
Hutt Lagoon was decently pink.
More appropriately photographed from the air, or assisted in ‘post production’ as you see in all the tourist brochures. As ever, my photos are just as I find the environment. M. Nature does a good enough job in my opinion.
Port Gregory, looks inviting hey?
These little fellas were lining where the tide was coming to on the beach.
Bluebottles or Portuguese Man O War, unlikely to do you serious harm, but still will take the fun out of swimming in the sea.
We meandered back along the cliff road, through the beachside village of Horrocks.
All very nice, and as we were still ‘long weekend’ distance from Perth many Mc’Mansion Shacks (Mc’Shacksion?) were in evidence. Anyway, the worst heat of the day gone we trundled back to camp.
Cooked beef curry, just in case you thought we had stopped eating 🙂
Next day a train of caterpillars helped us pack up.
I found a mean and roofless Discovery on the way out.
We made our way to the Province of Hutt River, and according to their view, left Australia for a few hours while we visited there.
The second, errrm individual settlement we had been to in WA. I couldn’t work out just how seriously they took themselves.
With 19,000 acres of wheat and cattle farming they probably do ok. Anyway it’s a bit of fun, and a story, the like of which doesn’t really happen any more.
Camp for the next couple of nights would be at Lucky Bay.
$15 a night, but basically camp where you like, on the flat hard standing like everyone else, or tucked up in the dunes (us).
There were about eight other vehicles there that night. As I said all down on the flat area. I figured they either had a big caravan, no compressor to pump their tyres back up, as the dunes required 20psi and under to negotiate, or a roof top tent, there wasn’t much level ground near the beach, just enough for us to squeeze the Oztent on.
Although a Patrol that came in after us, towing an older road based caravan, and hit the dunes with great gusto. I later found out it was a couple of Irish brothers, who got that caravan right onto the beach, they were here for fishing and fishing only.
Irish lads always seem to travel as brothers, as if… (Irish accent) ‘Ma, I’m, thinking of going to Australia…’ ‘That’s fine Seamus, just make sure you take your brother’.
As usual these coastal campsites are a bit windy, but you certainly feel you’re back to nature. Interesting after that first night it was just us and the Irish chaps.
Beetroot, harissa lamb and rice cooked in the beetroot liquor. Bloody delicious.
Sunset on the beach.
I left the rest of the expedition party at camp the next day, whilst I headed up the coast to hike the river gorges of Kalbarri National Park.
We had actually been here before. Twenty years ago when it was all dirt roads (not to mention a big detour to get in, after Cyclone Steve at the time), then we just came for the hole in the rock, we didn’t know about the other stuff, how did you find out back then? we only knew about the hole because of word of mouth. Anyway, that’s still what most people come here fore, and the roads are all bitumen now. So I skipped queuing up for the same photo everyone else was going to get, as I already had that one.
I got some others instead.
Bush walking, WA style.
Don’t go hiking in the middle of the day in the Australian summer. Mad dogs and Englishmen only.
The black swan is the bird emblem of WA.
The water looks like a chemical spill at times.
On arrival back a camp there was a mere forty metres of sand to traverse to get the Cruiser back up the camp. I was hoping I could hit it at road tyre pressure, rather than dropping the tyres right down to explore the dunes as we had yesterday searching for a camp spot.
Well unsurprisingly, NO, was the answer to that. Any hard won momentum just evaporates in the sort sand. So 25psi came out of each tyre. You just can’t short cut off road techniques I guess…
Next day we headed up the coast to Kalbarri township. Not before helping this little chap finish crossing the road after he had stalled halfway. Keep your gloves handy people.
Echidna in case you’re wondering.
Kalbarri is a nice little fishing/surfing/tourist village, probably just far enough from Perth to lack the millionaire holiday homes and all the better for it. We needed water, laundry and internet. So this would serve nicely for a couple of nights.
Thanks for reading.

2 thoughts on “AWOL Around Australia… Kalbarri National Park

  1. Man, so much cool stuff. Looks like similar stratigraphy to Utah. Does WA feel pretty open or are they pretty on top of what roads you can drive, where to camp etc. In other words, do you end up paying for access pretty often or just when you want to have some facilities for a break?

    1. Ta mate. Hmmm, WA left me with mixed feelings… So much cool stuff, but also SO regulated. There are tracks and trails to explore that not many people go down, but not as many as you would think with so much space (1/3 the land mass of the country). The big downer was the lack of bush camping. They provide free 24 hour roadside camps, which are useful with the big distances involved, but purely functional (and always fly infested). However in terms of finding your own spot in the bush, somewhere where you feel you are camping IN the scenery you’ve been driving through, it is not something that really exists. They either want you in a caravan park, on private property or a national park campground. So for the way you and I like to go about business, this tempers it somewhat… More so than other states I found.
      Closed roads were also an issue for us later on. Unfortunately as ever, the regulations seem to cater for the 5% of travellers who can’t take responsibility for themselves.

      Just outside Darwin now for a few days, power and internet! Might watch me some Dirt Sunrise, I think I’m up to the part where you leave home for Baja… 😉

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