We are now in the middle of the “Great Western Woodlands”, covering approx. 16.million hectares.
82.km from Norseman, an overnight rest area at Fraser Range, smaller than where we camped on 30.12.2018, but with a fairly recently built toilet and a dump point. Room for big rigs to drive in and out without difficulty.
Refueling at Norseman and Mike lined up with the Big Boys of the Road, our rig just a baby compared to these guys, especially when viewed from behind:
This is the last fuel stop (Diesel $1.56 per litre) before prices jump for diesel, to between $1.80 and $1.99 per litre across the Nullabor to Nundroo where it is back down to $1.47 – a distance of 1,049.kms.
East of Norseman, approx. 16.kms down Eyre Highway, we camped in the overnight rest area after travelling over 748.kms for our first day.
The Norseman East Rest Area consists of tracks leading from the drive-through rest area, big enough for caravans and big rigs to drive in, around and out again, and no facilities.
At the end of the day, lots of ants and flies sent us inside our RV, but a good night’s sleep was had nevertheless.
The parking area at the picnic spot at Rocky Point Bunbury is currently allowing up to four self-contained vehicles to rest for up to 48.hours. There are some overflow rest areas also located along Ocean Drive. In the City near the Tourist Bureau, is a parking area for caravans and motorhomes for easy access to the bureau and shops. With these facilities, the City of Bunbury have done well to encourage more people to the area.
Rocky Point has views of the ocean and the ships visiting the Port City. Along that stretch of coastline we have walked often – clambering over the rocks formed by ancient lava flows on clear days and particularly during winter, mesmerised by the waves smashing against the rocks and surging up the ‘canals’ between the rocky outcrop.
Around 50.bays are available for campers, up from the beach of Lucky Bay and with fairly new facilities. It is popular, so book ahead.
Approx. 50.kms from Esperance, the magnificent Cape Le Grand National Park and we had the day to explore the Cape. Low level bush growth contrasted with the massive rock hills and at the bays, the whitest sand gave way to beautiful blues and turquoise blues of the ocean.
Our first stop was at Cape Le Grand Beach. From there, a walking trail starts and connects to other parts of the Cape. As we have said before, we know it’s going to be a good place if we find a set of steps/stairs and here was no exception. We only went a short way up to be able to get a great view and declined the opportunity to continue the rest of the way on an all day 15.km hike – I didn’t come with enough water and I’m sticking to that excuse!
From the car parking area is access for 4WD vehicles to the beach and how could we resist taking Suzi for a drive there?
Nearby, an area set up for campers – make enquiries to book before you get there. There are good facilities with hot (limited) showers. Many sites are suitable for campervans but there are a couple large enough for big rigs. Each unpowered site is private, separated from others by some bush and in the photo below, the sites are within the bush above the car parking area.
While camping at Glenbrook, we have woken up to kangaroos around our motorhome and during the day they laze about in the shade, coming back to life in the late afternoon. Young bucks model the older male roos, pushing each other around and balancing on their tail to bring their feet up to their opponent. There are many kangaroos with young in their pouches. These babies suddenly appear and race about at fast speeds in circles, ending back with their mothers.
Towards the back of the camping ground, some trails are marked for walking through an area of bushland. The tracks are wide and for the most part, shaded by the tall trees. We were provided with a map, and markers point the way back to camp. Wildflower season has been going for a few months, but there are still some are around, albeit at the end of their flowering cycle. Closer to the camp grounds, many kangaroos graze on the grass, and young joeys slide in and out their mother’s pouch head first leaving their feet sticking out, but soon after have turned around and their head pokes out of the pouch.
We pre-booked for one night here, but decided it was so lovely and peaceful that we would stay on and just ‘chill’ for the rest of the weekend. Plenty of trees – and our friendly and humorous host, Jason made us welcome and ensured we weren’t parked near any trees that would be likely to drop some branches or worse on us. One tree had fallen recently, apparently just a couple of days after he relocated someone’s tent. Or was this another tale of his? His welcoming speech included the do’s and don’ts of camping at Glenbrook and a warning to wear shoes and not thongs when walking the trails on the property because snakes are on the move – adding with a laugh that there “hasn’t been a fatality – recently!” One of the ‘don’ts’ was no playing of Country Music. Our reply that we would save the country music until we visit the Tamworth Festival in January was met with a swift “That’s a good place for country music to be – over the other side of Australia!” and a laugh.
The facilities adjacent to the camping ground included camp kitchen, verandah with chairs and tables, within the amenities block. Plenty of kangaroos around sharing the paddock next to the camping ground with some horses and a donkey. Recommend a stay there, especially as a base for exploring the Margaret River area, and have a yarn with Jason.
Our Father’s Day road trip from Peppermint Grove Beach to our next destination took us through Ludlow Tuart Forest along Tuart Drive, the former main road between Capel and Busselton before the construction of Bussell Highway. The Ludlow Forest, protected by the Tuart Forest National Park is the only tall tuart forest left in the world. A few other small forests exist but with tuart trees of lesser size – a far cry from the extensive tuart forests that once grew all along the sandy coast of WA over a great distance. The protected Forest is a beautiful area but under threat by weeds (Arum Lilies), some dieback disease and animals eating the seedlings of new trees.
If travelling south on Bussell Highway to Busselton, turn off right after Capel to travel Tuart Drive through the forest. Before the intersection of Ludlow Road North on the left hand side of the road, is a small overnight free camp area where we have stayed when we owned our Sunliner Eclipse motorhome. The area is for self-contained vehicles as there are no facilities and is simply a drive in and out around a central circular space. On the slideshow below, it is obvious how dry the area was when we last visited the forest compared to the lush green to be seen everywhere this trip following record rainfall.
Further along on the right, is Membenup Picnic Site and a billboard showing the area and trails to follow. Care should be taken in this beautiful area with respect to mosquitos carrying Ross River Virus.