Travelling Australia
Wayne & Pam BENTLEY

Monday 28th June 2004 to Wednesday 30th June 2004

Monday 28th June 2004

Last night we spent another great night with Nikki, Gary and the boys as we went to Dampier and sat outside Barnacle Bob's restaurant enjoying seafood, chips and salad whilst admiring the lights and view over the water.  Good food, excellent company, warm weather and a great view, what more could one want?

This morning the caravan was packed up and whilst 'one of us' completed her morning preparations. the 'other one took the Patrol down the street and filled up with fuel before connecting up to the caravan.  Just before we departed, Nikki and the boys came around to visit us and wave goodbye. Then after Tom rode in the front seat of the Patrol through the caravan park, we were on the road again by about 9.05am.

Not far out of Karratha we saw a lime green utility parked on the side of the road with someone standing near the front door and giving us a wave.  Then we recognised the driver as being John Williamson of Country Music fame.  Although easily recognisable, this recognition was assisted by the fact that he had the tailgate of his ute painted up with 'Country Reunion Tour - John Williamson'.   Well after that 'one of us' had to put on the his CD 'Old Farts in Caravan Parks' which we listened to for the next hour.

The majority of the drive from Karratha to the Onslow turn off was through some fairly scenic country that had hills of dark red rock lifting up into the blue sky out of plains of spinifex grass.  It really gave the feeling that it was a photographers paradise, however the opportunity to stop at many of these scenic locations was limited due to the drop into storm culverts at the edge of the road verges.

From the turn off in to Onslow the country changes to undulating hills with some areas only being covered with sparse grasses and a mass of termite mounds.  Onslow itself is home to about 800 people and is 82 kilometres off the main North West Highway, so services are limited and more expensive than we have found in a lot of areas.  Diesel fuel sold at $1.22 per litre and most other products where priced similarly.  The caravan park was only $19 per night however it was fairly basic.

After setting up the caravan we drove around the town and out to 4 Mile Creek where there were a few people fishing, one even caught a fairly small whiting while we were there.  We then drove back into Onslow where we filled up with fuel, bought a few onions for our beef goulash from the local shop and then retired to the caravan for the rest of the afternoon.  That was interrupted by a walk along the beach for about an hour around 4.45pm.

We certainly don't see any need to stay in Onslow any additional days so will be off to Carnarvon in the morning.

The Fortescue River

Beauty and the beach!

Four Mile Beach - Near Onslow

Tuesday 29th June 2004

This morning started quite early, however didn't progress with any great speed.  Too much chatting going on with the neighbours and a decided lack of enthusiasm to rush.

We finally managed to get on the road by about 8.30am and headed south on the Onslow road.  Eighty two kilometres later we turned west onto the North West Highway, through some colourfull dark red rocky hills again and passed the Nanutarra Roadhouse.  Just over two hours after leaving Onslow we stopped and had morning tea at a 24 hour picnic spot and had a talk to some other caravanners that were heading north to Broome for the winter. One must wonder where all these caravans fit in Broome because there was a constant stream of them heading north looking for the warmth of the sun as we made our way south to the wind, rain and cold.

We continued on down the highway  and passed the Tropic of Capricorn, now on the south side of it for the first time since we were in Rockhampton in Queensland.  A bit further down the road we passed the turn off to Exmouth and Coral Bay, which we had visited in June last year, so do not intend to revisit on this trip.  This now meant the we had both traveled right around Australia, even if it wasn't all on this particular trip.  That will occur in a few days time when we reach home in Kalamunda.

It was only a few kilometres later that we pulled into Minilya Roadhouse where we bought the shop, or at least two rounds of sandwiches for almost ten dollars.  We have to say they were very fresh and tasty though, much more so than the bread we had left in the caravan.

From here on it was just a matter of keeping the foot on the accelerator and heading south until we came to Carnarvon, where we booked in to the Plantation Caravan Park (Big 4) for the night.  After setting up we drove into town to post a letter and buy some spring onions, however 'one of us' insisted the 'other one' buy a dozen bottles of wine because there was a 20% off sale.  As he always does as he is told, the 'other one' did purchase the bottles as required before returning to the caravan for the night.

We have a change of plans for tomorrow as we intend to head off for Geraldton for a couple of nights then spend Friday night in Carnamah before getting home on Saturday.


A glimpse of the Ashburton River

Carnarvon Telecommunication Dish

Wednesday 30th June 2004

It was on the road by about 7.30am this morning and rolling down the North West Highway toward Geraldton.

The first sign of life we saw other than the stream of caravans heading north, was the Wooramel Road House, then a further stretch of highway until 9.50am when we drove passed the Overlander Road House where the turn off to Denham is located.  We continued until 10.45am when we pulled in to the Billabong Road House long enough to have a cup of tea in the caravan and 'one of us' to visit the shop to buy an ice cream.

Once back on the road again it was southward ho, past the Kalbarri turn off, through Binnu and on to Northampton where we stopped for a short break and took a photograph or two.  The rest of the journey was a breeze as it was then only about 50 kilometres to our destination of Geraldton.  On reaching Geraldton we booked in to the Sunset Beach Caravan Park and set up to stay here for the next two nights.

We ten took a drive through Geraldton and out to Tarcoola to visit an Aunt, Marjorie Bentley who retired to this area after a life of farming in Carnamah.  It was great to catch up with her and we had a pretty long chat about our travels and what has been happening in her life since we saw her last, about a year ago.

It was then time to return to the caravan park, but we were a bit alarmed by this wet stuff that kept falling on the windscreen of the Patrol.  Some people called it rain we think, but it is so long since we had seen any of it we might just have to take their word for that.  Our blue sky is missing also and it almost feels quite cool.  Maybe that is why all those caravans are going north these days....

Tomorrow will be a quiet day with just a little shopping and a visit to a few sites around the City of Geraldton.  Tomorrow is another day!

Billabong Road House

Northampton - Main Street