Go West, Day 113 – Melbourne

Day 113

Saturday 27th June 2015, fog and mist 6 degrees at 7:30

Ballarat to Melbourne

An icy cold winters morning. The sun is trying hard to break through the clouds. Our windscreen wipers are squeaking on the glass as they haven’t had much use lately.

We’ve heard from the Ollies and they’re in Western Queensland on their way to Brisbane. We hear on the news that another climber has fallen and died in Hancock Gorge, Karijini National Park. It is a place where nature is to be respected.

What’s that on the horizon? Melbourne! A constant supply of good coffee and bed……..

The end of the broken leg!

Last day Travelling Kms: 175Kms

Summary

Duration: 113 days

Average distance per day: 162kms

Total Kms: 18,325 kms

Fuel Cost: $4369.52

Fuel cost per day: $38.67

Cheapest fuel: 1.225 per litre @ Frankston

Dearest fuel: 1.99 per litre @ Warmun (Turkey Creek)

Accom: $3135.98

Avg Accom cost per night: $28.00

Cheapest Accommodation: a number of free camps and roadside stops

Dearest Accommodation: Bungle Bungles Caravan Park $50.00, closely followed by People’s Village, Coral Bay $47.00 and no water.

Best free camp: Charlton Travellers Rest

Best Farm Stay: Nambung Station, Cervantes

Best National Park Camp Ground: Osprey, Cape Range Nat. Park, Exmouth

Best Caravan Park: Denham wins for its unusual location and stunning views

Longest Stay: Broome, 11 nights

Best towns: Broome, Kununurra, Albany

Biggest Surprise: Port Hedland

Highest Commendation: WA National Parks for their consistently good management and excellent facilities for an unbelievable $6.60 per person per night. Plus pre paid parks permit of $55 (seniors) per annum. And their charming Camp Hosts

Best National Park: Karijini, like no other

Wow factor: New Norcia monastery town, Pildappa Rock, Staircase to the Moon in Broome

Feel good moments: Swimming in Lake Argyle and swimming in Edith Falls before I broke my ankle.

Best historic town: Burra SA

Best lookouts: Five Rivers, Wyndham and Purnululu. This is Australia!

Best drives: Mt Nameless, Tom Price and Charles Knife Canyon, Exmouth.

Best beach: Cape Le Grand

Most heartwarming: Jordy and Megsy’s wedding in Margaret River and brunch with H in Broome.

Most disappointing: Monkey Mia (too commercial), Coral Bay (lack of infrastructure for the price), Coober Pedy (has lost its outback charm)

Best pub: Matso’s Brewery, Broome

Memorable dinner: The Rusty Shed Cafe, Wyndham

Best sunset (of which there were many): Port Hedland

What gadget was invaluable: iPad (wish we had two), Aldi electric hot plate (for the nights that we had power), Jeep inbuilt tyre monitor, strip maps downloaded from RAASA web site.

Lessons learnt: Unlike a pole carrier a broken ankle can’t be fixed with cable ties, gaffer tape or silicon.

2020 Note: This was the best caravanning trip that we’ve done by far and the West is unique. If you’re planning a trip like this take plenty of time our biggest regret was not going slower. Also it is advised not to break bones as we would have loved to have spent more time in the Northern Territory. A big thanks goes to Woody for doing all of the driving on the last leg and getting us home in one piece.

22 thoughts on “Go West, Day 113 – Melbourne

  1. I share the same dream as many people, to tour Australia someday and not just a few outback roads like I did before. I was happy to follow your blog which makes a good introduction. Great thanks.

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  2. I do hope you have subsequent trips to write up like this – have so enjoyed the saga. Pity about the unplanned end to it, though.
    Agree with your comments re WA. We had a 16 week LSL trip – in our ignorance, we were going to “do” WA in that time! It did result in a very long Next Time list.

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    1. Thanks Wendy glad you enjoyed the read. Putting that one up kept me out of mischief during lockdown #1. We’d really love to do that trip again catching all the bits we missed like Horizontal Falls but we’re running out of steam for the long drives now.

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    1. Thanks Margaret, the ankle healed well so all was ok in the end. Though we did miss the stunning scenery of the Northern Territory, Woody declared that he was ‘gorged out’ anyway. Funnily enough two other friends had foot and ankle injuries on the west coast just after mine.

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  3. Thanks for taking us on your journey, we are to old now to do that distance, so will restrict ourselves to VIC, NSW & SA got bookings for September but we could be in lock down till Christmas.
    Cheers John.

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    1. A pleasure John, yes we’re slowing down a bit too. We can happily prop for a month now without the urge to move. We were lucky enough to cross into NSW in June but we’re trying to play it safe and avoid the crowds. We surrendered our QLD bookings didn’t want to risk two border crossings and long drives if all goes to hell in a hand cart. Stay safe.

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    1. Thanks Peter, glad you enjoyed it. No pain just a bloody nuisance and when we got home my local hospital replaced the plaster with a heavier one, just for good measure. A long time ago and another era I guess. Will we ever be so free and easy again? Who knows.

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  4. I’ve enjoyed popping in and out to follow you around. We visited most of the places in 2010 that you mention when we travelled for a year round Australia I agree with your summary, Western Australia is an amazing place, I would love to go again, but, sadly, our long distance travel days are over. So I’ve loved reliving the memories through your posts.

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  5. Hi L, sounds like you had quite an epic adventure. Will we ever get out and about again, beyond our borders? I’m wondering whether WA next year is just a pipe dream now. Anyway, take care and keep smiling. 😊

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