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
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)
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.