As we were leaving the Waigen Lake estuary and sand dunes, some sandstone rock outcrops caught our eye along the side of the road. There were large fences although the gates were open and we decided to have a closer look. Apart from being an amazing and diverse area of rock (in an otherwise pretty bland grazing landscape) there was pretty good Aboriginal rock art in several of the rock overhangs. Hand prints stenciled on the walls and roofs, boomerang prints that seemed to be stencil style art as well. The art was in excellent condition owing to the aspect of the cave openings and the depth that they were in. The rocks were exciting to explore as well with narrow culverts to squeeze into.
The other interesting thing as we drove out were the trees that are growing horizontally – we realised that we hadn’t come camping on a bad-wind day – it’s always bloody windy – so much so that the trees just give up aiming for the sky and grow long-ways.
We pulled in just up the coast at Horrocks – what a great spot with a great sheltered bay with a reef not too far out. The wind – again – made it not look its best but it was a great little village that you could easily stop and hang around for a week.
Closer to port Gregory we stopped at some ruins which were the Lynton Convict Hiring Station where the convicts were held until local farmers and settlers came to source workers – basically slave labour. There was quite an extensive layout of different buildings – most now lay as piles of rubble – but some still show what construction methods and materials were used and some effort has been made to restore one of the larger buildings and the interps signs are great – someone has put a lot of effort into researching it all.
A short drive out to Port Gregory alongside the “Pink Lake” which has tinges of pink in the salt encrusted lake bed. Much of it has been modified with holding ponds and levee walls.
On towards Kalbarri and we stopped in at the lookouts along the way – Grandstand, Island Rock, Natural Bridge – all great spots up high on the cliffs looking down at the sculpting that many centuries of pounding ocean has caused.
We stopped in at Kalbarri town and then decided to head out to camp upstream along the Murchison River. An easily accessible station is Murchison House Station which covers 350,000 acres! Camping is available near the homestead right overlooking the river and we found a great spot to set up. The boys couldn’t get in the water quick enough and it was a very pleasant spot for a couple of days camping.
On Friday we found phone reception for some important business – Uncle Nick’s birthday and, of course, his birthday buddy Jacinta as well. We headed into the northern section of Kalbarri National Park to visit Nature’s Window, a walk down into the gorge for some exploring and a swim in the river, and then Z-bend and Hawks Head lookouts. On the way back to camp, Lachie spotted an Echidna on the side of the road digging up some ant mounds. we stopped to have a closer look but it burrowed itself down into the ground with only some sharp spines left to touch.
More swimming back at camp finished off the day.