Due to yet another change of plans, Dave and I decided to take some time off work and go on a (not so) little road trip. We travelled along the Warlu Way. According to Aboriginal legend, the Warlu was a serpentine creature that travelled through the Pilbara and, along the North West Australian coast. We followed the Warlu Way for most of our adventure but also added in some other little beauties.
After setting off from Newman nice and early, we steadily made our way through Pilbara terrain to Nanutarra. Originally, we were hoping to make it all of the way to Coral Bay. However, we wouldn’t make it before nightfall. In the outback, nightfall brings stray cattle and Kangaroos to the road. Not all is bad though. The skies at night are absolutely breathtaking, Quite literally. The first time I saw the Milky Way, I had to take a moment to realise how fortunate I was to be travelling!
Anyway, in order to get to Nanutarra we had to drive through Karijini, Tom Price and Puraburdoo. A few things increased as we made our way inland; the temperature, the price of fuel and, the amount of flies. Oh, the flies! The little blighters would land on your face and keep coming back- no matter how many times you’d swat them away! Driving through the outback also offered beautiful scenery. We’d drive for hours and only pass a handful of other drivers. All of whom would give the almost-obligatory wave as we passed.
The next couple of days were spent between Coral Bay, Exmouth and Cape Range National Park. All of which were stunningly beautiful. I have a feeling that I’m going to overuse the words stunning and breathtaking in this piece. Mainly because this area of Australia is simply that! We enjoyed baked goods, cold beers and the sound of the sea. Oh my gosh, the sea! Quite possibly the most beautiful ocean beaches I have ever seen.
Since visiting Bali, I have managed to gradually overcome my fear of the sea. Which is a good job because if I hadn’t I wouldn’t have been able to snorkel in the world heritage listed Ningaloo reef! Whilst being in the blue, we managed to see an abudance of fish and coral. As well as a couple of reef sharks! Despite being slightly freaked out, I can now say I swan with sharks…in the wild!
From exmouth we made our way to Karratha. According to the guide books, there was naff all here – Just another mining town. So we weren’t expecting much. However, we were over the moon with what Karratha had to offer. Civilisation! This town had an abudance of shops, fast food outlets, a coastline as well as proper roads! Coming from the middle of nowhere to somewhere like Karratha was just a delight to all of our senses! After spending some of hard earned dollars on McDonald’s and in Kmart we decided to drive a little further, toward the Dampier Peninsular. We found a tiny caravan park just a stones throw from the water so, perched ourselves there got the night.
The following morning we were off to find some Aborignal rock engravings on the peninsula. This was something I really wanted to see whilst up north. Finding the art was a little more complicated that our (very basic) map had lead us to believe. Long story short, we had gone a turning too far and spent two hours looking in the wrong place! Just as we were leaving in the van, Dave noticed another turning and alas, there they were. Rock engravings that had been made thousands of years ago! I am so glad we managed to find them as missing them out would have been a real shame.
Our next driving stint took us in the direction of Broome. If my memory serves me right, we split the drive over two days. Stopping in a free camp spot one night to enjoy a bonfire and a glass of wine, with the Milky Way above us.
We ended up spending four days in Broome – it was absolutely beautiful. Whilst we were there we stayed at Roebuck Bay Caravan Park. As a kid I was fortunate enough to go camping all of the time but, nothing like this. The ocean was bright turquoise and the sand was white. Every morning we woke up to sunshine and the sound of the sea. Not all was glamorous though. The van was like a sweat box! The mixture of heat and humidity did make it an uncomfortable nights sleep at times.
Whilst in Broome we visited Matso’s brewery, China town and experienced the almost compulsory camel ride along Cable Beach! The camel ride was definitely a highlight of the trip. Not only was it enjoyable for us but, you could see how well the camels were cared for.Our humped back buddy was called Eligh and apparently was a’really cool’ camel. Broome was a fantastic end to our trip and reminded us what we had come to Australia to do- travel! But of course, you can’t travel without putting in the graft!
So after ten hot, jam-packed, exciting days we headed back to base in Newman. Crashing into a proper bed with aircon was an an amazing feeling after that time in the van!