16/06/16 We’d only just finished saying in the previous blog post that we hadn’t yet seen an elusive Malleefowl, and, lo and behold, on the way to Wandina Station we saw two of them, separately. We’d joked that with their camouflage colouring, they’d just about have to throw themselves in front of the car to be seen, and that’s almost what happened. Each was standing just off the side of the road at the edge of the scrub, looking at us. Only quick glimpses as we drove by but Di was thrilled, regardless.
Wandina is a 240,000 acre property about 120kms north of our camp at Canna. On my maps the Carnarvon Mullewa Road was shown as being unsealed, but from Mullewa north it was a good sealed highway, courtesy of the Tallering Peak Mine, as far as the mine turnoff anyway. Beyond that was a further 20kms or so of good unsealed road to reach the station.
After unhitching the van, we headed out on farm tracks, following a mud map provided by Kylie, the manager, to see some recommended features on the property. The 4WD tracks took us firstly to Drovers Pool on Bangemall Creek, 18kms from the homestead. It is spring-fed and provides a good year-round water source in this dry country.
A few kilometres downstream is an area called Waterfall Rocks, where the creek has eroded deeply through the surface rock shelf and drops into a long waterhole which snakes along between weathered canyon walls.
A further 12kms along a fairly rough track, the highlight was Wandina Gorge, with its stunning breakaway views and landscapes.
When we decided to visit Wandina Station, we had no idea they had such picturesque places on the property. They are a very well-kept secret. A 4WD is definitely required to do the full loop drive as some eroded, or rocky or muddy sections and some dry creek crossings. Good fun.
Of course, there were many stops along the tracks to birdwatch, especially the numerous Red-capped Robins whose darting movements and flashes of bright colour in the scrubland caught the eye.
It was an early start the morning of departure, with a quick shower after stoking up the hot water donkey with fresh logs, and some more bird-watching on the way out of the property.
“I’m going to stand outside. So, if anyone asks, I’m outstanding.” – Anon