8/09/16 Kununurra in far north-east WA was our northern-most end point. From there, the plan was to make our way down the coast road and through to the south-west corner of the State. However, as it’s still rather chilly down south, we’ll be in no great hurry to get there. The pace will be nice and slow to allow time for the weather to warm up a little. And, at least for a while anyway, both of us have been looking forward to a break from the dust and corrugated dirt roads of the interior, and to swapping the red dirt between our toes for white sand – more so beach bunny Di who’s been suffering again from “Beach Separation Anxiety”.
So we retraced our path from Kununurra back towards Broome. The weather, very kind to us in the far north, changed while we overnighted at Halls Creek when it rained for the first time in weeks, and stayed wet through the following day to our overnight camp at Ellendale Rest Area. The following two days were lazily spent at Roebuck Plains Roadhouse (thumbs up for their meat lovers’ pizza!) while we waited for the clouds to clear.
With the promise of clear skies for the coming week, Di and I headed south through the sparse flat landscape of the Roebuck Plains and in to Barn Hill Station on the coast, where we met up again with Sydneysiders, Graham and Penny. They are a lovely couple who we’d first met at Kununurra through Graham’s keen interest in the Kruiser and again at a couple of camp spots since then. While joining them for a cuppa on arrival at Barn Hill Station, Di spotted a humpback whale and calf close in to shore just out from our camp. That certainly boded well for the place. We took it as an omen and opted to stay a week – not a difficult decision by any means.
And as it turned out, we’d timed our stay there just right. It was the tail end of the busy season and, with the big crowds having already moved on, there weren’t too many other campers at Barn Hill. The van was able to be located at the front in among shady ghost gums and with a terrific ocean view.
The beach at Barn Hill is amazingly scenic with a broad pristine sandy beach at low tide, bordered by sandstone cliff formations shaped by wind and water. We took long walks along the beach each morning followed by a quick plunge into the sea, ever-mindful though of the notoriety of WA sharks.
On one of our walks, Di saw a turtle in the water, probably a Flatback Turtle which will soon be breeding in this area. A day or so before we left Barn Hill, a humpback whale was breaching just off shore, throwing itself up out of the water and causing a tremendous splash. It was soon joined by another and they played together, slowly making their way out to sea.
We met Gary and Steve from Noosa and joined them for Steve’s birthday drinks on our final night.
“On the beach, you can live in bliss.” – Dennis Wilson, The Beach Boys (seconded by Di)