26.12.09 Merry Christmas and happy New Year. Another year
has snuck past us like an express train, and a new year beckons.
Most of us use the Eyre Hwy across the Nullarbor, as a means to
get from one side of the continent to the other, and we have a
bit of a look at the ocean as we go. But how many of us actually
explore what this ancient land has to offer? It occurred to me,
that I was no different to the majority of travellers across Oz,
and so, have decided that this land needs to be documented.
So on the 4th January, 2010, I depart with the intention of spending
a week (or more), filming what this amazing piece of country has
to offer, and with luck, my efforts will be made available in
the coming months.
Keep an eye out for my Updates on how I am getting on.
G'day from somewhere out on the Eyre Hwy (about 30km West of Balladonia).
The day started at the Breakaways on the Hyden-Norseman Road.
What a delightful camping ground. Then on to Norseman, and the
beginning of my attempt to film the Nullarbor Plain. Spent a few
hours at Fraser Range Station in stinking hot weather climbing
hills and walking to the Golf tee (part of the Nullarbor Links
Golf Course), then staggering back to the station proper, wondering
whose idea this was to do this at this time of the year. And the
hottest bit is still to come.........
6.1.10 Tonight I am at Cocklebiddy. What a package of treasures
this place presents if you are prepared to go off road and be
a little adventurous. The Cocklebiddy Cave is a straight forward
run, but to go looking for the Moondadong Rockhole and Tommy Grahams
Cave requires a bit more gumption if you are a bit reluctant to
go way off road. The Pannekin Plain Cave is an easy run from the
main road, as is the Murra-El-Elevan Cave. Fortunately my Magellan
Crossover GPS and provided software make it so easy to plot a
This morning, I had a look at the Skylab Museum at Balladonia,
and the Caiguna Blowhole, which is right beside the road.
I am looking forward to tomorrow, when I intend visiting the Eyre
Bird Sanctuary. I hope the weather is a little cooler. It cooked
out here today.
The maximum temperature recordedin WA today, was 46 at Eyre -
and where was I - yep, Eyre, visiting the Eyre Bird Sanctuary,
and a 15 km drive along the beach wasn't any cooler. In fact it
was weird standing on one of the most beautiful stretches of beach
in Australia, and being blasted by a stinking hot off shore breeze.
And guess what, it ain't getting any cooler over the next couple
of days. Looking forward to that - NOT :-)
Got away early today. Had a day of looking for things and not
being able to find them. Took a bit of a run on the Old Eyre Hwy
today, and then escaped back to the main road down a dodgy track....
towing a 30' caravan. We all survived. Free camping about 100km
from Nullarbor Roadhouse tonight.
22.1.10 Well, what happened there? Lost the net and when
I had time to stop , was mainly outside wireless range. So what
happened after the 8th? I arrived at Nullarbor Roadhouse, and
took the track that leads 10km in off the road to have a look
at the Murrawijinie Caves. In dry weather it is an easy track.
From there, a nice easy run into Ceduna, taking a detour into
Fowlers Bay. Port Augusta looked after me the next night before
making the climb up and through the Flinders Range, which really
reinforced to me that I now had a major problem with the cooling
system in the car. Since Norseman, we had had continuous temps
over 40 degrees, the air con wasn't working, the fridge was struggling,
and the car was overheating.
Renmark was the next stopover, where I had an exhaust fan installed
in the van to drag the hot air from behind the fridge. It was
determined that the Viscous Clutch on the engine fan was not working
properly, and so that was serviced, the car was serviced, as was
the air con. Now we'd see. Except that I have no idea whether
it worked or not, because the temperatures dropped to the high
The 14th saw me travelling thru Grenfell, where I stopped to have
a look at the birthplace of Henry Lawson. Then onto Cowra. By
now the countryside had changed from the dead flat in and around
Hay, to gorgeous rolling hills and lush farmlands.
Cowra was the site of a prisoner of war camp during the second
world war, and is famous for the Cowra Breakout, where over 900
Japanese POW's managed to escape the compounds. It didn't take
long to round them up, but over 200 POWs died in the attempt,
as well as 4 Australian soldiers. A visit to the campsite and
the war cemetary is recommended. It is a must to visit the beautiful
And so onto Bathurst, and the obligitory lap around the famous
racetrack (towing a 30' van). Now if you have watched the annual
race, and never been to the circuit, it really does blow you away
to drive around it. I did a number of laps a couple of years ago
(sans caravan), and had forgotten how steep the hill is, how narrow
the track is. It is a scary drive at normal road speed (60kph
- it is a public road), but those guys AVERAGE over 160kph EVERY
lap for 161 laps. Take your time, and explore the beautiful park
on top of the hill, and take in the views.
The 14th found me camping at Lake Lyall campground just outside
Lithgow. A lovely setting. Then the Blue Mountains - Narrow roads,
now wet, low cloud, steep inclines, trucks, and Mt Victoria is
a doozy with a van on. I survived, and reached Sydney, where I
spent a week, catching up with my youngest daughter. Despite that,
coudn't wait to get out of the place. I somehow don't think I
would make a good world traveller. I did however, take in the
Gap and the southern beaches, and also took a drive out through
the Royal National Park, winding my way down the coast to Wollongong.
National Park Photos
TRIP VIDEOS 2010
Desert In Bloom
- North Queensland
Telegraph Track - Qld
Hwy - Qld
Gulflander - Normanton - Qld
War Memorial - NSW
O Bourke Hotel - before the fire
The Ant Ordeal - Bourke
Moffat - Top Shelter Shed - Carnarvon NP
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your thoughts or comments, please feel free to do so. I would
love to hear from you
more photos, visit Lesley's site. Queensland,