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PERTH TO SYDNEY


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.

5.1.10 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 route.
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.

7.1.10 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 :-)

8.1.10 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.

Nullarbor Trip Photos

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 20's. Typical.
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 Japanese Gardens.
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.

Sydney Photos


Royal National Park Photos


QUEENSLAND TRIP VIDEOS 2010

Simpson Desert In Bloom Posted 17/9/10
Waterfalls - North Queensland
Old Telegraph Track - Qld
Gillies Hwy - Qld

Cattle Muster Qld
Gulflander - Normanton - Qld

Sheepyard War Memorial - NSW
Back O Bourke Hotel - before the fire
The Ant Ordeal - Bourke

Mt Moffat - Top Shelter Shed - Carnarvon NP

 

If you would like to contact me or email your thoughts or comments, please feel free to do so. I would love to hear from you

For more photos, visit Lesley's site. Queensland, Australia

Lesley Bray Photography

 

 

 

 

Updated 28-12-2010

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