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25: Where Will I Park My Van Tonight


A diary of 12 months SOLO travel around Australia

It was Feb 2nd when I left Kalgoorlie and headed south again. I had one more place to visit in WA...Esperance. I stopped off at Kambalda to play the next golf hole and then drove on and parked my van at Esperance Bay holiday park for 3 nights. I was excited to revisit Esperance as during the time we lived in Perth we had holidayed there a number of times and always loved it....

Whilst setting up I got chatting to my neighbours and they were off to have a drink at the "Lucky Bay Brewery" so I joined you do!!

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Lucky Bay Brewery...great beers👍

The beaches around Esperance are as stunning as I remembered!!! Squeaky white clean sand, rolling waves, beautiful😍 love😍 love😍... If it wasn't so remote from everywhere else in Australia I could live there!!! I spent the following day out at Cape Le Grande National Park east of Esperance sightseeing and this is what I saw!!

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Magnificent Cape Le Grande beaches to drool over 😂walk along and swim at...

Top left-Hellfire Beach,

Right-Cape Le Grande campground beach, Bottom left-Thistle Cove😎

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Kangaroos on the beach at Lucky Bay

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Frenchman's Peak, which I DIDN'T climb...this time!! It's quite a strenuous and at times precarious climb. Sara tells me she, John and the girls climbed it and she remembers us all doing it when she was about 8 years old and I have a photo at home to prove it🧗‍♀️.

Just west of Esperance there's a beautiful coastline drive with lookouts over lots of other great swimming or fishing beaches including Twilight Beach...ah!! this was just as beautiful as 38+ years ago!!!

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Twilight beach and Eleven Mile Beach

It's now 5th Feb and it's time to start heading east. I was nervous about travelling the Eyre Highway, but I needn't have been. I think it was just the vast distances. It was a great road and there was a fairly constant stream of traffic so I never felt isolated. I've also been listening to some fantastic audio books as I drive plus I am never bored with the ever changing scenery 😊

First stop for the day was Norseman to play two Nullarbor golf challenge holes. My scores are not getting any better, but I'm handicapped in a number of ways.

1: I'm no good at golf, which is probably the biggest handicap🤪 (it might improve if I played more)

2: I'm playing on fairways and greens that are rock, scrub, sand and red dirt,

3: I'm using a set of children's golf clubs, which was all I could find at the many op shops searches I did.

(I'll post a summary of the golf challenge when I get to the end of it later in this blog entry)

After leaving Norseman I called into Fraser Range Station to do another golf hole then continued on and parked my van at the Balladonia Roadhouse for the overnight stay AND then played another golf hole. This one was a huge challenge as I couldn't find the fairway 🤔mmm...there wasn't a fairway...just scrub!!! with an artificial green in the distance between trees. It was a big day of both car and golf driving!!!

The following day I stopped off for golf breaks at Caiguna, Cocklebiddy and Madura before parking my van at the Mundrabilla Roadhouse, and taking off to play the Mundrabilla golf fairway (4th for the day) at about 7.15pm. I was ready for an early night.

Next morning I drove to Eucla, played the golf hole then drove out to the old telegraph station, walked across the sand dunes to the ocean. I nearly got lost walking back to the car park as the sand dunes all looked the same and there were lots of 4 wheel drive tracks leading to wherever???

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Eucla Telegraph Station

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Eucla Beach

A quick Par 3 at Border Village and then I began to stop off at all the lookout points in the Nullarbor National Park - Great Australian Bite Marine Park. There's some amazing coastline vista's...Here I am pushing the Bunda Cliffs into place 

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It was late by the time I finally arrived at Nullarbor Roadhouse and I parked my van in the RV park before going off to play the Par 5 hole. Yeh!!I finally met a young couple playing the course. I had a 19th hole drink in the "Legends Bar" and stayed on for dinner...couldn't be bothered cooking!!

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The legends Bar

This painting covers an end wall in the bar and supposedly all have performed here at the Nullarbor Pub.

I can recognise them all except the female in pink at Michael Hutchinson's feet...Anyone know???

Michael Hutchinson, ??, Kylie Minogue, Angry Anderson, Ian Moss and Shirley Strachan, Peter Garrett, Jimmy Barnes, Angus Young, Slim Dusty and Chrissy Amphlett

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The old original petrol station is now a museum

After leaving the Nullarbor Roadhouse next day I turned off on a side trip to the "Head of the Bite”, which is the most northern bay in the Australian Bite. It's a very popular breeding ground for Southern Right whales who come to the area between May to October to give birth. It would be amazing to see whales, but I'll have to come back during the season🤗

I then drove through to Ceduna with stops at Nundroo and Penong to play the final golf challenge holes. Penong is a town full of windmills. It began because the community started restoring old windmills to preserve farming history and it's now a big tourist attraction to the town.

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I parked my van at the Ceduna Foreshore Caravan Park and went straight off to complete the last two golf holes. The following morning I took my scorecard to the Ceduna Information Centre to receive my certificate...A great momento. I loved doing the Nullarbor Golf Challenge. It was a lot of fun and a fantastic way to break up the trip.

This is the video I posted on FB, but it's here for those who may not have seen the FB post.

(Apologies for no audio...for some reason it's not attaching 🙄)

Ceduna CP had the best toilet block I've seen over this trip. It was new, fully tiled to the ceiling, large shower cubicles and designer basins. I should have taken a photo!!! It was an immaculate park, but sites were fairly small.

Ceduna was also where I started the oyster fest trying out Denial Bay oysters, which were delicious...

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This was a pretty awesome lunch

On Sunday 9th heading south on the Eyre Peninsular, I parked my van 7 kms north of Streaky Bay at The Islands Caravan Park. The Eyre Peninsular is known as the the fishing mecca of Australia and Autumn is a popular time for recreational fishing as the winds are not so strong...I say this as it seems the CP's are starting to become quite crowded and I'm told it's the "Tinnie Brigade"...Boaties" or whatever they are called and they are starting to pour in to the area!!! 

I thought the toilet block at Ceduna was good, but this Island CP was amazing. I'd never seen a toilet block with pot plants, paintings on the walls and large individual bathrooms...I took a photo this time!!! 😱

The sites were also huge with views over the ocean and the beach. It's a near new park and very well run.

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Massive big sites with trees not yet big enough to give shade, but nonetheless great as they overlooked ocean views.

I went into town to check out the oysters, bought a dozen this time... sooo good!!👍

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Sorry...all gone!!! took a whole five minutes 😎

The following couple of days I did sightseeing around the Cape Bauer loop Road, and Westall loop Road. There were a number of lookout points with some having boardwalks and steps down to the beaches or viewing platforms, which I did. At one point I watched a pod of Dolphins for about 20 minutes as they played in the shallows. At Hally's beach I could see people on the beach fishing... and they were reeling in fish after fish...I walked down and found out that a school of Salmon were passing just off shore. They were two English couples and they said they had never had such an exhilarating fishing experience and I was having fun watching them.

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About 30kms south is the small town of Sceale Bay, which is a small touristic fishing village and the beach is nothing spectacular, BUT just before Sceale Bay I drove into a lookout point and discovered this beach!!! The waves were a clean single line as far as the eye could see and the beach was completely deserted. I took the steps down and went for a long walk along the beach 😍

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Sceale Bay

Feb 11th I left Streaky Bay heading for Port Lincoln. On the way I called past "Murphy's Haystacks" They are "Inselberg rock formations" and they get their name because they are on wheat farming land owned by the Murphy family. They are quite stunning in situ.

Check out if you're interested to know more

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I also dropped into Venus Bay and Elliston just for a quick look around. Again, some great coastline vista's. Venus Bay was a very affluent looking seaside village!!!

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Venus Bay

Then the unexpected occurred......But often the unexpected brings delightful consequences😍...On my way to Port Lincoln I broke down about 160 kms north (10 kms out of Sheringa). It took two hours for the RAA to arrive and one minute to find out the fan belt was in tatters!!! I was towed back to the depot at Wudinna, 175kms in the opposite direction!!!. getting in about 7.30pm. Andrew, the Dial a Tow driver, parked my van in the showground RV park and said he'd be back in the morning to sort out repairs.

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Next day we got the car to the mechanics and then Andrew took me on a scenic tour of all the local tourist spots. Just part of the service he said !! 😀 Wudinna has a magnificent granite statue done by a local artist Marijan Bekic and it's awesome. It's 8 metre tall and weighs 70 tonnes and is a memorial to early settlers in the region. It took the artist 2 years to carve and there are 4 sides, each are quite different.

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"The Australian Farmer" granite statue

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Mount Wudinna is classed as the second largest rock in Australia after Uluru. It doesn't look all that big here, but it is when you get up close.

It ended up being a really busy and enjoyable few days as I waited for car repairs and a service...I took the opportunity to get a haircut👍😀 I had a visit from a lady who happens to be friends with a friend of mine from Wodonga. Joan had told her I was here. I walked & rode my bike around town, had a beautiful lunch at a gorgeous character filled cafe /florist shop, washed the van and sorted photos and blog entries. Swam in the local pool and when I got the car back took a drive out to Wudinna’s answer to “Wave Rock”.

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Another wave rock, this time at Wudinna..."Pildappa Rock". Locals think it's better than Hyden's Wave rock and I'd almost agree. 

Next stop...I parked my van at the Tumby Bay Caravan Park for 2 nights. I decided to stop off at this delightful seaside village just north of Port Lincoln and do a day trip into Port Lincoln and Coffin Bay and it worked well. I had arranged to get new tyres fitted in Port Lincoln next morning, but when I got there one of the guys had sold 2 of the tyres I needed. They fitted the 2 they had and then arranged Whyalla to fit the remaining tyres so it wasn't a disaster. I still got four for the price of three deal!!!

I tried Coffin Bay oysters, walked the piers and beaches, did the lookouts, checked out the know...all the tourist stuff!!!

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Coffin Bay Oyster Farm

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Port Lincoln lookout from the top of Boston Hill

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Port Lincoln Jetty...I'm told there are 15 jetty's on the Eyre Peninsular and I've walked a few...🚶‍♀️

17th Feb...On the road through to Whyalla I stopped off at Arno Bay and walked another jetty and along the Mango Grove boardwalk to the river inlet. An hour or so later I was back in the car and by lunchtime I was passing Cowell so I dropped into the "Fish Shack" for an oyster lunch👍😍 When I got to Whyalla I parked my van at the Foreshore Caravan Park for 2 nights. I had an appointment to get the remaining tyres fitted the following day.

I'll fill you in on Whyalla and the rest of the Eyre Peninsular in the next Instalment. I'm currently in Robe and will be in Victoria tomorrow or the next day. I can't believe 12 months is ALMOST up!!!

Until next time...enjoy 🥂 Anne