This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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2004 Travels August 9

MONDAY 9 AUGUST     MESA CAMP

After breakfast, drove to the Milyering Visitor Centre, the information centre for the Cape Range National Park. Browsed the information boards, displays and the goods for sale.

I bought some post cards – as usual – and a polo shirt for each of us. They had very tasteful designs and colours here – not always the case – and they even had polos with the all important breast pocket. John needs this on his shirts because of always having to alternate sets of glasses.

Then we toured around the other camp sites in the Park, checking them out for future reference.

Osprey was pleasant, but exposed and windy – and the wind never seems to stop for long! Though that might be a product of the time of year? One could fish off the rocks there.

Did not like Pilgramunna – very bare.

We eventually decided that our Mesa, or Neds, were probably the best, with Yardie next – although there was much more traffic there.

We continued on south, as far as Yardie Creek, where the sealed road stops. At times, it is possible to cross Yardie Creek, with a 4WD vehicle, depending on whether the creek mouth is open, and the state of the sandbanks at the creek mouth. In ’93, we drove up the unsealed track from Coral Bay, through Ningaloo Station, and crossed Yardie Creek on our way to Exmouth. Looking at the creek today, though, not sure it would be driveable now, even with the more capable Landrover. Not going to try it, anyway.

Parked in the designated car park at Yardie Creek, then walked the rough track up the gorge. This was a walk we had done before, but it was lovely, and worth doing again. It was only a couple of kms, all up. We did need to watch where our feet were going though – plenty of rocks.

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Yardie Creek Gorge in distance

The water in the creek contrasted with the red rock walls of the gorge.

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Yardie Creek Gorge

Surprisingly few travellers seemed to walk right along the track length, to the end point with its great outlook back down the creek, as well as over the gorge. They only went part way along, where the track was more formed, then turned back. So we were alone on the second section, which was great.

Then it was back to camp to laze away the rest of the day.


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2000 Travels October 24

TUESDAY 24 OCTOBER     EXMOUTH

After breakfast, we drove down to Turquoise Bay again, to snorkel.

We were both rather nervous, given the warnings about currents. It is a long time since I have been snorkelling – like more than thirty years! John has not really ever tried it.

There were plenty of other people around, which gave some sense of safety.

I discovered that I couldn’t easily use the snorkel, because the mouthpiece hits that damned loose filling. So I used just the mask and kept coming up for air as needed.

The water was very warm and pleasant, with occasional cool little currents – the ocean equivalent of a gentle breeze?

It was not far to swim to the corals, which were fairly colourful. There were plenty of different sorts of fish about.

It took me a while to relax into it and not be tense about the breathing issue.

John was not confident swimming out of his depth, so he kept swimming in and out.

We did that for an hour or so, then dried off in the sun and ate our packed lunch.

The decision was made to go down to Yardie Creek, further south. The drive took us through the rather barren and stony scrubland that is typical of the Cape, with the low hills of the quite rugged Cape Range to our left.

At Yardie Creek, the tidal creek inlet is a barrier, and the sealed road ends there. Some years, it is possible to cross here, in 4WD, at low tide, and continue on a rough track to Coral Bay. In ’93, we came up that way and were very apprehensive about the crossing, with the old Hilux. I waded across first to photo it, but it was so easy that John was through almost before I could take a picture!

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The Yardie Creek crossing

This year, the crossing point looked very sandy. There was no reason for us to try it.

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Looking along Yardie Creek towards the crossing and the ocean

John went off to fish by the creek mouth, while I walked up the creek to the Gorge that is a major feature of it. The little path was somewhat rough and rocky and I had to watch my footing. The red rock of the Gorge walls make it a really attractive place, and the walk was well worth doing. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Yardie Creek Gorge ahead

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Yardie Creek Gorge, extending back into the Cape Range

John’s fishing was unsuccessful.

On the drive back, we had to keep a careful eye out for kangaroos, as it was getting dark by then. There were large mobs of the animals at the roadsides.

Tea was lamb chops and salad.