Western Australia: The Pinnacles, Cervantes, Jurien Bay/Sandy Cape and Geraldton

(30/5/2018 – 8/6/2018)

We left Swan Valley and drove up to Nambung Station for an overnight farm stay before heading further north to Cervantes the next day to explore the Pinnacles within the Nambung National Park.

We thought we would be able to take a shortcut through the station and onto the Pinnacles, it wasn’t as close as we first thought, we had to go right around the area and it would have taken ages so we decided to pack up the next morning and head up to Cervantes and checked into RAC Cervantes Caravan Park for a couple of nights.    It was quicker and easier to drive to the Pinnacles from here.

Nambung Station was a beautiful working rural farm of more than 5,000 acres of land with beef cattle and sheep.   The camping grounds were quiet and spacious with plenty of wildlife around.

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My first sunset photo!!

The Pinnacles Desert Discovery is a very unique experience within Nambung National Park.   The raw material of the  limestone of the Pinnacles came from seashells in a earlier era that was rich in marine life.   These shells were broken down into lime rich sands which were blown inland to form these dunes.    There were thousands of these limestone pinnacles of all sizes and shapes.  Its quite astonishing seeing these rock formations rising out of the desert, such a spectacular landscape.     The Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre was opened in 2008 and offers interpretive displays and information about the natural processes that form the Pinnacles and the surrounding area.

You can drive around the Pinnacles which is 4km one way loop or you can do the 1.2km walk around and the entry cost was $13.00 per vehicle.

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The following day we went to the Lobster Shack where we toured a live lobster processing plant.   This is a family owned business.  The tour showed the process of the lobsters journey from the sorting process to the live holding lanes and then onto the Live Pack out room where they are prepared for their journey to destinations all over the world.  Afterwards we had a lobster meal in the restaurant.  Expensive but still Delicious!!!!      This was the first time that Mitchell ate lobster and he loved it!!!!!

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On Friday morning we packed up and continued north to Sandy Cape Recreation Camp which is about 10 km north of Jurien Bay.   There was a about 7km dirt road in to the campsite.    We managed to get a good spot high on the hill and just over the dune was the beach.    It was a great spot and a very popular campground too so glad we were in there early as you couldn’t pre-book  and it was only $20 per night!!!!

The weather was perfect for 3 days for sand boarding, fishing, walking on the beach, sunbaking and swimming.   We could also have a camp fire each night.     We saw some great sunsets up on the hill too.    And we met up with our travelling companions again, Daniel and Stacey!!

 

 

Various shots of Sandy Cape from the Drone

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On Sunday we heard the weather was going to change for the worse with big storms coming through so along with Daniel and Stacey we decided to pack up on Monday morning and drive up to Geraldton where we checked into the Batavia Coast Caravan Park for 4 nights.

Despite the weather we still managed to do some sight seeing around town, shopping, took the kids to an indoor play centre, enjoyed dinner and drinks one night in the camp kitchen for the 1st State of Origin!!  Go the Blues!!!!

On the last day we were in Geraldton the weather cleared so we took a drive up to Mount Scott to see the HMAS Sydney II War Memorial.

This magnificent HMAS Sydney II memorial, completed in 2001, has become the country’s premier site for honouring the 645 Australian sailors who were lost off the Western Australian coast during a World War II battle with German raider HSK Kormoran.  The location of both wrecks remained a mystery for over 66 years until they were located in March 2008.

The HMAS Sydney II encountered the German Raider HSK Kormoran, on 19 November 1941.  The Kormoran was disguised as a Dutch merchant vessel that was seemingly incompetent at returning the Sydney’s signals, unaware, the Sydney approached the unknown vessel. The Kormoran used the advantage of surprise and brought all its armament to bear on the Sydney.    While neither ship survived, the Sydney was lost with all hands – 645 young men.    318 of the Kormoran’s men survived out of 390.

The HMAS Sydney II Memorial is the second memorial to be recognised of national significance outside the Australian capital city of Canberra.

The dome is made up of 645 silver seagulls that form a canopy, this represents each of the lost Sydney sailors.   The wall of remembrance shows photographs of the ship and names of the Sydney II crew.   There is also a bronze statue of a woman looking out to sea as she awaits news of the ill fated ship and nearby is the stele – a single shape representing the bow of the ship, all such a moving tribute.

I have since learned that my grandfather Cyril Arthur Fishenden who has served on many Australian naval ships, had actually served on the HMAS Sydney from 19 April 1938 to 9 October 1939.

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From Geraldton we headed further north to Kalbarri.   On the way there we stopped at Hutt Lagoon (Pink Lake) at Port Gregory.   Now this lake is pink!!!!!!!

Hutt Lagoon is a salt lake with a pink hue due to the presence of the carotenoid producing algae, Dunaliella salina, which is a source of beta-carotene, used as a food-colouring agent and source of Vitamin A.

 

(30/5/2018 – 8/6/2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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