Leaving Perth/Fremantle was a blessing. Whilst we enjoyed our stay, we were glad to leave behind caravan parks full of school holiday kids! We found the landscape north of Perth interesting and sparse with heaps of new developments extending north. We were heading for Nambung Station out the back of the Pinnacles. A green paddock with a couple of toilet portables and a camp kitchen was our home for the next three nights.
The iconic pictures of the Pinnacles does not do the place justice, this place was amazing. Every rock was differently formed and many had different colours as well. It was definitely an alien landscape and it was so easy to see animals or buildings within the shapes of the rocks. One spectacular one was in the shape of a fairy tale castle, complete with turrets. We didn’t get the obligatory sunset shot of the Pinnacles because Nambung Station as a bit of a drive and we didn’t want to be travelling dirt roads after dark. Despite that we still hit a roo and cracked the plastic moulding on the bulbar.
From the Pinnacles and Nambung Station we went inland through some rough back roads towards Mt Magnet. We wanted to see some inland WA, to explore the outback rather than staying on the coast. Kirkalocka Station was our first stop on the outback trip. We could have stayed anywhere on the property, however we decided to stay at the back of the shearers quarters so we could make use of the facilities. A lovely place, complete with two ponies who came over to the tent to say hello one evening. This was our base to explore Mt Magnet and some of the interesting things around the area.
Two of the more spectacular sights was the historic mining town of Cue and Afghan Rock. Cue’s architecture was pretty cool, dating back to around 1860’s and given the harsh environment was extremely well preserved. It definitely fared better than some of the other gold rush towns in the area. We visited the abandoned township of Big Bell, which was inhabited as recently as the 1960’s. The site was big, which showed how many people lived out here in search of gold. Apparently the pub had the longest bar in Australia at the time, so Craig went in to have a look, but it had been stripped and vandalised.
On our way to the next Station we drove the long way around visiting Walga Rock and a meteorite impact site. Walga Rock was something else! It is the second largest monolith in Australia (the first being Uluru). That in itself was pretty cool, but it was the aboriginal painting that made it very special. There was a whole gallery of rock art featuring emu prints, a spirit man (or so I presume) and many more. However it is the painting of a tall ship at this site, which made it even more amazing. It was so clear and detailed. There are a few theories as to how it got there: Walga Rock Art
After the rock art we drove a fair way to see a meteorite impact crater. If I had to weigh up whether the length and remoteness of the site was worth it, then I would say no. The site was basically a 23 meter diameter hole in the earth. The most interesting thing was the small information board. Nevermind, it was ticked off the list.
We had a lovely stay at Gabyon Station, a very remote station of only 660,000 acres or so. The kids had the chance to bottle feed a joey and we had a great chat to the hosts and other guests over a cold beer.
From here we hot-footed it to Kalbarri, via the quirky little town, Mullewa, with a cool church and history and much needed re-stocking of the pantry in Geraldton, for our next adventure at Murchison Station and the Kalbarri National Park.