Although it is only a couple of hundred kilometres from Murchison House Station at Kalbarri to Hamelin Station Stay, it is probably one of the most boring stretches of road we have travelled. However, the reward at the end was awesome. Hamelin Station Stay was one of the best campgrounds we have been to. The sites were great, the sunsets were great, and the facilities were new and spotless. The camp kitchen was essentially a commercial kitchen and the best thing were the friendliness of the hosts. They were friendly welcoming, willing to pass on their knowledge of the area and help us out as much as they could. If you are ever in this area you must put Hamelin Station Stay on your places to stay.
Our first day in the Shark Bay area saw us checking out Shell Beach, one of only a handful of beaches worldwide made entirely out of shells. The pictures in the tourist brochures probably made it out to be better than it was, but we enjoyed it and it was quite picturesque. We then had a lazy afternoon at another beach with Dom, Kate and Jackson who we had originally met a long time ago at Wave Rock, before checking out the Stromatolites at Hamelin Pool.
It was then time to check out Denham, Monkey Mia and hit up the only supermarket in about 500km to stock up for Dirk Hartog Island. Monkey Mia was great, I was very sceptical about it and never really wanted to go, but I was completely wrong. It was really well run by the Parks Service and it was a pretty special experience. Lily, Campbell and I even got picked to feed one of the dolphins. The setting was so good we even just hung out at the beach at Monkey Mia and got out the paddleboard for a quick spin and the water was sensational. We then headed for Denham for lunch at Australia’s most westerly pub, a quick visit to the Shark Bay Discovery Centre and then finish the shopping before the hour and a bit trip back to Hamelin Station.
Our third day at Hamelin Station was filled with preparations for our trip to Dirk Hartog. We were lucky enough to be able to store excess stuff at the Station so we didn’t have to carry too much weight. Then we were ready to leave for one of our big-ticket items, a week on Dirk Hartog Island. It was just a matter of making it to the barge crossing spot through some very corrugated roads and some extremely soft sandy hills, which had claimed its fair share of vehicles over the years and in recent days had snapped the tow hitch on someone’s vehicle that was trying to get their camper out to the Island. Steep point is also Australia’s most westerly point.
Our travel day out to steep point was bright and sunny and we were traveling with Macs Tracks and Dom and Kate. The first 100kms or so were pretty tame, but it soon became very corrugated and then we hit the dunes. Dom led the way and then Macs Tracks and we were tail end charlie. We all made it through with only minor stoppages along the way, I got stuck once but it just needed some reversing down the soft sandy track letting more air out of the tyres and a bit more right boot. After another couple of soft sandy ascents, it was pretty good driving all the way into the barge crossing spot across to the island. As we were so close to the steep point we unhooked the trailers and headed out the last few km’s to get the obligatory photos at the sign. We then just had to wait around for the barge to turn up and it was off to the island.
We made it to our campsite on the island on dusk and we set up and were just about to tuck into a beer when our arch nemesis turned up, MICE, and heaps of them. So we spent an hour or so making sure we were as rodent proof as we could. We could then hear them crawling over the canvas all night, but our food was safe and no mice got inside the camper or the car for the week.
Our week on the island was perfect weather which meant the fishing was awesome, the swimming at the beaches we visited was awesome, the kayaking and paddleboarding was awesome, the 4wding was awesome and just everything was awesome. All I can say is the island is awesome, a bucket list item for anyone who loves getting away from it all. We could have spent another week there easily.
However, all good things must come to an end and our 7 days on the island finished very quickly, so it was off to the barge crossing for another trip across the strait and then the gruelling road back to Hamelin Station. Where we composed ourselves, picked up our excess gear and headed to Carnarvon.