Showing posts from September, 2018

63. Snorkelling with...WHALES AND MANTA RAYS !!!

Where to begin. I’ll start with pointing out that there are no free camps in the shire of Exmouth and by all accounts the rangers are pretty hot on handing out fines for ‘illegal camping’. A shame because we would have loved to stop in the area for a lot longer than just a few days. After making the long drive up the peninsular in the Crampervan we opted to book into the closest caravan park to Cape Range National park which was ‘Yardi Homestay’. A few days previous we’d tried to book a camp spot within the national park itself which would have been cheaper and a lot more scenic but there’d been no availability for the next three weeks.  We’d barely arrived in the area when we walked onto the first beach we’d come across, to a sight of tail slapping whales straight in front of us. Perhaps a sign that our time on the Ningaloo reef was destined to be amazing.   Snorkelling with whales doesn't come cheap, it would have been cheaper to buy the ‘tinny’ (small meta


‘Cramping’ on the sandy banks of a huge partly dried up river for two nights was relaxing peaceful and a whole load of off-road fun. Further north along the river we'd heard about the remains of something quite interesting. It took us an hour of negotiating various undulating sand tracks to find what we were looking for. We knew we were getting close when we started to pick up a Hansel and Gretel trail of abandoned vehicles which lead us straight to the last remains of Helmut Schmidt’s shack. Helmut Schmidt had died an elderly man but the remains of his house in the middle of the river bed still stand today. Helmut lived a basic life, literally on the river bed for over 40 years. He had no running water or electricity and during the wet season when the river would flow he’d live solely in the upstairs of his house because the downstairs would be under water! What a guy! Leaving the shack behind we followed a track we assumed to be the same one we had come in


L had banged on about the ‘almighty Gibb River Road’ from the moment he first read about it almost a year ago. The 650km track which can take a week or two to drive, has ample river crossings, passes through some really remote rugged wilderness and is basically any 4wd enthusiast’s dream. On our travels closer to the Kimberley both L and I had started to hear first hand accounts from those who’d recently driven the Gibb. Surprisingly many of these accounts weren’t the romanticised version that L had been sold on. In fact, the more people we spoke to, the more of a mixed bag of responses we received. This was concerning for L, who now found himself wondering if his ‘should be amazing’ Gibb River Road, was actually just…overrated. A more pressing issue began to surface. L’s vintage Kimberley map (now out for daily use) confirmed our suspicions that driving the full length of the Gibb would mean missing out on The Bungle Bungle National Park and Wolfe Creek crater… or we’d