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Road Trip: Perth-Exmouth-Perth - It's a Bloody Long Way!

Road Trip: Perth-Exmouth-Perth - It's a Bloody Long Way!

Jul 8th, 2010, 05:25 PM
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That would be a big fat YES.
Melnq8 is online now  
Jul 8th, 2010, 07:53 PM
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Some practicalities for those planning a similar trip:

We paid a total of $487.00 for gas. Prices ran from $1.27 to $1.64 per liter

Our accommodation costs:

Kalbarri Seafront Villas - $130 (one bedroom upstairs unit)
*Tradewinds Apartments Denham ($155 – two bedroom unit)
*Wintersun Caravan & Tourist Park Carnarvon ($130 – deluxe studio chalet)
Exmouth Ningaloo Caravan & Holiday Resort ($160 – studio chalet)
Ningaloo Reef Resort Coral Bay ($196 – Castaway unit)
*Greenough Riverside B&B ($130, booked through Geraldton Visitor’s Center)
*Cervantes Windbreak B&B ($130, booked through Pinnacles Visitor’s Center)

* I would happily stay at these again.

Entrance to WA National Parks runs about $11 per vehicle, four week holiday passes are available

Roads off the main highways can be rough, and roads within national parks are often unsealed. Four wheel drive vehicles are a must for in-depth exploring, but you can see plenty with a regular car. Businesses and visitor’s centers close early, accommodation and activity cancellation polices can be strict. Rest stops and roadhouses are well spaced, but there’s a lot of nothing in between.

We don’t own cell phones, and hopefully never will, so this trip was no different than any other in that regard. We travelled with several 1.5 liter bottles of water, and a cooler of food.

Some advice:

Plan well yet be flexible, don’t drive tired; stay off the roads at night and be ever vigilant for kangaroos, livestock and road trains.
Melnq8 is online now  
Jul 10th, 2010, 10:59 AM
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Thanks Mel
A great read from beginning to end(and thanks for the cake details!)
Also thanks for the accommodation reviews and pricing information, a great help for someone planning a similar trip.
Will update you on our trip when we get back in Sept and compare notes!
tockoloshe is offline  
Jul 10th, 2010, 03:12 PM
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Sounds like a plan tockoloshe. Look forward to hearing about your adventure when you get back.
Melnq8 is online now  
Jul 11th, 2010, 12:45 AM
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Well done, Mel!
margo_oz is offline  
Jul 12th, 2010, 02:24 AM
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Wonderful trip report, Mel ... have so enjoyed all the details of your well-written, entertaining and perceptive report; clicked all your accommodation reviews, drooled a little over the food and felt every km of your unexpected detour!

So excellent to have all these details of an area where so few who have visited write a report.

You've won the Wombat Award!
FurryTiles is offline  
Jul 12th, 2010, 03:00 AM
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Aw shucks, FurryTiles...that means a lot (you too margo!).
Melnq8 is online now  
Jul 12th, 2010, 06:08 PM
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Thanks for reviving so many old memories.

We too celebrated an anniversary dinner at The Old Pearler in Denham. I gave her a pearl and diamond necklace bought further up the coast. All local WA material and handiwork.

Cape Range National park and its visitor centre were great back in the mid 90s. I found Megladon teeth, a huge extinct shark, there in the hills and it took all my self control to leave them where they were. Maria found me the only Yellow Bittern I have ever seen at Mangrove Bay. The ranger was going to report its presence but did not do so.

My wife worked at Minilya road house in the early 70s. One night all the frogs were missing ffrom the toilet bowls and the forecourt covered in scorpions. Floods reached the road in the early hours of the morning but they had had no rain or seen any sign of it.
AlanJG is offline  
Jul 12th, 2010, 07:23 PM
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A pearl and diamond necklace? Geez, all I got was chicken

Frogs in the toilet bowls?
Melnq8 is online now  
Jul 13th, 2010, 03:32 PM
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"Frogs in the toilet bowls?"
Not all men hanging around public toilets are strange, some are herpetologists. OK they are all strange. But herpers go there because the snakes go there at night for the frogs which are there because of the water and insects which come to the lights.
A little wet hand on your bottom is always a chance when you sit on a toilet in northern Australia! And to think that some people worry about the spiders ;-)!
AlanJG is offline  
Jul 13th, 2010, 04:01 PM
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Great, another reason to look before I sit.

I took a shower with a frog on Magnetic Island once. He looked harmless enough, so I let him stay.
Melnq8 is online now  
Jul 13th, 2010, 06:03 PM
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I'm pretty sure there was a notice in the toilets at maybe the Lower level Caravan Park in Katherine to please put the lid down to keep the frogs out!!!
stormbird is offline  
Jul 17th, 2010, 12:40 AM
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Big green frogs used to lurk in the bowl and on the arm of the chain-pull, when we were kids. If you didn't get 'goosed' while seated, you were likely to have a dislodged frog land on you when you pulled the chain.

Who remembers those beautiful little brown "Catholic" frogs? (speckled brown with a white cross on their backs)

I generally had a frog or a lizard in my pocket & thank my parents for their good humour & patience - imagine trying to keep a straight face as your daughter tries to catch flies for a baby frill-neck & scoops tadpoles out of the tank with your crystal jug. Dad used to help me catch flies, but Mum was a bit of a woos & wouldn't nurse the frogs. Women!
Bokhara2 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2010, 03:36 PM
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Loved all of the report, and all of the photos. It may not be a repeat trip, but you got some stories to tell!
Toucan2 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2010, 04:28 PM
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Thank you Toucan2, we're getting a lot of mileage out of the flood story.

Bokhara2 - My heart might stop if I got 'goosed' while doing my business, or if a frog or lizard jumped out of a pocket while doing the laundry. Nothing against frogs, I'm just easily startled. You should see my snake dance.
Melnq8 is online now  
Jul 17th, 2010, 05:59 PM
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Thanks for a great trip report. We wandered along the WA coastline last year and your report brought back some great memories.

Where are you going next? - just so that I look forward to your next trip report
marg is offline  
Jul 17th, 2010, 06:42 PM
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You're very kind marg.

We're thinking maybe another trip to SI NZ, concentrating on out-of-the-way spots we've not yet thoroughly explored.

One of the perks of moving to Australia was that we'd be closer to NZ, but we've been so busy exploring WA that we haven't managed to fit it in yet.

Then again, maybe Antarctica...
Melnq8 is online now  
Jul 18th, 2010, 08:21 PM
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Awesome trip report, Mel, thanks so much!! Sounds like way too much driving but with great rewards. If you had it to do over again, what would you leave out and what would you absolutely make the drive for??? BTW, I didn't notice if you went snorkeling at any of your stops. Did Bill just do the snorkeling the one time? Also, was that OTC dish the one that was featured in the great little movie "The Dish" do you know? Loved your pictures, also, and I am betting you have hundreds more. Can't wait for the next adventure of Melnq8!
Sally in Seattle
SnR is offline  
Jul 18th, 2010, 08:56 PM
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Hi Sally,
I hope Mel doesn't mind me answering your question re The Dish - a really lovely movie wasn't it? Well the dish is in Parkes over on the east coast in New South Wales. A great town to visit and the visitors centre at The Dish gives you all the dirt on fact or fiction re the movie. We actually spent quite a bit of time there and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
stormbird is offline  
Jul 18th, 2010, 11:49 PM
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Thank you Sally. Stormbird has answered your question about the dish, which is a good thing, as I had no idea.

No, we didn't do any snorkeling other than what Bill did during the whale shark tour. I realize that snorkeling is a big attraction up north, but I'm not a fan of the water and Bill would much rather dive than snorkel. Conditions weren't the best and the water was very cold, so I didn't manage to talk myself into it, even though I'd taken my gear.

As far as what I would absolutely make the drive for...

Denham. I loved Shark Bay...Shell Beach, Ocean Park, Monkey Mia, Francios Peron Nat'l Park (what we saw of it anyway). We made the right decision basing ourselves in Denham...easy access to Monkey Mia without having to be captive there (nothing there but the resort).

Honestly, Kalbarri and Coral Bay were a huge disappointment, which is the exact opposite of what most people say. Just yesterday I read a comment on another forum where a guy said that Coral Bay is one of the most beautiful places on earth to him. I don't know what his travel experience is, but really, Coral Bay? I just don't get it (Bill was surprised at that comment too). But, don't listen to me, you might love it too.

You didn't ask, but if I had it to do all over again with the same amount of time and money wasn't a consideration...

I'd fly to Learmonth, rent a car (maybe even a 4X4) and drive north to Exmouth, where I'd spend four nights at a beach front unit at the Novotel! I'd then work my way south, making all the stops we did, but spending less time at Coral Bay and more time at Carnarvon and Geraldton/Greenough. I'd also spend some time exploring the coast and nature reserves near Dongara and Port Denision and possibly spend a second night at Cervantes, just to allow time to explore some of the walks we didn't have time for.

Despite being underwhelmed, I'm glad we took this trip...my curiosity is now satisfied.
Melnq8 is online now  

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