Our usual daily drive is seldom in excess of 150 km and today is no exception. The distance to Galena Bridge RA was only about 140 km. Galena Bridge is on the North West Coastal Highway and crosses the Murchison River, the same river that passes through Kalbarri National Park further downstream from this point. There is excellent and extensive free camping on both sides of the river here, even including "Dump Points". It is unfortunate about the bush fly plague though. Ever since Cyclone Olwyn, that inflicted major damage in the region, passed through the area, the flies have been breeding in profusion. It is OK outside of your caravan after about 6:30 PM though as the flies mysteriously disappear.
The next day we moved on a further 70 km to Nerren Nerren and stayed at another excellent free RA. This one being a very large sealed area alongside the Highway. Several campers that were with us at Galena Bridge are here tonight as well.
Cyclone Quang, pronounced kwong, was threatening to the North therefore we stopped in at Hamelin Station instead of driving the further 100 km onto Denham. We thought this was a better situation to be in if we had to make a hasty retreat back South. As it eventuated the effects of this cyclone were limited to area around the 'landfall'. We experienced zero wind and zero rainfall at Hamelin Station.
The Station is located about 28 km from North West Coastal Highway along Shark Bay Road and only 1 km in to the right. The Managers at the Station are friendly and the facilities are excellent. We extended our stay at Hamelin Station because of the uncertainty of the path of Cyclone Quang that was threatening Coral Bay and Exmouth. In lieu of towing the caravan to Denham we decided to make our base at Hamelin Station and toured around from there.
Monkey Mia is very much "over rated" and with 4 Rangers in the Office doing 'not much else' but joking and laughing, the place is waste of resources. needless to say, we did not see any Dolphins. During our return drive to Denham we came across a couple of Pommy "Whizz-bangers" bogged to the axles in soft sand on the verge of the road. We had the gear to extract them and soon had them on their way again.
Denham is a 'laid-back' sea side village beside a beautiful, clean and blue watered bay. The very busy boat ramp indicates great fishing grounds are in the area. We also visited Eagle Bluff for the possible sighting of Sharks, Rays, Turtles and Dugongs, although none were in evidence for us today. We also called into Shell Beach where we did see some shells!
Now, a short report on the "Air Bags". Having driven several hundred kilometres now, since I had the rear suspension air bags fitted, I can only express my complete satisfaction with the result. Towing the caravan is now 'tighter' and more steady on the road, especially during windy conditions, and one thing there is plenty of over here is wind! Driving is now less stressful, and I pull up fresher at the end of the day.
Camped alongside The Murchison River at Galena Bridge.
The old low-level crossing alongside the newer elevated Galena Bridge. As it is, flood waters reach as high as 1 metre from the tops of the pylons on the bridge.
The vast, sealed RA at Nerren Nerren.
The Reception and Camp Kitchen at Hamelin Station.
Up graded Shearers Quarters at Hamelin Station.
The excellent amenities at Hamelin Station.
We didn't see any Dolphins at Monkey Mia but we did see three Pelicans posing for photographs on the beach.
Extracting 2 Pommies and their 'whizz-bang' from soft sand alongside Monkey Mia Road.
Government Offices in the Main Street of Denham.
The foreshore park and the beautiful blue waters of the Indian Ocean.
Eagle Bluff with zero marine life in sight today. The black material in the water is what the Dugongs graze on.
Small Cockle Shells abound on Shell Beach.
Shell Beach actually extends for 110 km, that is correct, 110 km.
As you can see in the above photograph there is Commercial extraction of these Cockle Shells and the material is carted away by the truck full but these Environmental Knuckleheads tells us not to remove any shell material as it will upset the balance of Nature.