Planet View: S27°43.521′ E114°10.131′ (Kalbarri) and S28°42.364′ E114°38.273′ (Geraldton)
Street View: S27°43.521′ E114°10.131′ (Kalbarri) and S28°42.364′ E114°38.273′ (Geraldton)
After our brilliant week in Coral Bay with Mum and Steve we had our sights set on Perth in time to catch a flight to Melbourne next weekend. We’ve covered a little over 1000 kilometers over the past couple of days, cruising past more arid endless plains of west Australian scrub for almost 800 kilometers south of Coral Bay. We stopped off at Carnarvon to refuel, make a quick visit to the supermarket and replace one of the three batteries (the starting battery) on The Tank. We almost had to jump ourselves yesterday morning as we left Coral Bay, Carnarvon is the first spot we’ve visited in the past two weeks where there’s been an auto parts store!
Fifty-or-so kilometers north of the coastal hamlet of Kalbarri the landscape quickly changed from red dirt and saltbush to beautiful rolling hills of wheat and barley with small farms dotted across the horizon. Some really beautiful country… We veered off the highway and through Kalbarri National Park to the town of Kalbarri, a quaint coastal settlement at the mouth of the Murchison River with three pubs (way too many for the small size of the place!) and a plethora of restaurants lining the shorefront. One restaurant was offering the ‘You Can’t Handle The Truth Burger’ which, if you could eat it all in one sitting, was free. If not it cost $25. Click on the photo below to take a look at the list of ingredients… Kalbarri is a major tourist destination during the summer months, we were in town a little before the high season so it was still pretty sleepy during our visit. After covering almost 800 kilometers from Coral Bay we treated ourselves to a gourmet pizza at the pub closest to where we parked The Tank for the night, good stuff… We spent a day exploring nearby Kalbarri National Park and all the beautiful wildflowers that were in bloom for spring. The two main attractions of the National Park are the striking inland gorges formed by the Murchison River as it snakes its way through the countryside, and the brilliant turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean as it meets the red cliffs of the coastline. We undertook one of the two lengthier gorge walks early one morning, The Loop Walk is an eight kilometer hike through the gorge formed by the Murchison River, traversing cliffs and then down to the sandy riverbed. We also explored some of the scenic spots along the coastal cliffs, absolutely beautiful views from some of the lookouts, it reminded us both of the Great Ocean Road and some areas of the California coastline.
From Kalbarri we headed south along the coast through the rolling farmland of the Midwest, stopping off to take in some of the heritage buildings in the tiny farming town of Northampton. The Catholic church was quite a sight. From Northampton we trudged on and headed to Coronation Beach, around 30 kilometers south of town, but upon finding that the idyllic little campsite next to the beach was full we turned around and continued south to the rural centre of Geraldton.
Geraldton is a central hub for grain export as well as the Western Australian rock lobster industry. The massive grain silos in the town’s port are a clearly visible sign of the presence of the farming industry, and the flash cars and multi-million dollar houses around town give an indication of the amount of wealth generated by the exquisite west Australian lobsters that seem to be prolific off the coast. It was recommended that we visit the memorial to the HMAS Sydney near the city centre, the ship sank in the 1940s killing everyone aboard (645 sailors) and was not found until March, 2008. We took a quick walk along the newly renovated shorefront district of town, stopping for a beer at the Freemason’s Hotel in the afternoon sun before calling it a day and heading back to The Tank for the night. (The photo of the lamb chops here was taken at the HMAS Sydney Memorial. We discovered the chops sitting there on the front fender, where I’d put them hours earlier to defrost at our campsite. They stayed on the fender during the whole time we drove around Geraldton!)
This entry was posted on Monday, November 9th, 2009 at 7:30 AM and is filed under Australia, Western Australia. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.