Left Nanutarra around 8.45am and travelled non-stop until we reached Exmouth. The scenery was quite arid in most places. It was not far from the ocean and there were no tall trees and things looked rather windswept. We were surprised at the amount of sand dunes, spaced well apart, but very frequent. Many of them were quite bare.
The main vegetation continues to be spinifex with scrubby trees. It is apparently sheep country (although we only saw the odd number or two, sitting under the shade of termite mounds) because the tourist info. signs said “Wool Wagon Path Trail 1,120 kms’ although we know nothing about why it is called this.
Exmouth is situated with the Exmouth Gulf on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other. The coastline is protected somewhat by a coral reef and it is a very pretty spot indeed.
Our first sight of the sea was on the east side at a place called Learmonth, but this is a RAAF base and not accessible to the general public so we had to wait until we actually reach Exmouth before the beach was accessible although the sea could be seen for most of the trip in to the town. The ocean was a most beautiful deep blue.
Seeing this RAAF base and then seeing that just outside of Exmouth is a large Naval Radio Communication Transmission complex (large radio masts everywhere) made us realise that the north of Australia certainly is well protected by our defence forces.
We booked into a Park 20 kms north of the town of Exmouth and situated right below a hill with a lighthouse. It is quite picturesque and our Van is only 50 metres from the ocean, but we are actually unable to see the ocean because of the large sand dunes, but we can hear the waves.
We drove to the top of the hill at the lighthouse and the view was lovely. We then drove along the westernside of this peninsula up to the beginning of the National Park. We pulled in at various driveways on the beaches and saw some people fishing, some people wind-surfing (the wind was so strong we felt they were rather courageous), looked at a turtle nest bay (although no eggs until November onwards), and then drove back into the town to have a good look at it.
There was a huge marina with the most magnificent boats moored. There were also some very flash homes right on the ocean, or next to man-made canals. Very nice indeed. Exmouth is really only just a tourist destination with several resort type facilities, and Van Parks, but also OYO holiday units. We checked the prices of these and they were around $400,00 to well over $800,000 for these units. There were some of the nicer homes for rent and these were up to $3,250 per week.!!!! That’s a lot of money even if there were a few families renting it out.
There was only a small shopping centre though. Surprisingly enough there were 2 IGA stores just metres apart – we wonder why?
As it was Ian’s birthday today we bought fish and chips for tea.
It was delicious. We sat outside the van to eat them, but the wind was still up and it was almost too cool to stay outside. While Ian was on the phone just after tea he saw a kookaburra catch a small 2ft long snake just behind the Van next to ours. Linda had called in then and so the three of us watched the kookaburra for some time. We did not see whether or not he consumed it all, but he had certainly killed the snake. Thank goodness.
Again – no photos because the internet reception is too poor. Will add them when we can.
To type tonight’s blog we have had to drive up the top of the Lighthouse Hill just to get enough reception. You will have to excuse any mistakes as the fingers cannot see in the dark. The things we do!!
Will leave here tomorrow but will stay along the coast. Hope to get in to Coral Bay – but it depends whether there are sites available or. Bruce and Linda will be staying another night.
Love to all, Janese and Ian