Day 58 – 31 Aug 2012 – at Carnarvon

We left Coral Bay around 8.30am. Checked to see if the photos of yesterday’s Quad Trek were in, but they were no different to the ones I took myself so we did not buy them.

The scenery along the road until we got back on to Highway 1 was once again very, very boring. Again just spinifex type grasses most of the way – no trees and very little shrubbery. Once we got back on to the Highway though the scenery was a lot better. We passed many patches of a very small bright pink/red wildflower, but I was unable to catch it in a photo. We expect we shall see more and more of this as we head further south.

We crossed the Tropic of Capricorn around 10.30 – this is the fourth time we have crossed it this year!! So we are now in temperate climes. Some of the people in the caravan parks have told us they do not head south over this ‘line’ until winter is officially over – as today is the last day of winter I wonder if they will head south. We have heard that the weather is still rather cool down south. Today’s temp has been around a very pleasant 28C. There is a bit of wind blowing which helps to keep the heat away.

We arrived at Carnarvon around lunch time and once we had booked into our Park we drove in to the town to visit the tourist Info. Centre. This is the first time we felt that information was in short supply, and the people behind the desk were just doing a job and nothing else. We were sorry to hear we had arrived too late to the local Agricultural Tour of the local farms here – called ‘working plantation tour’. We both feel a little guilty that we did not know that this area (the Gasgoyne) is called the food bowl of W.A. and produces all kinds of food – bananas, grapes, watermelons, mangoes, pawpaws, citrus and stone fruit, as well as tomatoes, beans, capsicum, asparagus, sweet corn and pumpkin. Also, much of W.A.’s seafood comes from the waters off Carnarvon – prawns, scall0ps, crabs and all kinds of fish. I say ‘feel guilty’ because we have been amazed how many people we have met who did not know the Goulburn Valley was such a producer of food, and now we are just as ignorant of W.A.’s production.

We drove down to the wharf at Pelican Point, and saw some of the large trawlers in at the Port.

Fish Trawler in port

We then went to the local bakery and purchased some lunch and sat down by the sea outlet right on the shopping precinct and ate it. It is a pretty spot. The town itself was not much, and its lack of attraction made worse by all the street being closed off for major landscaping. We guess it will a lot better in a few months time.

Ian and seagulls having lunch

We decided to do our own tour of the town, and drove around the streets to see the suburbs, and then went out to a place called One Mile Jetty where there was a small train and shearers museum. We met Bruce and Linda there – once again they will not be staying at a Park in the town; choosing instead to do the ‘free parking’ on the sides of the highway somewhere south of the town. We had the chance for a small chat. We then looked at the museum, but chose not to do the walk down the One Mile Jetty. There was a tram which did the distance but we we too late to catch it. This jetty was built way back in 1897 to meet the needs of the township and to aid in the export of the wool and livestock produced in the area. Carnarvon was the first port in the world which loaded livestock on board ships for transport to markets. Once, the animal race on this jetty was the full one mile long. This jetty is no longer in use except for tourism, and of course people can fish off it.

One Mile Jetty

It remains one of the longest jetties in W.A.

There was not too much else we wanted to see, so we drove to the local IGA and stacked up on fresh fruit and bread for the next few days. Like all shopping centres, once you enter in you could be anywhere. They all look the same! But I am not complaining. We originally thought we would struggle to get the fresh food we like to eat, but have had no trouble whatsoever throughout the whole trip.

OTC Dish at Carnarvon

Right behind our caravan park is a big OTC dish – a huge communication satellite dish which, although now no longer in use, once participated in the space race and helped put man on the moon in 1969. It was also from here where Australia received its first satellite television broadcast. At the moment, local community groups are working on upgrading parts of the museum and just recently stage one of the upgrade was officially opened by Dr. Buzz Aldrin. History is so much part of the tourism trail it is good to see that communities find their special niche and do their best to develop it.

The areas around Carnarvon are also great tourist attractions but they are quite a distance out of the town and some require 4WD access. Maybe next time we are in this area.

The Park we are staying in is providing some entertainment tonight. There is a small concert on in what they call the ‘Shed’ (a purpose built building) and while I am typing this, Ian is enjoying the singing. It was also time I rang my Mum so I decided to do that while the time was right. The 2 hour difference in time really makes us think before we ring our family or friends.

We have perfect TV reception tonight so Ian is looking forward to seeing his beloved Hawks playing AFL tonight.

Love to all, Janese and Ian

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