What’s Your Travel Dream?

Our destination is into the heart of outback, fourteen hundred kilometres north of Perth:  Karajini in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

What do you say when visitors from overseas ask, “where should I go when I visit Australia”. It’s the outback that makes Australia unique.

Friends Helen and Drew were joining us in their rented campervan. They’d never been to the outback. And though they weren’t international visitors you’d think from their strong accent they’d just stepped off the plane from Scotland!

A band of winter rain was now moving across the state. It was not looking promising for the start of our ten day camping adventure. To ensure a dry overnight camp, our first day was going to be a long drive to get far enough north above the rain band. Finding blue skies on the other side was a welcome sight. By now, the sunset offered just enough time to prepare for what was to be the first of many enjoyable campfires. One of the great things about this part of the country, is there are plenty of offroad bush camping spots. We were not alone though. Grey Nomad season was well and truly in full swing.

By contrast, our campground in the heart of Karijini, to be honest, is hard to describe as anything attractive. Apart from good toilets… if you are ok with drop jobs, it’s a bit of a harsh baron experience. Ok to sleep and enjoy the stars at night, but maybe my bias is because no campfires are allowed.

The gorges however make up for it where you discover them deep beyond the far edges of the arid plateau of the campground, its rocky cliffs diving 100m below.  The late afternoon sun creates striking red cliff walls which contrast against the white-barked gumtrees. Exploring the gorges from inside draws you into a hidden world of fern-lined swimming holes, waterfalls, and rock canyons.

Travelling further through the national park, offers a whole range of other spectacular gorges and swimming holes.

A station stay was on the list of must-do experiences for our fellow travellers. A night’s entertainment that followed relaxing in the naturally heated artesian baths at Wooramel Station made for a relaxing and fun evening.

Of course, no outback roadie experience would be complete without a night’s camp at a roadside Gravel Pit. Fortunately there were no UFO landings next to us on this trip as the dark eeriness and isolation of camping on an large open flat gravel pit in the middle of nowhere had in the past let our imaginations convince us!

Travelling back down along the coast through the Kalbari National Park extended the outback experience. Our journey home offered further memorable overnight camping experiences, none more so than to finish the trip off in our bush camp setting with a superbly delicious cooked camp oven pot roast over the coals…

Oh, you can’t beat a good outback camping adventure!

It was an enjoyable trip with our friends. Check out their story below. Their story reminded me of all the fears I had before I headed off on my senior gap year… travelling alone, I was too old, travelling for too long, etc etc . We all have different reasons to fear, but it’s how the fears work to stop us that are all exactly the same. So, what’s Your Travel Dream? Or, do you have a similar story?

2 comments On What’s Your Travel Dream?

  • Thanks Bron and Chris for our amazing adventure. You made the trip really special.
    We acknowledge the traditional owners the Banyjima, Yinhawangka, and Kurrama Aboriginal people for being able to visit this amazing landscape – the red earth made the pools and falls look green – the clear sky was filled with stars watching over us each night as we slept. The gorges were amazing and climbing out of a level 4 gorge – with a little help from Drew was a great achievement!
    From the moment we set off everything went perfectly! Lots of planning by Bron our quartermaster made sure we were equipped to have delicious food everyday! Our camp ovens were amazing! We always had an enviable perfect campfire where Chris (with the help of our quartermaster) cooked a pot-roast, stews, and a special family tradition birthday cake was special, sticky date pudding, apple pie, pancakes – we were very spoilt! Free camps, gravel pits, station stays, caravan parks in 10 days we tried them all! I actually really like the expanse and deep quiet of the gravel pit!
    In our 10 days we saw – Mount Magnet, Cue, Meekatharra, Newman, Karijini, (circular pool lookout, Dales gorge, Fortescue falls, Fern pool, looked in Weano gorge and Joffre gorge, Tom Price, Nanutarra, Canarvon, Wooromal Station Stay, Kalbarri, Coronation Beach and Badgingarra. We met Dingo’s, kangaroos, saw a pod of Dolphins and an echidna cross the road!
    We were a little apprehensive but as the saying says embrace the fear and do it anyway! We now have amazing memories which we will treasure always! xxx

    • Thanks for your message Helen. Wow, I didn’t realise we saw that much! Thanks for making the trip a lot of fun. Chris & Bron

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