Published: August 20th 2012August 12th 2012
Day 44 – Sunday 12th
August – Cape Range National Park, Yardie Creek campground
In place of our early morning walk I decided that the boys should make a bit of an effort to catch a fish. That meant dawn fishing on Yardie Creek beach (and a bit of a lie-in for me!). Mark and Luke marched over to the beach at 6.30 with their rods and tackle boxes full of intent. Anna and I joined them at 7am for some moral support and to help with gutting the fish. Only the moral support (and help with untangling lines) was needed. So no fish for breakfast! But it was a nice start to the morning.
Nutella and bread is a more than adequate alternative to fish for brekkie (really the only acceptable fish for breakfast is kippers and who eats kippers these days?) so we ate that instead, before heading off on a mini-4WDing mission south over Yardie Creek. We wanted to check out the crossing and the road ready for tomorrow. Both were rough, but Ok if you take them at the right speed with the correct tyre pressure (which really is the key to most
off-road driving). We checked out “1km Campsite” and the “Boat Harbour”, both campsites run by the Department of Environment and Conservation and managed to get temporarily bogged in the soft sand at the boat harbor. Managed to rescue ourselves by dropping the tyre pressure some more, pressing some buttons on the control panel of the Prado and giving it some proper welly, spitting masses of sand out behind the car as we drove ourselves out. Boat Harbour beach was a great spot for collecting baby shells – perfectly formed miniatures of the larger shells we have seen on other beaches. Very cute.
Back at Yardie Creek campsite by mid-morning, our new camping neighbours had arrived and we spent a good hour chatting to them, admiring their $82,500 off-road caravan. After a spot of early lunch we headed back to Turquoise Bay for some more snorkelling. It was much windier than yesterday and when we arrived at the bay it was blowing a mini gale. Luckily we found some good shelter in the dunes to make a base for ourselves. Because of the wind the water wasn’t as clear as yesterday but we still managed to see and swim with
one particular turtle and all the usual variety of fish. We alternated between reading and snorkelling for most of the afternoon until we left the beach at 4.30pm.
The campground hosts at Kurrajong had given Mark a secret tip about an unmarked walk into a gorge near Mandu-Mandu (between Kurrajong and Pilgramunna campgrounds) where you can see black-footed rock wallabies. So on the way back to Yardie Creek from Turquoise Bay we took the little track into the gorge and parked up. A 40 minute walk into the gorge revealed several of the endangered wallabies. They did not seem too bothered by a spot of human interaction, and indeed watched us with alert curiosity as we watched them back! On the short drive back to the campground we spotted a lone echidna crossing the road. Once it had safely crossed it found itself a shelter in the spinifex grass and tried to hide while we took a photo. It might have been the same echnida that we had seen in roughly the same spot yesterday, but really, they all look pretty similar with their tough spikes and pointy snout… Either way it was quite special to see one.
Back at the campsite in time for sunset on the beach – what else? Today’s activity was sandboarding down the mini dunes – kids only. Parents too absorbed in their beer and wine (otherwise known as too lazy to get off their backsides and try it!). New neighbours with the expensive van had set up their television conveniently pointed towards our tent and they were watching the last day of the Olympics. Well, it was too hard not to get to know them, and before we knew it we were best mates with Brian, Sandy and Lynne from New South Wales and Luke was glued to the TV set. They have almost adopted us as their kids and grandkids already. Very lovely people!
There are more photos below