Hellfire


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Published: September 8th 2013
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Wednesday 4 September



Waking up to little droplets of rain on the roof was not pleasing, it has been a long while since we last saw rain and that would have been when we pulled out of the Flinders Ranges in South Australia when it was hurling down so heavily the creeks were flooded and where we managed to get Gypsy wet inside.



It was certainly not heavy rain, but enough to dampen enthusiasm, but it is moving day so we need to rally ourselves. By the time I was out of bed the rain had stopped, but the day was overcast and very cool, which made it easy for packing up.



I cannot remember what time we left Kalgoorlie and the cloud behind, we fuelled up on the way out there is a large BP station just south of Boulder and off we went following the beautiful terrain of salt lakes all the way down to Norseman.



Norseman is the Western end of the Nullarbor which we crossed back in 2009, we popped into Tourist Information to get a sticker for our fridge, the last one was stuck
Lucky BayLucky BayLucky Bay

Cape Le Grande NP, no this picture has not being photo shopped
on our trailer and went when we sold it. The sticker says "we crossed the Nullarbor". Also a friend of ours crossed the Nullarbor and did not get a certificate so we thought we would surprise them and get a certificate made out in their name.



We grabbed an early lunch at a cafe in the Main Street, I think called Cafe on Roberts, then we headed south toward Esperance, by now the sun is shining and the day is lovely and warm.



During the afternoon we pull in somewhere off the main highway, down a dirt track for a afternoon siesta (nana nap), it was lovely to pop the roof on Gypsy and crash out on the bed for half hour. In hindsight we probably should have just found somewhere to pull up for the day, but for some reason we decided to keep going until we reached Cape Le Grand.



There is so much water lying around, the fields are a lush green and patches of water ying around in ditches and of course some of the salt lake beds actually have water in them.



There is a railway track that follows the line of this road, however we see a number of railway trailers overturned and very random on the side of the road along with a big pile of bogeys, it looked like a derailment and wondered why they had not cleaned up. We later found out from someone in Esperance that his friend was driving the train, it was only very recent and the heavy rain had washed away some of the ground under the track and of course when the train went through there were no rails and thus caused it to derail.



Esperance arrives on the horizon, large lakes flanked the entrance it looks lovely, but for now we are bypassing so that we can get to our intended stop point for the night.



Driving into Esperance was stunning,the lush green environment, large lakes flanked the entrance and further on once we have turned towards Cape Le Grand National Park, the scenery just gets better, we even start to see kangaroo's again.



It was a late stop tonight, sometime around 5pm we pulled into Cape Le Grand and fortunately managed to find
Hellfire BayHellfire BayHellfire Bay

Cape Le Grand National Park
a spot to camp, there are few spaces in this section of the National Park and I really did not want to drive any further to the next site. It was a small spot but plenty big enough for Jack and Gypsy. Just in time to see the volunteer camp host appear collecting monies. We paid $9 per adult for overnight camping and also paid $11 National Park entry fee, apparently not a daily fee, but a one off entry providing you are camping.



Once we were set up the first thing that I did was to run over the dune to the beach to see the sunset, it was beautiful as the sun went down behind the islands in the distance, the white sand was mainly covered by lots of seaweed and no kangaroo's on the beach sadly, but then it was exceptionally windy so not the weather for them to come out and sunbake on the beach.



We sat indoors and ate our dinner that night, it had become quite cool, I was borderline wanting a hot water bottle, it was nowhere near as cold as it was at the beginning of
Hellfire BayHellfire BayHellfire Bay

Cape Le Grand National Park
our trip, but I had got used to the beautiful balmy nights we had been having coming through the centre of Australia.



Thursday 5 September

It had been a cold night, the coldest in a while, I deployed additional bedlinen last night and really should have done a hot water bottle, if it is that cold again tonight then I will be doing a hot water bottle.



The sun was up and both of us struggled to get out of our warm bed, eventually I made a move to get the kettle on.



For a treat I decided to do a bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast so when Andy appeared at Gypsy's door I asked him, what sort of eggs do you want this morning, !! "chicken please" came the reply. "As opposed to what, Emu?" I replied "you know I don't have room in the fridge for a dozen emu eggs, let alone egg cups to suit."



Anyway, I got breakfast on the go and served up just as the camp host popped over with the receipt for camping that he was unable to give
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Cape Le Grand National Park
us last night. We asked about wildlife and he tells us that there was a whale in the bay last week. He took a video but his wife seemed unimpressed with 5 minutes of a whale doing nothing but lolling about in the water. I do hope to see a whale while we are exploring this coastline.



After breakfast we jumped in the truck to go exploring, first on the list was Hellfire Bay, it was busy with the car park almost full, a couple of guys have their wetsuits on and surfboards at the ready head off to the beach.



We wander around and find ourselves on the beach, it seems that the surfers are not making any progress, they cannot get out far enough, the strength in the tide seems to keep pulling them back to shore, some people are standing on the rocks fishing.



Andy and I clamber over the rocks for a better look of the ocean. It is that beautiful turquoise colour that changes to that beautiful deep blue as it gets deeper from the shore. The sand is pristine white, the beach looks beautiful against the turquoise water well it would be if the beach wasn't covered in dried seaweed.



It is a beautiful area there is even a barbecue and shaded picnic area, I left Andy exploring this area whilst I took another path, I was curious and wanted to get higher up, so I walked up this path, which should take you all the way to the next bay, I only wanted to get to the high point, which I did, found a lizard, spoke to a woman who was looking for orchids and then I ran down to the bottom, I feel like I need the exercise and I miss my walks/runs up and down Mount Ainslie. I arrived back in the car park just in time to see Andy appear.



Next on the list was Rossiter Bay, this section has dirt track, a couple of benches are at the track head that overlook lucky bay, we could not resist sitting there and watching the view, with the binoculars just in case a whale happened to be lolling around the shallow waters of the bay.



Rossiter Bay was just as beautiful and yet
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Cape Le Grand National Park
lots more seaweed on the sand, the sand is squeaky too. Lucky Bay is just the same and with lots of seaweed, there is a larger campsite here, this one seems quite busy too, but plenty of space.



You can use access points to drive onto the beaches here, there are signs up telling people how to engage 4 wheel drive, lock the wheel hubs in and what gear to be in, tyre pressures etc. I wondered if they were fed up trying to rescue tourists who had never done any sand driving before.



There are kangaroo's around today, but alas none on the beach and I really would like to see a kangaroo on a beach, not just any beach but a beach that does have pristine white sand and turquoise waters, I was assured that if I was going to see them anywhere it would be here, and I am disappointed because all of the kangaroo's that I have seen are not on the beach!



The wetlands here are very wet, the wildflowers are out, we have a great day exploring the area, there is a lot to see,
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Cape Le Grand National Park
there are a few nooks and crannies around that you need to get out and have a look at, the Matthew Flinders memorial notes that he named this place Lucky Bay as he was able to moor his ship in this safe haven in January 1802 and shelter from a storm.



The rest of the afternoon was spent lounging around reading, the evening came and it was nowhere near as cold as it was last night, so I abandoned all thoughts of a hot water bottle, unless the chicken curry that I cooked that night made all the difference.


Additional photos below
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Hellfire BayHellfire Bay
Hellfire Bay

Cape Le Grand National Park
Rossiter BayRossiter Bay
Rossiter Bay

Cape Le Grand National Park
Lucky BayLucky Bay
Lucky Bay

Where Matthew Flinders found his safe Haven
Beach FacilitiesBeach Facilities
Beach Facilities

At Hellfire Bay
Lucky BayLucky Bay
Lucky Bay

Cape Le Grande NP
Surf's UpSurf's Up
Surf's Up

At Lucky Bay


10th September 2013

Rails & Bays
Train derailment occurred 20 May. Trains didn't run for about a week. Gave us an excellent quiet night at Salmon Gums - camp ground is right on railway line. Flooding of the line, causing derailment, indication of the heavy rain we went through crossing the Nullarbor - if you didn't believe us! So glad you (took our advice &) made it to Esperance & Cape Le Grande - superb region of Australia with enchanting bays & islands. Hope you extended your visit to Cape Arid - if not, an excuse for a return visit! Keith & Jan xx
14th September 2013

Lovely
This area looks fantastic. Much prettier than endless dirt roads!

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