Or in other words, it’s all over now. I’m writing this on our last day of our final grand tour, approximately at km 8113 on our way back to Perth. Back home which isn’t home anymore. Two more days in Perth to unpack and get the Land Cruiser ready for sale and off we fly towards Europe.
We’ve been traveling through the Pilbara, Kimberley and back along the Coral Coast for 25 days and it will take time to digest, to sort fotos and to spread some on this blog. Don’t hold you breath but at some point they will surface.
The closer we got to the end of our journey and consequently to the end of our Perth-stint the more it sank in that this fantastic experience is coming to an end. Time for the last sunset on the beach, the last packing up, the last camping breakfast. The last time this and that. Suddenly it was selfie time..
Our Perth stint was an incredible experience for all of us. We are all so grateful for that opportunity! The boys are now fluent in Australian and thus speak “up to three” languages. Leola has enjoyed experiencing a different society and a new learning environment. Katrine appreciated her freedom not to work every day (even though she looks forward to her colleagues in Norway). The time in Perth and on all our trips has strengthened this multinational patchwork family both between the kids themselves and between parents and kids. And I have gained a serious bunch of experience in a different work setting in terms of role, culture, market and society. Thank you so much to NGI, presumably the best employer for an applied geophysicist 🙂
Last by not least are we grateful for our new 🇦🇺 friends that we will miss very much ❤️
Don’t get me wrong, WA clearly is the most awesome part of Australia but hey during a year down under you gotta go east at some point … and if you are lucky enough to even have rellies around Sydney then it’s a no brainer to spend, for example, Easter over east.
And very nice it was, seeing aunty & uncle and my very favourite OZ cousins again 🙂 And very happy was dear aunty to spend time with the boys, taking them to places and giving us adults time to explore that village with millions of inhabitants (Sydney). And Sydney is beautiful to explore, time and time again. And traffic is the worst I have seen ever. And I should maybe stop starting sentences with a conjunction. Dad joke, haha..
So where were we exactly?
We lived a nomad life for a week, some days in Stanwell Tops (1h south of Sydney), some days in Sydney and some days in Paterson (2.5h north of Sydney). All of them really beautiful places and as contrasting as can be. The view to the South Pacific from the Bene residence in Stanwell Tops..
Anzac bridge just outside the front door of B.´s place in Sydney…
and farmland surrounding A.´s straw-bale-house in Paterson…
Beautiful places to wind down and catch up with dear people that we see far too seldom.
The more the merrier they say, so over the extended Anzac day weekend we rolled south with two vehicles packed to the rim with ten people, four tents and all the other essentials for an awesome bush camping adventure. “Expedition members” were the five of us, our dear friends Aaron and Theresa with their two kids and Guro our visiting student from Norway. A group spanning age classes from under one to over forty years. Kudos to Aaron & Theresa for taking a 9 month old angel out bush!
Destination for the four nights were two areas at “that french named” national park (D’Entrecasteaux) about four hours south of Perth. The plan was to stay two nights close to Pemberton at Leaning Marri NP camp and then move south to Moores Hut camp to explore the area there. As it goes with 4WD adventures, that plan remained a plan yet reality looked a bit different…
Oh, what a weekend! 30 Degrees forecasted and finally a “free” weekend to go camping. Time to go explore 🙂
The area north of Jurien is just shy of 3 hours drive from Perth and offers fabulous beaches, limestone cliffs and bluffs and “wild” camping as it neither is a national park, nor private land. Thanks Alex for the tip about Jurien, and thanks Hema maps and Western 4W Driver, who all recommend the area for a weekend trip.
We left first thing Saturday morning, stopped for brekky in Joondalup and spent the avo exploring the beaches and bays between North Head and Sandy Bay..
I think it must have had something to do with the excellent weather and that it maybe was the last summer weekend (winter is coming) but the area was packed with happy campers. So it took a while to find the perfect spot, but finally we found this:
The machine hadn’t´t been in 4wd for far to long, a trip to the beach was very overdue. Very! And even though we woke up to a rainy Perth Saturday morning, we packed the bathers and some picnic and headed south to the “first beach south of Perth” or to be more precise, the first beach you can drive on (I think). We are planning a short two-family camping weekend soon and the day trip turned into a little reccy for a potential bush camping site. The entrance sign was rather discouraging (in terms of camping)… Continue reading Yalgorup National Park→
In a past life, I was traveling to the Arctic and Antarctic as a PhD student and later consultant working with geophysical methods to measure snow and sea ice thickness. Staying a week in Hobart was a great experience meeting old friends and colleagues again and looking at long forgotten Georadar and remote sensing data. I also had the chance to talk about my work in general in a lecture organised by the Australian Geomechanics Society, also that very inspiring. But enough about work… Continue reading The southern Island→
There is something special about this place / track. It´s tiny, compared to things like the Canning Stock but it has a special feel to it, standing in the middle of the bush, with a days drive in any direction to the nearest main road. It´s kinda magic. And still, only a days drive from Perth through the Wheatbelt and into the outback Goldfields!
The magic presumably stems from…
The history of the track
Motivated by the intense gold rush after the first discovery in Coolgardie in 1892 bringing thousands of fortune seekers from the eastern states, John Holland together with Rudolph and David Krakouer and John Carmody set out to clear a 500 km track directly into the Goldfields through the dense thickets equipped with nothing but 5 ponies and a 450 litre water tank (100 gallon). The area feels remote today but one can only imagine what this endeavour meant more than 100 years ago. Every day, Holland rode out alone up to 30 km ahead in search for water. Rockholes in the occasional granite outcrops where the main source for drinking supplies. He then went back to his party and directed them in remarkably straight lines between water and feed sources. It took them only two months, reaching Coolgardie on 18th June 1893. Travelling time on the completed track by horse and camel teams usually took two weeks. We used two days to traverse it.
Oh what a joy! It´s not difficult terrain, no rock climbing or axel twisting its mainly sand / clay and some forest sections. Main challenge are very very very deep ruts that can be a bit of an adventure after rain. The track is closed during most of winter (“summer road only”). It hadn’t rained for quite a while when we drove it on 19&20 December 2017 but we still encountered water filled ruts, one that almost swallowed the Cruiser (almost thanks to Maxtrax!).