All posts by Andi A P

East coast baby 

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..

DJI_0057.jpg

Anzac bridge just outside the front door of B.´s place in Sydney…

IMG_7658.jpg

and farmland surrounding A.´s straw-bale-house in Paterson…

DJI_0046.jpg

Beautiful places to wind down and catch up with dear people that we see far too seldom.

What did we do?

Continue reading East coast baby 

2 families, 5 days, 1 adventure

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!
IMG_0535.jpg
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…

Continue reading 2 families, 5 days, 1 adventure

Jurien Bay & Stockyard Gully

Oh, what a weekend! 30 Degrees forecasted and finally a “free” weekend to go camping. Time to go explore 🙂

Jurien Bay

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..

IMG_2820 (1).jpg
Yes, that´s a bushfire in the background

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:

Continue reading Jurien Bay & Stockyard Gully

Yalgorup National Park

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

The southern Island

Parts of my stay in WA are a sabbatical and parts of that is a cooperation with the Antarctic  Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre in Hobart Tasmania.

IMG_2713.jpg

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

The Holland Track

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!

IMG_2195.jpg
Approximately the middle of the Holland Track

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.

IMG_2200.jpg

Driving 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!).

IMG_2154 2.jpg Continue reading The Holland Track

The beaches of Margaret River

Some say there isn´t much 4wdriving around Margaret River, too many people there, too many tourists. Others disagree:

“Margaret River saw us drive some fantastic little tracks that lead to some of the best beaches we’ve ever been to, along with stunning Karri forests and amazing wildlife”

I am grateful to www.4wdingaustralia.com for posting the above and fully agree with them. It really is stunning there! On a nice weekend in mid January me and the boys took my parents visiting from europe to an extended weekend to Margaret. As showing photos from our WA 4WD & camping adventures is nice but not the real thing, I wanted to show them a little taste of the experience. So, I was determined to find bush & beach in the area:

Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park

..is where you find all the beauty! Majestic Karri trees, tight tracks through the forest and picturesque tracks along and down to the beach(es). After exploring Lake Cave in the morning, we checked out the tracks in the park and quickly found ourselves immersed between these impressive trees.

P1160753.jpg

P1160757.jpg

Our aim was the beach north of North Point with the idea to go along the beach and exit again at North Point. Getting there was a nice decent with spectacular views and the beach looked stunning.

IMG_0006.jpgIMG_2428.jpg

Going along the beach turned out a bit of a tricky one. Not really possible, very deep sand. Different sand to the very fine sand I had seen so far. Quite coarse sand and rather wet. Consequently very heavy once you dig into it. It was good fun getting off the beach again, finally the Maxtrax came in handy 🙂

Frame-04-02-2017-09-29-19.jpg

And back on the tracks we went…

Frame-04-02-2017-09-33-38.jpg

…back a little inland and further south,to approach North point directly. And what a stunning place was that! A rocky outcrop, sheltering parts of the beach, totally quite water while waves were rolling in all around the place. What a magical place!!

IMG_2442.jpg

The sand was equally deep on that beach and another vehicle was already bogged big time. Out with the recovery gear again to help them and on the final ascend we gladly used our winch to pull the Hilux out 🙂

All in all a fabulous day trip with gorgeous WA scenery and fauna, stunning beaches and easy four-wheel driving. We´ll be back!