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:
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!).
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.
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.
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 🙂
And back on the tracks we went…
…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!!
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!
Top 5 things we hope to do better next time:
1. Plan ahead
- Outside of the cities you actually need cash, so bring a fair bit of cash.
- The combination of a fully packed 4WD, a big engine, a rather small tank (85l) and rather large distances between service station is not to underestimate. The machine stopped after only 450 km, that´s not much. So, a long range tank or some jerry cans are a must.
- You are going out into the wild, you´ll take it as it comes, right? We almost learned the hard way that certain areas (Steep Point) actually need a permit that people apply for 10 months ahead!! Same goes for camp spots there. So, do your research on the locations that need a booking and book ahead, well ahead.
- The further you go from the Cities, the sparser the supermarkets and the thinner the selection there. The longer and the more detailed you plan your meals, the better you can shop for ingredients, and pack the right amount in parts before leaving. Think about the quantities and how annoying it may be to drag around 1 litre olive oil instead of a small container that is sufficient for the trip.
2. Where to put the rubbish?
3. Laundry management
5. Fly-net (for your head)
Alright, once we´re at it, here are the top 8 things we shall/want/would like to do to the machine before we head bush next time:
8 Most desired Land Cruiser updates
- Wheel alignment – She´s pulling to much to the left, the left swivel hub needs eccentric bearings to correct the camber (That´s what the no bullshit guys say)
- Rear bumper / dual wheel carrier – In an emergency reverse, the original plastic (!?) bumper got bent. Time to swap for the real thing, with one wheel and one jerry can holder.
- Long range tank – 85 liters is not enough and x jerry cans on the roof rack are wrong
- Drawers – boxes are nice, drawers would be very nice
- Suspension – will need an upgrade after installing the last three items, also one shock is leaking a bit.
- Roof rack storage bags – We have real estate up there that would work fine for snorkelling gear / toys and maybe even sleeping bags
- 3 inch exhaust – For better fuel efficiency, and sound 😉
- Any other suggestions?
What a special Sunday! We found a little, you may say hidden, gem just a short hour North of Perth and we could enjoy it with two Norwegian visitors. It´s a special week this week, our little OZ office hosts 3 guests from Oslo HQ and we took that opportunity to assemble all our 4WDs on Sunday and take Mr. T.L. and Mr. N.L. on a little outing.
Three vehicles headed up to Guilderton after recommendations that it was supposed to be almost as nice as Lancelin just minus the crowds. Worth a try, isn´t it? And beautiful it was! It was a very windy day, pretty high tide and the beach didn´t look very inviting. So, after airing down, we headed on the track through the dunes, which turned out a little beauty. Not particularly challenging, not to soft sand, not to narrow and still fun. Here is the track in detail.
When we found a (rather steep) descend to the beach we took the chance and found a nicely wind sheltered spot, perfect for a picnic. You quickly loose track of time but we must have spent quite a number of hours there. Chilling out with some cold ones and dips and vegs and breads and so on. Mr. B-M had brought all kinds of gear (sandboard, kite, etc.) time flew and both adults and kids had a really, really good time.
PS: That steep descent you may ask? Yes we made it back up, piece of cake..
Takk for turen! (as you would say in Viking tongue)