Smithsdownunder
Our journeys around Australia

Camping at Quongdong

 

Quondong Point was our next camp after leaving Derby. This was a free camping area on the beach about 45km north of Broome. There were no facilities but the beach was good for swimming and fishing (but the fish didn't know that!!).

The bowling green at Barn HillOn the track leading to the beach protesters had set up a camp to make people aware of proposals by Woodside Petroleum to build a Gas Refinery at James Price Point just along from where we were camped. The gas hub would be the largest in Australia and the second largest in the world and would cover and area of 3,000 hectares. There are also proposals to build a concrete breakwater extending a few kilometres out to sea into an area used by humpback whales. It seemed a great shame to destroy such a beautiful area when there were other industrialised areas that the gas could be piped to. Read more information about the project here:

Our next camp site was at Barn Hill on the coast at the edge of the Great Sandy Desert. At the end of the red sandy track leading into the station you see a bowling green!

Rocks on the beach at Barn Hill

 

 

It was busy as there was a week-long tournament in progress. One of the rules was "Bare feet only on the green".

There is a nice beach here that is good for fishing and swimming and there are some great rock formations.

Rocks on the beach at Barn Hill

 

 

I walked for a few kilometres along the beach and over the headland to the next one and the rocks just got more interesting.

Rocks on the beach at Barn Hill

Brahman bulls in the camp site

 

 

We did have a visit from a couple of locals - three Brahman bulls wandered past the tent one afternoon. They seemed quite friendly though and were rounded up an hour or so later.

Eighty Mile Beach

 

After a few days at Barn Hill we moved on to Eighty Mile Beach about 250km away at the southerly end of the Great Sandy Desert. They probably sell the best valued ice creams in Western Australia! We drove about 10km along the beach and found some nice shells.

Lace Monitor at Eighty Mile Beach

 

 

 

The beach is popular for fishing but not many people went swimming. The water was very shallow and there were quite a few sharks and sea snakes about.

This metre long Lace Monitor wandered past the tents one evening. We made sure we didn't leave any food in the tents from then on!

Cossack Court House

 

After Eighty Mile Beach we had planned to stop at Point Samson but when we arrived both camp sites were full and we were lucky to get a pitch in the nearby town of Roebourne.

Roebourne and the neighbouring town of Cossack are quite old with some interesting old buildings and history. Cossack was the first port in this part of the country but the river it was built on silted up and the town was eventually abandoned. This is the old courthouse which was built just before the town was abandoned.

We had been told that the fish and chips at Point Sampson were the best in the west and not to be missed but it was being refurbished and was shut! Someone told us that we could get a good meal in the miners mess at Wickham about 10km away. There are a number of mines and ship loading facilities in the area and the town of Wickham was where many of the workers lived. We turned up at the mess and handed over $16 a head and were told to help ourselves. Soup, a choice of eight main courses, salads and several sweets were all available and you could eat as much as you wanted. The quality of the food was excellent. We went back the next night as well!

We spent a day on the beach at Cleaverville and spotted these Sturt Desert Peas growing at the side of the road. This is the State flower for Western Australia.

Sturt Desert Pea

We left Roebourne and headed for Exmouth with a roadside stop beside the river at Barradale. The roadside stop was OK but in the morning we had to pack up the tents in the middle of a dust storm. We weren't a pretty sight by the time we arrived in Exmouth!