Bas & Denise OMNI Travelling No. 1

Nullabor Plain

The Nullabor – “Treeless Plain”

Lucky Bay

Lucky Bay – Cape Le Grand NP – Esperance

Hellfire Bay

Hellfire Bay – Cape Le Grand NP – Esperance

Frenchman's Peak

Frenchman”s Peak conquered.

Frenchmans Peak

Frenchman”s Peak – Cape Le Grand NP – Esperance

Free Camp on the Nullabor

Freecamp on Nullabor Plain

We left Melbourne on March 11 for a 3 month journey west. It took 3 days of roadside camping to make it to Streaky Bay on the NW part of the Eyre Peninsular. It was first discovered in 1627 by Dutchman Pieter Nuyts. Nearly two centuries later, in 1802, captain Mathew Flinders in his vessel Investigator rediscovered and named Streaky Bay because of streaks in the water caused by the reflection of light and seaweed. We stayed at a bayside CP and enjoyed 4 days of R & R, with day trips around the surrounding attractions. Then another 3 days on the Eyre Hwy freecamping to get to Norseman in WA. Common talk is “crossing the Nullabor”, but the reality is that the “Nullabor Plain” is only 182km long and 25km wide, and is “the Plain without trees”. And it is!!!! But the drive across the Eyre Hwy is really interesting, not boring at all. We had a magnificent tailwind on day 3 and made it to Esperance a day early! We are here for a week, and plan to make the most of it. As with Streaky Bay, Esperance’s European history began in 1627 with Dutchman Pieter Nuyts passing through the 105 small island archipelago without sighting the mainland, so in 1792 the French vessels L’Esperance and Recherche sheltered from a storm in the archipelago just off point Discovery – hence Esperance, Recherche Archipelago, Point Discovery, and Le Grand NP after the first mate on Recherche……But in 1802 it was Matthew Flinders who sailed through and carefully mapped the area. Esperance is a very pretty town of around 15,000 residents. Although best known for its stunning beaches and national parks, it is also grazing / cropping area. But it also has a Port with around 200 ship movements a year. The main exports are iron ore from a mine 500km north (just north of Kalgoorlie), nickel from a mine 150km north, and their entire wheat crop each year. The main imports through the 3 berth port are Diesel to fuel the trains bringing iron ore to the terminal – 7000litres one way journey!!!!! And sulphur used in the nickel extraction process, plus Ammoniun Nitrate fertiliser for cereal crops. We did a fascinating guided tour of the port. On our first touring day, we drove 120km to Cape Arid NP, to see a NP true to name, but offering secluded beaches of calm turquoise water and pure white sand amongst an arid backdrop of granite outcrops and tolerant vegetation. Then another full day to Cape Le Grand NP, one of the highlights of Esperance district, and it was. It was a warm, clear blue sky day, but windy as it always is here. I climbed “Frenchman’s Peak” for sensational views over the NP, then had a swim and lunch at Lucky Bay, the beach with the whitest sand in the world. The sand was truly white, but so fine-grained that the beach was really firm underfoot. Thistle Cove, Hellfire Bay, Rossiters Bay, Le Grand Beach were all white sand, turquoise water, and amazing features of this unique part of Australia, but each with it’s own character. Today we toured the beaches and lookouts close to Esperance, and they were at their best on a warm, sunny day with lighter winds. We did some housekeeping before setting off after lunch for a long beach stroll and a swim in crystal clear waters of Esperance Bay, on the other side of the road from the caravan park. Looking forward to some “rehydration” shortly as “happy hour” approaches, then a nice bbq for tea. We are both fit, well and happy doing what we love.

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3 thoughts on “Bas & Denise OMNI Travelling No. 1

  1. Sounds like you have got off to a great start to your travels Barry & Denise – keep the photos and travelogue coming.
    .. took editors privilage to re-categorise this post to ‘Travellers Log’.

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  2. Barry
    Great photos, reminds me of when we visited Esperance and in fact that whole stretch of coast is great, beautiful aqua colour water. Hope the van is going well, keep on sending photos, it’s motivation for me to drive across the Nullabor.

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  3. Gee Barry only seems like a couple of days since we saw you, to realize you have covered this distance without any trouble is amazing. How come we never see any photos of your companion enjoying the trip? great to see and hear all about your adventures, we appreciate your sharing enjoy!

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