Point Quobba is 75 Kms north of Carnarvon on the west coast of WA. It is well known for the impressive blow holes which seem to be active all the time as the wind and waves are constantly battering the coast. No longer is the Ningaloo Reef in the way to temper the effect of the waves. This is the area where the wreck of the HMAS Sydney was found. The ship was sunk by a German raider in 1941 with the total loss of its complete crew of 645.
The showers and loos at Bullara Station are something to behold. You can shower, shave and …, all in the open air under the sun or stars !
Just about here, 7,188 Kms from home.
Exmouth is a town on the tip of the North West Cape in Western Australia. The town was established in 1967 to support the nearby United States Naval Communication Station Harold E. Holt. Beginning in the late 1970’s, the town began hosting U.S. Air Force personnel assigned to Learmonth Solar Observatory, a defence science facility jointly operated with Australia’s Ionospheric Prediction Service. Nowadays the town relies more on tourism than the station for its existence. On 22 March 1999, Tropical Cyclone Vance reached category 5 status as it made landfall near Exmouth. This resulted in the highest ever wind gust reported on the Australian mainland of 267 km/h at Learmonth, only 35 km to the south.
Coral Bay is positioned towards the southern end of Ningaloo Reef. It is famous for its pristine beaches, sparkling blue waters and fish feeding at the beach. The main industries are tourism and fishing. The electricity for the town is provided by a wind-diesel hybrid system. Coral Bay was formally settled in 1968 and was named after a hotel that had been established in the area.
Bullara Station is a working cattle property which sprawls across ¼ million acres is known as Punurrba by the local Yingarrda people, or ‘Seabreeze’, but the name Bullara derives from an early state-owned boat that sailed up the coast in the 1900s. Over three generations the Shallcross family have farmed Merino sheep for wool production but a wild dog problem forced them to move into cattle.
Currently the family breed Droughtmaster cattle with a focus on best practice cattle husbandry, which is crucial for providing top quality and flavoursome beef. Combined with the nature-based outback accommodation the Agritourism story has flourished. The focus is on sustainability, recycling and a quirky ‘live in our shoes’ environment.
‘Damper John’ is a visitor who stays here for 4 or 5 months of the year and almost every evening cooks fantastic damper for all the campers around the communal campfire.
After some more challenges with a water leak in the caravan we head out to Cleaverville, an ideal spot as it is central to the area and lets us visit the local towns of Roebourne, Wickham, Cossack and Point Sampson.
The Millstream Chichester National Park has fantastic views across the Hammersley Ranges, with rolling hills, spectacular escarpments and tree lined water courses, including Python Pool and the large Fortescue River. The park is made up of the old Millstream station which is on the Millstream Creek, just before it joins Fortescue River one of the few permanent watercourses in the area and the Chichester Range. The area is homeland of the Yinjibarndi people, who work as Rangers and contractors in the Park.
The ‘Staircase to the Moon’ is a natural phenomenon caused by the rising of a full moon reflecting off the exposed mudflats in Roebuck Bay at extremely low tide, to create a beautiful optical illusion of a stairway reaching to the moon. This spectacular sight occurs from March through to November.
Located at the tip of the Burrup Peninsula, close to Karratha and Dampier, is the North West Shelf Venture (NWSV) – Australia’s first Liquid Natural Gas project. In 2014, the project celebrates 30 years of domestic gas production and 25 years of LNG cargoes to Japanese customers. The project is based on vast undersea natural gas and crude oil resources. It is currently Australia’s largest operating oil and gas development.
Collectively, six venture participants have invested in onshore and offshore oil and gas facilities totalling more than $29.5 billion. If it was built today, it would cost more than $50 billion. The project is Western Australia’s largest producer of domestic gas – providing about 65 percent of the State’s total production. It also accounts for more than 40 percent of Australia’s oil and gas production and is a major producer of liquefied natural gas, natural gas, liquid petroleum gas (LPG), condensate and crude oil. The North West Shelf is currently the 6th largest LNG producer in the world.