Three nights, four days, Busselton to Broome road trip

Before I commence telling you about this years road trip, let me first explain that the WA roads are fantastic for a long days travel. For this trip we chose to travel up the Great Northern Highway, a road used extensively by the Pilbara mine traffic. Big, BIG, mining vehicles use this road often, so it’s maintained in absolutely perfect condition, and with long, straight sections overtaking is never difficult. Comparing roads throughout Australia, I have to say WA has the best by a country mile, and travelling 1000 kms in a day is not out of the question. I thought I’d just point that out before anyone starts to panic at the thought of our lengthy days of travel. And now onto our road trip – Busselton to Broome for this year.

Our plans for the year, as per usual, didn’t go to plan. The caravan trip we had in mind had been to head up to Katherine via Broome to see our son, Kelvin, and then come home via the Red Centre and South Australia. A few things seemed to get in the way of the original plan, not least of which, was I think, that we were still settling down after the topsy turvy past couple of years.

The rain, winds and cold of a Busselton winter finally saw us glad to be on the road, albeit with an alternative, and much shorter trip than the original plan.

Paul had carefully selected the route and the van was packed and ready to go by 1st August. Four decent road side stops, all a comfortable 5 – 6 hours apart, would have seen us arriving into Broome early on the fifth day. Another plan that went awry……

DAY ONE (742kms)

A couple of hours out from home and the predicted wet weather met us head on. No problem – the caravan was towing well, and we were snug and warm inside the car. Our travel music (mainly 60’s and 70’s songs that has us singing along) was playing. We had our flask of coffee for our morning tea and lunch time stops, and we had an easy to prepare lunch waiting for us in the caravan. We found pleasant places to stop for both, but with it being absolutely freezing and pouring down outside, Mr Tilly didn’t get the walking break a one year old puppy needs on a lengthy car trip!

We realised the pelting rain was going to see us confined inside the caravan at our planned, Mt Gibson, overnight stop from around 2.30 PM. A quick plan revise saw us instead heading 155 kms further up the road, to Kirkalocka for a later stop.

Kirkalocka, all the basics of a WA roadside stop over

With an hour or two before dark we took Mr Tilly for a bit of walk around on his lead. It was freezing – in fact so cold that Paul thought it was going to snow. Then a bit of dinner, a game of cards, and leaving the van hitched up (as you do when in roadside overnighter), we headed to bed early for a dawn departure the next day.

DAY TWO (782 kms)

Having made up a considerable part of day two’s trip on the first day meant that by lunch time we had arrived at what should have been our night time stop,the south branch of the Gascoyne River. A lovely place, but to early to stop for the night.

Gascoyne River, Southern Branch

Again we revised, and headed further up the road to Mount Robinson. Being close by Karijini National park, Mount Robinson is particularly gorgeous as far as road side places go. It’s spacious with plenty of room to put between vans, and is a considerable distance in from the road, so there’s little in the way of road traffic noise. It has good long drop toilets, and a dump point for our caravan toilet – so all the basics were well met. Oh, and did I mention – it’s a gorgeous  spot….. We’ll stop there again that’s for sure.

Scenic backdrop at Mr Robinson

DAY THREE (726 kms)

Just passed dawn on the third day we set off again. It was a cool 2 degrees outside – freezing! We passed our third night’s planned destination of Two Camel Creek early in the day and with our favourite stopping place of De Grey River being currently closed due to an outbreak of some sort of weed infestation, there seemed to be a shortage of suitable places to stop on the Port Headland – Broome section. We would have preferred a shorter day but with a shortage of suitable places we decided one more long driving day was needed. We arrived at Stanley, our planned fourth night stop, around 4pm on the third night.

Plenty of space at Stanley rest area

Although Paul and I are used to long driving days, in fact we quite like them, it was clear Mr Tilly was just a bit, ‘over it’. By mid day on the third day he had turned his back on us, and when we attempted to talk to him he’d respond with the most fleeting of glances before turning away again at a speed that was likely to cause whiplash. It was clear he definitely had the ‘huff’.

DAY Four (218kms)

The last day was a very short and relaxing 218 kms and saw us into the Broome, dog friendly pistol club.

We set up camp and took Mr Tilly to Cable Beach for a much needed run – more on that later.

Retrieving his ball on Cable Beach – the lengthy travels are forgiven

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21 thoughts on “Three nights, four days, Busselton to Broome road trip

  1. Wow I’m glad the roads are so good in WA because you were doing a few miles each day weren’t you? Nice to have your holiday home and all your things right there when you stop though, guess thats the beauty of caravanning. Hope Mr Tilly cheered up.

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  2. It’s a favourite stopping place along the top coast, and without it, there’s not much else until close to Broome. We did consider Cape Keraudren, but we would have wanted longer there than just one night.

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  3. It is good to know that Australia has some decent roads in some places!! But we have so much land to cover, that is a problem for government, I guess. I got write excelled to see all the different spots you visited and was hoping to see the Degrey river. A spot I had visited in 1984. I didn’t think it would snow in WA as altitude is to low and it is to dry! Ilook forward to reading more.

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  4. The only place we sometimes get snow is on Bluff Knoll in the Stirling Ranges, but it felt cold enough for snow that night. It’s a shame the Degrey river is closed, it’s location is a perfect distance from the next good places in that stretch, and it is a lovely spot. The WA roads aren’t to everyone’s taste. Despite being in great condition some people find them boring. We were quite shocked at condition of some of the roads in the other states when we took our trips around.

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  5. We were a bit surprised Amanda. we’ve never had to be to overly careful about how we pack the caravan in WA, when we get to where we’re going everything is as it was when we left. In Qld, particularly the inland areas we learned to place tea towels between cups, and to make sure there was no movement possible between jars in the pantry. A few lessons learnt, but worth it for the wonderful memories.

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  6. Great to hear that you are contemplating more cross continent trips! What an inspiration you both are. It is difficult to convince my other half even to go interstate!!!!

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  7. That’s a shame. It’s hard when one wants to explore, and their partner doesn’t. I have a friend who’s husband has no wish to travel so she goes with girlfriends. She’d rather be sharing the experiences with her partner, but at least she’s getting to go away sometimes.

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