The third day was to be the longest of our travel days on the Busselton to Broome leg of our journey up to the Northern Territory. Day two had seemed to drag. We were tired at the days end, and Mr Tilly was clearly, ‘over it’, by the time we had arrived at Lake Nallan.
To try and make it easier for our third day, we had everything ready the night before ready to set off at daybreak. We were awake at 5.30am (I always am), so a leisurely cuppa before securing the van ready for our 6.45am start.
The wild flowers start in the north earlier, so they had virtually all finished north of Meekatharra. Without wild flowers to see, if you’re not a fan of wide open spaces full of red dirt and scrub you would find this next section of our trip a tad boring. I find a landscape with nothing much except wide open spaces and red dirt quite gorgeous, so I wasn’t bored.
We stopped around 2 3/4 hours into our trip at Gasgoyne River South for our breakfast. We always enjoy this free camp spot, whether it be for a meal stop or an overnight break. Today there was just a little trickle in the river, but there are always lovely gum trees lining the banks of the river.
For an overnight stop the Gasgoyne River South Branch has the usual facilities of a well serviced overnight stop in WA. These include a dump point, long drop toilets, rubbish bins, and shaded picnic tables. In WA you’re unlikely to find water at any of the free road side places. The other thing in abundance (sadly) were signs of ungrateful campers. Obviously the long drop toilets (quite clean) had been overlooked by too many in favour of squatting in the bush. Ok – I don’t have a problem with that for a pee, but please ladies don’t leave your loo paper behind to decorate the bush as it blows from place to place!
Our next stop was for fuel just before we reached Newman. We took advantage of a toilet stop while there, and enjoyed an ice cream in the shade before continuing on to Mt Robinson.
Mt Robinson is a place similarly equipped to Gasgoyne River South, long drop toilets, bins, shaded picnic tables, and a dump point. A winding track takes you far off the highway, so you’re far away from the noise of the highway.
Whilst it doesn’t have the lush green meadows, the lake and the wild flowers than we enjoyed last night, it does offer a peaceful outback setting. Opposite where we’ve set up is Mount Robinson, and behind that is Karijini National Park.
For many people Karijini is up there amongst their favourite places in Australia, and not without good reason. It’s a place full of stunning gorges, water holes, and bush walks, enough to keep the most avid explorer happy.
Paul took Mr Tilly for a walk up the hill behind us. I’ve been up there before but decided my dodgy knee wouldn’t appreciate the steep gravel decline this time.
We’re far enough north now that the jumpers are off through the day. However, the nights are still very cold, so our woolly top blanket will remain on for one more night, and the jumpers won’t be packed away completely until after we’ve left the early morning chill behind on day four.