Floral carpets and sunset over Pinnacles
September is a shit time for camping in Western Australia: it’s cold (as soon as the sun sets) and spontaneous rain showers can ruin any attempt of contentedly hiking or sitting on the beach.
At the same time September is an AMAZING time for camping in Western Australia: there is wildflowers in abundance and it’s worth battling temperatures and unstable weather.
So, after many months of not travelling our curiosity of what’s out there overpowered us. We packed the van – a moment similar to riding a push bike after a time of abstinence (you’re not quite sure how it goes and then you’ve got a moment of “Ah, yes, that’s how we used to do it!”) – and off we drove towards Jurien Bay, three hours north of Perth.
Jurien Bay is a little holiday town with a few shops and it’s close to Lesueur National Park. The park is set up as a one way loop with parking on the half way mark and really, there is no point in simply driving through. From the drivers (or passengers) seat the landscape reveals a few hills and waist-high shrubs. Once you stop, leave the car and wander around you find the most amazing wildflowers.
The 2.5 kilometre round walk is worth it, because it brings you up and close to plants. Mosquito repellent is useful though. The only regret I had was that we didn’t go earlier – the orchids which blossom around August/September were already withered, shame! The abundance of flowers covering all shades of yellow, sprinkles of purple blue and red were breathtaking though.
Overnight we stayed at Sandy Cape, a small, secluded campground with windy loos only. Given the time of the year and the minimal facilities we expected to be on our own, but on no, not at all. In fact, at 4pm in the afternoon we pretty much grabbed the last available camp spot (tsss!).
Stockyard Gully Conservation Park, only a short drive north of Lesueur, which we explored the next day, is a definitely worth a visit. Firstly, the four-wheel drive only stretch to get to the limestone cave set Thorsten’s heart on fire. Driving through sand and hopping up and down in your seat is probably by far more comfortable than riding on a horse, yet somehow it does remind you how the drovers who used this track to move stock up and down the coast. The cave, rather a very long tunnel, can be explored with torches and the gully and creek bed at the end of the tunnel was used as a natural stockyard for cattle. If you’re scared of bees this isn’t such a good place for you. If you love bees than this is perfect – there are dozens of hives up on the limestone roofs at the entrance and exit to the cave.
But no, this wasn’t all. There was also the Pinnacles, limestone formations en mass creating their own surreal landscape with the sea in the distance. We stayed for sunset and well, it was AMAZING! Back home I’m flicking through images we took during our two days away and I’m wondering when I can go again? *sigh*