South West Trip – 2012 – Part 1

Ok so here is a trip report from a trip I did in December 2012, the pics do get a bit repetitive but I assure you that they are all of different beaches and bays, all up I covered a bit under 3500km over 9 days in the South West of W.A.

Basically the trip route was unplanned, I did have a few destinations I wanted to check out but the plan was just to make it to Esperance before the 23rd, I did miss out on some good spots but I also found some great spots, having never been down there everything was new to me, it was also my first trip travelling solo. Nothing hardcore just lots of beaches and bush connected by highways or sandy and rocky tracks.

Day 1 – Sues Bridge

It was the last day of work for the year, I knocked off at Midday and by the time the car was packed and I had given the Cruiser a once over it was 3:30pm, just early enough to beat the worst of the traffic! First spot was Sue’s Bridge which is located between Nannup and Margaret River roughly a 280km trip, I pulled in to the camp grounds around 7:30pm. Being a bit of a coastal kid it was nice to camp in the bush for a change.

Shitty tablet pic.

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     Day 2 –North Point, Cape Mentele, Augusta, Cape Leeuwin, Boranup & North Rock.

I was up at the crack of dawn(rare for me) sat down with the GPS and nutted out exactly where I was going today. Went and had a trek around the campsite and down to the river, took a few happy snap, cooked a feed and hit the road.

Camp

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From here I headed N/W to North Point, Cowamerup Bay near Gracetown. Had a quick look around the area, driving all the tracks I could find, hoping to find that hidden gem the locals always keep for themselves, but alas it was not to be.

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One of the beaches just south of Gracetown
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From North Point, I started heading South, this time ending up at Cape Mentele, again there was not a whole lot around here that interested me so I started heading for Caves Road.
Somewhere near Cape Mentele
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I call it, Yoda Rock.DSC00894 The lack of beach access around here was a bit of a let down DSC00909

It was not long till I was in the Karri Forrest and amongst some of the biggest timber I have ever seen in my life, my pictures really don’t do it justice, these trees are bloody huge!
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From here I took a turn off at Boranup Drive, which is just a gravel road through the forrest, the only 4wd track I found in the area had a bloody big tree across it – great.DSC00923DSC00924

Back on the road I started heading down to Augusta, had a look around the town before heading down to Cape Leeuwin .DSC00931DSC00933

Not finding a suitable (free) campsite in the area I started heading North up the coast, I am not sure how and I am still kicking myself for it but I missed the turn off for Hamelin Bay, not thinking much of it and figuring there would be beach access further North I headed to Boranup Drive again, my maps showed designated camp sites and a track to the ocean. Drove all the way down an extremely shitty road to find a set of copper logs blocking off vehicle beach access!!! Walked over the dune to a nice beach with car tracks on it. Hmmm time for more exploring.

Nice beach, but no access here, obviously you can get on there somewhere though!

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So I headed back to a turn off I passed earlier on the track, this was also on my map and showed it to head North through the scrub then back out to the coast. This track was even worse than the last and very overgrown. After a good ½ hour I came out to a big lookout over the ocean, was a pretty nice spot so I marked it on the GPS and kept heading towards the beach, found a track heading down but it was too eroded to drive, if I had a mate with me I would have had a crack but no way was I doing it by myself. Deflated I kept following the track, coming around a bend I came to the end of the track which was an awesome little rock pool behind three massive rocks (I’m fairly certain this place is called North Rock), looked like a perfect spot for camping but there was already a couple there teaching their dog how to surf, being such a small area I decided to leave them to it, they actually looked quite surprised to see me there so I didn’t even get a chance for any pics. Pissed off at the lack of beach access I headed back to the lookout I had passed earlier and set up camp.

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Views from camp

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Camp
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Funnily enough the couple from the rock pool actually called past my camp on the way out to thank me for respecting their privacy, they ended up staying for few drinks, giving me tips for beach access and fishing in the area. However by this stage I had a few to many drinks to be driving around so I stayed put for the night, but marked the spot they gave me on my GPS turns out it was a fairly well known track anyway. Definitely will be heading back to this area and Hamelin Bay.

Day 3-D’Entrecastreaux N.P.

Early start again today, must have been on the road by 5:30! Today’s mission was to head into D’Entrecastreux National Park and finally get some bloody beach access! Using an alternate track out I was on the highway in no time, cooked a feed while airing up and started heading South again, getting sick of the highways I took a turn off and headed up the “Coastal Route” into the NP, there was not a whole lot of coastline on offer just some sandy tracks through the bush – better than the highway though.

Alternate track out, still overgrown but much nicer to drive on
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Heading in to D’eNTRECASTREAUX
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Made It!
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After I was in the park I headed to Black Point – nothing special there and still no beach access but just up the road I found Jasper Beach, not an exceptional beach by any means but it was a nice place to cook a feed and wet a line. The strong Westerly winds weren’t helping with the fishing though.(Funnily enough I went back to Black Point and Jasper Beach in 2013, and have been back numerous times since, don’t know why I wasn’t a fan the first time)

Jasper Beach
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From here I headed onto Lake Jasper, I know this is a nice spot, but I did not rate it, I think I was just in the wrong part of it though.

Lake Jasper
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I also had to do quite a bit of back tracking to get there too due to tracks on my GPS being non existant. Had a quick look past the designated camp sites and kept heading on my way. After this I took just about every track I could find in the area and they all had trees across them, I got around all the small ones but all tracks in the area where inpassable, having wasted a good 3hrs back tracking I’d had enough and jumped on the highway in search of Yeagerup Sand dunes and Beach.
Took a turn off the highway and took a few winding sand tracks passed the Leaning Marri camp ground and onto the entry to the dunes. I had already aired down so I just cruised up the first dune, unlike the bloke in the 100 had already made an attempt and was still there when I left. I got out the car, and advised him he should probably air down if he plans on getting any further, he scoffed, I left and didn’t see him again.

Yeagarup Dunes
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So into the dunes an instantly I like the joint, not so much the markers you have to stay between, but it is a National Park after all. After a brief play in the dunes it was time to hit the beach, Yeagerup Beach is much nicer than Jasper Beach. I drove up and down the beach just checking the area out, made it to a river inlet at the beach but was too pussy to cross it on my own, it was flowing pretty fast and my feet where sinking the closer I got to the edge. There was only one other car on the whole beach, and they where playing golf :/ Bloody rover drivers!
So I started heading back down the beach to where I came from, found a nice fishing spot and wet a line, bloody south westerly’s were howling again, so I was essentially casting in to my own face, but it was a nice break from driving.

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Fishless again and hanging my head in shame I packed up and headed for a nice little clearing behind the dunes and set up camp for the night.

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Worklights doing their thing
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to be continued….

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