After 3 years we have done what we set out to do in Western Australia and are heading back to the boat very slowly.
After we finished work we packed up our flat, shipped stuff to meet us at the boat, spend Christmas with our WA grandies and broke some ribs.
We thought that travelling to Melbourne to see our other grandchildren there, and family in Tasmania, was not adventure enough so we decided to take the time to drive across Australia and see a bit of it...a big bit.
We left Perth just after Christmas and drove down to the southern coast of our great and enormous continent and followed the coast around to Adelaide.
On the way we stopped at several little towns and road houses for the night, sometimes camping in a small tent and sometimes in a basic hotel room.
We found cold weather ½ hour after baking in 40°heat. In Albany the temperature was 20° cooler than further inland and for a week it was cool and very windy. We explored the coastline along the southern coast of WA and spent New Year 2106 at Hopetoun...hoping for a good year, and by 2:30 am hoping the noise of the music in the pub would stop so we could get some sleep, hoping that no snakes joined us in our tent and hoping that it would not rain.
We drove over 60 km on gravel roads from there to join the highway again and continue on our way to Esperance, where there was no room in the camping ground so we were sent to the Showground where we camped for the night on flat, comfortable grass for the first time, but it wasn’t very glamorous. We were going to stay longer but, because the weather was unfriendly we continued on our way inland and onto the Nullabor plain: the vast, virtually treeless plain spanning many hundreds of kilometres from the Great Australian Bight to the Great Victoria Desert and spans 2 states.. It is the largest Karst feature in the world, a huge limestone plate that supports little in the way of trees but lots of variety in vegetation and animal life; a huge limestone plain that ends dramatically in cliffs at the edge of Australia.
The highlight was seeing many magnificent wedgetailed eagles soaring in the sky or on standing on the side of the road and the stunning cliffs where Australia ends in the Southern Ocean. We crossed into South Australia and had to declare our fresh fruit at the quarantine station at Ceduna and continued on down the coast of the Eyre Peninsular to Port Lincoln. All this time the weather has been great for driving, cool and cloudy but not great for camping because it was so windy too. We could not sleep in our little tent and could not cook on our gas stove.
From there, after another miserable night in our tent we drove 650 km, via the industrial towns of Whyalla, Port Augusta and Port Pirie to our friends place in Adelaide where we could sleep out of the wind and catch up with them and explore the city and surrounds with them for a few days.
It took 10 days and we have so far travelled 4321 km
from there we went to Melbourne and spent a week with our grandchildren then another couple of weekswith boaty friends, one at Hastings and one at Paynesville on the Gippsland lakes before catching the ferry to Tasmania tto spend a month with our other families and friends.