From the West Coast to the East – Part 1

The story of our epic journey of 4,500 kilometres from Perth to Brisbane over 2 weeks in August 2019. Episode 1 as it’s too long to do in one blog. I’m splitting this into several blogs which I’ll release daily over a few days. Hope it works out ok. Let me know what you think as we go.

Route from Perth to Brisbane

The Plan

We were on a mission. We had a deadline to get back to Brisbane. The drive was scheduled to take 2 weeks. We planned it well. Stopping for 2 nights in some places but mostly just drive stop, drive stop. As always we were working as we journeyed. The places we were to stop for 2 nights were chosen to align with critical work tasks, good working desks, good internet connection. Our weekday driving days were either static or going to be no more than 4 hours drives, some were 3 hours. Our workday plan is this. We are usually up at 6am, we could work till 10am, checkout time, drive for 2 hours then stop for a couple of hours and work over lunch. After lunch drive another couple of hours and check in to our new resting place, then work till 6 or 7. And repeat. Our plan was good.

It fell apart before we even left Perth.

Day 1 Fremantle

Before we left Western Australia we spent our last day and night with Jenni’s sister, Amanda. She took us on a drive to Rockingham. It was a moody, stormy day when we visited but fitting. It was the Western edge of the continent. Tomorrow we’d be leaving to drive to the Eastern edge.

Final look over the Indian Ocean
Rockingham and the Stormy Skies
Amanda is such a loving sister. Red Beanie envy I think.
Very happy boy, I found a gun emplacement AND a trig point.

Rockingham has a stunning coastline. I never visited when I was here, I will definitely be back here when we return.

Final farewell pic from the West Coast

Days 2 and 3 – Wave Rock

The next morning we packed the car and bade farewell to Amanda. We did the hugging and goodbye things people do then we got into the car and closed the doors. Amanda stood to wave us off. I pressed the engine starter button. The engine clicked and all lights went off. The battery was dead. After all the hugs and goodbyes and waves and everything we got out of the car 30 seconds later. It was about this time I remembered I “may” have left the boot open all night when I took our bags out. And the lights “may” have been on all night.

I called the RAC. They said they’d be here in an hour. It was Sunday after all in WA. In Dodges Ferry in the backwaters of Tasmania they took 10 minutes to find us when I did something similar. The ever resourceful Amanda dug around her garage found a super duper top of the range battery charger. I plugged attached it to the battery, the display said “Charging”. Jenni and Amanda made coffee. About 10 mins later the display said “Full”. I tried and the car started. I cancelled the RAC. We repeated the hugs and goodbyes again, this time with the car still running, and drove off on our big adventure.

On the way out of town I stopped at an auto parts stores and bought us a battery emergency booster gadget. We had to use the booster to start the car in the car park of the auto parts store to get out of the auto parts store car park. This was not boding well for our 4,500 kilometre journey. We had only gone 5 kms.

We stopped for lunch halfway to Wave Rock. The battery was dead, again. I used the new booster gadget again to start the car. We drove on to Wave Rock and checked into our cabin. We agreed to get the battery replaced at our next stop at a bigger town at Esperance. Until then we focused on our current location.

Wave Rock

Our cabin was 300 metres from Wave Rock. We arrived too late to explore properly that night so set the alarm for early the next day.

Cabin at Wave Rock. Car needs a good wash I see.

At 6:30am, before dawn, the we went for a bit of an explore. I had read about Wave Rock when I lived in Perth and always wanted to visit but never got the chance. It was one of the “Must Do” locations we set ourselves on this trip.

Surfing the Wave at Dawn
Sitting on the Wave
Wave at Dawn

We were really lucky. Almost all the pictures I have seen of this place on the internet have been full of people. This morning we had the place to ourselves. It was really quite a spectacular sight

We had to do at least one selfie at the Rock.

Wave Rock is just one small part of Hyden Rock. We climbed up the rock to see the sun rise.

The sun rises as we climbed the rock
Sunrise over Wave Rock from half way up. You can see the wave formation quite well from this angle.

I originally thought the small wall was for safety but I was wrong, Hyden Rock acts like a large rain water catchment. The wall was built in 1928 by the original settlers of the district to funnel rain water into a dam.

On the top of Hyden Rock. The rain water catchment wall.
Water catchment system
Rain water dam, the wall on the bottom left directs water into the dam
Resilient plants grow in the little nooks and crannys on the rocks surface. Basically anywhere water pools.
Watching the sun rise over the this beautiful land.

After this, we went back to the cabin and worked for the day. We were leaving the next morning.

The next day the sky was grey and it was raining a bit. The rain put a nice sheen on the rocks. Before we left we went to find the Hippo’s Yawn which is another, slightly less well known, rock formation a short walk away.

It’s this big
Wonder why it is called Hippo’s Yawn

We had a lovely time in Wave Rock. It was everything we had hoped for and more, Jenni was very excited anyway.

Next stop Esperance where hopefully we’ll get a new battery and we’ll be on our way across the Nullarbor. Part 2 tomorrow.

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