Austin Healey Owners Club of Qld. Inc.

On to Kalbarri and Denham

April 11th to Kalbarri 603 km

The bell rang just after five. A shower and packing for breakfast at 6am. We left at 6.55. We wanted to leave Perth before the morning traffic. Now we drive north. We are seven cars (4 Healeys and 3 tin tops). A total of 12 people. A 33 day 9000 km trip 17 hotels 18 days of driving. Average 500 km per day. All accommodation is booked so now it is important to arrive and in time to the hotels. Above all, find the hotel if we don't drive together.

Our 12 persons are Neil Tregea in a Race 3000, David Railton in a 100, Noel and Helen Standfast in a 100 and Diana O'Hara and David Leybourne in a 3000 MkIII. Glenda and Wayne Rabnott in a Mazda 6, Jan and Peter Cowen in a Holden Commodore and Cecilia and Raoul in a Hyundai Accent. In this context a small car but has proven to be efficient. The speed limit has been 110 km/h so far and it is a nice pace for the Hyundai. The pace is set by the 100s - 100 to 105 km/h, not much faster, in convoy.

After about two hours, the exhaust pipe broke on Noel and Helen's car. Those two have struggled hard in order to have their car in order for the drive to Brisbane, in Perth, and now they have just began the trip back and having problem again. Peter and Jan stayed with them as they have spare parts in their car. The rest of us stopped to see The Pinnacles 190 km north of Perth. Cecilia and Raoul took the opportunity to buy fly nets to put on their heads. The nets came to use a day later.

The Pinnacles are sandstone that have been below ground level in rounds. They are remnants of mountains that have weathered cracks between the stones that remain. Over the years, sand has first been collected around and later above them, and then eroded away. Now they stand as statues in the sand and are easy to roll over as they are like inverted icebergs with most of the mass above the sand. The sand was so firm that it could be driven. There is a 4 km long track around the area to see them up close and in some places parking lots to get off and walk among them. Strange experience to walk among these stones with the same colour as the sand all around. The sand is really yellow here and quite rough.

The Healeys among the Pinnacles. View over the Pinnacles.
The Healeys among the Pinnacles.
View over the Pinnacles.

We drive northwards and take the closest road to the coast road called Ocean Road. The landscape is very sandy. The hills in the background are sand, not mountains. In one place we stopped and looked at the water which was completely turquoise green! We stopped for a coffee in Cervantes. Then we continued to Geraldton where Noel and Helen were in a workshop with their car. We all met up there. Then we left to drive the last bit to Kalbarri. After checking in, we went down to the beach to look at the sunset. It was really nice there! Back to the hotel we had dinner at the hotel. Quite expensive but good. We did not order any wine with the food. Cecilia have been given tablets by Diana O'Hara to help her foot. Likewise ice to cool the foot. Let's see if it helps.

April 12th to Denham

After breakfast we shared a grilled lobster. Helen and Noel had got it as bonus when paying for the exhaust repair. Nice bonus! We started by going down to the beach and looking again in the morning light. Then on to Denham. First stop in a place called Billabong after 2 hours. a billabong is also a name for a small cut-off section of a river, or a snippet of a meandering stream. Billabong was collection of houses with a petrol station as the main attraction. As always, good food and good coffee served.

Stop for coffee at Billabong. On the road to Denham- A Flat and red landscape.
Stop for coffee at Billabong.
On the road to Denham- A Flat and red landscape.

An hour later we saw the sea again. A deep bay of the Indian Ocean. We stop and went to Hamelin Pool. It is partly an old telegraph station where you can look at old pictures from when the station was built and the old buildings that remains. From the shore you had a fantastic view of the beach. The most troublesome thing was the flies and the heat. We have fortunately invested in fly nets covered our hats. We went down to look at the stromatolites. These are microscopic organisms that grow on sediment and become large and sponge-like solid hard. It takes a few thousand years to grow. Actually it's a form of bacteria.

The telegraph station at Hamelin. The Stromatolites at the Hamelin Beach.
The telegraph station at Hamelin.
The Stromatolites at the Hamelin Beach.

Boats moored by the beach in Denham.
Boats moored by the beach in Denham.

At the telegraph station, they told us it was 52 degrees hot on Christmas day there! The campsites for caravans and trailers are popular places for travellers. Some backpackers came in with a kangaroo baby joey whose mother had been hit by a car. It was placed in a pillowcase in a box. The nice lady in the shop has to bottle feed the kangaroo until it can handle itself.

Then on to Denham, which is today's goal. We had plenty of time to take a walk along the beach before dinner and visit the tourist information as well as watching the beautiful coloured sea where the boats were moored a short distance from the beach. Sundowner then at the hotel pool and dinner at a nearby pub.

Austin Healey Owners Club of Qld. Inc.
1376 Old Cleveland Road Carindale QLD 4152
Phone 0405 150 859
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