From Exmouth onwards (well most of WA) was big days in the car. Kids doing their afternoon shift on the ipad movie thing:
Carnarvon apparently has an all year round summer, and was still warm but also had spring winds.
Bit of space history in the area as a lot of the NASA missions flew over the area on the way up, so a big dish was used to communicate with most of the Gemini and Apollo missions:
Further south is a big Jump up called Gladstone Lookout. We only stopped there so mum could have her turn at being sick after it had been through everyone else over the past week. Turns out its a bit of a travellers stop and the trend seems to be to leave a momento behind:
View is the same in most directions:
We were in 2 minds about Monkey Mia as it is a fair drive in and out on the same road and we had heard differing opinions on it from people who had been there. We decided in the end that we might as well and found it very worthwhile. There is nothing else there apart from the dolphin feeding (and a big visitor center and resort tacked on, but was worth the drive in:
Shark bay is also pretty spectacular in that there is an abundance of proper big sea creatures that you can see. From this lookout you can see schools of sharks swimming by:
The Country changes fairly dramatically towards Geraldton from endless miles of salt bush to endless miles of mallee scrub until you hit green rolling fields and proper trees. The greenery took us a bit by surprise reminded us why we live the southerly, windy, cold, wet parts of the country:
Being spring we were starting to get a regular dose of cold, wet and windy.
New tyres in Geraldton before driving in the rain to Perth. Stayed there a few nights with a workmate and his wife who were in Moranbah.
Visited the kids school teacher and saw lots of traffic lights.
From Perth we headed straight to Albany as we had been to Margaret River etc before. Wet, windy and cold most of the way so not many photos.
Albany was very scenic and lots of colonial history, and wind. Very much like SW Victoria in spring
Took a look at an old replica of an older Brigg that sailed into Albany in the mid 1800's.
More rain and wind toward Esperance. We only stayed there for lunch due to gale warnings.
Headed inland toward Norseman where the climate was much better.
Lot of native flowers out around Norseman:
Turned right onto the Nallabor. Nearly ran over this bloke:
Had a windy night at Eucla before poking around the old telegraph station in the morning:
Saw a few mad cyclists:
Camped just west of Ceduna at an old hall. The wind dropped just before sunset so we though we were in for a peaceful night:
Even had phone service. Actually not too much of the Nullabor was out of phone service:
Then the wind got up and blew all night. We had to pack up camp and move around the other side of the hall, so another night of minimal sleep.
Next day we booked into a cabin at Ceduna at 10 in the morning. That night there was hardly a breath of wind.
Went for a tour of the Bureau of Meteorology and learnt about watching the weather:
Took a slight detour down the Eyre Peninsula to Streaky Bay. More wind and rain but believe it is a nice spot in good weather:
Hiding from the wind in Kimba (concrete verandah with tin roof too for a change)
Called into Whyalla to see what it was all about. Nicely developed town but absolutely nothing past the town boundary.
Port Augusta much the same. Ditto Port Pirrie.
Dust storm south of Port Augusta:
Near Crystal Brook we stayed on a large cropping farm owned by a family friend. Looked at lots of big machinery:
Camped in the shed:
Helped with the shearing:
Moved on into Adelaide and looked around for work but the place was very quiet. After a few days we decided we weren't city dwellers and rang around the rest of the country enquiring about work. Once gain the RIce industry took pity on us so we headed for NSW...
Spent a day and a bit in Portland,
Then camped in Flynns Shed:
And made our way to Leeton (near Griffith, NSW)
Picnic on the Murrumbidgee River:
Started work at the start of October and rented a house:
So I think we have officially completed a lap. What was a 2 year plan only took 3 years.
The last bit was about 23,000km. I think the first year we did 18,000, so around 41,000 km.
A lot of people ask which was the best bit. Very hard to answer as there were lots of highlights, but I think we all agree the places we worked (and lived), particularly the stations were the most memorable.
Job done. I'm off to have a shower in a proper bathroom in the same building as where I sleep and with a dry floor.