Thursday, 30 April 2015

Camp Range National Park

This was one of those places that I had no idea what to expect. I had booked us a site online for the Yardie Creek camping ground within the National Park, purely because it sounded nice and the one photo I saw online looked ok.

We left Coral Bay and drove straight through to Exmouth, we stocked up on food from the local IGA then headed the hour out to the National Park. Entry for us was free because I had bought an annual parks pass earlier in the year.

When we arrived at yardie Creek it was easy to see it was a ‘basic camp’. There was one long drop toilet and a bin and that’s. Um. It.

Long drop toilet! 

The camp ground has ten gravel and unshaded sites with one of them occupied by a full time ‘camp host’. We were greeted as we arrived and directed to our site.

Our set up

We set up the best we could in the hot sun with flies EVERYWHERE. Oh my god the flies were horrible. We had fly nets on and we left the three kids in the car (with it running) while we put the front room on the camper so they could come inside and sit.

Later on in the evening when the sun was setting and the flies had disappeared we walked down to the beach and met a lovely couple and their son. The kids played and the adults chatted and it was a beautiful sunset. They were booked in for two weeks but had decided to head home after one week as the flies were so intense.

The next day we did the Yardie Creek river cruise. This hour long boat trip took exploring us through the Yardie Gorges. We saw rock wallabies and Osprey birds and a couple of very hot looking surfer dudes with no shirts on paddle boarding up the river. I named them Fabio 1 and Fabio 2. I particularly liked Fabio 2 and think he might one day be my lover boy.

Anyway back to Yardie Creek.

The Gorges of Yardie Creek Gorge

On the last night of our stay we were invited to the camper hosts caravan for some freshly caught fish. It was lovely to sit around with the other campers and chat about our travels. I popped on some Calvin Klien perfume to mask the fact I hadn’t showered for three days, but it was wasted as Fabio 2 was nowhere to be seen at our fish dinner. I must say the fish was delicious. It was caught that day and to buy in the shop was $68 a kilo! 

Everyone enjoying some fish for dinner at Cape Range National Park

Anyways, if you are thinking of visiting Cape Range National Park there are some things to note.

Ok, so I coped with no shower or flushing toilets. We had our chemical loo and the kids and I used at night because I wasn’t walking to the long drop at night. But unless you have a flash caravan or a solar shower you will end up washing in the ocean like us.

As we are setting up the people on the site next to us come to say they had seen a red belly black snake then a duguite at their van a few days before. Apparently the snakes had gone off into the bush. So you can imagine I was very cautious and never let the kids out of the camper without me. I actually got quite anxious as snakes are my phobia and Craig did say we could pack up and leave if I wanted to. The people who told us could see my anxiety and came back the next day to say that the snakes had accidently found their way under the shovel. Didn’t make me feel much better though.

Because there were no showers we went swimming in the beach to wash off. Then on the second day when I was sitting on the beach making a sand castle with Matilda we looked up to see a huge dorsal fin and a 1.5 metre tiger shark come up to the edge. Apparently Tiger sharks are friendly but I say a shark is a shark and I never put so much as a big toe in the water after that!

We saw both on the waters edge, they are beautiful creatures and I got to see a quite a few of them when I went on my early morning walk alone.

Sand in my car, sand in my bed, sand in my towel, sand in my Tupperware containers, sand in my food, sand in my hair… so much sand. But I guess that’s what happens at the beach!

The place is mainly full of grey nomads. Oldies in their vans who travel for long periods of time up the coast of Western Australia. You get two types of Grey Nomads. The ones who stop and say how lovely the kids are and then tell stories of their grand kids etc. Then there’s the ones who stare at us like ‘get your kids outta here we are trying to drink wine and eat cheese and do our cross word puzzle’.

The National Park was a great place and I am glad we visited. The sites were clean and the beach was lovely. It was very special to be somewhere that you could walk along the beach and the only footprints in the sand were your own. It is such a secluded spot and at $22 a night for an unpowered site I can see why some of the oldies stay for weeks on end.

Yardie Creek beach at sunrise

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