Baxter Cliffs January 2016

2nd January 2016

Day 1

We travel to our first overnight campsite at Overshot Hill reserve on the edge of Newdegate/Ravensthorpe road. A free campsite with lots of shade with some outdoor table/chairs available. A 5hr journey via Arthur, Wagin, and lake King and only 2 hours from Esperance.

Day 2

We head for the Esperance Seafront Caravan park to meet up with all our friends in the convoy and plan our trip for the following day. We also made a last purchases including bait and fishing gear.

Day 3

We leave Esperance for our campsite at point Malcolm, driving along Fisheries Road with our last stop for fuel at Condingup Tavern and a photo shoot of our convoy.

Then off to Cape Arid National Park, passing through some of the burnt bush from severe fires the week before.

We turn off Fisheries Road at a signpost to Point Malcolm for a Campsite nestled in amongst the coastal shrubs and Tee trees for shelter from wind 193 kms from Esperance. After making camp we disconnect the cars from the campers and take a drive along the beach amongst the build up of seaweed to reach Point Malcolm.This rocky point is low lying, weathered rock with a scattering of pools and crab life overlooking the beaches.

It was now getting exciting as we were camping in a remote wilderness area and had the opportunity to all cook together.

Day 4

We head for Israelite Bay driving along the edge off Lake Daringdella – a long, very flat salt lake but impressive.

After travelling 17km’s we stop at the Old Telegraph Station at Israelite Bay where we check out the old ruins, take lots of photos and have lunch.

We weave along coastal shrubs until we come across the sign to Nuytsland National Park just 450 kms NE from Esperance. From here we drive onto a fairly hard beach to start our 85km drive Eastward to our campsite just 6km from Baxter Cliffs. (Note: make sure you have a tide chart to pick the best time to travel on low tide to make it easier).

It wasn’t long before we realised how remote we were. The beach stretched East-West as far as the eye could see. With a keen eye for things washed up on the beach we found a 2m shark, 2 live penguins, fishing nets etc.

50kms along the beach we came across the impressive 100metre high Bilbunya Sand Dunes. Leaving it behind to view another day, we headed for our Bilbunya Dunes campsite nestled behind dunes on flat, dry salt plains with lots of room for our cars, campers and tents. Only 200ms behind us overlooking our campsite is the Wylie Escarpment.

Days 5-10

This place became our little community for the next 6 days with regular trips to Baxter Cliffs to the east. Swimming the crystal clear waters of the Southern Ocean and having fun fishing for salmon. If you don’t mind a steep walk, a good look at the Bibunya Sand Dunes is a must to fully appreciate the landscape.
The relaxing, community feel amongst our fellow independent campers was terrific.

Throughout the 6 days we were permanently camped we took regular visits, just 6km away to Baxter Cliffs. I highly recommend the 2-3 km walk along the base of the cliffs on low tide to fully appreciate these majestic cliffs where they have been carved out by the relentless pounding of the Great Southern Ocean and winds. From this vantage point you will take the best, most impressive photos of the cliffs.

Day 10

We start heading home but first we make our way up the 100m high Wylie Escarpment testing our four wheel driving abilities with our campers in tow. We video our mates 4WD’s working hard to make this steep ascent. At the top we take time  for a group photo and look back at this vast coastline with our campsite in the distance. The old rubber belts extending up this sand trek were a very welcomed addition because without them it would have been very difficult.

The next 70kms to Eyre Hwy was definitely a challenge, taking all of the 5hrs to complete with such a variety of vegetation and topology. The thick low lying green shrub eventually giving way to Tee Trees then thick and numerous silver gums with their large shadowing roof canopies. The bull dust was definitely like talcum powder, where the rubber dust seals on the cars and campers proved their worth. With relief, we finally hit the Eyre Hwy and continue onto Balladonia Roadhouse for coffee and fuel. Our next stop: Fraser Range Station.

Fraser Range Station offers a range of accommodation and campsites with all the amenities.  Time for a cold beer, to sit around and reflect on the adventure of a lifetime.

Day 11

From here, some people head for home in Perth whilst some of us head for Hyden via Norseman. We checkout out the Breakaways, (signposted) on the unsealed Norseman/Hyden road. A very nice shaded and interesting rocky outcrop for a campsite with drop toilets, tables, and chairs. We then head for our last campsite at Emu Rock on the Holland Trek, just 16kms off this main road. This place was interesting with its large, rolling, rocky outcrops overlooking a salt lake, a forest of low lying trees and fields of wheat. A great way to finish the trip.

Day 12

We have breakfast in Hyden and then head for Perth with lunch in York.

What a great camping trip it was for all.

Living the Dream!

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