WA, in school holidays, from Sydney, over 9 months.

Superdad

Well-Known Member
#1
well, we just finished our bug WA trip for sydney so thought i'd write up what we did and how we did it in case it motivates any other NSWelshmen to embark on an epic voyage with the kids and family.

Firstly, I run my own business and the eldest is in year 7 so taking 3-6 months off work is simply not viable. I can however take a month at a time with planning so this is what we did - we drove different legs over 3 different school holidays. I have a (petrol) Landcruiser set up for touring and a Jayco Expanda 17.56 and 3 kids age 12, 10 and 6.

The first leg was over 4 weeks last Xmas. I drove to Port Lincoln in 48 hours, then picked up the wife and kids at Port Lincoln Airport. We then did a few days on the SA coast. Highlights were staying at Coodlie Park and the seal dive at Baird Bay (this is awesome and a must if you're in the area). We then hit the Nullabor and made our way to the WA south coast. We turned east at Esperance and stayed at Alexander Bay - a great spot though i wish we had made the effort to get into Cape Arid NP.

We then toured along the southern coast through Albany, Green Pools, Walpole etc. This coast line is absolutely beautiful though it is cooler than you think - take neoprene. No camp fires allowed at all over summer so you'll need plenty of gas. We then hit Margaret River region.

If i had my time over, i would have spent more time on the southern coast and less at Margaret River. MR is a great spot but it is not ideal for kids. Can't hit the pi55 and the beaches are generally to heavy for kids. Margaret River mouth though kept them amused as did a few day trip up to Eagle Bay and Castle Rock. Then onto Busselton to leave the van and head home.

We then headed back over in July for 4 weeks (i was very lucky to have someone drive my van from Busselton to Broome) where we spent 2ish weeks on the Gibb River Rd. The Kimberly is just awesome and was the trip highlight for me. Swimming in a Kimberly gorge was a bucket list item and ticking it off was sensational. Up to Home Valley Station for a few days and visits to El Questro was great then off to Lake Argyle. I frankly thought it was a little over rated but we did have some unusually windy days so maybe this tainted it for us a little.

We then shot back to Broome and missed the Bungle Bungle's for a few reasons - primarily that my truck was in dire need of a mechanics touch and Kunnanurra was 10 days to get in to see one. We then set sail for Pender Bay up towards Cape Leveque. This was a cracking camp site and can't recommend it highly enough. We returned to Broome and put van into storage before flying home after another 4 weeks.

This leg was just sensational though in 4 weeks, i feel we barely scratched the surface of what we could see with more time. Would not have changed anything on this leg - it was just awesome. Funnily enough petrol was no drama but 2 x roadhouses were out of diesel. Don't let a petrol vehicle put you off. Just do your calcs, carry a jerry or 2 and you're good to go.

Home for school then i flew back a few days before end of term, picked up the truck and headed down to Exmouth where i picked up the wife and kids for Ningaloo. 3 nights in Exmouth was a bit too much but we had a whale shark dive booked the day after we arrived so heading bush that day was too hard. no whale sharks but we did get an amazing humpback dive.

Next was Cape Range NP. We stayed at Kurrajong campground but if i had my time over i would have booked far earlier and stayed at a spot with better snorkelling out front. The good camp sites book out very quick - you'll need to book 5-6 moths in advance to get the best ones. Don't get me wrong, it was still awesome but this is something i would have changed.

Next was Ningaloo station and South Lefroy Bay. Drive in is brutal (worse corrugations that the Gibb) but once there, this spot is epic. Total remote desert camping with world class snorkelling just off the beach. only downside was mice... first time i have ever had mice in the van. we chase 10 of the little buggers out over the next few days. Finally a few days in Coral Bay for a Manta Ray dive and reprovision. Wife and kids then flew home and i drove down to Perth to arrange for Van and truck to come home.

Only change on this let would have been earlier booking in Cape Range for a better spot and you need to book Coral Bay CP months in advance too as it is very busy.

For the record New South Welshman, Ningaloo is bloody amazing. Do yourself a favour and get over there, you will not regret it.

It is also windy, very windy... southerlies every day so prepare yourself (all the locals have big wind breaks erected...)

So, it can be done without taking 6 months off. My entire family had a ball and we loved every second of it and would
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do it again in a heart beat.
 
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