Filled the thirsty Patrol again and headed North ($1.67/L)
We wanted to check out the Blow Holes at Point Quobba and found out that there was a shire run camp ground there. No facilities, no potable water, no nothing. Sounded like bliss so we filled the water tanks up, all 300 litres worth and set off. The turn off is pretty well sign posted about 25 k's out of Carnarvon and then another 50ish to the point.
When we arrived the camping area was almost chokkas and it took a while to find somewhere to set up, which was for the best as the deeper you head into the camping area (well the further South as all the camp spots are along the coastal strip) the more protected you are from the wind by some coastal scrub but still only a minutes walk from the beach. This turned out to be quite beneficial as the weather, although sunny was a bit windy and the ocean pretty wild. Seeing as we were there to view the blow holes, this was perfect weather.
Found our camp, set up and went to check the joint out. Point Quobba (not to be confused with Quobba station a privately owned caravan park / cattle station 10 k's North) is a beautiful little bay with a lighthouse recessed about a kilometre back on some high land, a sheltered section of reef (protected fish breeding zone) and a lot of happy campers. Our three days (should have been more and would have been if we hadn't prebooked Onslow) flew past, fishing, whale watching, scenic viewing from the lighthouse, checking out the blow holes. Bliss. Fully bitumised road going in which explains it's popularity but well worth it. The blow holes themselves were good without being spectacular but the coast in general round the blow holes was pretty rugged and great viewing.
Blow Hole Point Quobba
near blow holes Point Quobba
Next stop Barradale half way between Point Quobba and Onslow. Barradale used to be a road house until a fire? destroyed it, it is now an overnight spot with composting toilets (trust me, the best type of long drop, no smell what so ever) and a black water dump point all on the, mainly dry, Yannarie River. Pretty dusty but for what it offers more than adequate, ants are prevalent though - be aware.
Now to Onslow. Onslow is an 85 km side trip from the North West Coastal Highway into a town of 800 odd people and lays claim to being the Southern most West Australian town to have been bombed by the Japs in WWII, three bombs were dropped on the airfield resulting in no loss of life or aircraft. Onslow was relocated from,,, wait for it,,, old Onslow to the present site after the Ashburton silted up and they couldn't get cargo ships up the river any more. Nice little town with good Bream fishing from the Beadon River jetty plus Bream and Whiting from the beaches, the only down side were the masses of sandflies, fish off the jetty, clouds of sandflies. Fish off the groyne, clouds of sandflies. Sit outside your van, sandflies. The shire is even fogging the area of an evening to try to keep the tourists and locals bite free. Met one kid that was covered from head to toe, so many red welts it was hard to determine wether he was black, white or brindle (yes I did have a bit of a chuckle as I chatted to him).
Saturday saw the local markets come to life so Trish and I decided to inject some funds into the local economy by purchaseing a locally made carrot cake (superb), a couple of books, two sausages with bread AND sauce, one star fruit (not quite as nice as FNQ's (Far North Queensland)) and a paper, but that was from the newsagent and doesn't really count.
Three days and countless bites later (I counted 30 below the knee on my left leg alone) we thought "stuff this, we're outta here". One thing about travelling in C/Parks, no refunds, you leave early - you lose your coin. Comfort or coin? comfort won out.
Onslow was a great little town pity about the sandflies. One thing to add though is the war memorial, brilliant. It has been made in the shape of the badge on an Australian slouch hat minus the crossed bayonets and placed so that the rising sun shines straight down the middle at dawn on ANZAC day, simple but very effective. Nice boardwalk, nice beaches, clean town, pub does a decent roast on Sunday night for $15, fish cleaning tables round the popular fishing spots. All in all a town that has it's council sorted out and is making the best of what they've got and those damn sandflies, well they are worse due to the rains so miss them and you should have a great time.
Onslow War Memorial
So the midgees won, filling up and heading to Exmouth with an overnight stop at good ole Barrowdale.