Notes of a traveller

Alan Dodds – photographer (among other things)

Notes of a traveller

Kalbarri WA, in spring – better late than never!

Posted on Friday, July 14th, 2023 at 5:27 pm

It has now been more than a year since we moved back to Western Australia and in that time, we have done a few trips here and there, but the energy to write about them has, for some unknown reason, not arisen. Now, with the prospect of another trip across Australia looming in 10 days time, the energy has arisen to write about an earlier trip in Essy … our lovely motorhome.

Spring in WA is all about the wildflowers which bloom in a tide of colour starting in the north and working its way south as the months move on. Many choose that time to take a trip north and then follow the blooms southward.

This from Australian Geographic:

We know there are some 12,500 flowering species in WA, 60 per cent of which are endemic to the state – and 775,000 visitors each year flock to take a gander at these blooms. They’re the quintessential Aussie battlers, digging their roots into WA’s sandy soils and thriving.

And so, although the weather is not in our favour, we decide to take a trip north as far as Karbarri to see The Gorge, and return using the inland route to see the flowers. We realise that Essy is no longer appropriate for camping along the wild southern coast and so this may be our last journey in such luxury.

Bridgetown Western Australia

At the RV stop in Bridgetown we realise we not the biggest show in town

Our journey north is taking us along a well trodden path through the south western wheat fields and orchards, through Perth and on to Geraldton – a short hop in Australian terms, a mere 820km – sort of London to Aberdeen!

Geraldton WA

Ah … rainbow over Geraldton harbour. Such mystical things, rainbows
Geraldton WA

Ever had a pee in a Rubric Cube ?… now’s your chance in these public toilets in Geraldton!
Geraldton WA

I wonder how many got stuck before they put the sign up.
Geraldton WA

Not sure they are keen on you going in here.
Geraldton WA

Big boys’ toys! Lots of fishing off this coast.


The weather is definitely not being kind to us. Cool and wet is the name of this game, but on the other hand the cloudscapes are truly spectacular. It is very quiet; it seems the rain is keeping people away.

Kalbarri Western Australia

At least the wind is not too strong otherwise our umbrellas might be in trouble.
Kalbarri Western Australia

The rain looks amazing as it approaches … not so good when it arrives.
Kalbarri Western Australia

I mean … Wow!
Kalbarri Western Australia

And in a short time it has all changed again.
Kalbarri Western Australia

The ocean is oh so clear.
Kalbarri Western Australia

Kalbarri was recently hit by a cyclone and many buildings have yet to be repaired.

One of the main attractions which brings visitors flocking to Kalbarri is The Gorge. This from the WA Parks and Wildlife service:

Kalbarri National Park surrounds the lower reaches of the Murchison River. The river has cut a magnificent 80km gorge through the red and white banded sandstone. Perched right on the cliff top the two platforms of the Kalbarri Skywalk jut out over the gorge. The views from the Skywalk are incredible.

… and this is no exaggeration.

I’m not a great fan of gigantic steel structures in the middle of national parks, but this one is really quite impressive, hanging out as it does, over the side of the gorge and in the process no doubt saving a life or two.

Kalbarri Gorge

Lots of information.
Kalbarri Gorge

The structure is huge and not for the faint hearted if you try looking down through the grill …
Kalbarri Gorge

… but what a vista it presents when you walk out on it.
Kalbarri Gorge

I wouldn’t want to be this close to a live Emu with chicks.
Kalbarri Gorge

Way across on the other side of the Gorge a wallaby is blissfully unaware of the spectators
Kalbarri Gorge

Beautiful sculptures everywhere along the paths.

Jurien Bay

After a night in Green Head, it’s now time to travel south once more to meet up with friends Helen and Michael in Jurien Bay. Among other things they are taking us to the Lesueur National park, which is one of the biodiversity hotspots in WA, and indeed the world.

Green Head Western Australia

Jacqui relaxes on the beach at Green Head.
Green Head Western Australia

The form of this gum tree is just amazing
Jurien Bay

Helen and Michael
Jurien Bay

Information notices have really come up in the world – Crab anyone?.

Lesueur National Park

And so to a few flowers. I have no idea about the names of any of these plants, but the are all exceptionally beautiful.

Lesueur National park

Low bush displays splashes of colour in the Lesueur National Park.
Lesueur National park

A biodiversity hot-spot
Lesueur National park

Mmmm – smells like honey to me!
Lesueur National park

Such colour
Lesueur National park

… and delicacy

The pinnacles

The aptly named Pinnacles is an extensive petrified forest (or is it?) in the Nambung National Park.

The Australia’s Coral Coast website says:

Located at the southern gateway to Australia’s Coral Coast, along the Indian Ocean Drive, the Pinnacles Desert of Nambung National Park is one of the major natural attractions in the region. The park is located roughly 200km, or 2 hours’ drive north of Perth, and covers an area of 17,487 hectares providing natural habitat for an extensive array of native animals and bird life.

The Pinnacles are amazing natural limestone structures, formed approximately 25,000 to 30,000 years ago after the sea receded and left deposits of sea shells. Over time, coastal winds removed the surrounding sand, leaving the pillars exposed to the elements. The Pinnacles range in height and dimension – some stand as high as 3.5m!

The Pinnacles

They say it’s the most visited attraction in WA after Perth
The Pinnacles

Strange shapes indeed.
The Pinnacles

Imagine how long it has taken for this spectacular form to arise.

We turn for home

The weather is not being kind to us so we will turn for home. Taking the inland route we return through York, a convenient half way point with it’s free campsite next to the river.

York WA

Domestic flowers have happily spread to this roadside verge
York WA

Lovely to find a footbridge to help us cross to the town centre
York WA

A beautiful deep river
York WA

Our old favourite the “28”, or port Lincoln Parrot, watches as we depart.

It did turn out to be a last trip in Essy. The fact that it was too tall to fit in our shed (7m x 8m x 3.2m and it still wouldn’t fit) and given that we had no real alternative place to park it, moved us toward letting Essy enjoy life with a new family.

She sold very quickly and we were able to change horses once more to our new rig. For the first time is all our years of travelling hither and thither in camper vans we have gone for a camper trailer, which enables us to have a single motorised vehicle.

Avan Adventurer

Trying out our new rig in the FitzGerald National Park on the south coast of WA

For better or worse we will set out in a week or so to travel once more across Australia to see Zoe & Co in Noosa and then Pippa and Tara in Townsville. Should only take a month or two – and around 10,000km.

I do sometimes wonder about us!

Yay! When it’s winter – go to the tropics!

May you all be well and happy.




11 responses to “Kalbarri WA, in spring – better late than never!”

  1. Lynn Ayiotis says:

    Lovely pictures as always. Enjoy your new camper. Love to you and your family xx

  2. Danielle says:

    Hi Alan! Thanks again for taking us on a tour of our beautiful West with amazing pics.
    You might be East by now.
    See you in Spring
    My love to you both and your lovely family Xxo

  3. Tony / Beryl D says:

    Morning Alan & Jacqui,
    It’s just as enjoyable and exciting doing these trips in your own country as most ( nearly said ALL!! ) other countries that you’ve travelled through in your life on the move, and spring always holds a promise of better things to come, we hope!!
    We always enjoy hearing from you both and viewing your excellent photos which stirs our own memories of our past meanderings!!
    Hope and trust you’re keeping well and safe throughout your new travels and await the next episode of ‘ Travellers Tails ‘
    Love to you and the family,
    Tony & Beryl xx
    ( Approaching Autumn!! )

  4. Mary Searle says:

    Really great photos and commentary.Love the pinnacles and new camper trailer especially.
    Particularly lovely photo of Jacqui also.
    xxMary and Brian.

  5. Irene says:

    Lovely to hear you’re both travelling and enjoying our beautiful country. Your photos and commentary is always a delight. I was interested in your WA photos as Gail and I are looking forward to a trip there in early November. Hopefully I’ll catch up with you on the Sunshine Coast. I’m still loving life here 11 years on. Enjoy your trip across Australia. 😊🤩

  6. Olly Cooper says:

    As usual lovely, exotic, pictures of down under! We’ve been enjoying the rain for the last few weeks. First on the Isle of Arran, then Unionhall County Cork, with a sunny day in Liverpool on the way back to Norfolk.
    Love Olly and Corrinne

  7. Sue+Keast says:

    Fabulous photos and narrative, thank you Alan really enjoyed them. Have a great trip to QLD, may see you over there but we are only going to Brisbane.

  8. Jac says:

    Wonderful to hear from you both and glorious pics as always tks Alan ♥️👏 Essy was indeed a ‘Beauty’… have seen a multitude of similar camper trailers this way. Exciting trip coming up – great weather for it atm. Gosh Tsv gets humid in Summer…. OMG the colours Al 😘😘😘

  9. Regina synnot says:

    Good day to you two from Germany. Sounds like you are doing great travelling again.maybe we get to catch up when you get to the sunshine coast i am flying back on the 30th of august.would be lovely to meet up and hear all your wa stories. Warm greetings to you both.regina

  10. Ruth Gawler says:

    Beautiful to see your travels and know that you are both doing so well as to be having such adventures!

  11. Richard C says:

    Yay! Nice to hear others appreciating this wonderful country. Have fun on the next one XX

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