Hamelin Station-Steep Point-Hamelin Station (315 kms)
After a late arrival, we had a leisurely start and headed off around 11AM. We drove west then north passing the wonderfully name “Useless Loop”, where a salt works is situated. Duncan took the wheel, and after some basic instruction and instructions from Uncle and Dad, he drove competently for around 40kms over some challenging unsurfaced roads. The scenery was quite reminiscent of rolling moorlands, albeit with more sand and sand dunes. The sand dunes were particularly beautiful in the diffuse cloudy light.
Rob took over for the 4WD-ing to Steep Point, and Duncan and I let some air out of the tyres, and we headed into a maze of steep and twisty tracks. Checked in at the rangers station, and were advised to keep our visit short as there was bad weather predicted. Stopped at “The Oven” for lunch, a fishing spot just before S/P. From the memorial markers, a few fisherman had perished while rock fishing, including one whose plaque read “xxxx”. You could see how dangerous it could be as the waves crashed into the uncut cliffs. As we looked, a school of dolphins swam by, and then a whale showed just a few hundred metres away.
As Rob warmed up the thai green curry and noodles, the rain started to fall heavily, and we gobbled down the nosh, before jumping – sodden – into the car. Next stop, Steep Point, where the obligatory photos were taken at the sign marking the most westerly point in mainland Australia, Across the strait was Dirk Hartog Island named after a Dutchman who landed there in 1616, the first European to walk ashore in Australia.
By now, it was almost dark, and we reinflated the tyres back at the entrance gate in the dark and rain, and headed back to camp. About 5 kms, I realized I had left Rob’s yellow jacket on top of the car, and we headed back to look for it. Found it to my evident relief – see photo.
Shelley Mansfield Boy – my feet are freezing just looking at those sandals David J. Harper. Winter is starting to hit us in Beechworth right now.