SOUTHERN EXPLORER TREK
Feedback from everyone who participated in the Southern Explorer Trek was that they all had a thoroughly good time. The Trek was everything everyone expected it to be. The scenery was fantastic, white beaches for as far as the eye could see, no shortage of whales which could be easily seen and photographed from the viewing platform at Pt. Ann. The wildflowers were a sight to see (some we had never seen before). The opportunity to visit old station homesteads and some abandoned ruins which were off the beaten track. A variety of road conditions kept all the drivers on their toes and a very interesting (low range) hill climb after crossing a very slippery salt flat was interesting.
We got off to a great start by meeting in Northam on 1st September, 2017 where the National Ballooning Championships were being held. Great to experience this event and be a part of the Balloon Fiesta.
From here we made our way to Yealering and Dumbleyung, then on to Dick and Barb’s property in Gnowangerup for the ram auction and a whole lot of other interesting activities, lots of lovely food, pig on a spit and a bucket or two of yabbies.
Our next stop was Yongergnow Mallee Fowl Centre which is located approximately 1km from Ongerup. We were presented with a very interesting talk about the Mallee Fowl after viewing the large indoor display and outdoor area where the fowl are kept.
Malcolm and Melanie Smith’s Parkside Farm was our next stop, and from here we visited Pt. Ann and Quaalup Homestead in the Fitzgerald River National Park.
We arrived in Hopetoun via the Fitzgerald National Park. Apart from sightseeing we visited the Wildflower Show and Spring Festival in Ravensthorpe, enjoyed lunch and a tour of the Men in Sheds and also visited Bill Pike’s restored tractor display which was very interesting. Our camp site overlooking the Jerdacuttup river at Mary Richardson’s property was a great location.
After camping out for the next two nights at Munglinup and Quagi Beach we arrived at John and Maggie Henderson’s property in Esperance. Along with an invitation to visit the Restoration Club for a tour, morning tea and lunch, a hearty breakfast at the Bird and Animal Park another day, there was no end of places to visit while in Esperance. We all enjoyed our time here.
After another couple of nights camping in the National Park we arrived at Steve and Michelle Fowler’s Lyndburn Farm. Their son Tom guided us through numerous paddocks to a wonderful campsite adjacent to a flowing creek. Some members took the opportunity while here to visit the Cape Arid National Park.
We left Lyndburn Farm and headed off to our next bush camp at the Deralinya Homestead. We left the campers here and drove through to Balbinia Homestead and Brooks Cottage which have both been restored.
Next camp site was at Nanambinia Station. This homestead/property has been incorporated into Balladonia Station. From here we set off down the old telegraph track. We encountered pockets of very slushy, slippery road however the rest of the track was quite reasonable. We camped that night at Dundas before moving on to Norseman the following day.
Once we received the all clear on road conditions we left Norseman stopping to explore various places of interest along the way before our next roadside camp. Another bush camp at Marvel Loch (great spot) then we drove on to Narembeen. We received a very friendly welcome here and enjoyed a tour of the Narembeen Community Shed and Gallery. We also visited all the places of interest in the surrounding area.
On our way to the next camp site at Kwolyin we called in to Shackleton. This was an interesting little town. They have the smallest bank building (which is now a tourist attraction), an Art Studio and Sculpture Park, and the Tourism and Art Discovery Centre.
We eventually arrived at Greenhills Tavern on October 2nd for our final night of camping and an end of trek dinner. Everyone had a great night and the meal was excellent. Thank you to everyone who made the trek possible.