Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Conto's Field Campground in Leeuwin Naturaliste NP & Augusta area

After leaving Yallingup we headed south towards Augusta to a parks & wildlife campground called Contos campground, it is within the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park & only a short distance from the beach. It is a large campground of about 90 bays, but a lot of the loops were closed, so we ended up in the one called Hamelin Hollow. We found a nice long campsite amongst the Peppermint trees that were flowering profusely & were humming with the sound of native bees on the flowers. Right next to the camp was a open area perfect for our solar panels, as the weather situation still hadn't really improved & it was forecast to be mostly overcast. We set up & it was still early as we only travelled a short distance, so we set off to explore. 

Firstly we went to the beach right near the campground called Contos Spring. There is a spring on the beach that used to be used to water cattle & sheep when the area was grazing country. It was a beautiful beach, this stretch of coastline is full of rocky headlands & cliffs, huge waves & large rocks right up to the beach. We had a look along the rocks for a fishing spot, but it looked to dangerous, so we just went for a walk on the beach & watched the surfers just offshore. A gorgeous spot & obviously very popular in the summer time. 
Contos Spring

We headed further south still & ended up at Hamelin Bay, the only thing here is a carvan park & boat ramp, it had a lovely beach for another walk & we made ourselves some lunch. 
Hamelin Bay

We then headed down to Augusta for a look. A small town, but with everything you need, it sits right on the mouth of the Augusta River & the road follows the beach out to Cape Leeuwin, which we decided to explore the next day, so it was back to camp. This campground supplied firewood as well, so that was good, there were pit toilets, a water tap & camp kitchen in the ground & the cost was $10 per person per night. It was suprisingly busy with most camps taken by nightfall. 

Camp at Contos above & below

The next day the skies were still grey, but we ventured out again. Firstly we called in at Cape Freycinet for a look & to South beach.
Cape Freycinet 

 Again lovely coastline. We then followed the 4WD track Point Road past another campground. There were lots of 4WD tracks around out to the beach & we were keen to do some decent bush driving again. Well we got our wish, the track was rough & wet & poor Ruby got plenty of new pinstripes. We went out along Hooley Road to the beach there. What a track. The last 2 km or so, we're deeply rutted & rocky with huge holes, it took us about 15 minutes to get down to the beach itself.

Beautiful secluded beach

It felt so remote, like we were the only ones around, but as we looked down at the beach we could see footprints of others that had made the journey. Still a lovely spot. I wish the weather was clearer so the photos could portray the immense beauty of the coastline. 

After negotiating the track back out we made our way to the Booranup lookout set amongst the forest looking out over the ocean, not that you can really see it in the photos because of the cloud. We made ourselves some ham & salad rolls for lunch, not that either of us felt like salad as it was freezing!

Booranup lookout

We then headed back into Augusta & to the butcher to get 2 big juicy T-Bone steaks for dinner that night. We then made our way out to Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse for a look. 

Looking down on the lighthouse

Rugged coastline

It is on the southern most tip of WA on the south west corner of the Margaret River region & had a wild feel about the place as the Indian & Southern Oceans Converge. Just around the corner is a historic water wheel that was used to pump water to the lighthouse when it was getting constructed. It is amazing well preserved despite the calcification on the wheel itself & is a must see. 

Water wheel

We took the scenic drive home & called into fishing jetty for a look. An older couple were fishing & had managed to get some good whiting & while we watched the water a huge stingray swam around the rocks below us. There were also a couple of professional fishing boats moored & they were bring in their catch of huge snapper, Mulloway & shark. Very interesting. We then made our way home to warm up around the fire & cook up our steaks for dinner. 

The next day we headed slightly back north to Witchcliffe to post a parcel & use the Internet. On the way we came across a huge flock of black cockatoos grazing on a freshly harvested paddock. 

 After that we headed to the east to check out another couple of camping areas of Chapman Pool, Warners Glen & Sues Bridge, stopping by at Hut Pool on the Blackwood river. 

Chapman pool

Hut pool

It was another dreary day, but we did get to see some lovely country, so different to the north of Perth. The next day it was time to head off again further east to try to escape this dismal weather, even though I feel terrible writing that as we know how much this sort of weather is needed back home at the moment. Fingers crossed we can send you some. 

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