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There was a slight sea breeze during our stay at 14 Mile, so to provide a little shelter, we parked the van the opposite way. Thankfully, the wind abated and we got to enjoy this magical place.

Best of Western Australia

I totally understand how families can spend one, two or even more years travelling around our awesome country. camp

It is not for everyone, yet if it’s something you’d like to do and you can make it work, I encourage all to do it – you won’t be disappointed.

My main regret was not going for longer, though we do tend to go with what we think is right given our personal situation.

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Even from inside the van the view was breathtaking.

 

In my articles and when having conversations about our trip, I’m always saying I want to do it again and next time for longer.

I’m not sure when the next time will be and there are no immediate plans on the table, however the desire to get back on the road is still there.

Some people are surprised by this, but it truly was an unforgettable time and one that strengthened our family bond and allowed us to grow as individuals.

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The weed on the beach at 14 Mile made fishing a little tough on the first few days but some nice dart were still caught.

 

Who knows, it might be 10 years before I get to do a similar trip.

By then my eldest daughter will well and truly have her licence, so it may be a very different family trip.

And she has talked about doing it again with us in 10 years’ time, so hopefully that will still be the case when the time comes.

In saying this, I’m sure we’ll have plenty of other adventures before then – I’m just not sure where, when or for how long.

There were several 4WD tracks to explore along this stretch of coast, and plenty ending with a view like this.

Carnarvon

Despite staying a night in Carnarvon was not initially on our agenda, we ended up staying a couple of nights.

Not because there was heaps to do there, it simply worked out that way.

Though we still managed to get to a local speedway event, explore the Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum, fish the river mouth and enjoy some local takeaway seafood.

Plus, the Carnarvon Capricorn Holiday Park pool and bowling green kept both the kids and adults entertained.

While definitely not at the top of the list of towns to stay at, our time there was pleasant and allowed us to get ready for more time off grid.

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Once the wind dropped, we couldn’t keep the kids out of the water.

Camp 14 Mile and Coral Bay

Once again, we were back on the coast with a Park Stay WA at 14 Mile beach, adjoining the Ningaloo Reef.

Situated on a raised section of beach, our camp was literally 20m from the water’s edge.

Some of the camp sites were massive, with completely uninterrupted views of the water – we were lucky and scored one of these.

A bit of night-time fun to keep the kids entertained. The shovel nose shark was released unharmed.

 

Though, on arrival the wind was coming in off the ocean, so we decided to park the van with the awing opening to the protected side.

Not that it really mattered, as we simply put chairs on the other side when the wind dropped.

Plus, we still had great views from inside the van.

If you are planning on visiting here, you will need a four-wheel-drive – while the road in wasn’t tough, it was a bit rough.

There’s nothing better than fresh squid – yum.

 

You will also need to be self-contained because there is no power, no water and there are no toilet facilities.

However, about 2km from camp, a dump point was provided.

As we’d experienced in a few of the places we’d visited, it wasn’t long before we met like-minded travellers and the stories started flowing.

As squid and cuttlefish were on the chew within 50m of shore, the kayak saw plenty of use at 14 Mile.

Walking along the beach and up the sand dunes was a great way to burn a few calories.

 

While we did see an occasional shark, and even caught a few big shovel nose sharks at night, generally the water was safe for swimming and snorkelling – not that there was much to see directly in front of camp.

And though there weren’t any facilities, Coral Bay was only 45 minutes up the road, which could be accessed via the main entrance and following the highway or a track through the back of the dunes.

We did duck up one night for dinner at the hotel, and to check the beach out.

The caravan park there was packed and the little town busy, so we were happy we chose to be off grid, but each to their own.

Hard to keep a kid off a steep sand dune. The bay in the background was to the south of South Lefroy and a haven for turtles.

South Lefroy

I rate myself as a reasonably experienced off-road driver with a decent amount of beach-towing experience, though after reading several reviews and comments about getting to South Lefroy Bay campground, I did have some concerns about getting bogged.

Because we were travelling by ourselves, I took extra precautions so that we didn’t get bogged, particularly with a fully loaded van on the back.

However, the reviews on WikiCamps had me second-guessing.

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It doesn’t get much better than this – cooking dinner on the beach as the sun was setting at South Lefroy. Probably a refreshment somewhere close by too.

 

Comments such as ‘The worst road we have been on ever’, ‘If you are on sites 1 to 6 you will get bogged’ and ‘Extremely soft sand near sites 1 to 6’.

And guess what… we were on site 6.

From experience, getting the tyre pressure right, selecting the right gear and having good momentum were key factors to not getting bogged.

As it was our first time to South Lefroy, I also wanted to check how bad the track to the beach was before attacking it.

Despite having to travel along ‘the worst road in Australia’, we made it to our camping spot at South Lefroy, and what a beauty it was.

 

Thankfully it was nowhere near as bad as I was expecting, so we easily made our way onto the beach – a lot of worry for nothing.

My point here is to read the reviews but also understand that experiences vary a lot between people, so what might be the worst road for some may be the norm for others.

After cruising onto the beach, we were soon in search of our spot, which was set about 100m back from the ocean.

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A few small mangrove jack and bream were landed in a little tributary.

 

This might seem a long way in, however on a king tide, the water comes all the way in and can lap at your camp.

Fortunately, we planned our stay around the neap tides, so that wasn’t a concern for us.

As for most of remote beach camps, you need to be totally self-sufficient at South Lefroy Bay campground.

Though there were a couple of freshwater bores a few kilometres away, so there was access to extra water if needed – which you would if staying for a week or more.

If the sun is out and you have plenty of food, water is the main thing you’ll require, and it does need to be managed.

We had a cracking bush camp stay at Bullara Station.

 

The JB Scorpion holds 240 litres of water and we also had an extra 40 litres in jerry cans, so we had more than enough for our five nights at this spot – but the girls do like their showers.

And having a quick freshwater rinse after a day in the salt water and sand is certainly worth having extra water for.

In terms of what you can do here – well, we snorkelled and relaxed.

That was our daily routine and we loved it.

Though to explore the area, you could throw in a little 4WDing too.

Bullara Station extended to the Exmouth Gulf, where the kids played and the adults relaxed.

Bullara Station

I find it a little ironic the number of times our travels took us from the bush to the beach or vice-versa.

For the next section, we detoured inland instead of taking the Yardie Creek Rd north.

The main reason for this was due to our booking for a camping spot at Cape Range National Park, which was only the second place we had booked before heading off.

Hence, we needed to fit in with that commitment, which in turn meant we had a few spare days before spending a week in Exmouth.

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With our kids having grandparents who live on a working cattle farm, they were eager to show Pop their new ear tags, which we hooked onto their hats.

 

Fortunately we stumbled across a cracking bush camp stay – Bullara Station.

Even better, we managed to snag ‘burger night’ as one of our nights there.

Burger night is on a Friday yet, due to its popularity, can be hard to secure a booking.

I recommend booking early for this one.

Aside from the flame-grilled patty, which is cooked over a massive open fire on a huge hot plate, there is also free music to listen to as you catch up and have a yarn with fellow travellers.

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Hard to go past a Bullara burger or two, especially when they’re cooked over a fire. The second burger was for Greta… truly!

 

The burgers were good value and tasted great.

If you miss burger night, there’s also a café and restaurant that will satisfy your appetite.

Alternatively, you can buy a cut of meat directly from the station – it’s a working cattle farm.

Apart from the good food and great atmosphere, there are plenty of other things at the station to keep you busy.

Walking trails (including one for watching the sunset), stargazing, 4WDing to the Exmouth Gulf (which is still on the property) and damper tasting are only a few of the other attractions to enjoy while you are here.

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