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Wildflower Trip | Mid West 2021



We had been due to head off on Friday morning but we had a steo up voltage converter ordered and Australia Post send us a message on Friday morning saying 'It will be delivered today'. So we put the trip back a day and we waited and we waited and we waited.

All for nothing in the end as they didn't turn up and we didn't get the package.

What absolutely crappy service. To send someone a message that actually said that it WILL come today and then not deliver it.

Thanks Australia Post - YOU SUCK!

Saturday morning rolled around and we had no choice but to head off. There was no way we could waste any more time waiting for the package to arrive.

A nice easy drive along Thomas Road to Tonkin Highway and then it was just a matter of following the road all the way to Bindoon where we stopped to refuel.

We had just pulled out of the petrol station when the coolant alarm went off. OH NO!

The radiator had been re-cored earlier in the year and we had done a quick test trip to Harvey to try and ensure everything was going to be fine for this longer trip.

We waited a bit for the radiator to cool enough to put some more coolant in and then headed north towards Moora.

The radiator hadn't needed a lot of coolant, under a litre I think, so we thought we would keep going and keep a close eye on the level each time we stopped.

We dropped in to the Wannamal rest area - which is usually one of the absolute best places to see wildflowers - only to find it deserted and very few wildflowers in bloom.

Rather disappointed, we hopped back in to the Coaster and continued on to Mogumber where we stopped for the night.

 

Mogumber
Mogumber

 

Anyone who follows our travel blogs will know that Mogumber is one of our favourite overnight stops in this area. Just $6 a night and a lovely place by the oval to pull up and relax.

There were only 2 other vehicles parked up for the night which was surprising as I had thought there would be more especially during wildflower season.

Day two of the trip started with a glorious sunny morning and blue sky. That meant the night had been a bit on the chilly side but boy, was it worth it. Absolutely perfect weather for touring.

After a quick check of the radiator and finding only a very small amount of coolant was ndded to top it up, we moved on a few kilometres north to the tiny settlement of Gillingarra.

Like Mogumber, the sorts ground there is made available to travellers for overnight stops. Whereas Mogumber charges $6 a night, Gillingarra is a little emore at $10 a night.

It was still a nice spot and somewhere we will certainly consider stopping in future trips.

 

Gillingarra
Gillingarra

 

Next stop was Koojan Salmon Gum Reserve. It is more of a typical rest area with a large area going back well away from the road but no facilities apart from a shelter and seats.

We briefly considered stopping there the night but it was a bit too early in the day and sitting still all day seemed like a bit of a waste of time.

 

Koojan Salmon Gums Reserve
Koojan Salmon Gums Reserve

 

Moora was only a short drive north and there was an overnight RV rest area right in town for self contained vehicles.

The rest area was quite busy and sadly some caravanners were doing the wrong thing and hanging washing lines out by the car park. This is a big NO-NO and people breaking the rules like this could end up with the site being closed down. Too many people who are on the road now don't seem to think that the rules apply to them and arrogantly ignore regulations.

I made the offender aware that the shire would not be happy to see washing lines strung up around the place and he said he would clear it as soon as possible but a couple of hours later when we came back to the rest area after having lunch, the lines and washing were still in place.

Some people are just selfish jack-asses!

Lunch was at the local hotel and consisted of a huge T bone steak and chips for $21.90. Good value and nicely cooked. Of course it was washed down with a nice cold beer.

 

Moora
Moora

 

After seeing how crowded the RV rest area was getting we decided not to stop the night. We are not particularly fond of great herds of people and like to be off somewhere nice and quiet for the night.

I spotted a place on Wikicamps that we had never been to before. It was a bit off the usual route but it looked promising so we turned off the Midlands Way and drove out to Lake Edawa.

There aren't many spots at the lake and two separate areas. The first we passed went down to the lake along what looked like a bit of a boggy track. Alright for 4x4s I guess but not for the Coaster.

A bit further on was a steepish track leading to a turnaround right by the lake.

There was no really level ground so we needed the blocks under the wheels but it was the best spot we have seen on the trip so far.

There is a second spot on the high side of the turn-around that a caravan could back in to but not really much else that would be of use.

We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing by the lake and trying (and failing) to photograph the prolific bird life.

The day had been quite windy but right on sunset, the wind fell away and the lake became a mirror.

Not long after that we could hear frogs! Frogs in a body of water is always good news. As fogs are ver intolerant to any kind of pollution, their presence indicates that the water is fresh and clean. I had noted during the day that there were cormorants fishing in the lake so I was already aware that it hadn't turned saline, but frogs was the best indicator that the health of the lake was excellent. This tends to be very rare these days as farming has brought about salinity in many of our waterways.

If you visit the lake please be very careful not to let any kind of pollutants into the water. This includes things like soap, shampoo, washing detergent. Capture any water coming from your vehicle and dump it well away from the lake.

 

Lake Edawa
Lake Edawa

 

The first thing I checked in the morning was the radiator and this time there had been no loss of coolant. We hoped that this meant any air locks had worked their way out of the system but we still planned to keep a very close eye on the coolant level, just in case.

It would have been nice to spend another relaxing day by the lake but there are many other places we wanted to get to on this trip so we continued north to another spot we have never been to before.

Mia Moon had some good reports about wildflowers and it was obvious as we drove in that the reports were correct.

We found a nice flat spot to back in to and set off to have a look at the flowers around the rocky area.

Straight away we found orchids. A bee orchid that we hadn't seen before and lemon scented orchids that we had found previously.

There were a lot of other flowers including acacia, hakea, everlastings and sadly quite a few weed species.

After a good look round it was time to settle down for the day and just enjoy the peace and quiet.

 

Miamoon
Miamoon

 

Day four and the further we head north the warmer it has been getting. With the heat come the flies and the mozzies of course.

The intended destination for the day was Bunjil Rocks but we had a few places to check out before we got there.

Stop number one was at Wubin to fill up on fuel and water and to get rid of the black waste - always my 'favourite' job.

We continued north to Buntine Rocks. We have been there a number of times in the past with varying results as far as wildflowers are concerned.

The first couple of times we went there the wildflowers were stunning but there were also bad years. One was so bad there was not a single wildflower in sight and the place looked as though it was the end of summer.

This time there were flowers but the majority were weed species. It looks as though the weeds are out competing the native species and the area isn't a patch on what it used to be.

There are still some wildflowers but nothing compared to what was once there.

Next we dropped in to the overnight stay spot at Latham. There are excellent facilities available for travellers that include HOT SHOWERS! Very clean and tidy ablution block, so a big 'thank you' to Perenjori shire for making these available.

A donation is requested if you stay and use the facilities and the details of how to donate are available on the ablution block.

We are fully self contained and anyway we wanted to keep moving.

We checked out Caron Dam where it is possible to overnight but it just didn't appeal to us and then we stopped at Bunjil Rocks but again, it was ok but the weather was pretty warm and there wasn't any shade.

We pushed on to Perenjori where we stopped the night at the self-contained RV rest area by the oval. I can't say it was the prettiest site we have ever seen but we were too tired by this time to push on any further.

At least the radiator seemed to be behaving itself so it was just a matter of regularly checking to make sure it continued to do so.

The weather was still a bit warm so we decided to have a rest day.

After checking out some nice fields of everlastings near Perenjori, we headed out to Camel Soak.

 

Camel Soak
Camel Soak

 

We have stopped here a couple of times before but this year the wildflowers are the best we have ever seen.

Nice camp spot with a long drop toilet (although we don't need it) and we managed to park right at the end of the track away from the main campsite.

We like our peace and quiet both for the sake of filming and for our own sanity.

Good Telstra signal here so we will enjoy the day off driving tomorrow.

Since we set up properly we can even use the air conditioner if it gets a bit too warm - yes I know that isn't proper camping but I am an old fart now and I enjoy my little comforts LOL

 

Camel Soak
Camel Soak

 

There isn't much to write about our 'rest day' as I was busy putting together a 'Day At Camp' video so there wasn't much rest to be had but it was a nice break from driving and we were surrounded by wildflowers.

The details of our rest day will be out soon enough on the YouTube channel anyway.

I briefly thought about heading a little further north to Koolanooka Spring but I really didn't like it much the first time we visited so I decided to skip it on this trip.

Instead we headed for the Great Northern Highway as our intended destination for the day was Wubin Rocks.

We must have driven past there many times but have never bothered to go in and look around before so finally we would see what it was all about.

There seem to be a few different areas where you can camp with only the 'gravel pit' on top of the hill being unpleasant. It looks as though the locals have been using it as a place to dump rubbish.

There were still plenty of wildflowers at the rocks but it was obvious by all the dried flower heads, that we had missed the best display but about a week or so.

We found a nice level spot in an open area and walked around looking for some flowers we hadn't seen before. This gets increasingly difficult the more shots we take and we didn't find anything new to add to the collection on this occasion.

 

Wubin Rocks
Wubin Rocks

 

We left Wubin Rocks and made our way back to Wubin to refill the water and diesel and to dump black waste again.

From there we continued south to Dalwallinu as it was time to replenish some of our supplies.

The Foodworks store there is worth a look through as they carry all sorts of gear.

We knew from a previous trip that Wubin was much cheaper for fuel than Dalwallinu and again the difference was quite significant.

From Dalwallinu we turned east towards Kalannie and along that road we found Xantippe Rocks.

There is a large area on the left as you drive along the track towards the old water tank. There is plenty of room for just about any rig and there are a couple of other spots on the way down to the tank.

We were unsure of the track and the existence of a turn around area so we set up at the first spot and then walked along to the rock/tank.

It turned out that the track was good and there was a turning circle at the tank so we wouldn't have had a problem but it is better to be safe than sorry.

One good thing was that orchids were still flowering and we managed to get pictures of what looked like clown (or ant) orchids.

I had my first ever SD card failure while out walking. After walking up to Xantippe Rock and filming things along the way the camera had an error and wouldn't read the card.

I was rather hoping that I could at least copy what I had already shot on to the computer and thankfully I was able to but I wasn't carrying a second SD card in my pocket just in case so filming came to an abrupt end.

The old card couldn't be brought back to life so it is just as well a had a few spares in the camera bag.

 

Xantippe
Xantippe

 

Next day was my 61st birthday and my present was to be a flat inner tyre on the Coaster.

We were all packed up and driving out of the campsite and I could hear one of the rear mudguards scraping much more than usual as we went over ruts in the track.

Got out to the main road and hopped out to check and the left rear inner was totally flat.

Bugger!

No point in going in to town on a Sunday as nothing is open so I stuck a bit more air in the outer tyre and went back to the campsite for another day.

Sadly a wasted day as we hadn't planned to stop at Xantippe more than one night.

 

Xantippe
Xantippe

 

Thankfully it was only about 30km back to Dalwalinu and there is a tyre centre there that was able to handle the repair easily. I could change the inner myself if there was no choice but it is a bugger of a job and I would much rather just pony up the money and let someone else do it.

The day started well enough when we back tracked to Dalwalinu and the guys at Bridgestone Tyres got the wheel fixed in about half an hour.

We were a day behind schedule but we had some time to spare so we turned east again and headed for Kalannie.

There is a good rest area in town with a shelter, BBQ, toilets and a water tap (next to a big rock). You will need a long hose to access the tap if you are refilling your water tanks.

We stopped briefly to fill up the water tanks and pick up some supplies (including a bottle of whisky) from the local IGA. Now located in a nice new store just off the main street.

 

Burakin
Burakin

 

We continued south to Burakin where we checked out the old tennis court rest area and kept motoring (east again) to Beacon.

It had been a long day driving and we were keen to get to camp so only stopped in Beacon long enough to find a dunny before moving on.

We reached Datjoin Rocks about mid-afternoon and drove all the way up to the rocks where we found a great little campsite.

We also had phone reception so after doing some filming I settled down to backup the days footage.

 

Datjoin Rock
Datjoin Rock

 

That was when I discovered that the second laptop we had brought along had no SD card reader!

That was a pain as I couldn't backup footage from the main camera. So I thought I would be smart and stick the SD card from the Panasonic into the Nikon and download via cable to the laptop.

BIG MISTAKE!

Instead of just reading the SD card from the Panasonic, the Nikon did something to it and all the footage from the day (and a bit from yesterday) simply vanished.

BUGGER! Times about a million!

I put the card aside just in case I could find some way to rectify it when we got back but it meant I can no longer backup footage from the main camera and if all my spare SD cards filled up, I would have no more ability to shoot video with the best camera.

We still had two main areas to film that we tried (and failed) to get to 3 times in the past. I had to remember to be bit more economical with what I filmed.

Minor annoyances continued the next day when the plastic nose pieces on my spectacles fell off somewhere and I was left with two sharp metal prongs sticking down into my nose. I do carry a spare pair of specs but I still prefer the set I use normally, so I set about building up some nose pieces using layers of different sized shrink wrap. Just as well I carry a lot of odd things on big trips as it worked pretty well.

I re-shot the footage I at Datjoin Rock and we moved on just a few kilometres to the abandoned town of Wialki.

There really isn't much left except a really old school building that is falling to pieces and a more modern one that is possibly still being used by local community groups.

 

Wialki
Wialki

 

It would be an ok overnight stop but we really wanted to get to Beringbooding Rock for the night.

On the way we dropped in to Bonny Rock which is another abandoned town site. The spelling of Bonny (or Bonnie) Rock seems to be optional as a sign on the old hall spelles it Bonnie and a more modern sign by the hall shows Bonny.

The little hall was built in 1935 and is still being used by the community and there are some awesome modern toilets and a hot shower that are free for travellers to use. (A donation is greatly appreciated to help with costs though).

There is also apparently an internet hot-spot but we didn't bother with that as we have our own.

We stopped for a while and had a chat with some travellers who had just been to Beringbooding and then made our way out there ourselves.

Roads in the area are mostly unsealed but all the ones we went down were in really good condition.

 

Beringbooding Rock
Beringbooding Rock

 

I was a little disappointed when we arrived at Beringbooding to find that the camping area was rather small and people were herded together on the outside of an oval turn-around.

There is a flush toilet and an information board but nothing else in the way of facilities.

I was thinking about heading somewhere else as I really don't like having to camp on top of other people but I decided to take a walk along the track leading around the rock from the main campsite.

I found several good options for camping along the track so we drove a short distance along and settled in for the day.

The next job was to send up the drone to get a good look at the area and I spotted an interesting rock formation with a pool of water at the base that I later found is called Kangaroo Hole.

 

Kangaroo Hole
Kangaroo Hole

 

I took a walk along and over the rock getting some (hopefully) nice photos and footage.

After lunch it was time to back up all the new footage I could with the exception of the Panasonic video camera, that now has to store all the footage I take with it until we get home.

A little history of Beringbooding includes the fact that it is the largest concrete catchment tank in Australia and that the tank and catchment walls were constructed in 1937.

200 men were transported from Perth. All were unemployed due to the Great Depression and were sent out on sustenance (susso) wages.

A house was built for the supervising staff and on the other side of the rock was just a row of tents for the workers.

The work took 2 years to complete and the huge tank can hold 2.25 million gallons of water when it is full.

 

Water Tank
Water Tank

 

It was only a short drive next day to reach Elachbutting Rock. This is the furthest east we were going on this trip and from here we were heading home.

It seemed that we had left the best until last as this rock is HUGE!

The campsite is on the far side of the rock from the entrance and a full circuit of the rock is 6 kilometres.

A one way road leads round the rock and we didn't stop to check out the wave formation, so we thought we would just drive around and have a look the next day. This turned out to be a mistake as the weater turned nasty over night and we never got to see the attractions on the west side of the rock.

The campsite is huge and much better than the silly small site at Beringbooding.

There is one small toilet, some fire pits, a shelter with seats and a table and some nice shady areas.

Sites around the camp range from up close and personal with the rock to more bush like settings.

After flying the drone over the rock, there are a couple of places I definitely wouldn't camp as there is a very large chunk of rock that has broken away and looks like it is ready to slide down the side.

Further along the track a road winds up to a lookout on the rock but that was sign posted as 4x4 only.

Dogs are not allowed at Elachbutting (apparently pronounced elak-butting) but they seem to be ok at Berinbooding.

 

Elachbutting Rock
Elachbutting Rock

 

During the night some wet weather swept in and by morning a very fierce wind was battering the campsite.

There wasn't much point in hanging around and we had a fair distance to travel so we were moving by 8am.

The first stop was Mukinbudin where we had five things planned. Empty the black waste (free dump point at the caravan park), pick up more water (tap opposite the cafe near the railway station), fuel up the Coaster from the 24 hour pumps, pick up supplies from the local IGA and MOST IMPORTANT of all visit the little book shop in town.

Mukka has a great little second hand bookshop in the main street and we always drop in when we are out that way. This time I found even more interesting books than usual and walked away with a box full. At just $2 each, they were a real bargain!

 

Mukinbudin
Mukinbudin Book Shop

 

From Mukka it was just a hard slog into the wind. The Coaster hates strong wind and were were battling to do 70 kph most of the time.

At Trayning we turned south to Kellerberrin where we stopped briefly for lunch.

The weather hadn't let up so there was no point hopping out for a walk around town and we continued south to Yoting where a possible overnight spot was listed on WikiCamps.

We didn't think much of the place as it was nothing more than a dirt track next to a wheat silo.

The next possible stop over was about 25 kilometres away at Wamenusking so despite being somewhat fatigued, we pushed on in the hope of finding a better place to stay.

Turned out that it was worth the effort and we found a great little sports ground and the weather had finally started to clear a bit by the time we had finished setting up.

 

Wamenusking
Wamenusking

 

Over night the weather cleared and despite being a bit on the chilly side (1C) it was good to see a nice clear blue sky and NO WIND!

A quick walk around the sports ground revealed an archery practice ground and some tracks heading off in to the bush. Sadly there were very few wildflowers.

It was an easy run to Quairading where we stopped to have a look around town and pick up some pies for lunch.

We checked out the CWA op-shop and then headed out to Toapin Weir.

We missed the turning on to Weir Road twice despite using the WikiCamps map on one of our phones. Although I had been out to the weir years ago, I had forgotten that the road was a rather small dirt track.

Eventually we worked out what we were doing wrong and not long afterwards we arrived at Toapin.

There is a nice little picnic area with shelters, seats, tables and even a water tank but for some reason the toilets were locked up and there was no sign giving any indication why.

The picnic area is very small so we drove out on to the large paddock like space where we found a nice level spot and settled in for the day.

 

Toapin Weir
Toapin Weir

 

There were a lot of hungry mosquitoes hanging around so we got out the mozzie coils and put on some repellent.

Sadly this was the second last night of the trip with the last night being at the Brookton self-contained RV area.

The last full day of the trip dawned cold and sunny.

There wasn't much more to do than have brekky, pack up and make our was south west to Brookton.

As the trip was ending we had a nice cooked breakfast of bacon, egg, sausage, tomato, mushroom and toast.

It was about an 80 kilometre drive to Brookton taking the sealed roads and we arrived a bit before lunch time.

By the time we arrived the clouds were rolling in from the west so I set up the trailer so we could use the generator later in the day. We would need it to help the Travel Buddy cook dinner in any case.

Lunch was a fish burger as we were trying to use up any left over food and the day was mostly spent at the RV rest area by the 'river' hoping to get some shots of the plentiful birds chirping in the trees - we didn't get any photos at all.

We could have headed home today but home is never really a great prospect when we are out on a trip and we usually stretch the trip out as long as we possibly can.

 

Brookton RV Rest Area
Brookton RV Rest Area

 

Over all it was a good trip (if I ignore my main laptop giving up the ghost) and I got a heap of footage to edit up at home.

All there was left was the run home down the Brookton Highway. I decided to take a short-cut along Kinsella Road to Jarrahdale and the last time I had driven the unsealed road it had been in reasonable condition.

This time it was a corrugated, pot-holed nightmare! The road appears to be the responsibility of the City of Armadale and they need a good kick in the bum for allowing a road as important as this to be in such a disgraceful condition.

It is the only viable short-cut from Brookton Highway to Albany Highway and in our opinion should be a sealed road.

This trip may be over but we are already planning the first trip out with the camping trailer that I was working on over winter. We will do a quick two night test trip just to check that we have everything we need and then soon after that, we will be off on another adventure.

 

 

updated September 2021

Go to the last blog installment go to the next blog installment

 

 

places to see on this trip:

Bindoon
Wannamal
Mogumber
Gillingarra
Moora
Lake Edawa
Miamoon
Wubin
Wubin-Rocks
Buntine
Latham
Caron Dam
Perenjori
Camel Soak
Dalwallinu
Xantippe
Kalannie
Burakin
Beacon
Datjoin Rock
Wialki
Bonnie Rock
Beringbooding Rock
Elachbutting Rock
Mukinbudin
Kununoppin
Trayning
Kellerberrin
Wamenusking
Quairading
Toapin Weir
Brookton

 

Beringbooding Rock
Beringbooding Rock
Beringbooding Rock
Beringbooding Rock

 

 

 

 

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