Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Caravan Park overview - From Perth to Exmouth

This is a brief over view of the Caravan Parks we used, and the places we visited.

1) Sunset Beach Holiday Park (425 km from Perth, Britz, 4 hrs 40m), 21/7 (1 night). Powered Site. This park is right by the beach, with strong winds. The bathroom/toilets are accessed with a code. As it was only our first night, we did not need to empty our chemical toilet so I did not find out if there was a dump point.

The nearest IGA supermarket was about a 10 minutes walk. When we got there, we had dinner at a burger/fish and chips joint. The lamb burger I had was dry. The fish was like fish fingers. The chips were great (all the chips we had on this trip were great!) and we filled ourselves on that. But we cannot recommend the place (it is located with the IGA).

The walk back to the caravan park was in near pitch black darkness. It was bracing. Walking from our motor home to the bath was not as bad as we feared (cold, but not intolerably so). Rained during the night. The sound of the rain on the roof in the cold cold night, as we huddled and cuddled beneath the comforter was quite nice.

There was a drainage point for "grey water" at the site.

2) Kalbarri Anchorage Caravan Park  (151 km from Sunset Beach, Geraldton, 1 hr 42 mins) - 22/7 - 24/7 (2 nights). Powered site. We discovered that the range of the vehicle was about 575 km. 25 km from Kalbarri, our fuel was down to the last "bar" on the dashboard, and the low fuel indicator was flashing. I also discovered that the last bar of fuel on the dashboard could take us at about 25 km. Made it to the IGA, where there was a diesel pump and topped up.

The common bath/toilet also had a code access system. but there was no proper drainage point for grey water. Noted that some motor homes, simply drained into the grass/ground. I found this... disconcerting. This is my first campervan holiday and I would appreciate it if you people would at least try to meet my basic expectations!!!

Then again, that freed me from my idealistic expectations (I drained my grey water onto the dry grass and ground.)

We had lunch at Black Rock Cafe. Dinner was our first attempt to BBQ with the gas BBQ. Washed up the grill/pan in the camp kitchen.

(Tip: line grill pan/tray with aluminum foil to reduce cleaning for the grill tray.) 

We drove to Port Gregory the next day (23/7), and we emptied the chemical toilet before we did. There was a dump point next to the common toilets.

Port Gregory had no restaurants. So we stopped at a parking area next to the Pink Lake, and fried up some sausages we had gotten at the IGA, and ate that with bread for lunch.

On the way back we stopped at the butchers, and got some oyster blade and rib-eye steaks. We saw Vegemite and Cheese sausages, the butcher noticed and said something about Vegemite being either something you love or hate. I said PL loved it, and he gave us one to try.

The ground at Anchorage had lots of dried grass and loose dirt that tended to track into the motor home. Did not like that. But that (dried grass and dirt) was quite common for most parks. Noted that it would be good to have a door mat of sorts. Noted a few campers had brought their own.

3) Denham/Monkey Mia - Blue Dolphin Caravan Park (374 km from Kalbarri, 4 hr 40 mins) - 24/7 - 26/7 (2 nights). Powered Ensuite Site. Again, we were running low on fuel, though not to the last "bar". The previous day's run to Port Gregory (over 120km return), plus the trip to Denham, meant that we had run over 500 km, and we were quite low on fuel when when reached Denham.

Dinner that night was a "chilli" - spicy meat balls which I cooked over a slow fire with some water (to break up the meat balls into a mince) with tomatoes, onions, and fruit juice (a little too much juice). And sausages. The Vegemite-cheese sausage was... not "vegemite" enough.

The Blue Dolphin Caravan Park was our first ensuite site. And it came with a big refrigerator in the ensuite (not standard, and not advertised). It was a new thing they were trying out. Some campers stay for weeks, and the little fridge in their motor home may not be enough. So the caravan park is offering that additional facility. We like the ensuite facility but in the middle of the night, it was too cold to brave the outside to get to the ensuite to relief ourselves. So during the night, we used the in-vehicle chemical toilet.

We drove to Monkey Mia (about 28 km away, almost 60 km two way) the next day (25/7) to see dolphins, had lunch at the restaurant there, and returned to Denham, with a short stopover at Little Lagoon. For dinner, we got the BBQ chicken pizza from the wood-fired pizza place. It was GREAT!

We had short stopovers at Shell beach and a few other sites on the way to our next caravan site.

4) Carnarvon - Big4 Plantation Caravan Park (324 km from Blue Dolphin, 4 hrs) - 26/7 (1 night. Powered Site. The caravan park was about 5 km from the town. We explored the surroundings, found Morel's fruit and herb shop, and an IGA a little further down (about 30 mins walk.

The common toilet was accessible by key - which were "blanks" (so the keys would open either male or female toilets). Which is not really a problem in a caravan park really.

There was a fuel station just outside the park, which was helpful. Filled up for the run to Exmouth.

The city centre was about 5 km away and we should have gone down town first before settling in. Oh well.

5) Exmouth - Exmouth Cape Holiday Park (360 km from Carnarvon, 4 hrs +) - 27/7 - 29/7 (2 night. Powered Ensuite Site. One of the most... extravagant reception area for a caravan park.

Refueled here for the day trips to Bundegi Beach, Mildurra Wreck, and Vlamingh Head Lighthouse. Diesel prices here were the highest.

Also found the town centre. Had late lunch at a cafe (Salty... something cafe) - PL tried the eggs benedict.  I had the big breakfast. It was not very memorable.

Dinner was at Grace's Tavern across the street from the Park's entrance. The ribeye was great. As was the Beez Neez on tap. Desert was "Cupid's got a shotgun".  Two cookies with two scoops of vanilla ice cream between, and topped with chantilly cream. Or something.

We had dinner there the next evening too. This time we had the "bad to the bone" chicken wings, and a pizza - we missed the wood-fired pizza at Denham. Should have ordered the Beez Neez again.

6) Carnarvon - Wintersun Caravan Park, (360 km from Exmouth, 4+ hours) 29/7 (1 night). Powered Site. I can see why this park got a tourism award. At the check-in the staff asked if I needed help reversing my motor home into the lot. Valet service? Wow! Or did I just look THAT incompetent to them?!?! :-)

I was impressed by the common toilets. The cubicle walls were solid (concrete?), not plywood or cheap partitioning.

The grey water intake was a pipe into which the grey water hose fitted nicely.

Learning from our earlier visit, we actually travelled into town and ate at a bar (didn't catch the name). PL had a slice of beef pie (really good!) and I had the burger on turkish bread (spectacular!). Unfortunately I was driving so I just had a coke or something, instead of the beer.

Wintersun was near Morel's and we got some chocolate covered strawberries and strawberry sherbet icecream.

7) Dongara - SeaSpray Beach Holiday Park, (540km from Carnarvon, 5hrs.) 30/7  (1 night). Powered Ensuite Site. Interestingly the ensuite was elevated, so we had to take three steps up to the toilet/shower. Probably a plumbing issue as the site was very close to the beach. It was one of the nicer parks we have been too, but they did not have a dump point on site. But there was one recently opened and it was just a 3 minute drive. It is one of the "Ezy-Dump". Convenient. I believe there is another one on the other side of town, but I did not have to go look for that.

On the way back to Perth, we detoured to Jurien Bay. The sign said it was the scenic route. The sign lied.

BUT, Jurien Bay was a nice place. We stopped at a bakery. It was very well stocked. I wondered if they were able to sell all their goods. We had the beef pepper pie (nice!) and coffee for me and tea for the wife.

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