29 December 2019 Overnighter
Participants: Dave F. – 120 series Prado, Gary – 80 series Land Cruiser, Shane and Brandon – MR Triton, Sean and Deb – Nissan MQ Triton
With a terminally ill gearbox, Brandon’s Jimny stayed home and he hitched a ride with Shane who graciously picked Brandon up from home. Shane’s day got off to a great start putting his wire joining skills to work, reconnecting the power lead to his fridge after it was severed by the fridge slide. The new MR Triton almost looks the same in the back now as the previous MN Triton, including somehow managing to look just as messy as it did before! Only kidding. This delayed our departure from Warwick a little, and sitting in the driveway, we started to pick up Dave and Gary (on Ch 80) as they approached the freeway on the Reid Highway. I managed to get a few words in and noted that Dave and Gary were somewhere north of Ocean Reef Road by the time we headed off.
Our meeting point for this trip was Wilbinga Grove, about 40 minutes from home, and eventually we made it there less than 10 minutes behind the leaders. From here it was north up to Greenwood Beach Rd, our entry point into the south side of Breton Bay. Although hard enough to drive on in 2WD, this road is heavily corrugated, so tyre pressures were let down to low sand numbers, making the trip in comfortable. For those that know Breton Bay, there is a right turn not that far in where the track follows around lease hold land, that today had well repaired fences and some cattle wandering around.
After arriving at the coastline tracks, we started heading north to find a suitable campsite. A few years ago when I first went into Breton Bay on a trip run by Richard C, we had almost the entire area to ourselves. It was still very much a “local knowledge” area, overlooked by many who used either Wilbinga or Lancelin as the 4WD playground. These days thanks to social media, this has changed dramatically, with groups of campers setup in many spots. Not as congested as Wilbinga for a holiday period, just more so than in years past. Thankfully, Breton Bay seems to be spared the idiots that regularly hoon around Wilbinga at night disturbing sleeping campers.
Eventually we found a sheltered spot behind a low line of dunes and set up camp.
Dave and Shane both had their campers, and my box trailer was improvising as a camper trailer with a roof top tent bolted on to it. Gary and Brandon had simpler sleeping arrangements with a swag each.
The trip had been planned to include fishing, however an onshore breeze and a fair bit if seaweed made that a fairly pointless activity. Dave and Brandon both got in for a swim enjoying some body surfing and boogie board riding in a small shore break.
As always, Dave was wandering around with his GoPro taking pictures at ground level and had the Mavic Air drone up for some simply stunning aerial pictures and videos. It’s now a given that any trip Dave attends has a video created in short time afterwards.
Afternoon turned into evening, water bottles made way for more refreshing beverages (G& T’s for Deb and I), and devices fired up to cook dinners on. Earlier in the afternoon, the Travel Buddy Oven in the Triton had been turned on to heat up a home cooked lasagne and vegetable bake. After dinner, it was too windy to have any sort of fire (despite no fire bans in place), so we formed a circle of chairs in the lee of a dune and the vehicles to enjoy a few hours of good conversation amongst friends. Eventually mother nature intervened with some light rain prompting retirement to the warmth of tents and swags. Rain continued intermittently through the night with a steady onshore breeze, gusty enough at times to wake a couple of us with loud slapping of tent canvas.
The breeze persisted all night however it abated with the dawn of the new day. Breakfast for us was cooked on the BabyQ, and washed down with a percolated coffee, brewed from one of the rather delicious Gloria Jean ground coffee offerings.
Dave once again had the drone up to capture the morning scenery from above. Post breakfast, we eventually packed up and “bumped out” of camp. Initially meandering through the dunes and sand bowls, we found our way onto the beach and enjoyed and easy run up to Ledge Point. Here there is an easy exit off the beach into a car park where tyres were reinflated. Shane offered to shout ice creams and these were enjoyed before the run home to Perth.
All in all, a lovely overnight trip to a coastal area that isn’t too far away. Thanks to Dave for running the trip and to all who came along. Sean F.