Beekeepers Nature Reserve
Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd October 2021
Richard & Naomi – Pajero (Trip Leader)
Lin – FJ
Matt – Pajero
Gary, Claire, Gabriel & Azriel – Landcruiser
James – Jimny
Naomi and I had scheduled this trip ages ago so she could plan to take the Friday off and make an extended weekend of it, unfortunately as is the case of trying to forward plan around school holidays and wildflower season we slotted it in a bit late to really catch nature at its best. But to be honest it doesn’t really matter as there is a lot to see and explore where we were heading. The plan was to meet up at Muchea on the Friday morning, getting there was an easy drive as all the other suckers (workers) were heading the other way on Tonkin Hwy.
Originally, we had seven vehicles coming, but two pulled out at the last minute so that left two of us for the morning and three more coming up after work that evening. As it ended up Lin was running a little late due to roadworks on Tonkin, but still got to Muchea at a reasonable time and we set off in heavy rain north towards Bindoon before turning to Moora and eventually getting to Eneabba via Badgingarra. This way we had a short scenic, but wet route which avoided the Brand Hwy for the most part.
After topping up fuel at Eneabba, we set off west to Lake Indoon, I used to come up here fairly regularly camping with my kids back before every man and his neighbours dog found out about it, and unfortunately it can get quite busy nowadays. We dropped in as I had heard it was getting full again, with all the rain we have had this winter.
Once things settled down and all the Covid campers go back to whatever they were doing before, I’ll probably come back here again with the caravan as it has good access and you can find quiet corners to camp in, away from the main area. The original plan was to camp in the nature reserve just to the north of here, but I had been advised of another spot that was worth the drive further away. Late last year I helped the Mitsi club with a, ‘Tending the Tracks’ project in Leeman and through that I met the local ranger who knows the area like the back of his hand. I’ve kept in contact with him and he knew where I was planning to camp and suggested another spot for me to check out. As I hadn’t been to this particular exact spot, which is quite a way into the bush before, I had to do detailed GPS directions for Matt, Gary & James who were coming up later that night in the dark. Lin, Naomi & I had the benefit of day light with plenty of rain which made the tracks easy to drive.
Once we made it to our little lake, we then set about putting up our tents etc. between rain squalls.
The next most important task was to get a rain proof fire going.
Apparently, I’m not that bad at giving GPS directions as all the other guys found us exactly where I said we would be camped, when they drove in about 9 o’clock that night. After setting up of swags & camper it was time to feed some hungry travellers and by then the wind had died down. Earlier in the night we were standing under the gazebos like we were catching a train holding the frame down during the stronger gusts. In the end, the el-cheapo gazebos did their job and provided heaps of dry shelter. Our late arrivals were surprised to see that they were camped right on the edge of a lake when they got up the next morning.
After a lazy start to the day, I explained to everyone that there was probably enough to see in the immediate area without having to touch bitumen until the next day when heading home. First port of call was a cave I last visited 6 ½ years ago.
This cave is quite out of the way and not as ‘tourisitized’ as the ones known as Stockyard Gully, DBCA have installed some warning/information signs. This area is home to lots of Bees
and even though their numbers seem to be down, you still need to be cautious of them. The entry is via a climb down into the crater and then further down into the actual cave.
This is a great starter cave for exploring, and from what I’ve read it goes a long way if you’re prepared to crawl on your stomach and have the appropriate gear. At about a hundred metres in there is a visitors’ book for those that wish to sign.
The tracks around here are a mixture of cap rock that you have to crawl over to smooth dried clay,
Some are wide open and others are pinstripe central. One thing to remember is to not drive on anything damp unless you wish to be getting recovered. I’ve been out here in summer, and there was still sitting water in tracks near the various lakes’ edges. After leaving the cave we did a general explore of the area and came across another small group camped roughly where I had originally intended, so to give them some privacy we turned around and headed down to Lake Logue,
this may seem like a grassy savannah, but you wouldn’t get far if you did try to walk on it. This is a very important part of the local ecosystem and the whole area is a declared nature reserve. Whilst we were too late in the season to really see carpets of wildflowers there was still some around,
and I’m sure we will have to arrange another visit a bit earlier in the season in the future. Even though the 4WDing in here is not hard, everyone agreed to head back to camp for some chill time and to enjoy another sunset from our private oasis.
The next morning was another laidback, take your time experience as no one other than James (who headed back on his own via the Brand Hwy) had time constraints. After exiting the reserve, we popped back over to Lake Indoon as Gary wanted to see it with water and I don’t think Matt had been there before either.
After airing up we headed west to Leeman to find a shop, even though my sense of direction is good in the bush it is pretty shite (according to Gary) in an urban area, this resulted in the remaining group exploring most of Leeman unintentionally. We then headed down the coast to Point Louise were everyone stretched their legs and a certain mischievous member
proved it wasn’t just the kids you had to keep an eye on! A main part of my diversion into here
was to show everyone Milligan Island and the campsite.
All agreed it would be a great area for a family friendly summer camp and I have tentatively put it on the club calendar for next February.
At this point Gary, Claire, Gabriel, Azriel & Matt (the third child) bid farewell as they were heading home straight down Indian Ocean Drive. Lin, Naomi & myself were going to pop into Greenhead to get some afternoon tea before heading home. When I came up here last November with ‘Tending the Tracks’, I was taken to the amazing local place Greenhead Gallery Café and introduced to Deborah the owner, we have now visited several times and the food & coffee is always amazing. After enjoying the afternoon sun out in the garden, it was time for us remaining to meander home via the Brand Hwy. I hope everyone who attended enjoyed the weekend as much as I did and I’m more than happy to run another one into the area next year as well as the already planned beach trip based at Milligan Island, where we will explore the tracks heading up to Leeman.
All the best