Milligan Island Mini-Break
Thursday 10th to Sunday 13th February 2022
Richard & Naomi – Pajero (Trip Leader)
Spence, Penny & Amber – Landcruiser
Alex – Colorado
Keith – Ranger
Peter & Malou – Landcruiser
Dave & Cindy – Prado
Lin – FJ
Gary, Claire, Gabriel & Azriel – Landcruiser
Last year after the Beekeepers Reserve trip we brought some members back via Milligan Island and the general consensus was, that it would be a good spot for a lazy long weekend trip. As it can get quite busy up here during school holidays or long weekends, we decided to slot in a four-day break after the sprogs had gone back to school. My plan was to head up on a Thursday morning in order to ensure we got enough camp spots for our group as you can’t book at Milligan’s it is a first come, best dressed camp with a three-night max stay. Originally, I’d planned to just meet everyone at Milligan’s after shooting up the Brand Hwy but ended up agreeing to meet up early at Nowergup and head up Indian Ocean Drive (IOD) together. This proved to fortuities as there was a fatal on Brand Hwy that morning and we would have been unable to get north.
We set off early which meant we got to Milligan Island about 9.30am, being Thursday morning, we had the pick of sites as only two of the thirty-six sites were being used at this time.
After we set up camp I took Alex, Keith, Spence & Penny for a drive as apart from Naomi & I they hadn’t been here before. After looking at Point Louise & the various bays I decided to give the beach run along Anchorage Bay into Green Head a go.
After a quick tour we headed back to camp as it was approaching lunchtime and Peter & Malou were due to be arriving soon with their brand spanking new caravan on its virginal outing.
It is very nice and I’m sure it will bring them many years of memories as they get out and explore our beautiful countryside.
After some small talk, it was the afternoon and we decided to pop around to the beach so some could swim, while others could paddle. The water was calm and not too cold, however there was the occasional Bluebottle that seem to have been washed into the bay, but these were no problem as it was easy to dodge them.
All in all, it was a glorious day with great mates and the sunset was a fitting finish to the activities.
The next morning after a slow start, we went for a short drive to show Peter & Malou the beach. Not wanting to venture too far as Dave & Cindy were due to get there quite early. We happened to run into them on the access road as we were heading back to camp, they were quick to set up camp.
After Dave got has bonding session with Amber completed, we got ready to head back into town.
After another run down the bay we headed to Green Head Gallery Café for a bite to eat which is well worth visiting if you are up here (Fri-Sun). With the group nourished we headed back towards camp using the beach and got ready to head up to Leeman so we could explore the tracks in the dunes to the south of the town I’d been told about.
First thing we had a quick stop, Dave needed supplies (aka bottle shop). Just down past the caravan park, there is a track taking you down to the beach where you can follow the coast south back towards Milligan Island Campsite.
The sand tracks in here are mainly for the locals to access their favourite fishing spots, whilst not too challenging it was interesting to explore a new area. There is no camping allowed along the coast here other than at Milligan Island and the Ranger does patrol this area. After winding our way south, you come out at a headland at the top of Little Anchorage, rather than drop down onto a very narrow soft sand beach which I haven’t driven before, I decided to turn everyone around and head for a track that ran east back to Indian Ocean Drive. From here it was a short bitumen run back to gravel road leading to our campsite.
When we got back, we found that the campsite was just about full, we only needed one more site for Gary, Claire & the boys who would be arriving later that night and Lin who was on her way would camp between our van & Keith’s swag. After getting all this sorted, we headed back to the beach for an afternoon swim & snorkel for some.
Well with the increased wind a few (lot) more Bluebottles had blown into the bay, where as the day before you could easily avoid them today you had to be more vigilant as they were everywhere. I thought I was doing ok until I got a few minor stings which then turned into getting nailed everywhere between my chest and ankles. As I was enjoying this torture Keith surfaced and had one across his lip (Ouch). As I was leaving the beach Cindy could see all the blue tentacles hanging off me and down between my legs.
At this stage I was quite thankful for the nice shower that our van has, after peeling off my shirt & boardies it was good to remove all the tentacles and progress to beer-O-clock.
Meanwhile Claire captured an awesome sunset shot as they head up IOD, which complimented the photo taken by everyone still down on the beach.
On the Saturday morning whilst everyone else was taking their time rising, Amber had already been down the beach and was as happy as Larry.
Given the shallowness of the bay, I suggested we head into Green Head via the beach, so Dave & Gary could dive in Dynamite Bay, whilst Naomi went paddling along with Gabriel & Azriel,
while the rest of the gang checked out the awesome walk paths that have been put in through out Green Head.
After our busy morning we headed back to camp again doing our best to avoid bitumen, using sand tracks and the beach where possible, Alex had a couple of his staff members (who happened to be camping in one of the other loops), joined us for the afternoon drive.
After driving back from Leeman the day before, I decided to head up using a powerline track parallel to IOD. This is where we exited the day before, thus avoiding all bitumen between Green Head and Leeman. Driving up the coast the opposite way, I find it funny how the same track can be so different when done in the opposite direction.
All was going well as we wound our way north and we could see the caravan park in Leeman that was our exit point when I came across a bogged (to the bumpers) Kia Sportage in the middle of the track, with tall bushes on both sides with no way around it. There was no one around and the car was locked so I assume they’d gone for help.
Fortunately, I knew there was a short steep sand track a little way back which exits into a huge fire break.
With everyone backed up a bit I was able to get back out to the clearing. We then used some tracks heading southeast back out towards the powerline track before heading back to camp. On the Sunday morning some people were up early and packed as they had stuff to do back in Perth. As we were in no rush, we headed down to Billy Goat Bay with Gary, Claire & the boys along with Lin to go for another paddle.
After bidding farewell to Gary, Claire, Gabriel & Azriel, Lin, Naomi and myself headed back into the Green Head Gallery Café for an awesome coffee & cake out on the lawn under the trees. The general consensus was that the extra long weekend had gone well and even though there wasn’t really any hard 4WDing everyone had a good time. From my point of view, it was very sociable and there was a good mix of old & new members who all interacted with each other. A big thank you goes to everyone who came along, made it so enjoyable and hopefully we can do it again sometime.
All the best
Click on the image below if you would like to see the vid from this great trip.