Kennedy Ranges, September 2023
Penny and Spence – LC 76 + the Ultimate
Ivo and Lucy – LC 76 + the T Van
Russel and Caz – LC 79 + tent
We set off at 8.30 from Ampol North Wanneroo – beautiful sunny day – drove along Indian Ocean Drive past Gingin and then headed north up Brand Hwy – Wattle trees in full bloom – Passed beautiful green/yellow fields of canola – stopped at Badgingarra for bit of brekkie and were greeted by a beautiful tame peacock also looking for brekkie.
We carried on good gravel roads and camped near Ballinoo Bridge and had a nice evening sitting near the river around Russel’s fire pit.
Next morning, we carried on Marino Road towards Three Springs fueling at Mingenew – passed Wandina Station along all well graded tracks – had brekkie at Murchison Oasis – visiting the museum and then carried on stopping at Bilung Pool – Penny enjoyed a swim in nice clear water – we then carried on to Gascoyne Junction Caravan Park and of course nice dinner at the Pub.
In the morning, we strolled around the town which was interesting and then left for Temple Gorge Campgrounds, which was only 60km away off road along well graded roads – setting up camp for 2 nights and enjoyed the views and walks.
Cass, Russel and Ivo did the Drapers walk at 3pm, but it was still too hot, and we learnt a good lesson not to walk too early in the heat – but all survived so we spent a lovely evening cooling down and chatting.
All up early 5.30 am – Penny, Spence and Lucy enjoyed the sunrise from the magnificent views of the lookout and then strolled around the interesting formations at the Honey Comb Gorge.
Russel, Cass and Ivo did the Escarpment trail lookout which they said was not that hard a walk and that the views are fantastic – Standing on the plateau makes you understand how little of the National Park is actually accessible and how much of it is wild and untouched.
All back at camp by 8.30- as it wasn’t too hot, we walked along the Temple Gorge until it did get too hot. Then we all took off in the L/C and went down “Tracks Unknown” . All very rough narrow tracks but the amazing drivers with Penny’s guidance took us where few others go – past Drovers Well and further until we could not go any further – turned around and went down another track for a photo shoot and then back to camp for lunch and restful evening.
Story by Lucy and Ivo
Kennedy Ranges West Side
Leisurely pack up from Temple Gorge camp ground with Russell leading us out to the loop road heading south west of the ranges. Luckily the loop is no longer a private track as some mapping apps suggest.
Our first stop was at a place which is now ruins from a old shearers quarters built in 1948.
The roof structure on this building stood out because of its aerodrome shape
The old laundry sinks were quite unique with drums filled with concrete to make the basins and have stood the test of time.
On one of the best maintained tracks moving off from the ruins we were unlucky to tear a hole in the tyre which we plugged and were able to continue along for the next couple of days before we had to swap the tyre.
We then stopped to have a look at Merlinleigh Farm ruins. We had a bit of a look around to see what was still left at the old station.
After the station we made our way along the top of the Kennedy Ranges, overlooking the eastern side and enjoyed beautiful views and a very scenic drive
The decision was made to camp at Chaffcutter Springs for a couple of nights which gave Ivo a chance to climb some hills nearby. During the day we unhitched the campers and we took the opportunity to explore some of the old tracks.
This was an unexpected surprise we came across on top of one of the rocky outcrops overlooking Chaffcutters. Someone had gone to a lot of trouble as the silloets were full size and hanging off the edge of the rock ledge.
Stopping for lunch at Yenny Springs
Next day we ventured south and stopped at Mooka Springs. This place was simply stunning but in stark contrast adjacent to this pristine waterhole is a mine which is the only place Mookaite crystal rock is found.
After Mooka Springs we headed south and crossed the Gascoyne River which was dry on this occasion. Then hit the tar mac and made a beeline for Carnarvon to fuel up and headed off south to our chosen camp at Gladstone Bay Campground which is run by the station owners.
The wind was so strong and constant that the only way to have a fire and not get blown away, was to bring the big 79 across and turn it to a wind break. This ensured a fun and pleasant evening around our last fire for the trip.
Our last night together was spent at Lake Indoon where a brisk walk around the lake was in order.
Overall, a fantastic trip was had by all and for us as new members it was a great way to be introduced to the club.
Thanks to Penny and Spence for running this great adventure.
Story by Russel and Cas.