MURCHISON HOUSE STATION, Sept 2023
Sean and Deb, with Luke and Lulu (dogs) in Mitsubishi Triton
Roger and Karen in Toyota 76 Land Cruiser
Don and Jane in GU Patrol
Shane in Toyota Prado
Murchison House Station is a huge property just outside Kalbarri, this is the third consecutive year the Club has visited and still we have not seen all the tracks or sites available. This year we camped closer to the homestead in an area known as Tutuli, close to the river with lots of shade. The winds were strong at times, but that kept the flies under control which also helped on the hotter days. The nights thankfully were cool which meant we had small camp fires and slept well.
We all made our way up at different times and as the first ones there we (Roger and Karen) had the fun of choosing the camp spot on Friday afternoon, at the time there was no one else within sight. Unfortunately, within an hour or so other vehicles started arriving – and not from our group – although they did leave a wide gap between where we camped and where they set up. Don and Jane arrived later Friday afternoon.
Saturday morning, Jane and Karen took a lovely walk down the sand tracks, examining all the various animal prints and trails trying to work out what had gone ahead of us, hoping not to meet some of these creatures!
One of the none legged creatures left a trail like a “pie cutter”.
Shortly after lunch Sean and Deb and the dogs arrived and we all relaxed in the shade for a while.
Sunday saw the women go for a walk in the opposite direction this time, we climbed some lovely rock formations, which gave a magnificent view over the surrounding river and country side, (the men stayed at camp and drank more coffee.)
Afterwards we all headed out for a drive towards Mullewa Flats (where the Club camped last year) and some new coastal tracks.
At one stage Sean’s map told us that there was a track but it was hard to find, however perseverance and bullheadedness paid off.
There were a few obstacles encountered, but with tyres down at 25psi, everything was negotiated without any problems in low range.
Once we got back to camp, Shane joined us. After dinner Shane produced a new camp oven and seasoned it over Don’s camp pig (or chuffer) and promised us all scones the next night.
Monday was a big 4wding day and so I (Karen) opted out, spent the day quietly in camp. I enjoyed the fact that the local goat population didn’t realise someone was still in camp and came really close, until I moved, then they got a fright. Everyone else headed out.
(Unnel) It appears to be a fissure in a rock from above, however inside it’s a tunnel with breaks in the roof for light.
Deb was finally rewarded when the group visited a formation called an Unnel, which she has wanted to see each year, the group climbed all through it and now Deb has one less thing on her bucket list.
That night Shane proceeded to make his scones, both lemonade and sultana scones, well they were to die for! One hilarious aspect though was Sean’s ingenious method of whipping the cream, he attached numerous cable ties to his Ryobi drill! It worked like a dream. Who said you have to rough it when you go camping in the bush.
Tuesday was going to be hot so we chose to go into Kalbarri for the day, the dogs had a swim and we all had fish and chips on the beach. It also provided – those who needed – a chance to empty their chemical toilets at the dump point in town. Some of us have moved to a new type of chemical toilet which doesn’t need a dump point, but we still dropped off our rubbish as well. Don and Jane found a butcher in Kalbarri that did a nice range of Roo rissoles which they bought. It was decided that scones were on the menu again after dinner so more supplies were needed, except we opted for a can of “spray cream” from IGA in Kalbarri, not that we didn’t appreciate Sean’s efforts the night before. We all made sure we ate less dinner as we knew how many scones were going to be forced upon us by Shane and we obviously couldn’t offend him by saying no!
Wednesday was a very hot day so some of the group headed out early(ish) for a drive. They headed towards the coast and found a Jackaroo on a really steep track that had been abandoned on a very precarious angle a few years ago.
The story from the station owners was that the drivers were wandering around out there late at night when they went down the steep track to the beach and got stuck, then they didn’t like the recovery fee of $2000, so took out their possessions and just left the vehicle. It now serves as a deterrent to other drivers not to attempt that track.
They found a difficult hill they would have liked to have tried however with the thermometer showing it as being over 40 degrees no one wanted to do a recovery in those temperatures. Everyone headed back to camp to find shade and relax. Shane had to head back home as some urgent work had come in so we all waved goodbye.
Thursday morning the rest of us packed up and headed for home, each taking a slightly different route once again. There are still vast areas of the Station we haven’t explored that would be great to go back to in future years.
Thank you to Sean and Deb for organising this trip.
Roger and Karen