Wednesday, April 3

Dongara to Kalbarri

It was hard to leave Dongara - I had made friends, taken time to look around (and there are still local places I have yet to visit), but I was packed and ready and headed off just before 9 am on April 1st.  The roads were busy - mostly holiday makers heading south, so not as much traffic going in the direction I was!!

I stopped briefly in Geraldton - needed to get a couple of things and was on the doorstop at Woolworths as it opened - after all it was Easter Monday - and I was quickly in the store and out again and back on the road again.  I do confess to driving just below the speed limit - in part because to drive at 100 kms is kinder to my car and fuel economy, and in part it allows me to take in the sights on each side of the road.  I will never be able to detail the amazing sights - mainly the vegetation, and the rock formations - the scenery changes frequently and if I took a photo as it changes I'd hardly progress in my travel!!!  (Sometimes I do of course stop and take a photo or two....)

There were two places I wanted to visit - one was Oakabella Homestead just south of Northhampton, and the other was the Principality of Hutt!  So glad I did both.  I also went into the town of Northhampton and had a quick look around this historic town.  So much to see and so little time....

At Oakabella Station I parked and went into the Tea Room where I met Loretta Wright, the manager of Oakabella.  You can read the story of her first visit to Oakabella and learn a little of what she has done since then.  She is really a great character and on this day was the tour guide, cook, etc, and after I had enjoyed an iced coffee she took me on a quick tour of the property.  What an amazing place and how wonderful that she has found most of the artifacts right there on the property - often under the floor boards in the dirt and debris placed there many years ago.

She has done so much here - to preserve an extra ordinary piece of Australian history. Hopefully next time I pass through I will have more time to stay and explore.


In the Museum

The Dunny

The Kitchen
Back on the road again, driving northward towards Kalbarri, via the coast road.  VEry interesting buildings and ruins along the route.

I drove into Port Gregory especially as I wanted to get a close look at the Pink Lake  - a pale pink from the Port Gregory side, but darker pink on the road to Kalbarri.



At Port Gregory I saw these wooden stairs down to the beach, completed covered by sand.  Easier not to use the stairs!!!



On the other side of the lake I followed a dirt roadway to the lake and saw some of the workings of the lake and the extraction of beta-carotene.



Then back on the road again to find the road to the Principality of Hutt.  It was a long unmade road, but fortunately not too difficult to drive.  The signs are few and far between and at times I wasn't sure if I was on the right track, but eventually found the main gate to the Principality and soon the Post Office and main office.

Meeting Prince Leonard

Sitting in the Princess chair in the Chapel.
I must say Prince Leonard is fascinating!!!  Clearly a very intelligent man, though disappointingly people do 'take the mickey' out on him and the principality, but I challenge anyone to meet him and feel sure that everyone would come away, accepting his great intelligence and knowledge.  He speaks at a fast rate - the Chinese visitors found it very hard to follow!!!

I spent nearly two hours there and headed back on the dirt road to the roadway to Kalbarri and on the way stopped to take photos of the amazing cliffs south of Kalbarri.

A fire had burnt through this area south of Kalbarri a week or so ago
Cliffs south of Kalbarri


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