Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Road trip to Jurien Bay

On the 10th of March, my husband and I, Sister in law and Brother in law piled into our fully loaded car and started our road trip to Jurien Bay on the Coral Coast, about 222km north of Perth, where we would spend the next 3 nights.
Because our 4 month old baby grandson was also travelling with our son and daughter in law in another car, we had to have frequent stops for feeding, nappy changing, etc.

Day 1 - Our first stop was just outside Perth's northern boundaries at the former Atlantis Marine Park in the small fishing community of Two Rocks 60km north of the city.  The now abandoned Atlantis theme park was built in 1981, but closed in 1990 due to financial problems. 
The statue of King Neptune at the top of a hill has been restored from vandalism and was heritage listed by the Western Australian Heritage Council in 2006.
The area was enclosed with a wire fence but I saw a couple taking photos at the top and asked them how they got there and they indicated a hole in the fence through which I climbed.
I'd heard about this park and seen photos but never been there before, so it was quite interesting to see Neptune and the various statues scattered around, some of them looking a bit dilapidated.

King Neptune, dolphins and mermaids at Atlantis Marine Park

Lancelin was our next stop to take some photos of the beach and have a bite to eat from our packaged lunches. On the road lots of white sand dunes were visible, the pristine beach was deserted and a few fishing boats were at sea.
Lancelin - sand dunes, beach with fishing boats, big houses by the beach and our grandson with his baby sunglasses
Late afternoon we reached Jurien Bay where we had rented a small holiday house and unpacked. 
Jurien Bay is a well know fishing spot and it's marina provides a haven for crayfishing boats. Named after Charles Jurien, an administrator in the French Navy it was found in 1801 by French naval explorer Nicholas Baudin.

After familiarizing ourselves with the area, we went to the jetty to watch the sunset. We were lucky to see a dolphin but couldn't catch him in a photo!
The next day there meant to be a "classic car show" on the main street, but although we were there on time and waited for a while no cars showed up! Later on we saw two of them near the beach and spoke to the owners who said the show somehow didn't materialize. Strange!!

Cervantes beach and jetty (my son, daughter in law and baby), sunset and 2 of the classic cars we saw.

Day 2 - We drove to Dongara about 130km north of Jurien Bay via the Indian Ocean Drive to explore the coastal area
We explored the area's beaches and the many small towns along the coast. From the many statues that could be seen around crayfish is king. We made our way back in the evening.

Various town around Jurien bay - beaches and crayfish statues

Day 3 - after a relaxing morning, we made our way to the Nambung National Park near Cervantes, in the early evening, paid our entry fee (into an envelope as no cashier was there at the time we entered) and drove around the 12km loop looking at the Pinnacles.

The Pinnacles popular with tourists, are rocks make of limestone varying from small stones to stones over 2mt high spread out in the desert. They became well known after 1967 when the area was gazetted as a reserve.
It was a windy day but that didn't deter the flies that were out in force, and we could hardly open our mouths in fear of swallowing a couple...our backs were full of them and every time we entered the car we had to help each other clear them so they wouldn't bother us inside.

I had been to the Pinnacles before but always during the day, so this time our aim was to watch the sun setting over the pinnacles and the show didn't disappoint!! 

Lots of photographers with fancy cameras lined up taking photos from all angles. Mine aren't so bad either considering my modest camera.
We left when the sun set and the moon was visible in the sky making the earth appear red.

Sunset over the Pinnacles, my husband and I in front of one of the tall boulders

Sun down and moon up in the sky

Day 4 - Time to pack up and return to Perth. We stopped at Cervantes about 30km south of Jurien bay to visit Lake Thetis.
The lake is one of five sites in Western Australia that features thrombolites (believed to be about 3000 years old) which resemble stromatolites, the oldest living fossil formations in the world (up to 3,5 billion years).
The lake is named after the ship Thetis that surveyed the coast between 1847/8.
There's a boardwalk of 1,5km around the lake making for an easy stroll.

Cervantes was established about 50 years ago to accommodate the workers of the local crayfishing industry and has about 500 inhabitants. The coast here has seen over 1400 shipwrecks since 1622.
The town was named after the Cervantes islands nearby which were named after an American whaling ship which wrecked on the coast in 1844, which in turn was named after the Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes.
Maybe for that reason the town's street names are mostly Spanish - Seville st, Catalonia St, Valencia st....

My husband couldn't return without having crayfish for lunch and even though we looked into eating at the Lobster Shack we decided rather on eat at Cervantes Bar & Bistro.
The food was wonderful and tasty and our waitress was a friendly Canadian girl on a working holiday.

Cervantes lookout to empty beach, Lake Thetis, prawns and squid and grilled lobster

About 100Km north of Perth, our last stop before reaching Perth was Guilderton, on the Moore River estuary.
It's a pretty place where the dark river almost meets the sea. 
We climbed to the top of the viewpoint which gave us views over the town, river and sea.

On top of the Lookout with view over the town. Statues of Pelicans and a man with binoculars 

We arrived home in time for dinner having enjoyed our trip with the family.
Hope you also enjoyed getting to know a bit more of Western Australia.


  1. Oh, wasn´t Atlantis going to re-open?! When Grace and P took me there, there were people working on it!
    Awwww, your gandson is so cute!

    Hahaha, things like with the road show happened a lot to us, too all over Australia!
    So no "European thing"!

    Oh, Dongara!!!
    My ever worst disappointment of myself not daring to ask a with us in flood stranded road-train-driver to show me his truck.
    I´ll never ever forgive myself.
    The wallpaper in the public toilets/showers had flowers btw! Memories... thank you!

    Cervantes, The Pinnacles.. .you make me very, very homesick!

    Lake Thetis - it it where stumpy stromatolite says "EIP", Erode In Peace or was that near Hamilton Island (mixing up 1995 and 1999)?

    A great tour for sure!

    1. I had also read somewhere they were thinking of redeveloping the Atlantis park, but nothing done, just the statues were cleaned up. Don't remember seeing that EIP stromatolite, maybe it's Hamilton island. You have a good memory of all your travels Iris.

    2. They were very special, Sami. When do you have the time to travel 6+months anyways... I was allowed twice! I am so thankful...

    3. True, not many people have the possibility to travel for such long periods. :)

  2. What a fantastic trip! So many wonderful sights to see along the way and those sunset scenes are spectacular! One of my favourite photos, though, is of your sweet little grandson!

    1. Thank you Christine, I love sunsets. My grandson is so cute I just want to squeeze him :)

  3. Que viagem maravilhosa. Umas fotos fantásticas. Adorei conhecer um pouco da austraia pela tua mão.
    Kis :=}

    1. Obrigada pela visita e comentário Avó Gi.

    2. Sempre tive curiosidade em visitar um blog nesse lugar tão afastado do meu rural, eu vivo na Madeira. Muitos madeirenses emigraraam e muitos nem se lembram dos que aqui ficaram.
      Os meus cunhados estiveram em Sidney de visita a familia para um casamento.
      Por isso faço questão de te seguir é visitar se não te importas
      Kis :={

    3. Obrigada Gi pela visita Gi. Por Perth onde vivo ha uma comunidade enorme de Madeirenses, eles foram os originais que para aqui vieram ha cerca de 50 aos atras!

  4. This is fascinating! What beautiful works of nature all around you. The sunset photo of rock formations looks like it could be a landscape on Mars! But the cutest picture is that of your grandson - what a doll baby!

    1. Thanks J. The landscape at the Pinnacles does look like it could be on Mars. Thanks for the comment about my baby grandson, it was his first trip and he behaved very well.

  5. Wow,Sami, just wow! Beautiful empty beaches, those crazy statues in the sand! And fresh seafood - - I am Green With Envy. And the baby!!

  6. What a lovely trip you guys went on! Been a dream to road trip Australia!

    1. Thanks for your visit Untourists. I would also love to do a road trip around Australia, maybe one day after we retire...

  7. I'm not sure what is more "wow" the colours in your sunset, the food, or your grandson in his baby sunnies - too cute!
    Wren x

    1. Thanks Wren. All great experiences. My grandson is a cutie, but of course I'm biased :)

  8. That was a nice family trip! Australia has so many nice places to visit. That sunset over the pinnacles must have been amazing! Your pictures are great! Some landscapes don't need fancy cameras to be photographed.

    1. Thanks Sara, the pinnacles sunset was an amazing experience, I'm glad we did it.


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