Exmouth and Ningaloo

19th June, 2021: We’re heading out of the beautiful desert to the coast to Exmouth Gulf – but there’s no camping sites, in spite of many telephone calls over the last few weeks. So, after an overnight at Nanutarra Roadhouse (love these wacky remote spots) here we are at Bullara Station, 250,000 acres and 3,000 cattle – and 160 camping sites. It’s a quirky and spectacularly successful operation.

Entry to Bullara Station – and Charlie, leading me in

Off to spend the day exploring Exmouth and then Ningaloo reef in a glass-bottomed boat. Charlie is the issue, so we have to find a Jack Russell sitter for the day. The history, as we know, is interesting – the American base, the first centre of activity on the Peninsular, meant that you needed a passport, a few American dollars and to know how to drive on the right hand side of the road, to mingle. Today the site is abandoned, but the towers are still standing, taller, the locals boast proudly, by some six metres, than the Empire State Building.

The most famous wreck off the coast, the cattle-carrying Mildura, was, after its spectacular demise, responsible for both the Vlamingh Head Lighthouse being built and for the population of dugongs around Ningaloo, owing to the mating of some surviving swimming cattle and the local dolphins.

Shshshsh, Don’t tell anyone, but Ningaloo coral is grey, green and a muddy colour, but we ooohhed and ahhhed at the appropriate intervals.

Time now to go north again – back to Nanutarra, before joining the Great Northern Highway on the way to Karratha, Dampier, Port Hedland, Broome. Wish everyone out there would get they Jab! 😦

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