Idyllic Expectations

Cape Range National Park is one of this country’s truly pristine natural playgrounds.
Turquoise Bay is a place that has burned itself into my memories. My recollection of it is worn down like an old coin you keep turning over and over in your fingers. I spent a few days here years ago snorkeling by myself out among the coral stacks at low tide, chasing green sea turtles around in languid circles and catching the dark shapes of black tip reef sharks out of the corner of my eye, a shape so archetypically dangerous that I was scared before I even registered what they were. The placid beauty of life under the waves and the spangled cerulean patterns on the white sand always entrance me, and I have to remember to breathe again, to come up for air.

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Ripples on the Reef

Stay in a private campsite by the sea at Ningaloo Station.
Sitting at the western shin of the North West Cape, Ningaloo Station is the perfect alternative to Cape Range National Park for people who want to experience the reef and still have a campfire. After all, the fish don’t know the difference between where the national park begins and ends, and here you can camp for cheaper, right on the water, than you can anywhere in Cape Range NP.
There are absolutely no services at Ningaloo Station, so you have to have a chemical toilet if you are going to camp here. If you don’t have one, you can hire one from the office. View full article →

Among Friends

Natural hospitality is the hallmark of Bullara Station.

At first glance, Bullara Station is just another dusty west coast damara sheep property. But to stick with that kind of interpretation would be to belie the deep beauty that resides here.
The second we turned off Burkett Road onto the Bullara property, I heard Kris, our camera operator, come on the radio: “Hey guys, I don’t know why, but this place just…feels good.”
Craig was on in a second, “Mate, I was just about to say the same thing!”
Tim and Edwina Shallcross have been taking in tourists at Bullara for about three years, but their operation has all of the charm and hospitality of staying with friends. You don’t feel like a customer, but a guest.

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Camp Of The Moon

From Red Bluff to Gnaraloo:
the coast where time stands still.

 

The rocky path that leads from the camp to the end of the bluff cuts through keyholes of deep orange limestone, burning embers in the first glimmering light of sunrise. The ground is worn down in this basilica of surfing lore. I watch my feet carefully over the edges of these serrated cliffs, and I am reminded of the way human feet have worn down the stone steps of cathedrals throughout Europe. I have always been amazed at the way mere footsteps can wear away something as substantial as stone. And here, where hundreds of pilgrim surfers have come to find one of the greatest left-handers in the world, I am making my way down a finger of stone that separates me from the shark-filled water on one side, and the red dirt and spinifex of the bluff on the other.

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Wool and Waves

Quobba Station, home to pragmatic men, wild surf and wandering sheep.

On a forgotten stretch of coastline just north of Carnarvon lies a paradise for fishermen and surfers, lovers of the pastoralist lifestyle and anyone who really wants to get away from the real world for a while.
Quobba Station has changed dramatically since its inception in 1898 as a merino wool farm. Measuring out over 80km of some of the most rugged coastline in the  country along the Indian Ocean, the station is bounded to the east by Lake Macleod and by Gnaraloo Station to the north.
Further south along the coast the surf is tripped up by outer reefs, and the beaches are placid. Here, though, the swells that march from as far afield as Antarctica and Madagascar hit the shore unadulterated, the full force of 10,000km unleashed in a few booming seconds.

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