Rock, River and REEF (Part 2)
The journey continues with a complete change of colour and location. We went from the deep red dirt roads, rocks and white gum lined rivers to white beaches, rough blue ocean and tranquil aqua bays. Just north of Carnarvon is Quobba and Gnaraloo Stations. They were sheep stations but now are pretty much tourism based. Any surfer or windsurfer will know these spots. There is also great swimming and snorkelling. The coast contrasts between rugged oyster encrusted cliffs smashed by gigantic waves to calmly protected bays with coral reef gardens teeming with fish. This is the southern end of the world’s largest fringing coral reef, Ningaloo Reef.
We stayed at three places on the coast: Point Quobba, Red Bluff and Three Mile Camp.
Point Quobba is at the end of the Blowholes Road. Arriving at the King Waves Kill sign is ominous but a poignant reminder. The difference between a calm and rough day is amazing. Point Quobba is just to the left of the Blowholes. We had a lovely snorkel in this protected bay. Coming from a Perth winter, the water was warm and clear.
Point Quobba has unpowered campsites with toilet facilities and a collection of “shacks”. We popped our roof top tent complete with ocean views.
Heading north, the coastline is rugged. Waves crashing into the cliffs create spectacular white spray often with rainbows. Quobba Homestead has basic accommodation as well.
Red Bluff is on the northern end of Quobba Station. The drive down to the beach is nothing short of spectacular and the red coloured bluff against the blue sea is jaw-droppingly beautiful. Along the beach are a series of campsites and basic drop toilets. In the middle is a small surfy style café that has great coffee and handmade pizzas. We can confirm their claim of being the best pizza on the west coast.
Near the bluff, a cave system provides some protection from the sun and wind (in our case). Looking out the cave towards the aqua and jade ocean was sublime. The rock around here is studded with marine fossils.
Continuing north, we passed under the Gnaraloo Station gate. Gnaraloo is famous in surfing and windsurfing circles. Three Mile Camp nestles on a protected bay and enormous sand dunes. There are hot showers and flushing toilets. Luxury!.
The highlight for me is Gnaraloo Bay (a short drive away). The sweeping white sands highlight the calm waters. Plus, there is an amazing drift snorkel. Walk up the beach, jump into the water with mask, snorkel and fins and the current will take you on a ride over colourful coral, giant clams and tropical fish.
The road into Gnaraloo Bay is rough but 2WDs do get it in if they take their time.
Next stop: RIVERS