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Sandy Cape, WA

Pinnacles, Sandy Cape, Stockyard Gully, Sand Dunes, Beach fun, North Head WWII Bunkers and Memorial, Lang Lookout

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What to do when the school schedules a pupil free day for the Friday of a long weekend?... Organise a camping trip further afield! Well, in this instance, it was more like suggest the idea to my sister's and their partner's/families, and let them do most of the decision making!

Thank you Jeremy for the location, ideas, and research results you provided. Thank you also to everyone for pitching in and helping out with all the kids! Helped make it a very enjoyable long weekend.

Day 1

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Pinnacles

  • Kids had seen pictures of the pinnacles in various brochures, and regularly requested to see them. So the plan was to meet Ayla and family there on the way up to Sandy Cape to finally let the kids see and experience the pinnacles.
  • Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre - Found this rather interesting and well worth looking through. For both adults and kids.
  • Due to earlier toilet stops and some quick lookout explorations (...and hoping to get a decent campsite before they were all taken!), we had to cut our time at the pinnacles short. No extended explorations, or time to wander around and just enjoy the area unfortunately. Will need to plan that better next time!
  • So a look through the Discovery Centre, then a walk up the path (pram friendly) to the edge of all the pinnacles was all we managed while Ayla and family had their lunch (they'd gotten there before us and already completed the drive).
  • Map of the walk trail, and Pinnacles Drive.
|My turn for the camera</th><th>

My turn for the camera

|| Going to see the sunset, Campsite in the background.

Going to see the sunset, Campsite in the background.

Sandy Cape

  • We got there about mid afternoon on Friday, and considering it was a long weekend, found the designated campsites (north and south of the main entrance) to be pretty much completely full! Looked like it was set up really well though with new toilets.
  • Too squashed and crowded for us. Plus we needed a slightly larger area for three 'families' to set up camp together.
  • So we continued north through all the campsites, and followed a track heading into the dunes to find a more accommodating site.
  • The track was a mix of sandy and rocky patches (no real 4wding required, but did need to take it slower over the rocks), and generally followed the coastline, with quite a few nice spots for camping.
  • Finally found one that wasn't already taken and suited us really well. Located in some bush directly behind some dunes, alongside the beach. And a big plus for Ayla, the kids, and I... hardly any wind!!
  • Kids loved it too!! Bush with plenty of 'tunnels' and 'cubby houses', and only needed to climb one dune to get to the beach.
  • The only real downside, was the slow drive out in the morning to go exploring, then back in again at the end of the day. Nice having our own little secluded campsite though!
  • Fees could be paid at the information board at the main entrance, or to the caretaker who caught up with us one morning on his quad bike doing his rounds.
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Day 2

Stockyard Gully

Link 1, Link 2

  • A really nice spot to explore, with the gully and cave feeling a bit like an oasis. Creating a rather nice, relaxed sort of atmosphere.
  • My sister's and I have visited this area before, and still enjoy returning to it, to see and walk through it again. Especially this time being able to share it with the kids, and share in their enjoyment of it all!
  • 4wd access once again, with both sandy and rocky sections.
  • Can be accessed from the south off the Coorow-Greenhead Rd, or from the north off the Coolimba-Eneabba Rd.
  • There are two parking / picnic areas. One at each end of the cave tunnel.
  • The picnic tables were all being used when we got there though, so instead we set up Jordan and Ayla's side awning for some shade, and enjoyed lunch in the carpark.
  • The full loop walk is only about 1.3km long, and the kids loved being able to use their head torches through the cave tunnel!
  • They also enjoyed finding/seeing quite a few beehives.
Lunch in the carpark

Lunch in the carpark

Stockyard Gully - Rocky western entrance

Stockyard Gully - Rocky western entrance

Stockyard Gully - Western entrance

Stockyard Gully - Western entrance

Stockyard Gully - Eastern entrance

Stockyard Gully - Eastern entrance

Bee hives

Bee hives

Stockyard Gully - Eastern entrance

Stockyard Gully - Eastern entrance

Stockyard Gully - Eastern entrance

Stockyard Gully - Eastern entrance

Sand Dunes

  • The remainder of the afternoon was spent playing in some sand dunes... And slowly working our way back to camp along a narrow, rocky, sandy track.
Sand dune fun

Sand dune fun

Slide... climb... slide... climb... slide...

Slide... climb... slide... climb... slide...

Fun on the beach

Fun on the beach

Enjoying the fire!

Enjoying the fire!

Day 3

Beach fun and finding some WWII bunkers at North Head

  • A nice warm morning on the beach was enjoyed by all. No real swimming though, as we found the water to be rather cold. Instead, the making of some much loved sand sculptures!
  • Then time for lunch, help Ayla and family pack up, and finally head off to find the WWII bunkers.
  • Had a basic idea that a track heading south beside the Sandy Cape entrance information board would lead to them. So went to have a look, and before heading down the track, confirmed their location by asking one of the vehicles coming out of the track.
  • After passing many more campsites along the track, we found them.
  • Was rather interesting to explore around and imagine living/working in the area when it was operational as a coast watch station in 1942, and as a radar station in 1943-45. ( ABC News story, Heritage survey report)
  • Was also interesting to see a memorial set up for R.M. Bartle who died there in a shark attack in August 1967.
  • And finally... Time to say goodbye to Ayla and family, and head back to camp for the last night.
North Head WWII Bunker

North Head WWII Bunker

North Head WWII Bunkers

North Head WWII Bunkers

R. M. Bartle Memorial

R. M. Bartle Memorial

R. M. Bartle Memorial plaque

R. M. Bartle Memorial plaque

Day 4

Heading home via a detour to visit family

  • Nothing really spectacular about heading home. Packing up camp isn't the most fun thing to do. Especially if you're 18months, 5yrs or 7yrs old!!
  • Instead of heading straight home down the coast though, we detoured inland to catch up with family.
  • On the way there, we were pleasantly surprised to find a lookout with a familiar name on it! G. E. Lang as we later confirmed, was related to us!!

Lang lookout plaque

Lang lookout plaque

Lang lookout

Lang lookout






Posted by Goannaray 22:29 Archived in Australia Tagged beaches coast kids cave camping toddlers weekend_toddler_adventures_wa wkend_adventures_coral_coast_re coral_coast_wa Comments (0)

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