Onslow, Western Australia

A visit to Onslow in Western Australia.

Onslow Western Australia

A beautiful coastal town rich in beauty and history.

On the north side of the Exmouth turnoff on the North West coastal Highway {Highay 1} is the turnoff to Onslow.
The 80 kilometers of excellent sealed road reveals quarries, salt lakes, and other mining ventures and is well worth the effort.
The town itself is neat and clean with two caravan parks. One is in the middle of town on the. Foreshore, by far the most popular, and the other out of town at an accommodation camp set up for the construction workers building the plants operating close to the town.
Salt is exported from here and has it’s own jetty and loading facility to service the large ocean cargo ships that dock there.
There are gas rigs out in the Indian Ocean relatively close to shore where gas is piped into a processing plant some kilometers from the town and then exported from its own loading facility further along the bay.
Another smaller gas plant provides power for the salt works.

With the industries set up there, it was hoped Onslow would become a thriving regional town with many new building programs in the pipeline, and land subdivisions carried out.
Some of these have been completed eg upgrades to the hospital and primary school and a beautiful swimming pool complex. BHP has also contributed to the town with an excellent sporting complex and several new homes have been built.

Sadly, however, the town hasn’t reached its expectations at this point, and with the construction workers basically gone, the town’s progress has slowed.

We are told regular workers at the various plants use the very good airport as a fly in, fly out service, but that permanent worker are requested to live in the town.

The town caravan park is booked out over June, July so bookings are advised. Unsure about the Discovery Park approx 3 k’s out of town. Apparently, school holidays over the tourist season are very popular.
There is an overflow park down at the Showgrounds however

The first time we decided to come here, we were advised against it as being boring and uninteresting. To us, and obviously many others, it is far from that!!

The fishermen really love it there and there are many ‘permanents” booked into the park year in, year out for months at a time.

The relics of Old Onslow have been set up as a drive yourself tour with historical points of interest written on markers as you make your way around. Most interesting.

Near the old town, there is a river where free campers delight to spend much time fishing and relaxing.

A town museum has a pictorial mural on the street frontage taking you through the various stages of the area’s history, even if you don’t have the time to visit the actual museum.

The most endearing part of Onslow for me is the beautiful war memorial set up on the hill at the start of the interesting boardwalk that runs along the beach leading to the salt jetty.
It faces due east so that the sun rises through it’s centre. Absolutely spectacular, and a very popular photo shot.
“We will remember them” is inscribed on the arch.

Alongside, this is a concrete bench seat with two brass slouch hats just resting there. Very sobering and personal. You want to look around for the soldiers who may have left them there, or maybe they are the ones we are remembering. Just lovely.

Apparently, Onslow was a fuel depot during the war for the allies and the vicinity was bombed.

Onslow Western Australia Onslow Western Australia Onslow Western Australia Onslow Western Australia

We have really enjoyed our trip through Western Australia and hope you enjoy hearing all about it.

Love Merril and Bob.

Take a visit to Onslow in Western Australia. A beautiful coastal town rich in wonder and history.
Take a visit to Onslow in Western Australia. A beautiful coastal town rich in wonder and history.
Take a visit to Onslow in Western Australia. A beautiful coastal town rich in wonder and history.

 

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Top things to do in Western Australia.

Western Australia, a land as vast as it is beautiful.

Australia is the sixth largest country in the world by pure size, however amazingly 53rd by population. When you visit Australia you notice something, that most of the population seems to be within half a dozen hours of the coast, and with the beautiful beaches of the Great Ocean Road, Byron Bay, the Gold Coast why wouldn’t they.

ABS population density

 

Western Australia is the largest State in Australia it spreads out over 2,529,875 square kilometres, 33% of Australia’s landmass. But Just over 10% of the population resides there (2.6 million). Compare that to Victoria that is only 3% of the landmass, but accounts for over 25% of the population, you can see how Western Australia is an area vast in size, but still quite low in population.

When putting together our list of Top things to do in Western Australia you will see that there are often huge areas between them. Involving long drives in the car. But what you will find is even if you are sitting in the car for 1500kms as you drive from Perth to Eucla, the scenery is always changing and its worth the drive.

Whilst there are amazing things to do in Perth, like Kings Park, the Maritime Museum in Fremantle. Which we loved my list is some of the more original things to do, things you can’t do anywhere else.

1 – Eucla

Just 11Kms over the South Australia border stands this tiny town Eucla, now Eucla has a population of under 100 people and you would be remiss to just keep driving through on your journey over the Nullarbor. (The Nullarbor is the large flat, treeless plain you drive over from Adelaide to Perth. This holds the longest straight stretch of road in Australia 146km) The Nullarbor is a real right of passage in Australia’s RV community and you will often see stickers on the back of caravans, proudly exclaiming they have crossed the Nullarbor.

We have driven over the Eyre Highway a few times and Eucla is the real highlight of the trip.

So why stop at Eucla?

You stop at Eucla for one reason the Old Telegraph Station. The Old Telegraph Station is located in the middle of a huge Sand dune. You park your car and begin to wander through the sand dunes, hoping you are heading in the right direction and then it comes into focus. Half covered by sand. The remnants of the Telegraph station.

eucla Western australia

2. Gnomesville

What is Gnomesville you might ask? How did it start?

Gnoomesville is something special, it is a little village of 7000 gnomes that sprung up in Wellington Mill over 21 years ago, just 30 minutes out of Bunbury. Gnomesville is a great place to go and have a look, there is something magical about going and looking around at the 1000’s of gnomes in the area. Our kids loved it. Search #gnomesville on Instagram to see heaps more photos.

Gnomesville Western Australia Gnomesville Western Australia

3 – Busselton Jetty

Busselton Jetty is the longest wooden pier (jetty) in the world. Stretching 2kms out to sea, you will see many people wandering out to the end of the Jetty. But if walking 4kms is not how you intend to spend your day. Don’t worry they now have an amazing solar-powered train that runs up 1.7km of the Jetty and takes 45 minutes. At $13.50 for an adult, $6.75 for a child 3-14 years it is great value.

Busselton Jetty

4 – Kalbarri – Natures window

6 hours from Perth is the picturesque Kalbarri National Park. Kalbarri is a gorgeous seaside town 600 km north of Perth with a population of about 1400 people. Every morning at the foreshore they feed the pelicans, and tourists flock to the area. But the real stand out of the area is “Natures window”.

Nature’s window was formed by the wind eroding a section of the layered sandstone, that frames the Murchison river below. What has formed is a gorgeous window that allows for an amazing view of the Murchison River.

Kalbarri Natures window
Kalbarri Natures window

There is a lot of different walks in Kalbarri National Park, whether you are a beginner or experienced hiker.

Kalbarri National Park is also a great place to see Western Australia’s wildflowers. Western Australia has 800 different speicies of Wildflowers. 600 of them are only found in WA.

5 – The Valley of the Giants tree top Walk.

50 km out of Denmark is the Internationally recognised, Valley of the Giants treetop walk. As long as you aren’t scared of heights you will love walking 40 metres above the ground amongst the canopy of the huge Red tingle trees in the Walpole-Nornalup National Park. The Walk is 600 metres long as suitable for children of all ages, including strollers. However, the way you can see through the metal of the bridge under your feet does see some children (and adults) struggle with the walk across the bridge.

Valley of the Giants treetop walk

The Valley of the giants is open from 9 am – 5 pm daily (excluding Christmas Day). However, runs extended hours over the Christmas period from December 26th to January 26th and stays open until 7 pm.

Entry to the Discovery Centre is free, however, to walk across the Valley of the Giants, the admission price is.

Adults (16+) = $21

Concession = $15.50

Children (6-15) = $10.50

Family (2A + 2C) = $52.50

If you are there at 10:15 am 11:30 am or 2 pm (during school terms) join in the guided tour to find out more about the amazing tingle trees from one of the helpful guides.

The Treetop discovery centre also has a gift shop and sells refreshments.

6- The pinnacles

Over a quarter of a million people come to see the iconic Limestone formations in the Numbung National Park each year. Only 200 km from Perth this is a must see if spending any time in Western Australia. It really is a sight to behold limestone formations some reaching up to 5 metres in the sky, sticking out of the sand everywhere. The Pinnacles are accessible by both car ($12 per car) or walking from the discovery centre. It is a 4km loop. Whilst the Discovery centre is only open until 4:30 pm, there is an honesty system after 4:30 that allows you to go in and capture that amazing photo at sunrise or sunset when the shadows create a truly magical experience.

The pinnacles Western Australia

 

Have you been to Western Australia before?

What would be your must-see places in Western Australia?

Feet do travel link up Weekend Wanderlust

top things to do in wa Western Australia, a land as vast as it is beautiful.Australia is the sixth largest country in the world by pure size, however amazingly 53rd by population. Western Australia that makes up 33% in size, but only 10% in population has some of the most original places to visit. Places that you won't see anywhere else in the world. Come see what makes WA so special.
top things to do in WA Western Australia, a land as vast as it is beautiful.Australia is the sixth largest country in the world by pure size, however amazingly 53rd by population. Western Australia that makes up 33% in size, but only 10% in population has some of the most original places to visit. Places that you won't see anywhere else in the world. Come see what makes WA so special.
natural windows kalbarri
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Nature’s Window – Kalbarri National Park

See the view through Nature’s Window at Kalbarri National Park.

6 and a half hours north of the Perth is the beautiful coastal town of Kalbarri. Kalbarri is on our list as one of the must-see places in Western Australia. There are many reasons that it makes the list, however probably the main reason is the iconic Nature’s Window located in Kalbarri’s National Park.

Kalbarri National Park is the perfect location for people wanting to walk in Western Australia, with a great variety of different walks available. Making it a popular walking spot in Western Australia.

Kalbarri is a gorgeous coastal town where the Murchison River meets the Indian Ocean, it is a beautiful spot known for its seaside cliffs, gorgeous beach and seaside pelicans.

There are daily opportunities to feed the local pelicans, at the Pelican Feeding Point. Nearly every 8:45 am opposite the Murchison Caravan Park, you can help feed the Pelicans with a Gold Coin donation. The volunteers share their knowledge of the amazing birds and great local information as well. The Pelicans have been being feed at this point since 1975 when a local by the name of Cliff Ross started feeding them. Cliff Ross used to own a museum in Kalbarri called fantasyland.

Kalbarri is a great place to fish, walk and relax. Kalbarri National Park has great gorges with some fantastic walks. There are so many places to visit Mushroom Rock, Red Loop, Z-Bend.

Another great attraction in Kalbarri is the amazing range of Wildflowers. These are in bloom between July and November and there are an amazing 800 species in Western Australia, over 600 of these are found only in Western Australia.

The gorges carved by the Murchison River in Kalbarri National Park provide a great mixture of short and long walks to see some spectacular lookouts.

For us, the standout would be the walk to see “Nature’s Window”. If you are after a short walk the perfect spot for an Instagram photo is only 400 metres from the carpark. This natural rock arch frames the Murchison river perfectly, and depending on what angle you take your shot on, the way the sun is shining, every view is different. The sandstone rock is a such a great photo opportunity, but also a great spot just to sit and reflect on life.

One look on Instagram and you can see the many photos of #natureswindow

If you are up for a long walk it is also part of a 9km loop that begins and ends at “Nature’s Window”. With our young children in tow we didn’t walk the full loop, however, we wandered up the path for a while the first kilometre is relatively even, however, we where told there is quite a steep descent into the gorge itself. Not something we wanted to attempt with preschool children.

Nature’s Window was formed by the wind eroding a section of the layered sandstone, that frames the river below. It really is one of the highlights in Kalbarri National Park.

Kalbarri Nature's window

Kalbarri Nature's window

Kalbarri Nature's window

Kalbarri Nature's window

Kalbarri Nature's window

Kalbarri Nature's window

So make sure you stand at Nature’s Window and gaze out at the glorious view. See the rich colours in the rocks and marvel at how amazing Australia is.

 

Walks in Kalbarri National Park

Z Bend River trail

Distance – 2.6km (return)

Terrain – Mixture of steep descents, ladder climbs, steps and rocky surfaces, with some flat surfaces as well.

Estimated time – 1.5 hours

 

The Loop walk (Class 4 Trail) – Moderate to High Level of fitness required.

Distance – 9km (return)

Terrain – Mixture of long even sections, steep descent into the gorge, some rocky surfaces and small climbs.

Estimated time – 3 Hours

 

Natures Window

Distance – approx 800m (return)

Terrain – Easy.

Estimated time – Depends how many photos you want to take.

Red Bluff

Distance – approx 1km (return)

Terrain – Easy.

*Perfect spot to spot marine creatures,  like dolphins or humpback whales between June and November.

Hawk’s Head

Distance 300m

Terrain – Easy, sealed path.

Ross Graham Riverwalk.

(There is access to the Ross Graham Lookout only metres from the carpark)

Distance – approx 700m

Terrain – Moderate. (Level 3 hike)

Estimated time – 1 hour

Kalbarri National Park Information

Entry Fees

$12 per vehicle per day

$6 per vehicle (Concession)

(Passes available at the Visitors centre or the Gate)

Open 6am – 6pm

Drinking water is not available so bring your own.

 

Kalbarri is well worth a visit when you go to Western Australia.

 

 

For us, the standout would be the walk to see “Nature’s Window”. If you are after a short walk the perfect spot for an Instagram photo is only 400 metres from the carpark. This natural rock arch frames the Murchison river perfectly, and depending on what angle you take your shot on, the way the sun is shining, every view is different. The sandstone rock is a such a great photo opportunity, but also a great spot just to sit and reflect on life.
For us, the standout would be the walk to see “Nature’s Window”. If you are after a short walk the perfect spot for an Instagram photo is only 400 metres from the carpark. This natural rock arch frames the Murchison river perfectly, and depending on what angle you take your shot on, the way the sun is shining, every view is different. The sandstone rock is a such a great photo opportunity, but also a great spot just to sit and reflect on life.
Great Walks in Kalbarri National Park. Walks in Kalbarri National Park. Z Bend River trailDistance – 2.6km (return)Terrain – Mixture of steep descents, ladder climbs, steps and rocky surfaces, with some flat surfaces as well. Find out more....

 

 

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Wildflowers

Take a journey to see the spectacular Wildflowers in WA.

Wildflowers in western Australia

If you manage to take a visit to Western Australia you will be amazed by the variety of amazing wildflowers of almost every colour. wildflowers are seen all around the north-west.

There are about 12000 different types of wildflowers growing in Western Australia. The most amazing thing about wildflowers is that many of them, (Over 6000 species) are not found anywhere else in the world. That in itself is a reason to jump in the car and cross the Nullarbor during Wildflower season.

The wildflower season runs from June in the North of the state and continues on until November in the south.

People travel to the west to see the wildflowers, and they are a sight to behold. The colours so vibrant, from reds, purples, yellows, oranges.

If you don’t have the time to travel all of the west, don’t despair head to Perth in September for the Kings Park festival, where they showcase so many amazing wildflowers.

 

 

 

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Geike Gorge

Geike Gorge

Next stop along the Great Northern Highway is Fitzroy Crossing, home of the beautiful Geike Gorge.  This stunning Gorge is on the Fitzroy River, and tours are conducted frequently throughout each day.

Fitzroy Crossing is still facing challenges they are working through. The care, concern and effort on behalf of the Government agencies is to be admired.

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Mill stream – Fortesque river

Mill stream – Fortesque river

Mill stream is a beautiful national park on the Fortesque river. The well preserved homestead tells the story of affluent times of the early pioneers who raised sheep, grew vegetables and played tennis on their termite nest tennis court, entertaining their neighbors under the beautiful trees in the garden.

Sadly, predators like dingoes, and distances to markets etc brought about the demise of the sheep industry in this district by the 1960’s.

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The many faces of Quobba

Quobba

The many faces of Quobba, an absolute gem 60ks North of Carnarvan!

A beautiful sandy beach with camping allowed behind sand dunes is enjoyed by campers and fishermen, with a safe haven for small fishing boats.

Just a few hundred metres North, the rugged coastline of very unusual rock formations is pounded by the sea. Holes have been formed in some of these rock formations creating some of the most dramatic blowholes we have ever seen! Very spectacular!!!

Further north still along this coastline at Red Bluff, was where two lifeboats from the German ship, the “Kormoran” were found during the Second World War. This ship was disguised as a Dutch merchant ship and was involved in a battle with the Australian Cruiser “HMAS Sydney 2”.

The result of this battle was that the “Sydney” went down with all hands, and the “Kormoran” sunk but with most of it’s crew making it to safety.

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Carnarvan

Caranavan

On to Carnarvan, a very important communications base for the USA’s landing on the moon back in 1969. Relays were received from the spaceship in Carnarvan and then relayed to America.
The base was also used as the first satellite link between Australia and Britain also in the sixties.

This base is now set up as an excellent museum of these events, with informative videos, life sized replicas of some of the space craft used and other very interesting models and technical equipment used back then.

We would thoroughly recommend a visit to this amazing tourist attraction.

Carnarvan has been an agricultural centre for over one hundred years.   A small train line was built around 100 years ago from the town  out to the jetty. This jetty is 1 mile long (2.2 kilometres )
Cattle, sheep, wool and other produce were taken from town to the end of the jetty where they were loaded onto boats.
The jetty is now a tourist attraction where a little train is on offer to take passengers out to the end of the jetty. There is also a cafe and an interesting museum of those bygone days.

Carnarvan remains an agricultural hub, where 80% of WA’s vegetables are grown. With a very low rainfall, they rely on irrigation from aquifers from the Gascoyne River which runs mostly underground!

Fishing in Carnarvan

A different mode of transport to go fishing at Carnarvan, which still has an active fishing fleet operating.

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