a camping trip of ridiculous proportions

heat trap for night fishing belvidere beach

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Leschenault Penisular Beach Camp

Ol’ mate hongo, of BFC fame, joined me for a quick camp down at Leschenault Peninsular on Belvidere Beach. Having hit up spots north of Perth so many times over the years, we thought we’d try somewhere we haven’t been before. It’s a great beach – deep, clean, hardly any weed and protected by the rocky groin that forms the Leschenault Inlet cut at the southern limit of the beach. There’s lots of small fish around – we caught some small herring and tailor but nothing worth writing home about. A few tailor were just legal size so we promptly cooked them in Hong’s fish smoker.

The area is renowned for dolphins and we saw a butt load of them around the joint. Some came so close to shore we thought they might beach themselves. Then we would have heroically rescued them. Unfortunately got no photos of the dolphins.

It was pretty cool at night so we constructed a sand shelter. It is a wind break and heat trap for comfortable night fishing. It was hard work escavating a few metric tonnes of sand by hand but was worth the effort. Thanks to Nathan for lending us the wood that his house used to be made of for firewood!

horrocks jetty


New Years Geraldton and Horrocks

For the new years break we headed to Geraldton and Horrocks north of Perth. New years itself we were in Horrocks relaxing at a friend’s beach shack which was great. It was blowing a gale most of the time so despite it being the middle of summer it was quite chilly. Sharni brought no warm clothes so can be seen sporting my favourite fishing beanie (which she hates). We took a drive out of Horrocks to the Bowes River mouth to check it out then on the way back tried looking for the aboriginal rock art at Willgully Caves. Couldn’t find anything apart from some extremely faint stick figures. Took us longer than expected whilst we scampered around the caves trying to find the art – we were hoping to get back to Horrocks to watch the New Years home made yacht race but we only caught the aftermath.

Back in Geraldton we hung out with Uncle Mick and the rest of Sharni’s family. Uncle Mick has a large property just out of town in Moonyoonooka. It was interesting checking out his property and looking at the animals and wrecked vehicles and tractors.

On the way home we took the standard photo of the Greenough leaning tree. Proof that it really does get windy up there.

Thanks to Tegan and Liz for letting us stay at their homes in Geraldton and Horrocks!


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Ledge Point Camping

Over the Christmas break I headed north to Ledge Point for a couple of days bush camping with mum and nonna. Some other chaps met up with us, some for a day on the beach and some for a night or two camping as well. We did a bit of fishing and managed a few small whiting and herring but nothing more.

A bunch of highly intelligent professors thought it would be funny to light a flare off at night into the dunes. As expected it started a fire which then spread towards town due to the blustery winds. The fire brigade had to come out to fight it and luckily later into the night the winds died off and it was under control. It pissed off the locals and the ranger pretty good. Over the next couple of days the ranger was pretty cranky, giving people fines and stuff. Can’t blame him I suppose when he needs to cater for the all the thoughtful intellectuals who start fires and leave rubbish behind.

Apart from the fire and cranky ranger we had a jolly good time. I’ve always said that you feel a million dollars when camping out in the bush and this was verified by nonna who said her aching bones and arthritis seemed to subside whilst camping out. Just another reason why we should all be doing a lot more camping!

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Four wheeling – Mundaring Power Line Track

Time to show off some macho mastery with a boys day trip to the power line offroad track through Mundaring. It was an exciting day with Mark nearly rolling it on a deeply rutted section of track in his Landrover Discovery. Later on he rolled backwards attempting a steep incline that the Hilux had just driven up, damaging the rear of his car and requiring a pull from the Hilux to get out. Although I’m the first to admit that a Toyota Hilux is a superior off road vehicle in every possible way, in this case it’s down to diff locker vs traction control. The Hilux makes it through smoothly and easily with a rear diff locker whilst the Landrover hesitates due to traction control. Check out the videos below the photos.

Further excitement was had when the dude with the Ford Courier broke a few of his engine mounts. The Hilux didn’t get off scot-free either with some nice new dents added to the already bent up side steps plus a good dent on the fuel tank. This sort of off roading is not something you want to be doing too often unless you have very deep pockets! I think I’ll stick to the much tamer bush tracks that take me to camping and fishing spots.




New Front Bushes

I replaced the rear suspension bushes a few weeks ago but the front bushes were still those that we originally set off with on our trip around Australia about 45,000km ago. Although there were no handling issues with the front end of the Hilux I thought I better take the front struts out and have a look since collapsed bushes have lead to strut failure with the bottom stem of the strut shearing right off.

Turns out the front bushes were partially collapsed. A few thousand kms of corrugations will do it. So I bought myself a new set of bushes, strapped the struts to the back of the bike and rode down to the local mechanic to have the bushes changed out (special equipment is needed to press the bushes out of / into the strut). Then got home and slapped it all back together ready for the next camping mission.



Wilbinga Beach Camp

After a bit of a camping and fishing drought we headed off for a quick midweek camp to Wilbinga, just north of Perth. Along for the ride came two past outbackjoe visitors – Hong, of BFC fame, and Malcolm, who met us for a tour around NT a couple of years ago (the trip that landed my first barra). Plus one other chap, Bruce, came along. All four of us in the Hilux.

It was bullcrap windy the for the entire camp. The southerlies kicked and, along with a beach inundated with weed, blew our fishing hopes away. We knew the southerlies were picking up so we camped on the south side of a dune. It helped but the wind wrapped around from the beach so we parked up the hilux alongside. Still not good enough, we partially buried the hilux to make a nice air tight wind break. You can see in the photo the wind eventually worked its way through the sand below the rear door.

We tried fishing but after a couple of casts in the gale force winds only to retrieve seaweed after seaweed we retreated back to the shelter of our camp. Bait was of no use to us so we chucked it all for the pelicans.

A camp oven roast was cooked up on the second night. We forgot to bring salt but luckily Hong had some cup-a-soup packets in his backpack. Worked a treat. Unfortunately without Sharni’s expertise in camp ovens we ended up burning the vegies pretty good. The chicken withstood the heat ok and was quite delicious.


Tyre Review and Time to Camp

Greetings Amigos. It’s been so long since any camping or fishing or outback type shenanigans that it’s quite sad. Not to worry – next week there’s a planned camping mission in the works. Lately the poor hilux has been used for such mundane tasks as commuting to work and shopping. I’ll make up for it by putting a few extra scratches on it next week. Keep an eye out for reports of fish extinctions as we devestate fish populations from beaches north of perth. In the mean time a cooped up city lifestyle has given me pale white skin and time to write a review on our tyres. Check it out here:


dueler D694 old telegraph track cape york


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