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Carrarang Station

If remote camping on a station with some of the best access to the WA coast peaks your interest, this post is for you. Yep, we are talking about Carrarang Station. If you haven't heard of it before, we don't blame you. Up until now, its been a rather well kept secret, unlike Tamala Station, which is significantly more publicised.

Carrarang station

Absolute paradise out in the boat at Carrarang Station

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQNIwU5bDaU[/youtube]

Where is Carrarang Station?

Carrarang Station is located south of Denham, and about 75km from Steep Point. It's about 30km past Tamala Station, along the Useless Loop road. The map below covers the important locations in the area.

Why haven't I heard of it before?

Everyone talks about Steep Point, and for good reason. It is truly phenominal. If you've done a bit of digging you probably would have found out about Tamala Station too, but Carrarang has flown under the radar for many years. The station is primarily used as pastoral land, and although camping has been available, it hasn't been widely publicised.

Carrarang station camping

Our camp site at Carrarang

It's not set up for thousands of tourists to flock to every year - you don't get a map, you might not even meet the owners and there isn't any real instructions. Really though, who cares; it makes the place even better!

What's at Carrarang?

Carrarang owns the land on one of the peninsula's, which is bordered on three sides by the Frecinet Estuary. The land is your typical coastal scrub, with tracks that lead throughout the station, from beach to beach. There are spectacular beaches, rocky outcrops and plenty of places to camp.

Carrarang Station beaches

If its beaches you are chasing, you won't go wrong here

The homestead is on your way in, and there are numerous sheds around the place to help with their goat farming. Asides from this, there really isn't much else at Carrarang, and that's what makes it so attractive to so many people.

Carrarang Station map

Carrarang station mud map

Where can you camp?

When you book in at Carrarang station, you are given a beach to yourselves. Yep, you read that correctly - you aren't given a camp site number, or a set area to camp. You are literally given an entire beach, and you can camp where you want. Looking to go camping with 20 of your mates and family? No worries at all - you will have plenty of space and privacy in some of the best camping locations you will ever see in your life.

We were given East Landing, which is probably about 100 metres wide. If we climbed up the dune behind where we camped you could see campers a couple of hundred metres away north and south, but you'd never know they were there otherwise.

East Landing camping

East Landing camping on the beach

Carrarang station at Night

Magic; there is no other word to describe it

Getting to Steep Point

Access to Steep Point from Carrarang Station is very easy; you just head out to the Useless Loop road, and head north west. From the homestead, it takes about 2 hours to get to Steep Point, including time to stop after the turn off to deflate your tyres.

The main gravel road is kept in great condition, and majority of the track into Steep Point is good, except for the real sandy parts of the track. These have the worst bumps from side to side and up and down that I've ever been on. Luckily, they are only short sections, and mainly when you are going up and down the little dunes.

Corrugations Steep Point

The corrugations are pretty good most of the way!

Once you make it onto the beach near Steep point its easy going.

Tyre pressures

We let our tyres down to 25 - 30 PSI once we hit the gravel road heading towards Carrarang. Around the station we kept similar pressures, unless we had to drive on the beach, and then we let them down to 15 - 20 PSI.

Land Cruiser tyre pressures

Stopped not too far from Carrarang Station, with 30 PSI in the cruiser

On the way to Steep Point we let them down to about 12 PSI to take it very slowly over the really rough sections, and given I was towing a boat it made it much more comfortable. The boat trailer tyres were down at 5 PSI!

What are the roads in the station like?

Carrarang Station has a heap of little tracks everywhere. The main ones that get used on a regular basis are in fantastic condition; we were extremely surprised and very pleased. The smaller tracks are a bit rougher, with some sections that you have to slow down substantially over, but none of them were difficult or nasty tracks.

Can I bring a boat, caravan or camper trailer in?

We saw Caravans, camper trailers, 4WD trucks and a variety of boats at Carrarang station. The main gravel road up until Carrarang is pretty good - anything that is reasonably robust would be fine. The tracks in the station are not all that wide in some sections, so you'd want to be careful where you drove if you had a wide trailer.

Launching your boat is a piece of cake on most of the beaches, as long as you are used to beach launching.

What does it cost?

Carrarang station is $5 per person, per night and kids are free. Whilst you might not get any amenities to use, its fantastic value for money given the places you can camp!

$5 camping at Carrarang

The best $5 per night you will ever spend

How do I book?

You can book your stay at Carrarang station by phoning Lorraine and Tony at 08 9948 3997 or emailing carrarang.station@bigpond.com.

When you arrive at the station, either pay your money directly at the homestead, or put it in the slotted pole between the homestead and the shed (you won't miss it).

What's bad about Carrarang Station?

Really, there's not much we can complain about Carrarang station. It's a stunning place, but it wouldn't be suited to everyone. You need to be 100% self sufficient, remember the beaches are quite shelly in places, take your time and hope for good weather!

Can you have camp fires?

In season, providing you are sensible with your fires, you are permitted to have them. Tony and Lorraine ask that you keep them small, don't leave them burning and just use your common sense!

Camp fires at Night

Loving a good camp fire at night

Fishing at Carrarang Station

We did reasonably well fishing at Carrarang station. Not as well as we'd hoped for, but not too bad considering we had never been there before. Of the beach we ended up with a number of sharks, whiting, trevally and a few other bits and pieces.

We fished a lot out in the boat, aiming mainly for Pink snapper, and despite catching stacks of little ones, we never managed to get any that were sized. We did catch a number of emperors, and little mackeral trawling, along with plenty of little sharks.

Fishing at Shark Bay

A little shark we caught and released from the beach

Useless loop bar fishing

Fishing at Useless Loop. Private access required

Fishing rules you need to know

In the Frecinet Estuary region, you are only allowed 5kg of fillets in your possession, per person (normally 20kg). This is a result of managing the regions sustainability. What does make life a bit difficult is that if you bring fish from another region into the Frecinet Estuary area, you must have under 5kg.

Essentially this means if you have done well at Steep Point, you aren't able to call in at Carrarang or Tamala station on your way home, as you'd be over the 5kg limit.

The other thing you need to know is the Pink snapper tag system has been abolished, and there is no maximum size on Pink snapper anymore.

Useless Loop pink snapper

A few of the Mulloway and Pink snapper caught at Useless Loop

Our review of Carrarang Station

There's something really special about Carrarang Station. Waking up to a glassy calm beach, metres away from the water with no one for miles around you is incredible. With the boat ready to go in the water, a fire crackling away and your mates having a laugh, you can't go wrong.

If you are looking for a peaceful getaway, Carrarang Station has you covered.

Carrarang station sunset

Absolutely beautiful

Would we go again?

We only made it to Steep Point for one day. If Carrarang Station is special, Steep Point is off the scale. We were totally blown away by the size of Steep point, the beautiful beaches, magnificent diving and fishing and the overall feel. We would most certainly head back to Carrarang Station, but Steep Point would be the priority next time.

Steep Point beaches

Shelter bay at Steep Point

There's less driving, better fishing, easier access to fantastic spots and as a group, we all enjoyed Steep Point more. That said, Carrarang Station is magic, and we will most definitely be back.

What else would you like to know?

If there's anything we've missed, or you would like to know, please leave a comment below and we will answer as best we can.

How many of you have been to Carrarang? What did you think of it? How does it compare to Tamala station?

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Brian Abbott

    We have a standard Navarra 4wd and a small van. Would we get into Steep Point OK, and where would we camp please

  • Hi Brian,

    Your Navara would get in no worries. The van, probably not, unless it was very well built. The track in is pretty rough. There are a number of camp sites – you can book them by ringing the ranger at Steep Point.

    Best of luck!

  • Brian Abbott

    Thanks mate, have stayed at Carrararang before and really loved it. We got the spot where the Northampton guys had built a shelter. Great concept where you have a beach to yourself. Shook shit out of our old van on the gravel road in before the turnoff.

  • Hey Brian,

    It sure is a fantastic spot, and like you say, having the entire beach to yourself is awesome. The road was pretty good when we headed in. What tyre pressures were you running?

    Aaron

  • Looks like an amazing spot and not one that I’ve heard of before. Truly five star accommodation for the bargain price of $5 per night – and everyone says Australia is expensive!

  • Yep. Amazing describes it all right!

    Aaron

  • Nicki Thomson

    Awesome video and review. We are heading up that way next Easter (Apr 2017), and are undecided whether to stay at Tamala or Carrarang. Are camp fires allowed at Carrarang during that time? I know that for Tamala there is a campfire ban until May. Also, do you have any recommendations for any particular bays to request for camp – we will have small kids with us, so shallow and sandy would be ideal. We’ll probably be a group of around 10 camper trailers. Thanks in advance.

  • Hey Nicki,

    Carrarang permits them, providing you are sensible with them; keep them small, put them out when you aren’t around etc. It would pay to confirm this with them before you head off though.

    I can’t comment on Tamala; I haven’t been there. I’m sure its amazing too, but I believe a bit more commercialised (although not to the point where you are packed in like sardines!)

    East Landing is where we stayed, and it’s amazing, although I’m not sure the beach would be wide enough to fit 10 camper trailers. There are some spots on the western side that had a lot of room; I’d ring them and ask; they will give you a better idea.

    At the end of the day the whole property is amazing; they will find you a nice beach for the kids.

    Make sure you get to Steep Point too; unbelievable spot

    Aaron

  • Nicki Thomson

    Hey Aaron,

    Thanks for the speedy response. I’ve just sent an email off to Tony & Lorraine, so hopefully I’ll heard back from them soon. I think you’ve swayed me, looks like it will be Carrarang if they can accommodate us.

    Steep Point will most definitely be on the itinerary. It’s been on the bucket list for a while now.

    Many Thanks
    Nicki

  • You are most welcome

    Aaron

  • dan wyer

    Hey Aaron. Thanks for this info. We are looking at going there soon. Was wondering how long it takes to get across to false entrance from where u camped? Did you also drive north from false entrance to the bay further north If so how was the track? Thanks in advance

  • Hi Dan,

    I reckon maybe 2 hours, but I can’t remember for sure and it would vastly depend on the condition of the road. Also where you camp at Carrarang; it took us about 15 minutes to get out of the station, but some camp sites would take easily half an hour. We had to go pretty slow over parts of the dunes heading towards Steep Point. We didn’t go to the bay further north as the winds meant it would be much more protected in false entrance. As it was, we managed to get out and grab a few crays!

    Aaron

  • Sarah Hoogenboom Emmitt

    Hi Aaron,
    I have tried to contact Tony at Carrarang by phone and email a few times over the last fortnight with no luck. Do you know if you can just turn up and chance you luck there are spots available? Also I have a 2.5T robust off road caravan with a modified Land Rover Discovery 4 (more torque ECU tune, full off-road tyres, e-locker etc) Are there places to stay close to the beach for a Off road caravan if you don’t mind a bit of low ranging and very low tyre pressures?
    Thanks in advance – Andy & Sarah

  • Hey Sarah,

    We booked our site months in advance; I’d imagine they probably don’t check their emails very often, and often aren’t home during the day. We couldn’t see anyone at the homestead when we arrived. Just paid our fees (in the little pole), left a brief note and went on our way!

    We did bump into someone on a tractor, but not sure whether he was one of the owners or staff. Nice bloke all the same.

    We never saw anyone ‘running’ the station for the time we were there.

    I reckon you’d be ok rocking up, but the issue will be finding a camp site. The alternative of course is Tamala station, which is supposed to be brilliant too.

    We stayed at East Landing; camped literally right on the beach. If you are up for a challenge there are plenty of bays and beaches you can camp on. The beach was soft though; we were down to 12 PSI towing the van is. I’m sure you will work out the best location to camp.

    Best of luck

  • Nicki Thomson

    I’ve also been trying to contact Tony & Lorraine at Carrarang since late July, by email and phone, also with no luck. The Steep Point Ranger said they have had the same comment from many people over the last 12 months and are not sure if Carrarang still take campers. I’m wondering if anyone can confirm or deny that Carrarang are no longer taking campers? With thanks in advance.

  • This is a surprise, and a real shame to hear. I hope this isn’t the case; its an amazing spot up there.

    Aaron

  • Nicki Thomson

    I spoke with Teresa at Tamala Station yesterday, she said Carrarang most definitely do still take campers and she often hears about people who have stayed there for months on end. She acknowledged that they are very difficult to get hold of (as did Shire of Shark Bay). Teresa’s tip was that she had heard after 8pm was the best time to call as they are both out and about during the day. I’d deliberately not called that late, figuring station owners would be early to bed and up early in the morning. I’ll try again this evening and report back if I have any success.

  • Awesome to hear. Thanks!

    Aaron

  • Nicki Thomson

    I have news. I have just spoken with Tony (around 8.20pm on a Thursday night). He said that he had just got home. Generally, between 8pm and up to 11pm is the “sweet spot” for catching them. They have only just got their computer back, yesterday, and have been without it for over 6 weeks.

    With regards to camping at Easter (as is our case), they start a “first in, best dressed” lottery on the 1st January every year. He said they literally receive emails at a couple of seconds past midnight from people who want to book.

    They have also opened up a few more camping spots now too.

    If anyone is hoping to go over the next few weeks, you will be lucky to get in whilst the Dirk Hartog 400 year Anniversary Celebrations are going on – they are booked out (16th to 26th October 2016 I think he said)

    Tony’s partner, Lorraine, is currently in Perth for work and he hasn’t figured out how to put the answering machine on, so the phone goes to fax when he’s not there.

    He said he’s not sure if the CAPS makes a difference, but the email address should be CARRARANG.STATION@bigpond.com

    Hope this helps anyone who is trying to make contact.

    Cheers
    Nicki

  • Thanks heaps for the updates Nikki. Much appreciated.

    Fantastic to hear things are going well for them.

    The capslock shouldn’t make any difference

    Aaron

  • Nicki Thomson

    Hi Aaron,

    I have a further update on Carrarang Station for you.

    For those with Facebook, you can request to join the “Closed Group” – Carrarang Station Shark Bay Western Australia.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/457017237733955/

    You’ll find heaps of information, chatter and photos about Carrarang – the page is actually run by the Station – Tony is actually a member of the page also;

    See attached Mud Map of the station and the various campsites.

    We have finally received confirmation today that our booking request for Easter has been accepted – so excited.

    Merry Christmas and please keep the trip reports coming.

    Thanks
    Nicki

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ed6023dbe50417dd7495bfebdb22ae91333dfb2daeaa8f6ed1c445488aea9826.jpg

  • Hey Nicki,

    Thank you very much. Your a legend. I’ll add the map to the main post.

    Have a good one
    Aaron

  • Nicki Thomson

    Hi Aaron,

    Another quick question – we are busy planning the logistics of our Easter Trip now (10 vehicles). Can you remember, roughly how long it took you to get to the Carrarang turn off from leaving Overlander? We’re just trying to reverse-engineer our itinerary for the drive up there from Fremantle so that we arrive with enough light to set up camp.

    Thanks in advance
    Nicki

  • Hey Nicki,

    It’s pretty quick actually, from memory. The first 50km is bitumen, so say about half an hour. Deflate your tyres, check everything, engage 4WD and chug along in between 60 – 80km/h to Carrarang for the remaining 70km, so around 2 hours with a bit of time to spare. The road was in pretty good condition when we went, and its been graded since then too.

    Aaron

  • Nicki Thomson

    Awesome – thanks again Aaron. We are estimating around 10 and a bit hours from leaving Freo to arriving at the Homestead and factoring in a couple of “comfort breaks” along the way. Does that sound about right??

  • Yeah, sounds good. If you stop twice and again to deflate tyres, I reckon about 10.5 – 11 hours

    Have an awesome trip!

  • Vic

    Hey!!! Great post!! We have our first Carrarang trip booked in a couple of weeks. Do you know if dogs are allowed?? Im struggling to find info and cannot get a response/contact with the station.

  • Hey Vic,

    I’m really not sure on that one, but given it is a station I reckon they might be a bit picky. The owners are always extremely busy and have a hard time keeping up with the emails and phone calls. From memory Tony was suggesting calling around 9PM, when they get back to the home.

    Aaron

  • Stephen Baker

    Hi Vic, no dogs are recommended (baits)