Day 3 – Israelite Bay to Thomas River
We woke early, with the plan of heading off to the Bilbunya dunes, However, after a quick chat, we decided we would pack up and move to Thomas River via the coast 4WD track – The Telegraph 4WD track. To get to the Bilbunya dunes, it’s a good 80km slog along the inland track and or beach, and with the limited fuel we had we decided it would be better to explore more of the awesome coastline closer to Esperance!
It didn’t take too long to pack up, and we headed out to the old communication station, which has now seen better days. I was quite surprised at how big it was, and we spent a few minutes walking through it. Someone has come up with the idea of leaving something behind in a little bucket, as well as leaving a message. There were cable ties, panadol, aqua sealant and a few other bits and pieces.
After looking at the ruins, we headed off towards Point Malcolm via the telegraph track. This crosses over a number of salt lakes, and the terrain changes dramatically. Point Malcolm has designated camp sites too, and plenty of places to fish. We had a quick look around, and headed back out the way we came in. We had an interesting encounter with 2 emus that refused to get off the road, no matter how slowly we went. Finally they moved out the way, and we continued along the Telegraph track. I was blown away by how much the flora and scenery changes – one minute you are driving along a salt lake with nothing for miles, and the next you are driving through bush over the height of your car!
Somewhere along the line, my right mirror decided it wanted to fall apart, rendering it absolutely useless! I just used a few cable ties to hold it in place, and continued on. We crossed over a few ‘creeks’ which were bone dry, and ended up on Poison Creek Road. From there, you head north to Merivale road, which heads west to Cape Arid National park. We stopped on the side of the road to pump the tyres up a bit, having just had them set up for beach driving and finding they were getting too hot.
A short while later and we were looking at a view that had us rushing to find a camp site! The beach stretches for miles, with an awesome headland and plenty of great places to explore. We drove down and looked at the shire camp site, which is protected and right next to a gorgeous river. We decided to look at the DEC camp sites too, which sit much higher with an incredible view. They have an awesome camp kitchen and look very flash, but the sites were smaller and having a long walk to the beach wasn’t my idea of fun! We settled on number 3 in the shire campsite, which was massive with plenty of room for the 3 vehicles that would be there.
It also happened to be right near the toilets and BBQ, which was great. After a long day in the car and a very tiny breakfast, we were famished, and set about making the worlds biggest hamburgers! Bacon, eggs, hamburger patty, sprouts, tomato, cucumber, BBQ sauce, mushrooms, onions, pineapple and bread soon filled us up! We wanted to go for a drive down the beach to check out the area, so quickly packed the rods and headed off. The beach just goes for miles and miles, and we were the only ones there! After checking the beach out a little, we found a spot and parked up. Daniel proceeded to unravel his reel off my bull bar and wind it back up – somehow the braid was spinning on the spool. I lost a herring and a couple of mulies, but had no bites.
On Daniels first cast, he hooked a nice salmon and pulled it in with no worries. We bled it and kept fishing, but had no more luck. Not long after, I saw a head pop out of the water, and soon realized we had a seal for company. Daniel took the fish frame out and threw it to the seal, who gratefully took it away. It came back a while later, looking for more food. We gave it a couple of herring, and watched it surfing in the waves. They really are inquisitive and playful animals! After watching an incredible sunset, we packed up and headed back to camp. None of us were really very hungry, so we had a couple of hot drinks and headed to sleep!