Around Australia: Carnarvon to Denham


We left Carnarvon on Saturday morning. The growers’ market was underway in front of the Information Centre and a pop-up Men’s Shed on the main street. From Carnarvon to the Overlander Roadhouse, Highway One is closer to the coast than it has been for some time. We drove through a desert landscape with only a few goats seen. The ground is too dry to support any other livestock. Wooramel Roadhouse was the coffee stop and shortly afterwards the red earth had changed to a sandy colour. Near Yaringa, we stopped at a lookout which was a welcome break from the miles of flat land with limited views.

There was more traffic heading southwards today as the spring school holidays finish this weekend. We then passed a notice telling us that we had crossed the 26th parallel and left the North West. Near the Overlander Roadhouse we took the road towards Denham and entered the World Heritage Area. This is also the traditional homeland of the Mulgana people. Hamelin Pool is an inlet with very high salinity and higher temperatures than the surrounding bays. It contains microbe mats that can become rocky structures called stromolites.

There is a boardwalk over the area and swallows were nesting underneath the wooden structure. There is also a circular walk through the bush. In the 1920s a wool shed stood on the shore. Camel trains brought the wool to the coast and it had to be loaded onto lighter boats to take it out to the ships in deeper waters. Eventually, when the road to Carnarvon had been completed and a rail link, the shed was demolished in 1968. We had our lunch at the rest area near the old telegraph station, the campsite and shop/tea room. I was about to photograph some pigeons on the roof of the shelter, but they were frightened off by a high school trip party who left noisily.

Further along the road and over the bush-covered hill is Shell Beach which is composed of cockle shells.


A few miles from Denham we again crossed the 26th parallel in the opposite direction and were back in the North West. Denham is the westernmost town in Australia. The westernmost part of the continent is Steep Point on a neighbouring peninsula. To get to it you need 4WD, high clearance and deflated tyres. There is also an entrance fee and campsites. The road leaves the Denham road long before the town is reached. We found our beachside motel and settled in before having dinner at the most western pub in Australia.

The day’s 212 miles added to our total brings it to 6,702.

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