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Tales of the travels, trials and triumphs as we explore Australia in a converted bus

Motorhome Travels - July 2009


Graham and Chris at Carnarvon,WA - [Click for a Larger Image]
Graham and Chris at Carnarvon,WA

We don't often find it necessary to pay for camping, there are lots of great places that you can camp at no cost - so why would you pay?

14 Mile camp is one of the exceptions to our normal modus operanda. Located just a few kilometres south of Coral Bay on a huge coastal station called Warroora (pronounced 'worrah') is a beach camp called 14 mile. Here the Ningaloo Reef is just a couple of kilometres from the white sandy beach. The reef provides an almost continuous barrier protecting the beach and attracting a huge array of marine life. SCUBA diving on the reef is like diving on any hidden tropical reef with lots of soft and hard corals and a wonderful range of colourful fish. Of course the fishing here is pretty good too. At $50/week, we think it is good value.

As if to further emphasise how nice wilderness camping is, we spent a couple of nights at the caravan park in Carnarvon before coming out to 14 Mile. For the life of us, we can not understand the attraction that others see in this type of holiday. Crammed in like the proverbal tiny fish, barely able to open the bus door without hitting another caravan ... why not stay at home where you at least have a back yard to ya self?

The up-side (and in fact the reason) for staying in the caravan park was to catch up with fellow bus dwellers (and very talented artist and sign-writers), Graham and Chris. We built a website for them (www.safarisigns.com.au) a few months ago, but had never met them.


We arrived here at 14 Mile on Monday the 29th to be told that very rough weather was expected - we have had some strong winds and no sun for the last 4 days - but thankfully, the severe weather that was predicted did not arrive.

On Tuesday my sister, Lee and Brother-in-law Howard arrived in their Bedford bus. They have been working near Broome for the last two years and have again taken to the road in their bus. After two years of sitting still, their old bus voiced its objection to being asked to move again ... coming down from Broome they have had a broken windscreen, broken brake lines and a partly seized engine!


As I said, we have not had more than about 5 minutes of sun since we have been here, so the bus batteries have been living on generator charge. This has required us to run the generator twice each day - something we hate doing (and listening to). We have decided to purchase a wind turbine to increase our silent power generation ability. Now before you email telling me that wind generators are anything but silent, we have found one that is very close to silent. Our good friends at Jaycar Electronics have a new range of wind turbines that are a big step forward from the previous screaming versions. We have bought a 300w 24 volt unit with a blade diameter of 1.5m. The turbine begins to generate useful power with a wind speed of just 2.5 m/s. The unit should arrive next week so I will report on the success (or otherwise) as it is assembled and erected. 



Yesterday was the first sunny day since we have been here. The wind also dropped to allow us to go out on Howards boat and try to catch a fish or two. Not being much of a line fisherman (no patience) I took my spear gun and dropped over the side to look for a nice fish for dinner. Within about 5 minites a large gray shark arrived and took just a little too much interest in me. I decided to leave the water at this point. We stopped at four or five other places along the inside of the reef, and each time a large (1.5m plus) shark turned up. When two arrived and began circling me I elected to exit the water and remain in the boat. We have since been told that there is a dead whale a few kilometres south of here and this has attracted some extra unwanted visitors including a 3m tiger shark.   


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