The next day the weather wasn’t so good, so we decided to go to the Peron Homestead, an old sheep station in the Francis Peron national park and then take the car off road and go up to the top of the peninsula to Cape Peron.
The homestead was very cool – the people that used to do this stuff (and still do I guess) in these remote, hot and dusty places really did it tough. We saw a bloody great big goanna lizard thing just sitting there in the sun – it was probably 3 feet long – eyeing us up for food 🙂
We pulled over to let the tyres down to 20psi for the sandy off road track to Cape Peron – 40km of sandy rutted 4×4 only track right up to the Cape.
The lady in the tourist place said it was ‘fine except for some sandy patches’, but I for city folk like us, it looked pretty gnarly with long stretches of deep sand. We got stuck behind someone who got bogged towing a boat – right in the deepest sand, so it was really hard to get going again. He eventually got underway, but we had to reverse so he could get moving, which meant we had to scrabble around to get going without bogging ourselves and managed to scratch the car on some bushes as we bounced about. Gah!
We carried on ploughing along, but got fooled by some deep sand that hid some pretty big dips so we bounced hard a few times, causing everything in the car, children included, to crash about. It was good fun though. We got to the end and discovered that the bounces had smashed off the power coupling from the towbar and caused the right rear wheel to crack the underside of the wheel arch – oops
Luckily we met up with a couple and their young daughter who had some zip ties, so we managed to secure the bits that were hanging off. They were in a new Landcruiser that was totally covered in red dirt – they had come all the way from Brisbane to Western Australia off-road, so had every spare part imaginable. Awesome adventure – I suddenly have visions of wanting to do that kind of thing!!
Other than that, the Kia did very well off road – much better than its SUV classification would have you believe – its actually pretty competent.
Cape Peron is famous for the red cliffs that come almost all the way to ocean, a thin strip of white sand and turquoise blue ocean, but sadly it was high tide and overcast when we went, so we didn’t get the full effect, but on the plus side, we didn’t get our brains roasted in the heat either! It was very barren, very striking and there were lots of goannas about in the red dirt. I walked up to the top of the cliffs and looking down at the ocean below, I could see pretty big shark swimming lazily along in the blue water. Awesome.
We had lunch, but there really wasn’t much else to see, and Jay’s back was starting to hurt, so we packed up the car and drove back again. We did loads better off road on the way back, never even once looking like we might get stuck. I was also much better at spotting the potential bouncers in the sand and we had a really good drive back. That’s my manly status assured then 😉
Back at the homestead carpark, I got the compressor out and re inflated the tyres whilst the girls went off to check out the thermal spring hot tub in the homestead grounds. It was way too hot apparently.