Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Oz Trip - Day 134

Day 134 – 12/9/2012 – Steep Point day trip

After speaking to a couple of people the night before in the camp kitchen, they said that it took them about 4 hours to get to Steep Point. So with this in mind we set off at 8am. The first 100km or so was formed reasonably good dirt road.

The good dirt road

We then hit the start of the sand dunes so we aired down to 18psi.



From there it was a slow trip on a one lane track through the sand dunes to get out to the coast line. After the notice there was a number of dune climbs, the largest called “Tin Hill”. You go down the steepest part of the dune on the way in and there is a bypass track to get around it on the way out. It was good that it was slow as it allowed you to take in the awesome scenery.


The track getting narrower
Untouched sand dunes


The first stop was Thunder Bay blowholes. You could really hear the thunder of the swell hitting the cliff faces and the whoosh of the blowholes.


Jodie said that I need one of these signs for after a night on the curry!!


From there we followed the track along the cliff edge for about another 26km which took about 2 hours! There were some places where the sideways angles got a bit interesting. Sorry no photos of that as Jodie was too busy hanging on!






We finally made it to Steep Point after a few wrong turns. There were tracks through the dunes everywhere and no signs, but we eventually found the sign.

Us at the western most point of Australia :-)

And our faithful chariot 

The fotopol - a fantastic invention and should be at all scenic spots. Just screw your camera on and set the timer. Saves having to take your own tripod and a lot more stable in this type of wind! 

It was blowing an absolute gale so we headed back on the eastern side of the peninsular and found a spot that was a bit more sheltered for lunch.

Track down to our lunch spot on the slightly calmer side.
Someone not too happy sharing the lunch spot
On the way back over “Tin Hill” we came across a group of guys heading into the camping area for a boys fishing trip. They were in a V8 Landcruiser Troopie fully loaded and towing a fully loaded camper trailer and they were struggling to get up the due. I came around the corner at the top of the dune to see them reversing back down for another attempt. The sand was that soft that you couldn't see the tyre ruts that I or anyone else had made going along the track this morning. The wind was blowing the sand back into the ruts and filling them up very quickly. After getting out of the way and watching them have a couple of more tries at getting up the dune, they were able to reverse into a position that allowed us to squeeze past them. They told us that there was another two vehicles also towing trailers behind them that were also part of their group.

We came across the other two vehicles struggling up the long dune climb just after the point where it says to drop tyre pressure. This time it was two Mitsubishi Tritons and both towing trailers. We managed to get on to a passing bay just in time to let the first Triton pass us so that he could maintain his momentum. We heard on the UHF radio that the two Tritons were together so we told them that we would wait until they also went past. After about 10 minutes and no more radio chatter I decided to go for a walk down the track to see where they were. They were in all sorts of trouble. On reversing back down the dune for another attempt at it, the trailer and ute had got all crossed up across the track and they were bogged, completely blocking the track. They weren't having any success at getting out and there was no way for us to get around them.

So with the assistance of one set of my Maxtrax we were able to get the ute un-bogged and straightened back up to finish reversing back to the start of the dune for another attempt. One of the guys in the ute couldn't believe how well the Maxtrax worked and offered to buy them off me. After a bit of negotiation, a deal was struck, plastic changed hands and we were all on our way. Us towards camp, and the others most likely to help their Landcrusier mates get up “Tin Hill” with a set of newly acquired Maxtrax. I could afford to part with one set of Maxtrax as I had two sets.

That afternoon we didn't arrive back at Hamelin Station until 5:30pm.

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