We weren't sure of what we were getting ourselves into, but our son enjoys his 4-wheel-driving, and we decided to tag along for a family day at the beach at Hamelin Bay. We left home at about 7am, and headed first down the South West Highway, onto Sues Road, and Brockman Highway, popping out onto the Bussell Highway at Karridale. From here we headed west on Bushey Road to Caves Road and then onto Bob's Track.
It became immediately apparent to our son that the track had degraded quite a bit since his last trip here a couple of years ago. The guys took a short walk up the track to check it out, and then let their tyre pressures down before attempting the track. Reducing tyre pressure, and putting your vehicle in low range, is important for 4WDriving on tracks, over rocky ground, and through soft sand. It helps your vehicle crawl over the rocks, reduces your chances of becoming bogged, and saves the track from further degradation. There are a lot of factors that come into play when considering what tyre pressure is best. My son recommended about 15psi. If you are towing, reduce the tyre pressures on whatever you are towing too.
Please click here to keep reading more....
I found this interesting blog with 4wdriving tips - Off Road Aussie - He says - Decreasing your tyre pressure increases the tyre’s ability to shape itself around obstacles, rather than having to climb over them. With reduced tyre pressure, your 4WDrive will sit on top of the surface rather than digging in. When vehicles dig in, they cause damage to the tracks.
The photos below really don't give you a good appreciation of the state of this 4WDrive only track, which is not maintained. There were deep potholes and big boulders to negotiate as we went up the ridge. It was slow going. I wondered what would happen if another vehicle was coming the other way, as it really is only one vehicle width, however there are a few little pullovers at the side of the track where others have "taken to the bush" to allow passing previously.
After the first rocky section we were into sand on the sand dunes. There were now no rocks to crawl over, but plenty of soft sand and deep holes. And then our first view of the ocean.
Once you reach the beach you can drive north or south. We decided to head north. The sand was fairly hard other than a few soft spots. Be careful though not to drive too close to the water line.
All we had to do now was pick our spot, park up, pull out our awnings and chairs, get the coffee made, and we were set. It wasn't long before the boys and their Dad had their gear and were off into the surf. My daughter-in-law settled into her chair with a book, whilst my husband set up his fishing gear. Unfortunately no fish today.
I went for a walk. There is really nothing quite like a beach to walk along with virtually no-one else in sight. We discovered though that this "secret beach" is a secret that lots of people know! Luckily though, everyone was looking for their own little spot of quiet paradise, and parked well away from each other.
A few of my finds on the beach - nothing spectacular - just little pieces of life. I've read a lot lately about "mindfulness" so this was my "mindfulness" walk.
I didn't go for a swim because the water, though invitingly sparkling blue, was freezing cold. From time to time the boys dragged themselves away from the surf to warm up by building sandcastles on the water edge - it was a battle between the sandcastles and the ocean - or burying themselves in the sand. See! no toys, no technology and no fights! just lots of shared fun out in the great outdoors.
During the day we saw a few hikers on the beach. Hamelin Bay beach is part of the Cape to Cape Track which runs for 135 km along the spine of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, through the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, between the lighthouses of Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin. It is very popular with hikers and takes several days to complete. You can do the trek by carrying all your gear and camping out, or do day walks. Our elder son walked the Track a couple of years ago. You can find out more about the Cape to Cape Track by clicking here - Cape to Cape.
We enjoyed our restful day on the beach, but all too soon it was time to negotiate the track back. Unfortunately you cannot access the beach via vehicle from Hamelin Bay, but there are various points were you can walk onto the beach from carparks further back. It was a slow trip out as there were a lot of vehicles coming in, and many of them seemed to be having problems because of the condition of the tracks, vehicles bogging, and I suspect because they hadn't lowered tyre pressures. I wondered why they were coming in so late. Camping is not allowed on the beach. I wouldn't want to be driving out on that track in the dark.
You can click here for some more info about 4wd tracks in the area - 4wd-tracks-around-margaret-river
From here we headed north again along Caves Road through the beautiful Boranup Forest. An icecream was on our agenda, and we had set our sights on the Millers Dairy Farm Ice Cream shop, on Wirring Road just south of Cowaramup. Lots of delicious flavours!
The Miller family have been farming in the region since Sandy Miller left Scotland at the age of 19 back in 1926. There is a children's playground on site if your kids need to run off some excess energy.
This was followed by fish and chips on the beach at Dunsborough before heading home. It had been a long, but very enjoyable, family day out.
What did you do on the weekend? Do you have a favourite place for family outings? Perhaps you'd like to tell us about it in the comments.
Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.
I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!
Life Thru the Lens
Our World Tuesday
Through My Lens
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Travel Photo Thursday
The Lovin' Life Team over at Lifestyle Fifty
The Weekly Postcard
Sky Watch Friday