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.
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Talk about a long and winding road, it looks impossible to navigate without wrecking your vehicle but you did it through perseverance and boy was it worth it!ReplyDelete
What a wonderful day from start to finis. Your mindful beach combing revealed some amazing treasures thanks for sharing them with us at Mosaic Monday this week.
I want to put my footprints there. I grew up on a peninsula in Massachusetts, very close to Cape Cod.ReplyDelete
What a great outing. Only time I did 4wd was in the Virgin Islands and that was incredibly rough and we had no idea what we were getting ourselves in for. Such a lovely beach you found.ReplyDelete
Those beach shots are amazing.ReplyDelete
Lovely and inviting beach photos and family fun and tires being fixed ~ delightful share ~ thanks, creative photography too ~ReplyDelete
Wishing you a peaceful week ~ ^_^
There seems to be no others on the beach! Amazing to have the beach all to yourselves. I like your beach photos!ReplyDelete
WOW oh WOW what an interesting and lovely day you all had. I would have had a turned up tummy from the bumping around, however what great information on reducing the air in the tires and the same for anything you might be towing. I know that my family enjoys four-wheeling adventures, but I have never gone. The beach was so pristine, and while cold to the touch, I am sure that the mindfulness that you sought, was everywhere to be received. Thank you for sharing this great day adventure.ReplyDelete
As for us, it has been three years this coming September since the husby and I traveled to the National Parks...and I am hoping that maybe this season we can go...just difficult with three large dogs and we will not leave them behind. Hugs~
Such a lovely series of photos!ReplyDelete
What a lovely day Jill and your photos are perfect I could almost feel the sand and surf. I so miss the South West. Amazing that the beach was 'known' - I hope we have a few secret spots still although I'm aware how much busier the south west is becoming these days.ReplyDelete
What lovely series of photos!ReplyDelete
What a wonderful way to spend quality time with your family. I enjoy 4WD driving, particularly along a long stretch of beach. We did a similar thing last year with our son and his girlfriend by spending a weekend 4WD driving and camping on North Stradbroke Island. It was up there with some of my most enjoyable trips away. :)ReplyDelete
Luv the beach mosaic best of the lot; have a good weekReplyDelete
I very much enjoyed your post today! This looks like both a beautiful place to spend the day with gorgeous scenery and fun stuff to do! The fact you spent it with family makes it all the more special. Thank you for sharing.ReplyDelete
Lovely beach scenes!ReplyDelete
My goodness this looks like it was an amazing adventure :)ReplyDelete
You have so many beautiful beaches in Australia!ReplyDelete
What a gorgeous beach and it looks like the perfect place to explore! Have a great weekend!ReplyDelete
That road looks a bit scary! I get all nervous when going thru places like this. Well, the reward was fantastic! That beach looks amazing (and you had it almost to yourselves). #TPThursdayReplyDelete
Looks like an amazong day. We enjoy heading to the coast forobligatory ice cream, whatever the weather and of course fish n chips! #LovinLifeLinkyReplyDelete
Icecream! Did someone say icecream?ReplyDelete
That sounds like the perfect day out adventure, fun and family with a whole lot of relaxing. Love your shots. I can't get over the colour of the water, wow!ReplyDelete
What a fun day! We have a stretch of beach in Washington State that is considered a state highway and accessible to normal cars. People love to drive on the beach and set up camp as you did. Sadly some don't pay attention to high tides . . . but that always makes for a great story!ReplyDelete