FRANCOIS PERON NATIONAL PARK
Our last chance to experience those vivid coastal colours of Western Australia that I love.
All good things must come to an end and the end to our time on the Western Australia coastline is approaching far too quickly so we visit Francois Peron feeling a bit of melancholy.
The colour scheme of this National Park once again leaves me in awe. The red ochre, combined with a vivid clear blue sea and a strip of creamy white sand is just stunningly beautiful. I think I’d like to paint my house those colours in memory of the WA coastline (chuckle).
Francois Peron is renowned for being windy but we struck it lucky and our two days here were quite lovely, sunny and calm. It was bitterly cold in the morning though. I unpacked all the arsenal and rugged up like a woolly mammoth to walk the beach in the morning. My Ugg boots didn’t appreciate the sea water drenching from that sneaky wave though.
This National Park is a sand driving adventure. Kevin enjoyed the challenge and was heard to say “surely the Simpson Desert can’t be as bad as this?” There is a tyre inflation/deflation point at the entry to the park with instructions written in numerous languages so the foreign tourists can’t plead ignorance when they become unstuck (bogged in the deep sand). Let the tyres down to 20 psi is recommended with good cause.
We do and our Landcruiser, with its much complained about and soon to be replaced skinny tyres, handles the 50-odd km track surprisingly well. That’s due to Kevin’s driving skills no doubt. We did help out a Dutch couple in an Apollo Camper bogged in the middle of the track. They did let down the tyres and were travelling in 4WD but just maybe lacked the sand driving experience (that would help I guess).
The view between Cape Peron and Skipjack point was incredible and it was all about the colours. My favourite colours. There are a few camping sites within the park and we choose the small ‘Gregories’ which was lovely, although you would be forgiven for thinking by the photo that we are camped in the Simpson Desert.
We are actually only 5 metres from the ocean. Unlike our last camping experience at Red Bluff, this ocean is like a lagoon; flat and smooth and we could snorkel if we chose too but it’s just too cold for swimming. Need a wetsuit this time of the year. Kevin had no luck fishing and this is probably our last opportunity.
We now head towards Geraldton and this is our turning point; where we turn to the East and head toward the Great Central Road which will take us back into the Northern Territory at Ayers Rock. We did contemplate continuing down the WA Coast to Perth and the South West corner while we are a hop, skip and jump away but the weather is too cold, wet and miserable at this time of year to be camped under canvas down there. We will save it for another trip when it is summer and we can enjoy that cold Southern Ocean when the wind no longer blows straight from Antarctica with ice on the tip of its tongue.
So, it will be farewell to the Indian Ocean (yes, there will be a tear or two) and hello to the vast Australian Central Deserts with a smattering of wildflower colour. Nice. Still lots to look forward to.
(We are home now and I had to add this follow up. As I indicated in this blog post I’d like to decorate my home in the colours of WA. Well that’s pretty much what I did and I love it. Such a lovely way to be reminded of these beautiful moments.)