Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Week 21/52-Part 2 - Camp with a view - Peak Charles

Welcome everyone to Part 2 of Week 21 of my 52 week tour Down Under Western Australia. Tonight we leave Cave Hill (our last destination) and travel via dirt tracks south to Peak Charles.

From Cave Hill you can travel north via the old woodlines tracks to Burra Rock and then to Coolgardie and the goldfields (you will see the goldfields later in the tour), but we headed east along the 50km 4WDrive only track and then south to Peak Charles National Park.

Not far from Cave Hill, the track degraded into a boggy quagmire and we came upon an abandoned 2WDrive ute stuck in the mud – highlighting the need for 4WDrive, travelling in convoy and being prepared when out in this uninhabited region hundreds of kilometres from help. There was an alternative route pushed through the bush around the 300 metre boggy stretch so we took this route instead. There were several more sections like this along the track with alternate routes through the bush. The message is if you don’t have to go through the bog, then don’t.

From Life Images by Jill

Back on the road again.......following our sons dust - I think I did quite well with this considering it was taken through the front windscreen as we were driving.........

From Life Images by Jill
100km south west of Norseman is Peak Charles - part of the Fitzgerald Peaks and can be seen from over 50 kilometres away.

Surveyor and explorer John Septimus Roe explored this region in 1849 naming Fitzgerald Peaks, Peak Charles (651 metres high) and Eleanora Peak (501 metres). Roe described this country of dense scrub, dry watercourses and salt pans as “fearful and impractical”. Today the Park protects this wild uninhabited region and provides opportunities for bush camping. During spring the bushland comes alive with wildflowers.

We were lucky to have the camping area to ourselves and enjoyed the quiet and an overdue “bush shower”. We cooked marshmallows over the fire, and in the morning rose early to climb a short way up the walking track for a magnificent view of the sunrise and the sweeping view over the surrounding mallee covered sand plains, eucalypt woodlands and vast salt lakes of the 40,000 hectare park.

Here is my sons camp with Peak Charles in the background.  We're camping tonight - so hope you have brought the marshmallows to roast over the fire!

From Life Images by Jill
The climb to the summit is only recommended for experienced bushwalkers and involves exposed rock scrambling – allow three hours return to the summit. The steep slopes provide opportunities for experienced rock climbers. The walk track is moderately difficult and with a three year old in tow and my son carrying his 18 month old in a back pack we only managed to reach the lookout point from where you can see Eleanora Peak to the south. It was essential to find things along the track to interest the three year old and take his mind off walking!

Here is the sunrise....I am not sure if I overdid the saturation on this one or not. That's my husband in silhouette on the RHS of the pic.

From Life Images by Jill
Peak Charles - glowing orange in the early morning light -

From Life Images by Jill

Here is the view from Peak Charles - our campsite is right at the base of the rock. That is my son and my 18month old grandson. He kept throwing his hat off.

From Life Images by Jill
Driving away from Peak Charles

From Life Images by Jill
And for something different - the burnt nuts of a native bush - fire allows the nuts to break open and disperse the seed - so the fire is part of the circle of life in the Australian bush. This colour is straight from camera - I was really pleased with the burnt textures.

From Life Images by Jill
Thank you for looking everyone - I hope you are enjoying the tour

Next stop Esperance and it's beautiful beaches.

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Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this tour around Western Australia. I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for taking the time to comment.