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Thread: Murchison House Station-Dirk Hartog Island

  1. #1
    Adventurist stevemc181's Avatar
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    Murchison House Station-Dirk Hartog Island

    The Missus and I recently had a quick trip from Perth to Dirk Hartog island and back and I thought I'd throw a few pics up.

    On the way up we decided to camp at an old favourite, "Murchison House Station" this is situated about 15km from Kalbarri, and around 6 hours drive from Perth. The property is a working Goat station on the banks of the Murchison river and is 350,000 acres of camping bliss. We spent two nights here, which gave us a chance to break the drive up and have a bit of a bush break with a campfire. We didn't explore much around the station this time as we've been here previously. Though the wild flowers were out in abundance, this is the best time of the year to go camping in WA I think.

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    One of the many views that can be found while exploring the station: This one overlooks the Murchison River.

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    Old man emu had a couple of chicks in tow, buggers are hiding in this pic though.

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    This is an unusual thing to see, pink sand!

    MHS Pink Sand (Medium).jpg

    The property really has some stunning locations and a variety of terrain and views.

    MHS Rocks (Medium).jpg

    While we were in this neck of the woods we ducked down to the Kalbarri NP to check out the new skywalk they have built. I think they've done an awesome job of it and it blends in with the surroundings very well. There are two bridges they have built jutting out from the gorge face.

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    Another old favourite and very popular spot is nearby, this one is called Nature's window.

    Rock window (Medium).jpg

    The next stop on the agenda was a night at Steep Point ready for an early morning departure on the barge. I'll continue the trip report in the next post.
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  4. #2
    Adventurist stevemc181's Avatar
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    We headed North after leaving Murchison House Station and were bound for Steep Point. The drive was around 6 hours or so, and it can be a bit hit and miss going into Steep Point depending on when the grader has been through. The road can be 3-4 hours of corrugated hell or a pleasant 2hr drive, lucky for us the graders had been at work and we only had a few sections of bad corrugations, for the most part it was 80-100kph dirt.

    I had two new Outback accesories long range tanks fitted prior to this trip, but the fitter had managed to bugger my fuel gauge sender for the main tank, it didn't move off the full mark for over 530km's which I had expected, but when it got down to just above half it sat there for about 300k's, and it wasn't until I stopped at a rest area to grab a pie out of the travel buddy and when I switched the ignition back on it was showing below empty with the fuel light on! I've since had the tank removed and they found the float arm was catching on the swirl pot. I'm still on my first tank of fuel since having it fixed, so I'll see how it goes. Anyway on with the trip report.

    This was our camp spot for the night at Steep Point. There are 3 spots that they keep reserved for Dirk Hartog island (DHI) travellers only, you still need to book and pay for a night, but it can get very busy at Steep point so it's good to know that these are available if you only need an overnighter.

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    Here comes our ride! the barge is expensive at around $560 for one vehicle and 2 people for a return trip. The trip is only about 15 minutes, but it is worth every cent. There are only about 20 vehicles allowed at any one time on the island, so it certainly isn't crowded

    DHI Barge (Medium).jpg

    DHI Landing (Medium).jpg

    We made our way from the barge and started heading towards Louisa bay, our selected campspot for the next couple of nights. This was around a 2 hour traverse from the barge landing, but we made a couple of detours along the way. The first was to a spot called Surf Point.

    We spent an hour or so out here just having a wander along the beach and amongst the rockpools, you need to be aware of King waves though, anywhere along this coast line can be extremely hazardous.

    Surf Point (Medium).jpg

    Surf Point 2 (Medium).jpg

    A quick stop at the blowholes, although they weren't doing a lot of blowing and were pretty tame, Steep point can be seen in the background.

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    Blowholes (Medium).jpg

    We then called into the Eco-Lodge to say g'day as we would be camping here on our last night. Unfortunately the bar was closed, so no point hanging around here

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    Camp for 2 nights was a stunning spot called Louisa bay, we made our way to the Southern end of the beach as it was more protected from the wind.

    Louisa Bay (Medium).jpg

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    We went for a drive over to Mystery beach and had a bit of a look around the island, the drive over the sandhills was pretty awesome, thankfully they have some pickets driven into the sand to give you a guide where to go. The pic below is not the best, but we were driving into a fair old sandstorm in the distance and visibilty was reduced substantially, it was almost whiteout conditions when we were amongst it. There are some quite large dunes in amongst it all, but no footage unfortunately.

    20200826_062941993_iOS (Medium).jpg

    Mystery beach wasn't much, it's known to be covered with Flotsam and Jetsam and seems to a real garbage collection point. However there is a hidden little gem not far from here called the Natural Bridge. Unfortunately the sun was at the wrong angle for decent pics, but you get the idea

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    More to come:
    Last edited by stevemc181; 11th September 2020 at 03:07 PM.
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    Great write up. I love going to Murchison House station and Dirk Hartog Island is on the Bucket list

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    Quote Originally Posted by Figjam View Post
    Great write up. I love going to Murchison House station and Dirk Hartog Island is on the Bucket list
    They're on mine now too! Great report so far @stevemc181 !

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    Adventurist stevemc181's Avatar
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    After leaving Louisa Bay, we headed to the tip of the island to our next camp spot, Turtle bay, just for a night.
    You need to go through the cat proof (electric) fence that has been erected. The lower (Southern) half of the island has been cleared of feral cats and native wildlife is slowly being re-introduced with great success. All the sheep and goats have been removed from the island, at one stage there were 20,000 sheep being farmed here!

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    Withnell Point Camp would be a choice spot to stay, very beautiful calm and sheltered bay.

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    Before heading to our camp, we checked out the various spots at the top end,

    Cape Inscription Lighthouse was interesting with a few story boards explaining the arrival of Dirk Hartog and other explorers over 400 years ago.

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    Dampiers landing spot, which was not too far away. This was the first known place that Europeans set foot in Australia.

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    Not far from here a French Whaling ship, the Perseverant, came to grief and the the crew set up camp for a couple of months.

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    Cape Inscription viewed from Turtle Bay Camp. It is called Turtle Bay as this is the largest loggerhead turtle nesting site in Australia. We'll come back here in the summer months to see this hopefully.

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    Our camp at Turtle bay:

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    We went for a wander down the beach and got the surprise of our lives, hundreds of baby sharks swimming in the shallows just a couple of metres from shore, I think these are some kind of reef or lemon shark) Most were around a metre long but there was the odd bigger one. Needless to say snorkelling was off the agenda for the afternoon's activity.

    20200827_065429792_iOS (Medium).jpg

    A video of the sharks on my Youtube. This was an amazing sight to see, we spent a while here just watching them swimming around.



    After leaving Turtle Bay, we took a different route back down the Northern section of the island. We called into a couple of fishing shacks along the way. It was interesting just to read the walls covered with the musings of past travellers trips.

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    This spot is called the Block due to the great 700 Tonne lump of limestone that was ripped out of the cliff and dumped here by a Tsunami way back when.
    I had a mate who was Fishing at steep point in 2006 just across the bay from here and they had a tsunami caused by an earthquake off Java inundate their camp site, it wrote my mates car off and destroyed the camp spot, he had his ribs broken when the gas bottle hit him!

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    Last edited by stevemc181; 12th September 2020 at 10:08 AM.
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    Adventurist stevemc181's Avatar
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    From here it was back to the Eco-Lodge camp ground for a night with an early rise to pack up and meet the barge for the trip home. I'm not sure why, but I didn't take any pics around the eco-lodge, maybe I was grumpy and just needed Bourbon? Anyway, some random pics on the way back down below? I'll be heading up here again at some stage for sure, awesome spot that should be on everyone's bucket list.

    20200828_052148767_iOS (Medium).jpg

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    From the last fueling point (Overlander roadhouse) the round trip was about 750Km's with around 380Km's covered on the island. I went through 158 Litres of fuel, for an average of about 21 lph. I need to check this though as I am a bit suss on the fuel bowser's accuracy, it reckons I put 158 Litres into my new 145 Litre main tank! I haven't filled it from empty before, so i'll be checking it out when I can.
    My Pooey is a thirsty beast though and she was heavily loaded, most of Dirk Hartog is sand driving, albeit only a few really soft sections. I'd advise a sandflag on the island also, as it is all low lying scrub and it makes it much easier to see anyone coming. I only saw one other group in the 5 days we were there.
    Last edited by stevemc181; 11th September 2020 at 06:47 PM.
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    Adventurist stevemc181's Avatar
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    I seem to be having an issue with a few of the images disappearing? Not sure what's going on, but it seems I can't upload the missing images either? I thought maybe I had too many images in one post, so I moved a few to another post and now I've lost a couple of them to? I give up!
    Last edited by stevemc181; 11th September 2020 at 07:02 PM.
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    Patrol Freak Bigcol's Avatar
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    that place is certainly on my bucket list - I think it has now moved closer to the top though

    thank you
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    Awesome mate pretty special part of the world over there. Mystery bay was pretty much covered in flotsam & jetsam when we were there, nearly stood on a sea snake then spotted heaps of the poor buggers washed up on the beach. Pretty sad to see even the most remote places still buggered by humans although the rest of the place is pretty wild and untouched. Didn't see the natural bridge looks pretty cool but might have to revisit one day lol. . .

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