There’s something about the West coast of Australia that draws you in like a magnet. A warmness that invites you to stay longer. It’s the same in Carnarvon. We’re practically on the most western side of Australia, thousands of kilometres from Victoria, yet I feel so at home here.
With a population of just over 5000 it’s not a huge town, yet it’s got everything you need. We’ve met a heap of like minded people, I joined a local group at the market, we got to know the supermarkets and the mechanics and had our car problems sorted. I had a much needed hair cut and colour, (oh boy, did that feel good) and we met up with our new friends from Yardie. It felt more like a haven than a holiday.
Still, there’s plenty here for the traveller who wants to explore. Here’s a run down of our four days and five ways we spent our time in Carnarvon.
The Blow Holes at Quobba
The blowholes blew my mind. A stunning natural phenomenon with a campground nearby so you can stay the night. There’s even a coffee van and donuts onsite. We stayed a night at the Blowholes Campground before arriving in Carnarvon, an easy day trip from the town. It was a great overnighter and, in our typical adventurous manner, we almost got the Dmax bogged on the soft sand when we took a detour coming back from the lighthouse!
But it’s the blowholes that are the star attraction here, powerful ocean swells that force water through sea caves and up out of narrow holes in the rocks, where jets of water erupt in the air. At sunset Mother Nature ramps it up a notch. It’s truly a spectacular sight and sound show that never ends. The trick is to not stand too close to the front!
Space Station Museum
Speaking of shows, how about getting lost in space? Here at the Space Museum you can propel yourself into outer space and learn all about Carnarvon’s role in NASA’s Apollo Moon landings and early space programs.
It’s a great place to easily spend a couple of hours and we felt like big kids again as we went into simulators, and launched to the moon, played on space invader machines and learnt about the space era and all things space related.
One Mile Jetty
The One Mile Jetty Historic Precinct was just down the road from where we stayed at Pelican Point (and that’s a hidden gem in itself). The one mile long jetty can’t be accessed these days as recent cyclones have destroyed parts of it. But at the precinct you can read all about former bustling days at the port and explore all the old machinery. It’s a fascinating place.
Drive the Fruit Loop Trail
Foodies will love this one! The fertile area around Carnarvon is known as the “Food Bowl of WA” and the trail is a delicious way to spend half a day or longer, stocking up on local fresh produce at barn doors and roadside stalls. We picked up a bounty of fresh produce including preserves and jams, the sweetest bananas, fresh tomatoes, asparagus, gorgeous salad leaves, eggplant, chocolate coated strawberry ice creams and mango smoothies from Bumbaks! We also checked out a quirky cactus farm.
What made the day even more enjoyable was sharing it with our new friends Sue and Steve, who we met at Yardie Homestead and who were also in town.
Our secret camping spot
Okay, I know, it won’t be a secret if I write about it, but it’s too good not to share. Out at Pelican Point, between the canal and the sea, lies a gem of a place. It’s not advertised but we were told about it by the Visitors Centre. The Beach Retreat has room for just three vans and we were the only ones there.
There’s power and water, views over the canal and on the other side of the road is the ocean. There’s oysters to shuck from the canal right in front of us, an alfresco lounge area to relax in with new friends (who kindly gave us fresh fish off their boat). It’s quirky, rustic, like a tiny secluded fishing oasis and we loved it.
There’s so much more to Carnarvon, I feel as though I’ve barely skinned the surface but what we saw and tasted we loved.
Maybe home is simply where the heart is. I’m finding that wherever we lay our hat, park our van and connect with like minded people it feels “right”. In those moments I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. It’s that inner compass that keeps us on track and makes me believe that nothing is random and everything happens for a reason.
As our journey continues and decisions are made on future plans I’ll be guided by, not just what’s in front of us, but by my heart. May you also feel the same guidance, inner strength and freedom, wherever in life your journey takes you.
Sending you lots of love and light