Martins Tank 11th, 12th and 13th November 2017
My birthday weekend, with my choice of camping spots. Lucky me because both The Drummer and The Piper as well as The Newby were all available to hang out with me. The weekend started with a day at the Perth 4WD show where The Newby fell victim to the IKEA factor that the show uses. He somehow walked away with a Weber Q and a Smartek hot water system for a shower. Two further additions to the rig that require modifications at a time yet to be determined …
Back to the camping. Because The Drummer was able to join us we didn’t leave Perth until she finished work at 9pm. This meant we didn’t arrive in Martins Tank to almost 11, but the efficiency of the setup meant we were all in bed by midnight. The Drummer has her own car and tent and is amassing other gear to become self sufficient. It’s a great feeling to watch your baby graduate to independence and tackle the outdoor life. I’m thrilled she is getting back into the spirit of camping and being outdoors.
Saturday morning we woke late but enjoyed a lovely breaky in the shade of our spot. Martins Tank is a DEC campground in Yalgorup National Park, about 2 hours south of Perth, just a few km’s from Preston Beach. The camping ground caters for all sorts and we had a pre-booked flat site, slightly elevated, surrounded by perfect Australian bush. Our morning involved a walk around the campsite and down to the lake before we played off in a boules tournament on the gravel of an adjoining site. After our lunch we headed down to Preston Beach for a swim (The Piper) and a sand based boules tournament. The beach is beautiful and safe for kids thanks to the huge tyres blocking 4WD access. There are also lots of shells which is always a trap for collectors like me. I fought the urge though and left them for the next beachcomber.
After the beach we filled up the bucket with water from the tap for later and had a grass based boules tournament. I think as the birthday girl I get to be the overall winner but the replay may show something different … Back at the campsite The Newby setup the shower and he christened it before I used the last of the gas and rinsed off in cold water. Pay back for leaving him cold and wet back at Bald Hill on a past trip (but not a nice thing to do to the birthday girl). Clean and dry we enjoyed a lovely big dinner spread and a couple of delicious cocktails to the dulcet tones of the djembe drum before retiring to bed tired but happy.
Sunday morning The Drummer left us after breakfast to head home to go to work. We took our time and packed up slowly before heading for Lake Clifton to have a look at the stromatolites. There is a gorgeous looking brewery just before you arrive at the lake that we will definitely visit when there are no children in tow. The lake itself looked lovely and we stashed the local cache before moving on to Dawesville. The rig we have makes pulling up and resting very easy. This is why we chose it. And that’s exactly what we did for the afternoon. We parked ourselves on the southern side of The Cut, as close to the mouth as possible and The Newby cooked up some perfect bacon and egg wraps. The dolphins were out and the wind kept us cool as the sun forced us into the shade of the camper. I think we spent a good couple of hours here, enjoying watching the world go by.
Our next stop was a little trip down onto the beach at Rockingham before heading over to the new adventure park in Kwinana. This park has been given a lot of airplay in the recent weeks following its opening. It certainly deserves the accolades. We spent a good hour here but a family with kids up to early teens could make a good day of it, and seems many were. The Piper enjoyed the huge basket swing and the mini trampoline but I liked the little bells in the path that you can jump on to make tinkling noises as you go along. Very cute. Finally we had to admit that we needed to go home and we headed up the coast, through Freo and back to my little house in the ‘burbs. We gave the car and camper a well-deserved rinse and put it back in the driveway ready for our next adventure …