One woman’s quest to find coffee against the odds.

Star date: t-plus six

Km since start: 1075

Odometer today: 147126


  • A seven-minute video of me lip-synching to Bohemian Rhapsody while driving down a dirt road was booted of Facebook for including music be someone else. Which is kind of the point. Possibly this is actually a win, possibly not my finest social-media moment.
  • I lost my spork. This is tantamount to an emergency.
  • PSA: Do not buy Spinifex products from Anaconda


  • Inadvertently became the Fairfax Media random flower correspondent
  • Met the Hicks family – two parents, four kids, three dogs, a cat and a galah. Been on the road FOUR YEARS and are on the last stretch before settling in Mandurah.
  • I failed mention in my last post we scored a free Bunnings sausage in Gero – definitely a win.
  • The jockey wheel spontaneously resolved whatever the problem was. Hooray!

Let’s start with some top camping tips for travelling with a pug.

  1. Use Bunnings clamps rather than pegs. They can hold a soaking wet beach towel to a line even when being pulled at by a small dog.
  2. LED vests for said hound have two great uses. Firstly at night you won’t lose the dog. Secondly it amuses other campers who offer wine/cheese in exchange for humour.
  3. Get an industrial lint roller. Collects both sand and buckets of pug fur.

So day two in Kalbarri Zeus had to go into daycare which is completely appropriate because I agree dogs shouldn’t be in national parks.

And off I went gorge-hunting, fuelled up on <plug> great coffee from the (very dog friendly) Gorges Cafe </plug>.

I have been to the gorges before but I didn’t remember them like this. Z gorge was lined with what I now know is Wirey Honey Myrtle so the cliffs were purple. By this point the wildflower photography was getting a bit out of hand. It is pretty funny actually – you see someone parked by the side of the road and think “OMG they must have found a rare orchid or something” so you stop and look around, and then another car stops thinking the same thing, when in reality car 1 had just stopped for a leak and has inadvertently created a traffic jam of flower hunters.

A text to WAToday Headquarters asking if they wanted the random flower pictures was met with emphatic enthusiasm and thus I became the unexpected flower corespondent for Fairfax. Also headed to Nature’s Window which is at the heart of Sam Barnett’s troubles and was reminded it’s not just a side note a news story, it’s actually really spectacular for what really amounts to a hole in a rock.

Following day after heavy rain at night Zeus and I packed up a slightly soggy camp side and headed out to the highway. We had planned to turn right and camp at Mullewa and Mingenew to continue the flower-hunting journey, but I had been told about a great station stay at Wooramel. This has lead to a rethink of the route to Sydney and I have a vague plan, but stay tuned. Who knows where I’ll end up. It was around this time WA Today ran the flower yarn and I am sure there are flower aficionados out there cringing at the quality of my photo-work. For the record, these were taken on a Canon Power-shot point-and-shoot using the macro setting, then edited down to meet required size and imported into a collage app. No I do not know what all these flowers are, but you can borrow my book when I get back if you want.

The highlight of the road to Wooramel was the Billabong Roadhouse which was just generally hilarious and also had a barista machine. No barista, but they made the effort and thus coffee was procured. 

Wooramel it turns out has Artesian hot springs (well, warm anyway) and it spruiks their healing power. I’m not sure but it was thoroughly pleasant after a long day’s drive. The water is heavy in iron and some other minerals so literally rusts during the day. Comes out blue, goes brown. Crazy.

Drove out to Gladstone beach which seems to only be good for fishing. Later met a flower expert (had been doing flower tours for 10 years) who actually learnt to walk on the Gladstone jetty. I told him surely he was not that old because this is what the jetty looks like now:

Zeus and I have been out exploring the station. They have a ‘historic tip’ which seems a weird thing to promote but this is what it looks like (I *really* want the Dodge hubcaps):

Carnarvon tomorrow, some serious decisions to be made about accommodation (station or campsite? I could really use some power…. But people😕).

Oh yeah, the Hicks family, I nearly forgot! No doubt you’ll read about them soon enough, but the Hicks family have been travelling since September 10, 2012 with four kids, three dogs, a cat (rescued in Alice Springs from an abandoned truck cabin) and a galah which I’m pretty sure is called Peta (true story). They are in the final 800km of their trip and planning to settle in Mandurah, having decided of everywhere they had been, it seemed the best place to stop.

What total legends.


5 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Hello Peta. I found your blog by remembering your cool blog name and have thoroughly enjoyed your updates. Love the pics of you and Zeus in this one. I’m so glad you’re having a good time and I will continue to live vicariously through your adventures ☺

  2. So how did you take that photo through the hole in the rock? Mum says hers was all dark when we were there in 1992. And is the horse riding place still at Kalbarri?

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