After Esperance (“hope” in French, named by Bruni D’Entrecasteaux) we’d planned to go to the picturesque Cape le Grand National Park, but school holidays ensured that park was full.
And so we found ourselves driving in the wrong direction, again, 125 ks east to the more remote Cape Arid National Park, on the south coast of Western Australia.
We stayed three nights in a beautifully laid-out campground, overlooking a long beach. Each site was surrounded by banksia trees; you could see and hear the roaring surf below. White sands, clear waters and granite boulders made up the coastal landscape. We went on a bushwalk to Dolphin Cove and saw half a dozen lizards of varying size and extreme speed. Back at the beach, girls made mermaids in the sand and K, Lee and I boogie-boarded.
In the evenings we had happy hour with the grey nomads. It gets dark early now, so we brought fairy lights into the camp kitchen, a shelter with a view of the ocean. I fed the girls dinner while the adults drank cask wine and talked about good roads and bad roads and getting bogged on the beach. The campers spoke of campsites on the Nullarbor with howling dingos.
And, as the evening wore on, they told stories of croc attacks up north and shark sightings down south, until finally we ambled back to our respective campsites to cook dinner and play the ukulele under the stars.