Australia Day in 2018 was on a Friday – a perfect way to create a four day break. After multiple days of 40+°C at Port Gregory in 2017 we decided to move south again. The initial thought was Fitzgerald River National Park but after our ‘recce’ in early December 2017 I found it to be totally unfeasible for a group such as we get on our nation’s birthday. So after a bit of research I decided that the Beaches Around Bremer Bay would suit our purposes and we booked into Tozers Bush Camp, 22 kilometres west of the very crowded holiday resort of Bremer Bay.
Thursday was a leisurely drive to our destination. The planned 4WD trip to Bremer Bay didn’t eventuate – it came the next day – but we had plenty of time to set up a comfortable camp.
Tozers Bush Camp has clean showers and toilets, a huge camp kitchen, and a friendly, outdoor socialising area with a number of fireplaces. Camping bays surround this focal point in a giant U, with easy access and plenty of room. It really is a fantastic place to stay. Each campsite is delineated by a strip of an amazing array of native plants and the whole campground is within 700 acres of bushland inside a working sheep farm. Even a cursory inspection of this website would reveal that we have a vast experience in places offering camping accommodation. Tozers Bush Camp is right up there with the best.
Friday 26 January 2018
Seventeen people in twelve vehicles drove out of Tozers Bush Camp just before 8.00 a.m. on Australia Day 2018, heading to Reef Beach. And so begun a weekend of fantastic four wheel driving, swimming, spearfishing, snorkelling, fishing and lazying around on the beach.
We departed Tozers Bush Camp, turned left onto Bremer Bay Road and drove 14 kilometres to our planned turnoff to the beach – Reef Beach Road.
Access to Reef Beach is via the eponymously named Reef Beach Road – the suffix of the designation is most certainly not deserved – it is definitely a bush track and, closer to the beach as it drops quicker, it is a goat track!
Like so many of our south coast beaches Reef Beach is stunningly beautiful and, for first time visitors, an amazing experience – regardless of the number of jewels we have previously visited. White sand that stretches out of sight. Big sky. Blue sky. Clear sky. Turquoise water. Constant, crashing waves.
Unsurprisingly, Reef Beach received its name because of the fringing reef that extends for about seven kilometres, approximately 50 to 200 metres offshore.
The Reef Beach Dunes extend about four kilometres along the beach and at least that distance inland. Lack of shadows and reference points calls for caution when first driving on them.
The trip out on Warramurrup Track was just as interesting and challenging as coming in, particularly at the beginning of the track close to the beach.
We headed to Bremer Bay townsite, refuelled, and drove out to the Bremer Bay Beach.
It was then back along the bitumen to Tozers for cocktails.
Saturday 27 January 2018
On Saturday we chose to drive to Foster Beach. The trip in on Minarup Road was uneventful until we neared the beach. The track then gets interesting, even challenging at times.
We drove east along the beach with no plan in mind. Mushy and Fish started exploring in the adjacent dunes for a way off the beach so we would not have to return along Minarup Road.
With a combination of scouting around, reference to satellite imagery via Hema, and commonsense they come onto the track after about 20 minutes.
Once on the track we were able to head north and then drop down into Stream Beach. This track is very steep but it has a firm base.
While Aaron caught some sand whiting and Phil speared a striped cod, the rest of us had lunch.
Getting off Dillon Beach was a challenge. We found a blown out track that took us to Tooreburrup Road, aired up and headed back to Tozers.
A front had moved in bringing very light rain accompanied by fresh winds that had upset some of the ‘gazebo’ style shelters.
Sunday 28 January 2018
On the trip home we travelled through farming country to the Porongorups.
We travelled to the Porongorups to see the Granite Skywalk at Castle Rock. The Parks and Wildlife Service may disagree but they have done a spectacularly unsuccessful job of promoting what is an amazing, world class attraction.
The Castle Rock Granite Skywalk is an engineering masterpiece. Workers abseiled over the face of the rock from the summit and drilled into the granite to provide anchor points for the walkway supports. The walkway was then lifted into place by helicopter.
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