Winnejup and Yeagarup December 2017

The xmas break was a great opportunity to get away to our private campsite at Winnejup on the Blackwood River and do some four wheel driving at Yeagarup Dunes.

We arrived at lunchtime on Boxing Day and set about mowing the weeds, cleaning up, collecting firewood and installing a gas barbecue.

The next day we ventured down to Yeagarup Dunes/Beach, stopping for a coffee on the way at Pemberton.

The 2.5 kilometre drive over bright, white dunes along the designated track leads to a bush track that winds its way to the top of Yeagarup Hill.

Getting to the beach was a challenge for those in the little Suzukis. Especially on one particular section of the bush track where the offset moguls are quite deep! In addition, the Sierras have only 75% of the track of larger vehicles such as Patrols and Landcruisers and this in itself present a range of issues.

Four kilometres along this track is Yeagarup Hill.  At the bottom of this long hill is magnificent, windswept Yeagarup Beach.  Always interesting, always a fantastic drive.

The Warren River was impassable so we had to exit the beach the way we came in. Ascending Yeagarup Hill is just as much a challenge as that presented by Callcup Hill, the exit from Warren Beach.

Everyone had at least a couple of attempts getting off the beach. Once at the correct tyre pressure it was easy.

After inflating tyres at the pay point we headed back to camp. Along the way we stopped at Donnelly Well, near Yornup.

We packed and left Winnejup by 8.00 a.m. The former tin mining town of Greenbushes is 17 kilometres north-east of Bridgetown. It is now home to a lithium mining operation so we decided to stop for a look see.

Mining activity takes place in pits known as C1, C2 and C3.  All three contain lithium, tantalum and tin minerals.  From 2006 lithium became the key economic material.

At Dardanup we detoured through the Ferguson Valley and stopped at the King Jarrah Tree. This giant jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) is more than 400 years old and it is the largest exemplar in this forest.

The dirt track from King Jarrah leads on to Wellington Dam.

Wellington Dam is the largest dam in the South West and the second largest in Western Australia. It was built in 1935 to supply water to the towns of the Great Southern – north to Northam, east to Lake Grace, and south to Katanning.

It gets its water from the Collie River catchment, which started going saline during the 1960s and 1970s. Re-afforestation work since the 1980s has slowed down the rate of rising salinity. The nearby Harris River dam was built in the 1990s to supply fresh water until such time as Wellington Dam water becomes fresh again.

We headed out to Coalfields Road and continued the drive home.

A short break to one of our favourite places.  Great weather, good company and no breakdowns or damage.

Text, photographs and layout by Kim Epton
750 words.
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