Winnejup-Yeagarup-Wilga Road Trip

It was cold, wet and miserable when we set up camp at Winnejup. Shelters and a fire improved the outlook.

There was consistent rain and wind throughout the night. The popups were welcome.

Saturday

We planned to drive to Yeagarup via Yornup, Wheatley, and Deanmill, rather than just beat down the bitumen to Manjimup and Pemberton. We changed our plan to stay ay Black Point, electing instead to stay two nights at Winnejup.

The way out of camp was blocked by a downed tree. We made short work or removing it from the road.

The road trip through the forest provided the opportunity to inspect a few interesting features.

As expected with the recent lifting of Covid19-related travel restrictions, it was very busy at the Air Down Point at the end of Ritter Road. Busier than an Australia Day long weekend.

After the first set of dunes it is another five kilometres of bush driving to the beach.

From the Air Down Point to the beach is just over 10 kilometres. Full details of the Yeagarup Track here.

There were lengthy delays getting to the beach as inexperienced drivers in other groups got stuck, bogged or both. The final dune before the beach was a challenge to a low slung Vitara and resulted in quite a delay.

The weather was unfriendly. We drove to the Warren River, contemplated the situation – particularly the wind and rain – and drove back to the exit off the beach.

The sand was damp and compacted and only mildly cut up so getting up Yeagarup Hill was not the challenge it normally presents.

With no time to visit Lake Jasper we headed to Pemberton, refuelled and drove back to Winnejup.

Sunday

Today was going to be a cruisy day.

We followed the Blackwood along Tweed Road to Bridgetown and continued to  hug the river out to The Peninsula and then along Radiata Road.

The river crossing at Southhampton was a departure from plan that took us to Greenbushes and then Balingup.

The Greenbushes Mine viewing platform was closed due to Covid 19 worries so we drove to Balingup. The road from Balingup  to Nannup is considered by many motoring enthusiasts to be one of the great drives in Western Australia.

Sweeping bends offer seemingly never ending views of forests or farmland. The Blackwood River is on the right and tall tree covered slopes on the left. The 41 kilometres of road between the two towns has 90 bends, making it popular with motorcycle and driving enthusiasts alike.

Lunch was at a very crowded Nannup and we then drove through the forest to the north of that hamlet.

We arrived at Grimwade early afternoon and found a good campsite, although most of the readily available firewood was a bit green.

Monday

Making a bee line for home on the last day of a trip is a no-no and, besides, we had plenty planned for the day.

At Wilga we got onto the abandoned Katanning-Donnybrook railway with a view to pushing through to Noggerup. That required a lot of swapping from one side of the railway to the other and much pushing through scrub.

We pushed through a particularly overgrown section of the railway and the side track then became serviceable.

After we cleared a fallen tree across the track at Noggerup the Road Trip was essentially finished. There remained only the drive back to Perth.

 

© Kim Epton 2020-21
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Kim Epton

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