Camp # 7 – Sid’s Reservation, Cocklebiddy

WikiCamps is super app and helped us find this beaut spot. Again, well off the main highway, which we love. We had the place to ourselves. Kenny belting out some great beats to the bush and no complaints from the neighbours. Another camp fire and spectacular sunset.

As we are nearing the WA boarder I’m conscious of using up all our fresh food and Charlottes inner chef was calling so we broke out the thermi to whip up dinner and had a buzz about the kitchen making a bush version of grandma’s lemon delicious pudding. Yummy!

There are lots of caves and good looking tracks about here so in the morning we got the bikes down and went for a ride. Roo’s aplenty and a couple of wedgetail eagles. The girls did well and on our return we had another hasty pack up before treating ourselve to bacon and eggs at Cocklebiddy road house. Was nice enough but wouldn’t plan to stop here again. Madura looked nice with lots of trees, although we didn’t stop here and Mundrabillia was friendly, clean and very nice.

The girls had spotted a dead roo on the side of the road near the turn off to Sid’s Reservation and were keen to visit with dead roo. His bloated and stiff posture was most curious especially to Georgia whom is quiet clear she is going to be a vet one day. Begging us to stop we did and got up close with road kill. Another skeleton near by helped with the education of a rotting decomposting corpse. Not sure where this one fits into the Australian curriculum but i’ll find a way to relate it to something. #homeschooling on the road

Camp # 6 – Fraser Range Station

Completing the Hyden to Norseman road, we stopped for lunch and fuel in Norseman. Then turning east on the No 1 highway, the Eyre Highway made our way to Fraser Range Station caravan park. Friends Val and Martin had tipped us off about this place and we are very grateful they did!

What a delightful property. Charm and character set in beautiful surrounds with fabulous Australian bush colours. Rich reds, dusty greens, beautiful sunset.

We rolled in late and jagged the best bay next to the nicest people from Pinjara. Ian helped us out with a tap fitting as we realised we had left ours at Wave Rock. Rookie mistake he himself had made and now carried spares, as we will do as soon as we hit civilisation again.

As we arrived the weather had turned wet, windy and cold. However after arriving somewhere new we love a quick explore and the kids need to burn a little energy stored up from hours in the car. Georgia was needing a little mummy time so we went our separate ways and explored the station only to find each other at the top of the nearest hill catching a lovely sunset over spectacular country.

It was a Friday night and the pizza and movie night tradition continues. Bought bases on this occasion. All three girls jumped into our bed snuggled up and watch a film. Was super cute but seems I fail to capture this moment.

Ken and I are spending our evenings planning the next days travel and blogging and somehow we are always crawling into bed too late. The girls (or Charlotte at least) are usually up at 0630 and love a nature walk. Aside from the battle with my eye lids its a lovely time for a walk so we again explored the station a little more and went roo, wallaby and emu spotting with great success.

Charming spot, but need to keep moving so packed up again and back on the road






Camp # 5 – McDermid Rock

Free camping on the Hyden – Norseman road. A local in Hyden had recommended this spot to us. We had pulled into another popular camp ‘the breakaways’ but decided to drive on to McDermid Rock and had a wonderful time.

The Breakaways

I swear we had only been out of the car for 3 minuets when we get a big shout from Charlotte echoing across the camp and low and behold she has bolted up the Rock and is perch on top waving at us. How she got there so quick I still can’t fathom.

Pre-dinner snack found in the fire wood.

Isolated and quiet we were the only folks here and we were all keen to get the fire going tonight so a quick set up and scavenge for wood and we were ready. Camp set, we put Lulu in the sling and headed to the top of McDermid Rock to check out our surrounds.

It was a pretty easy climb. When we reached to top Charlotte whip out a speaker and iPod from her bag and with music blaring across the bush, busted a groove on top the rock. Very Priscilla Queen of the Desert, if only she knew.

With dinner to prep I descended promptly, accompanied by the tunes from the dance party happening at the peak. A night around the fire toasting mashmellows was enjoyed.

The next morning we walk the fabulous trail established all over the rock. It was only 1.1km but with 18 very informative plaques placed on the trail explaining various geological features it was both fun and educational. However took us much longer than we anticipated (couple of hours).


The flies were atrocious and seem to love me. Being a little hot and bothered now, we hastily packed up on got on the road.



Camp # 4 – Wave Rock

An early departure from Bruce Rock got us to Hyden / Wave Rock in time for Ken to get on an important call for work. This gave me an opportunity to do the set up / unhitching of the van with the kids and the little champs are getting into the swing of it, picking their jobs, (putting in the chocks, winding down the legs).

We decides to say 2 nights for a change of pace. The park was very nice and clean. Quaint old building for the office, new but freezing pool, basic play ground but kept them happy.

Opposit the park is a wildlife park, museum and cafe. All of which we enjoyed. Funny place to find the largest lace display in Australia. But was fascinating very well curated and worth the $5 a head entry.

The first evening we were lucky enough to catch a local fundraiser for the kids Canberra trip. An outdoor movie night and sausage sizzle. Was a great night. The locals were very welcoming but a cold snap caught every off guard and we froze.

We got to the end of ‘Coco’ and back to Goldilocks for a quick blast from the desil heater and we were toasty warm again.

A Charlotte creation camp desert # 1

Wave Rock and the surrounding rock feature have been beautiful and a very interesting geological interlude.

Could have spent longer here. The area has wonderful bike paths connecting the caravan park with Hyden town (3km), Lake Magic (6km), and other local sights of interested. Unfortunately we only realized this as we left so didn’t fully enjoy this aspect.


Hyden to Norseman – Direct

I had an idea to travel this 300km unsealed road in our planning, it’s what our van (goldilocks) is meant to tackle easily and it’s the most direct route from Hyden to Norseman.

My first google search came up with a listing for the road on dangerous! But after a couple of tourist focussed sites called it a great drive and Leonie giving the OK, we decided to do it.

It would also cross the ‘Rabbit Proof Fence’ and the ‘Holland Track’, skirting the Goldfields – an area I knew to be beautiful.

I made sure to test out the Sat Phone before we left, in case we had any issues as I knew there wasn’t going to be any phone reception, on most maps there isn’t even a road!

The very first section of unsealed road was pretty bad in terms of corrugations, but as soon as we had let our tyres down the ride was a lot more comfortable.

There wasn’t that much traffic on the road, which was to be expected, just a few cars, couple of ther vans and some road trains. Went through our first dust cloud left by a road train – you don’t see much ahead of you for a few seconds!

The Breakaways

We had a quick look at the breakaways which had some prectatular rock erosion features and then headed on to where the chap at the IGA in Hyden had recommended – McDermid’s Rock – which turned out to be a cracker.


York Bakery Review – Nguyen’s Bakery Cafe

Charlotte and I thought it would be fun and possibly useful for others to review the bakery’s we visit while we hall it around Australia.

Charlotte has selected ‘Custard Tarts’ as the focus of the review and I’m reviewing Coffee – I drink a lot of coffee!

Custard Tart Review – Charlotte

One of my favourite features of the tart was the custard which was very wobbly which is nice and you could just eat the custard and it would be absolutely delicious.

The pastry was crispy and crunchy which went really well with the delicious custard.

Overall the textures were really good, but the pastry was quite sweet and so was the custard so it was a bit like sweet on sweet, otherwise delicious.

Custard – 5

Pastry – 4

Presentation – 4

York Custard Tart Overall – 4

Coffee Review – Ken

My coffee of choice is a long machiato (topped up), but I’ve ran in to lengthy debates/issues in the past trying to order a Long Mach when interstate so have standardised on a flat-white – all parts of Australia should know the ‘Flat White’ – an espresso shot with hot frothed milk.

I like to taste coffee when I drink coffee – so will be ordering a strong flat white i.e. a double shot.

York Coffee

I wasn’t 100% sure my order for a double-shot flat white was understood correctly as English didn’t seem to be the member of staff’s first language.

Turned out they got it – the coffee came with ‘Ex’ on the lid – assumed Extra shot – nice!

Temperature – 5

Strength – 5

Taste – 4

Presentation – 3

York Coffee Overall – 4

Overall a great coffee, the temperature was perfect for me, initially hot enough that I could sip it but not quaff it! There was just a little something about the taste that stopped me awarding it 5 out of 5.

Camp # 3 – Bruce Rock

For no other reason that it’s my dads first name and it was only an hour and a half in the car we decided to stop at Bruce Rock.

Arriving at about 3.30pm we did a quick set up, made a picnic dinner and headed to the rock for dinner. The sunset was beautiful but it chilled of and became dark so quickly after a bit of a climb we just headed back to camp.

The camp ground was very quiet and the locals very friendly. They have a fabulous pool / water slide area but it was both too cold and had just closed for the winter. Could be a lot of fun otherwise. Was clean and quiet and again we were just overnighting so served us well.

The next morning we grabbed and early start, picking up breakfast / coffee in town and made our way to Hyden.



Camp # 2 – York

Our first real stop of the trip is York. So close to Perth but I have never been to this picturesque town. Beautiful old buildings and charm, located right on the Avon River. There is a caravan park just on the out skirts of town but as we were only over nighting it we took advantage of the 24 hour park up for RV’s right on the banks of of the Avon.

 The view from the van!

The only spot left was this one right in front of the playground. This couldn’t have been a more fabulous start for the girls. Could get Lulu out of the playground, and the girls instantly made friends and were out well past dark running around the park with torches.

With a quick explore across the swing bridge and into town (only a 50m walk) we settled into our first proper night on the road. Everything still feels very new. Cooking dinner takes much longer as I fumble around the kitchen getting used to the space, where things are and the not fan force oven.

Ken to is still feeling his way through the procedure of set up, hitching the van and manourvring the van. It was here in York the van took it’s first casualty. Apologies to the York shire for the white bollard we knocked out the ground. Oops! The van, Goldilocks, took the knock with a small gathering of post paint but otherwise unscathed.

I do have to say however Ken really is amazing at reversing her in and out or spot on more than one occasion he has totally nailed it first time. So far he’s not let me have a go. Keen to consolidate his skills, he say, but I am looking forward to having a go soon.

York was also our first bakery review. Charlotte is reviewing custard tarts and /or apple turnovers while Ken is doing a coffee review. You’ll have to continue watching the blog for their updates.

Thanks York for the great start to our adventure.

Camp # 1 – Forrestfield


Yep that’s right folks. A whole 9.1 km. It was bearly enough time to compose ourselves from the emotional farewell leaving Norseman Street.

Now, while Forrestfield may not be the top of your destination list, I’m pleased to share that the Discovery caravan park has been very nice. Lots of trees and well shaded, pool, clean facilities, friendly people. Being so close to Mum and Dads has been super, with the kids spending a lot of time there while Ken and I finalised a few things.

Mum also did the washing and nourished us with some splendid home cooked food. You really are one in a million Mum! And Dad always on hand to help entertain the girls and help solve any niggle or modification with the van and unfortunately we have had a few.

Niggles and the desire to be completely prepared and organised aside we are just gagging to hit the road so to heck with it, on to campsite #2.

Just one last stop via Lesmurdie to farewell mum and dad, pick up the last of the washing, drop of the final items culled from the van and devour the last bit of cooking, best cinnamon tea cake ever. Then it was adios to Perth!