Perth August & December 2018 - Day 14

Cervantes to Geraldton


There is not much in the way of civilisation between Cervantes and Geraldton, further north on the coast. The area has a few marginal farms, but is dominated by national parks and nature reserves (which implies that the land is not much good for anything else). From Cervantes we had a brief visit to Lake Thetis with its stromatolites before heading inland to meet the Brand Highway. We passed Badgingarra (the "truly rural" town), before turning west again to find Lesueur National Park. After walking some of the park and looking at a wide range of wild flowers, we continued on to Geraldton for the night.

Lake Thetis Reserve

Breakfast at the motel did not appeal to us, so we headed for the beachside cafe just down the road. It had good reviews and we found it lived up to its reputation: laid back, casual style but good coffee and food.

After breakfast we headed the short distance out of town to visit Lake Thetis. This small lake is home to one of the few colonies of stromatolites still living. These circular structures are built by micro-organisms too small for the human eye to see. Within the structures are living communities of diverse inhabitants with population densities of 3000 per square metre. Stromatolites are some of the oldest life forms on Earth, comprising some of the earliest fossils. At Lake Thetis there is a well-constructed loop trail that circles the lake. We set out on this but within a few minutes a dark cloud appeared overhead and it poured with rain. We ran back to the car and continued on our way.

The beach cafe where we had breakfast and good coffee
The Indian Ocean
Lake Thetis and its stromatolites
Live stromatolites

Brand Highway, Badgingarra and Leseuer National Park

From Lake Thetis we headed east to intersect the Brand Highway, then north to Badgingarra. This is little more than a truck stop on the highway, but it boasts being "truly rural". There are many more places in Australia that are much more "rural" than this. After following a road train for a while we turned west again along Jurien East road. The maps and travel books tell you this road is unsealed and a 4WD is recommended but it is now sealed. We then turned into Lesueur National Park to look at wildflowers. The park has a loop road that takes to past many features and walking trails. There was a profusion of wildflowers here.

Flowers were everywhere...
and so was canola
A road train pulling out in front of us
Wildlife, note someone has added a sheep...
Jurien East Road - was shown as unsealed on the maps
What's this trap doing in the middle of the track?
Push the button and it opens to clean your shoes - an attempt to keep foreigners out.
Heading back to the main highway

From Lesueur Park we followed Cockleshell Road west to Highway 60 then north towards Geraldton. We stayed at the Best Western, Geraldton, next to the hospital. The motel was comfortable and the restaurant was well patronised.

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Last updated: 20/02/2019