Once our new tyres were put on the Hilux in Tom Price we moved on the next day to the west, firstly travelling through another mining town, Paraburdoo. After a long drive we stopped at Nanutarra roadhouse to refuel. From there we drove a bit further before stopping for the night at the Yannarie Rest Area, where we joined quite a few others free camping.
The next day we continued our drive south west before heading west and then north to Exmouth on the North West Cape. Staying here was the original focus of our trip as Karen had wanted to swim with the whale sharks to celebrate her milestone birthday. We had a booking for our third day. (More about that adventure in a future post.)
Once we had settled in at the Exmouth Cape Holiday Park we ate lunch. We had gathered lots of information at the very well set up Tourist information Centre and decided to head back south that afternoon to the Charles Knife Gorge to do some walking and wildflower hunting. After heading south for about 20kms we turned west and drove into the gorge, initially on a sealed road but when it became gravel it was still a good driving surface. At our first stop we had a fantastic view back to the south east side of the cape.We continued our drive but stopped quite a few times for photos of the rugged terrain.At the next stop the landscape was even better but clearly not a good spot to go walking.Although there wasn’t a lot of flora to be found what was there was lovely.
At our next stop, Thomas Carter Lookout, we were delighted to spot two Mulga Parrots near where we parked our car. After a short walk we had good views north to Shothole Canyon and were able to see more colourful wildflowers.After our walk we returned to the car and headed back into Exmouth to buy food for the next few days. Now we were looking forward to heading around the top of the cape and visiting Yardie Creek Gorge the next day.