We took a drive out on Wanneroo Road and just after the Gravity Centre’s turn off; we turned left onto a dirt track and so ventured into the world of 4WD!
The skies were overcast which made for cooler conditions to drive in. The dirt track can become a bit crowded as not only 4WD vehicles use it, but also quad bikes and trail bikes. The area is known as Wilbinga and is so popular because it is very accessible from Perth.
There are more than enough challenges for beginners and just enough to provide a bit of fun for the more experienced drivers. The sandy tracks meander over sand hills, over corrugated areas, around uneven corners and even have a few steep hills to conquer. While the boys are entertained by the machinery, nature keeps the rest of us happy. The bush is typically lush for this time of year with heaps of wildflowers still on display.
With the birds’ songs being easy on the ear, glimpses of the ocean every now and again are a delight to the eye. There are various roads leading to the beach should you fancy a drive on it.
For lunch we stopped in a clearing where four roads meet. Unfortunately no camping is allowed. We had to drag ourselves away from the peace and quiet of this spot to continue on. What a surreal feeling it was to have lush green bush on one hand of the road and charcoal black remains of a recent bushfire on the other.
We decided to end a perfect day with a cuppa at Guilderton, only a few kilometres further up north. What a delightful little seaside town this is! It is situated on the banks of the Moore River. This is a great base for divers who want to explore the wreck of the Dutch ship Gilded Dragon (Vergulde Draeck) which foundered on an off-shore reef near Ledge Point in 1656. The wreck was only discovered in 1963.
The settlement used to be known as Gabbadah, which is Aboriginal meaning “mouthful of water”. While enjoying our drinks on the veranda of a local shop, we also drank in the beauty of the contrasting colours between the river and the ocean. There is no shortage of picture perfect spots, e.g. the various metal artworks, the lighthouse and the lookout. The lighthouse is built at the place where 40 guilder coins from the Gilded Dragon where found.
There is plenty of holiday accommodation available, as well as an information centre, café and service station. Holidaying here will give you plenty of opportunity to walk at least one of the following trails: Lighthouse Trail, South Headland Trail or Riverside Trail. Guilderton is also a great place for kite surfing, windsurfing and fishing.
But the biggest highlight of the day was no doubt the company. A huge thank you to Phil and Neil, not only for the 4WD tips, or coming back when we got bogged down, or the delightful stories about their travels, or the coffee (you get the idea of just how deep in debt we are!) but for opening up a whole new world to us. May there be many more shared trips in our futures.