Western Australia’s Coral Coast by Caleb Salty
Heading North in Autumn, it gets hot so there’s only one place I’d go!
Hot days where the desert meets the sea, cooled down in the afternoon by the onshore breeze. It’s a place of my dreams.
The road North to the Coral Coast in Western Australia is a long one in global standards, short in Australian distances. Where I’m heading requires you to take all food and water for the extent of your adventure. The destination is 1200kms North of Perth with no reception, no running water and very limited food supplies, its paradise!
My friends and I venture up to these barren landscapes each year in search of solitude and surf. No matter what job we now have, new girl not wanting us to go or new life challenge, we always put a few weeks aside for ‘the desert’.
We stocked up on our supplies in the nearest town of Carnarvon before hitting the corrugated dirt roads that parallel the coastline. With two weeks of fuel, food, water and camping supplies, the car became about 400kgs heavier than usual. We let down the tyres for a smoother ride and were on our way with smiles from ear to ear.
In previous years, I’d popped on average 1 tyre each adventure here due to the combination of sharp rocks and heavily corrugated roads. No matter what pressure or speeds I drove at on these Coopers, they gripped and never showed signs of weakness.
We pulled up in our camp spot, cracked a beer and setup our home for the two weeks ahead. In the winter months this place is generally filled with surfers chasing warmer waters and long clean swells, whilst the summer months are windy and lack swell which attracts fishermen and kite/windsurfers.
This time of year along the Western Australian coastline is whale migration season. There is tourism that targets this period in the Deep South and further North however Quobba Station is too rugged for such tourism so we get to sit and surf all day with our own private whale shows, some days I’ve counted over 50 whales.
The desert tracks in these parts are damaging to any car, I feel each adventure up here reduces my cars life by a year or two. I’ve seen the corrugation and 4wding tracks rattle cars to bits, remnants of vehicles on the tracks tell a similar tale.
We surfed some amazing waves whilst up there and speared fish for our dinners whenever we could. There’s a real feeling of unity up there as everyone’s in a similar position so when someone has a big catch at sea, everyone shares the catch.
At the end of the day it is the desert, it’s a beautiful barren landscape being eaten away by the powerful Indian Ocean. The first thing you’re greeted by at the turn off to these locations is a 20ft high wooden sign with the words ‘KING WAVES KILL’ etched into the wood. It’s a place that demands respect and the lives that have been lost up there are carved into the earth as a reminder of this.