Sunday, April 29, 2012

Entrance to Cape Peron

On the road out to Monkey Mia is the turn off to Francois Peron National
Park. This park lies within the Shark Bay World Heritage area and marine
park. It covers some 52,500 hectares. The distance from the original Peron
Homestead to Cape Peron and Skipjack Point is approximately 47 kilometres of
sand track. The area was originally managed as a sheep station until 1990
and the homestead and some of the original station buildings are open to the

We were interested in travelling the tracks to the cape so planned this as a
day trip. We were uncertain exactly how long the trip would take initially
but soon found out it was a full eight to ten hours. There are a number of
camping facilities within the park which can be utilised with camper
trailers and tents. Certainly no caravans.

The park was mainly red sandy plans with small shrub type plants. There was
also a large area of gypsum claypans known as birridas. It is important not
to drive on the birridas as it has a dry crusty top and soft underneath.
Apparently many 4wd vehicles have had to be rescued from the birridas and
this would not be cheap.

We read that the park is particularly colourful during spring when the
wildflowers are in flower. We couldn't imagine it but apparently there is a
creeper with mauve to pink flowers that looks striking. Again, we would
have loved to have seen them.

As the park is part of the world heritage and marine area the popular
pastime is to spot the various marine life and fishing, both from boats and
land based. There are also a number of varieties of animals within the park
including nearly one hundred reptile and amphibian species. We were on the
lookout for the snakes that often bask in the sun, but fortunately we didn't
see any. We did see a number of emu, but they are very common in these
parts. The following photos were taken on our day trip.

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