Trip 37, part 4 – Giralia Station

At the bottom of the Exmouth Gulf, 130km south of Exmouth, lies Giralia Station, our next stop for the final week of our holidays.

Established in 1888, the original lease encompassed an area of 2,047 square kilometres and was used for sheep. Purchased by the Department of Conservation and Land Management in 2002, the Blake family who’ve been running the station since 1972, now manage the area as a pseudo national park for visitors. Whilst checking in, we noted the sign in the old homestead stating that ‘everything was up for sale – make an offer’. This includes the old station knick-knacks and furniture items. Hopefully, when Girialia is officially gazetted as a national park, DPAWs will continue to allow guests to visit and experience this remote and beautiful place.

The entrance to Giralia Station

After checking in, we were advised the 40-odd km track out to our beachside campsite was a little rough, dry and heavily corrugated in some sections, whilst wet and very boggy in others. Letting the tyres down at the homestead, we set out on the 90min slow drive in with the vans in tow. Luckily, most of the really boggy sections had short chicken tracks around them, however, I was leading the pack and missed the rather obvious 44-gallon ‘detour’ drum in the middle of the road for the first chicken track. This resulted in the four vans having to navigate some very boggy sections of track, at some points with the car sliding one way and our vans slipping the other. However, we all made it through, arriving at our campsite with some nice red mud on the vehicles in recognition of our efforts.

There’s a range of campsites available at Giralia, including sites at the homestead, creek side spots and beach frontage sites. Our site, Bunjils, was situated right on the beach, about 10metres back from the high tide line. Nice!

Our campsite from Rod’s drone
Our campsite from BJ’s drone
Our campsite from the tide line
Arvo ritual – arses parked with bevie in hand
Yep, camping spots don’t get much better than this

Our first night at Giralia was a complete glass-off. No wind, flat ocean and a stunning sunset probably contributed to us imbibing more beverages than normal. This then continued into the evening, resulting in a raucous but hilarious night of frivolity.

The beach out front of our campsite on the receding tide
Beach bocce (Jules’ iPhone)
Gentle waves all the way to the horizon
Golden sunlight
Almost set
Jules’ iPhone pic just after the sun had set
When camping, light mozzie coils and drink Fireball
First of many
Not sure where it all went?? Oh well, we had plenty of other alcohol to keep us going
Yep, not sure..
Jules and Putter from Rod’s iPhone in some night mode thingy – you try and work out what they were doing
Jules and Putter from Rod’s iPhone in some night mode thingy – you try and work out what they were doing
At the camp
At the camp
Rod”s iPhone pano of the campsite

With no set plans for our stay at Giralia, most days started late, with a coffee and group chat about what to do. Whilst the area looks fishy and is known for good fishing, we didn’t see a lot of bird, bait school or fish action. And, what we did see was sporadic and dispersed, making it hard to pinpoint the best spots, times or conditions to wet a line. Despite this, we put the yaks out a couple of times at different locations and managed to drag up a small collection of fish. Nothing huge or overly exciting, but still a much better way to spend the day as opposed to being at work.

Fishing the beachside out from of camp (Julie’s iPhone pic)
A small Shovelnose Ray I caught and released (Rod’s iPhone pic)
Jules and me on the beach (Jules’ iPhone pic)
Yaking the creek (Jules’ iPhone pic)
A 30cm odd Flathead (Jules’ iPhone pic)
Yaking the creek (Rod’s iPhone pic)
A citronella candle-lit dinner in the van after a hard days fishing

Jules, BJ, Rod and I spent a day hunting for fossils at Giralia’s fossicking area which is known as Australia’s best ammonite fossil hunting ground. We specked and scratched around for a couple of hours turning up plenty of fossil bits, but nothing spectacular or complete. Still good fun and a bit different.

Me chasing fossils (Jules iPhone pic)
Rod’s stash of fossil finds (Rod iPhone pic)

As usual, I spent a bit of time wandering the area looking for postcard photo opportunities. A highlight of this trip was me finally getting a decent shot of a White-winged Fairywren and my first Variegated Fairywren.

Variegated Fairywren
Variegated Fairywren
White-winged Fairywren
A female Wren
A largish lizard at the top of a small dead tree, presumably warming itself in the sun
Australiasian Pipit
Diamond Dove
Flock of Budgies
Flock of Budgies
Nankeen Kestrel
Caspian Terns
Sooty Oyster Catcher
Heron hunting the receding tide pools
Lone Mangrove Tree waiting for the first rays of the sun at sunrise
Lone Mangrove Tree at sunrise
The Milky Way, spot the Southern Cross!
The beach at our campsite has a couple of different rock ledges, the upper ledge consisting of lots of coral fossils
Coral fossil
Coral fossil
Coral fossil
Coral fossil
Jules’ iPhone selfies on the last night
Jules’ iPhone selfies on the last night
Another perfect sunset and end to the day
A new crescent moon rising into the setting sun

Thanks, Giralia! We enjoyed our stay here. Now the trek home to reality..

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