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