After breakfast we drove north to the Quobba Blowholes. There’s a turnoff not far out of Carnarvon that takes you all the way on a good sealed road. To the sides of the road there was plenty of water lying around, indicating that this region had also copped the heavy downpour we’d had at Monkey Mia. Lake Macleod is shown on maps as a dry salt lake, but a good deal of it was inundated as we drove past. We only encountered water across the road in a couple of places. Upon arrival at the blowholes, the first sign you see spells out in plain English ‘KING WAVES KILL’. Fair enough, I thought, I’m staying away from the edge.
At the car park there was a small plaque in memory of a fisherman who got too close to the water. He obviously hadn’t paid much attention to the sign. We walked out across the rocks to a safe vantage point from where we could see plenty of wave action at the blowholes and down the coast to the south. There were some monstrous breakers coming in and smashing into the rocks, leading to some spectacular sprays.
A young family arrived and the parents sent their young daughter closer to a Blowhole while they both stood back and took photos! Do you think they read the sign? Then the dad beckoned her to follow him and they went out farther than I was prepared to go while the mum continued taking photos. We stood back at a safe distance and just enjoyed watching the waves crash against the rocks.
We would have driven north along the coastal road but it was closed, no doubt due to the heavy rain from the past few days. So instead we drove south, just a kilometre or two to the other side of the headland. Here was a tranquil lagoon known as the Aquarium. We could see the breakers at the Blowholes just over a ridge. It’s remarkable how the water could be so violent just a stone’s throw from a place where it was so peaceful and calm. Snorkelers were having a good time in the shallow waters of the lagoon, no doubt viewing plenty of fish and other marine life.
We drove up to the lighthouse on the hill overlooking the Blowholes and the Aquarium. From here we had good views up and down the coast. The melons we had seen growing along the sides of many of the roads were also up at the lighthouse. They are called paddy melons.
We drove back into Carnarvon again. Passing Lake Macleod, I wondered how long it would take to dry out after the rains. Possibly not long, as sections were already looking quite dry again.
In the afternoon Rod and Cornie went for a long walk around the town and Marg and I went for a shorter walk. We walked along the Fascine by the Boat Harbour. Here we found another memorial to the men who died on HMAS Sydney II in November 1941. 645 plaques bearing the names of those who lost their lives adorned the wall along the path, and many of the 645 palm trees that stood in remembrance of these brave men were also visible here. There is also a monument here bearing the names of the German sailors of the Kormoran who died in the battle with the Sydney.
Carnarvon is quite a small town. The streets are quiet and there seems to be only a handful of shops. Once it was a busy port, where camel trains would bring in huge bales of wool and a tramway would transport them out to the One Mile Jetty from where ships would take the produce to Fremantle. Today parts of the jetty have been destroyed and it is no longer accessible to the public.