Day 183 – 1 September 2015
First day of spring (where did winter go?) and time to start north again. We started off the cold morning by saying our goodbyes to everyone at Nambung station before we headed to Jurien bay. After a little shopping and small repair we started up Indian Ocean Drive towards a location were we found the Queen of Sheba Orchard a few days earlier. After seeing a dozen or so shebas we, some assorted spider orchards and many other flowers we headed east to Coalsteam Conservation Park (CP).
The wheat and canola fields are beautiful with their full on greens and yellows.
Interesting the farm next to Coalsteam (Irwin Station) whos fields are full of wheat, proudly displays a sign that it is owned by an Asian owned company. Further investigation show this is a group of Chinese investors. It is easy to see the concern of the locals about foreign ownership.
Coalsteam CP is an interesting place with coal actually visible in the cliffs along the Irwin River.
There are also fields of wildflowers present throughout the area. Seeking some solitude we camped on a cliff top in the middle of nowhere and happily watched the sun go down over a eroded valley and table top mountains in the distance. It is truely wonderful to be back on the road again.
Day 184 – 2 September 2015
Was a very cold night on the mountain cliff tops last night. We happily turned the webasto on to quickly warm the truck up before the first coffee of the day. Today we ventured into the country around Morawa and Mullewa in search of wreath flowers and were not disappointed, finding 2 separate locations with the flowers in bloom. Their colours vary from white to pink and red, with their flowers only on their outer edge. They also varied from a few centimetres wide to the large plants being over 30. They bloom usually in August and September every year.
After a long a long days drive we settled in the bush near the Old Camp Canna. It is the first night we have been for a long time where there is not a whisper of wind. So quiet!
Day 185 – 3 September 2015
Woke to a beautiful day today. Cold and crisp, but clear and sunny.
We spent the morning working on the web page and photos before emerging from the bush. To our surprise we emerged into a coach load of Japanese tourists. They were amazed this truck was coming towards them through the bush, but more amazed, 4WDaus had the 3 diamond emblem on the front. Built in Japan was the cry. Mitsubishi good truck! After playing celebrities and being the subject of many customary photos, we headed off.
Today we wandered along wildflower way stopping to see the many flowers on display.
Tonight we camp at Buntine Rock, behind the black sands of the golf club and with a carpet of wildflowers at our doorstep. There are Cowslip and Donkey Orchids here in bloom.
Today we found the Queen of Sheba Orchid which is regarded as the jewel-in-the-crown of the West Australian native orchids. We were lucky enough to stumble upon about a dozen of them.
On Googling we have found that we discovered the Northern Variety (Thelymitra pulcherrima) which is found north of Perth near Eneabba and this has the lightest colours. These are typically found with three pink petals and three yellow/red sepals. It can take between 7 and 10 years for this orchid to flower and it last about 2 weeks. So as this is the Queen of Orchids and many people never get to see one, we have devoted to her, her own article.