So we have conquered the northern most point of the Australian mainland (Cape York, Qld), the eastern most (Cape Byron lighthouse, NSW) and now the western most (Steep Point, WA)!
Only the southern point (Wilsons Promontory, Vic) to go now!
When we first planned to go to Western Australia we had our list of must see places and Steep Point was one of them. So you could imagine our disappointment when a few months ago we sent through our camping permits for Shelter Bay, only for the ranger to contact us and say that the campgrounds are closed as there will be roadworks all throughout August and we wouldn’t be able to reach Steep Point!Well that’s when Shelly got to work to see if there was any way around this! Luckily she found a company in Shark Bay that runs day tours out there. Ocean Park Aquarium said that although the roads may be closed, they have other tracks they can use and could get permission to still run their tours. So we put our names down and left our contact details and asked if they could contact us if any more people were interested (they needed a minimum of three people to run the tour).A week or so ago we got the call to say that 2 people wanted to change their date and it coincided with dates we would be in Denham so we went for it! $600 for the two of us, but at least we were going to reach Steep Point. After all, we are on holidays and as dad (Johnny) always says, “it’s only money”!The day started with a 6.30am pickup from our caravan park and we then continued on to pick up another 2 couples from other parks. It was a couple of hours drive to even get into the National Park so this gave us a bit of time to get to know each other and learn a little about the area and its history.
Steep Point is the most westerly point of mainland Australia and it is situated in the proposed Edel Land National Park, WA. It can only be reached by high clearance 4WD or boat.The Zuytdorp Cliffs that frame this area run for about 200km from Kalbarri to Steep Point and make this area one of the most awesome views you will ever see. This sheer size of these cliffs is amazing, up to 200 metres high at some points. These cliffs were named after the Dutch ship, the Zuytdorp, which wrecked against the base of the cliffs in 1712.After a long morning of driving we finally reached the point and that sign! Of course we were all excited …. we were marking off number 3, for one couple it was their second and for the other couple it was their last one, they’ve now visited every point of mainland Australia. They were an elderly couple and it was so sweet to see them walk off arm in arm and say “we did it love, we’ve done them all”.
After our photos we then all signed the visitors book, which we thought was a nice idea. Just for the record, there is nothing like this at Cape York and no way it would survive up there. In the nicest possible way of saying this, some of the visitors up there unfortunately lack respect for the environment and other people and we doubt a book like this would last more than a week before someone destroyed or stole it. It was a pleasant change to see this at Steep Point for all to enjoy.Next it was time for lunch which was supplied as part of the tour (aswell as morning and afternoon tea and drinks). Couldn’t ask for a better view for our lunch break.We couldn’t have wished for better weather for the day, clear blue skies and not too much wind. Unfortunately this meant that the blow holes weren’t really blowing, but it did mean that we saw heaps of whales, and we mean heaps! Everywhere you looked there were whales swimming and breaching, even a few with calves.The Indian ocean that surrounds the area brings in its huge waves which crash into the cliff faces and at times actually go up and over the cliffs, nature is truely amazing.Throughout the day the landscape changed from tracks to beach to sand dunes, huge sheer limestone cliffs and great expanses of the bright blue Indian ocean with waves crashing against the rocks.The views were unbelievable from every location, uninterrupted views as far as you could see.One of best things about the day was that we were the only ones around for majority of the day. We saw the odd fishermen but that was it! Our day ended up with us being dropped back to camp around 6.30pm. We can’t thank Ocean Park Aquarium enough for helping us make this possible. Although we would have liked to make the drive ourselves, the whole tour was very well run and our guide, Ralph, was fun, friendly and knowledgable. He really did go out of his way to ensure that everyone was enjoying the experience. Would highly recommend this company if anyone is in the area. So yes it cost us $600 to reach Steep Point, but we had a great day and met some nice people. To be honest, we probably experienced more than we would have had we gone by ourselves due to having a local’s inside knowledge of the area.