Ravensthorpe Wildflower Show: overnight amongst flowers and on to Hopetoun

On Thursday Stephen spent more time at the Ravensthorpe Exhibition learning more about plants. I did some shopping and then had coffee at the cafe with a view that is part of the shop.

As we hadn’t been able to book a wildflower bus tour and didn’t hold out much hope of the wait list, we drove out to a nearby rest area for lunch, then took a gravel road that was on the self drive list for wildflowers. It turned out to be a good move as we also found a place to stay for the night. We stopped there for a while to look at the flowers, then drove to a lookout. It was threatening rain and the view was a bit obscured. We thought about staying there for the night, then decided to go back to the designated camping ground (Coulter’s Camp). It is very sloped, but we still managed to find a fairly level spot. We were congratulating ourselves on the privacy when the first caravan arrived. In the end there were four vans altogether, but it is a large area and we still felt we had quite good privacy. These are some of the flowers around our camping area.

Yesterday we walked around exploring the area around the campsite before driving on to Hopetoun. The gravel road was in very good condition and we had no qualms about driving although I got some practice driving in manual. I have to say, it isn’t difficult in this van. It tells me when I have to change up a gear and still changes down without me intervening, and there’s no clutch of course. But, it does give me a bit more of a sense of control when going up and down steep parts of the road.

Our first stop near Hopetoun was the dump point, then down into the centre of town to find a drinking water tap. After a bit of scrounging around we found a labelled tap out on the groin near a boat ramp. Handy for boats, but with good access for us as well.

Water fillup in Hopetoun

The free camping area is close to the centre along a road parallel to the beach. We can’t actually see the sea from our spot, but had the sound of waves last night to lull us to sleep. At around 3.45 p.m. we set off to meet up with our guide for a wildflower walk. After a bit of phoning up we were able to meet up with the tour. We enjoyed the group experience walking along a fire break and examining the flowers, plants and some fauna. At the end there was supposed to be a sunset with our drinks and nibbles, but it had been cloudy most of the day and the sun was obsured. Still, they had organised the drinks and nibbles into little individual cardboard platters and were generous with the wine. As we only had a short distance to drive we indulged a bit.

The cloud cover meant we didn’t have very much light for photos, but I went for it anyway.

Returning along the road for our drinks and nibbles

Stephen had left a little improvised flag on our spot in the free camping area and we were able to get back to our original place. We’ve done the same this morning. We are at the laundromat and I’m writing this whilst waiting for the clothes to be washed and dried. Hot showers are also advertised, and Stephen thought he could get a shower whilst waiting on the clothes, but it turns out to be a bit further down the road. He doesn’t actually shower as I do in our little bathroom and it is time, or past time, for him to wash his hair. We drove to the Tavern/Bistro next to the caravan park. I had a coffee whilst Stephen had his shower, then we had hamburgers for lunch.

We have another night here in Hopetoun before going into the Fitzgerald National Park for two nights. Then we have to home on Thursday night, so have three days to drive back to Perth. It should be enough. Our flag was ignored at the camping area, but we’ve been able to get another place and it isn’t a problem.

On our first day in Ravensthorpe we spoke with someone from the community centre who remembered Bill and Hazel Macdonald. She and her husband had arrived from Victoria and decided to stay, taking up a business next door to their house. Later, when my grandparents decided to move back to Perth her father in law bought their house. Thus, she was able to describe the house and Stephen and I stopped outside to take photos before leaving town. The house was formerly a shop, hence the rather plain frontage.