If you’re looking for a stop off point between Perth and the Coral Coast, Wooramel Station comes with our stamp of approval. I’m not a huge fan of traditional caravan parks as a general rule, and station stays are a great alternative at a good price.
It offers unpowered camp sites for $13 per person per night. You can choose from shady or sunny spots on the banks of the ‘upside down’ river, or select a spot on the grass. Dogs on lead are allowed at the far end of the retreat. There are also four glamping on site tents equipped with queen sized beds for those that don’t want to BYO.
Fire pits are set up at each camp spot, and wood can be grazed around the sites. The toilets and showers are cute, crafted from water tanks, clean and functional.
The artesian baths are a big plus. Filled with naturally warmed waters you can sink in the thirty degree water and enjoy a nice soak while sharing tips and tricks with fellow campers from around Australia or the world. It feels very decadent after some time roughing it.
The ‘river’ part of the retreat is a bit interesting. For most of the year the river bed itself is dry. The river is still flowing,it just does this underground. It must be a thing to see when it is flowing as you can see the impact it has by looking that the trees and debris that it moves along. If you’re a 4 wheel driver, there is a route you can follow to explore this working station is more detail. Not having a 4WD I just did the river walk, saying hi to some birdlife, horses and cattle along the way. I wasn’t quite sure when I got to the end, but when the path meandered its way down to the river I decided it was time to head back.
The bird life is friendly, vocal and varied. When you check-in at reception you’ll receive a map and a birding checklist. During our stay I checked off;
- Mud Lark
- Whistling Kite (we also saw nests so it looks like they breed here)
- Singing Honeyeater
- Pied Butcher bird
- Yelloe-throated miner
- Splendid fairy wren
- Zebra finch
- Native hen
- White-plumed honeyeater
- Red-capped Robin
- Grey fantail
- Willie Wagtail
- Australia Ringnecked parrot
- Black-faced cuckoo-shrike
- Rainbow bee-eater
- Crested pigeon
- Straw necked ibis
- Australian white ibis
- Australian Hobby
- Nankeen kestrel
I would have liked to have seen some budgies and wedgies, but not to be.
K was most excited about the Historic Tip they have on the station. It’s a tip with a twist. You can’t remove anything from it, so it documents the history of things. It is a bit of a museum, detailing the way technology has changed over the life of the place. The line of discarded washing machines went from one with a mangle mounted up top to modern day. We rugged up and headed out to try some painting with when the sun went down which was great fun.
Painting with light was a revelation to me this year. Luckily K was keen to get involved and was in there shining torches around for me (and trying to contribute some creative direction from time to time). A tripod is a must have, a remote trigger a bonus, though using your delayed timer on camera is also an option. Then you can go for long exposures, or even go with bulb mode depending on the effect you’re after.
Oh, and don’t point your torch at the camera like I did a few times.
Just south of Carnarvon, Wooramel is just over 8 hours drive up the coast from Perth and well worth a visit.