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Author Topic: Gascoyne Dash & Quobba Station Experience  (Read 10535 times)

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  • Guest
Gascoyne Dash & Quobba Station Experience
« on: 04 November, 2011, 07:43:58 AM »
So, thanks Grover for bailing on us, I got stuck with the trip report, all be it by a few seconds. Seven days, and over 2600kms. Here it goes, sorry it may be a bit long winded, but so was the trip.

Well, as you know, Jon and I quickly bailed from the meeting to get home to bed prior to our planned departure of 4am. After getting in bed at 11pm, it was hard getting back out only 4 hrs later. The finally bits where chucked in the car and it was time to hit the road. Pre-fuelled up there was no need to stop, with a rolling meeting arranged for the intersection of Hester Ave, and Wanneroo Rd. On my way there I made contact with the Badger over the CB to make sure he was organised and on the road. Sure enough he was on his way. As I approached the intersection, Casper went rolling past, bugger.

With Jon in the lead, and me taking up the roll of TEC, our mighty two car convoy was on its way north with Gerro in our sites for a breaky stop, a few jobs to fund the trip for me, and some final supplies. It was a miserable rainy start to the trip, quickly followed by some "fat lazy cloud" (fog) just north of Lancelin. ALthough it wasn't long before the sun made its appearance, and the further north we got, the better it looked. With a quick stop in Dongarra to drain some liquids and stretch the legs it wasn't long before we were having breakfast in Gerro.

A plan was made over breakfast and we split up to cover our, ďto doĒ list. I made my way to the two jobs to be done, and Jon got to go do some shopping. Finally, some shopping on a WPC trip! With jobs done in record time, I was left waiting for Jon, and organizing a coffee stop with a local club memeber. We met up again and headed off to meet Max to thank him for the ladder offer, and stock up on some caffeine supplies. Thanks again Max, next time pack the car, join in and come along.

With Caspers drinking habits and the effort to avoid expensive diesel, he got his fix at the 440 before hitting the road by about 10:30-11 by memory. With the sun out in force the A/C was switched on, and it was now onto the long boring straights to Carnarvon, where Doc Evil was awaiting us. With a quick stop for lunch at Billabong, and another dose of caffeine provided by a certain coloured bull, it was back on the road before a finally stretch of the legs 70km south of our target.

Arriving in Carnarvon, the first thing that sprang to mind, BEER! Off to the bottle shop for supplies prior to ringing and find were the Doc had booked us in for the night. We made our way to the Wintersun Caravan and Tourist Park, were Doc was setup with some friendly neighbours/friends of his. With very little energy left, it was decided, as you know to get the easiest option, pizza. Or was it the easiest? I think it took us two beers to decide how to order, what to order, and then finally make the phone call.

Well, with dinner under the belt, and a few beers to wash it down, it was off to bed, nice and early. With an early night, comes and early start. A few spots of rain over night, left no evidence of it ever happening, as the warm sun was quick to get up also. With the camp packed up, and the camper trailer stowed away and hooked up, it was off to get breakfast, at a Chinese restaurant??? Assured it was a good place for breakfast and coffees, orders were placed, and breakfast was consumed.

A few more finally supplies to get, and a top up of motion lotion for the convoy and it was off to prologue for the Gas Dash, to get our first taste of what this event was about. It was a real eye opener to watch some of these mortgages on wheels getting around. Some very impressive set ups, and a lot of work and man hours all pushed to the limits to get a good start order for the first days racing tomorrow. With happy snaps done, and most of the field run, it was agreed to head off early to Gascoyne Junction, to avoid the "circus crowd", and secure a good camp spot.

With over 170kms to get to our destination, Coonatha Race Complex, we opted to stretch the legs and have a quick stop in to Rocky Pool along the way. This is a great little spot to stop and have a dip, or a picnic. Shame we didn't have more time as it would have been great to laze in the water and have a beverage or two. With most of the country out that way being flat, it was amazing to imagine the amount of water that had caused the floods earlier in the year. Upon arrival at the Junction, we drove past were the pub use to be, apparently. There was no sign of it what so ever. Crossing the river and seeing the trees and debris really gave perspective to how much water was there, and itís amazing force.

25kms out from Gascoyne Junction, and we arrived at the camp area for the event. Setting up camp was made easier with three sets of hands, and it was great to sit and enjoy the scenery with a cold beer as we awaited the briefing for our duties during the event. Instructions, absorbed, dinner done, it was time to enjoy the stars before jumping into the swag, again for a reasonably early night, ready for a big day one of racing. With less snoring by the others that night, a descent sleep was had before an early start.

As we where awoken by the sound of Doc's canvas rustling, and the zips on the camper, we woke to amazing scenery with the early morning light. That country side is truly magical at early morning or late afternoon, and can't recommend getting out bush, any chance you have. Out to our check point to set up and get ready to rock and roll as the first buggies where heard coming in the distance. A chance to get some more photos, before the cars where all done coming through our check point and Jon and I where off to recover a few stranded broken cars.

As we drove out to find these busted cars, it became apparent why they had so much suspension on their cars. The track was very ruff, and varied from very soft river beds, so solid rocks and wash outs. It has scary enough sitting alongside Jon in Casper, let alone in one of the Buggies hitting over 200km/hr down some of the sections. Then to think the motorbike riders had to tackle the same track.

After driving some distance down the track we came across the first vehicle. Stuck after a small water crossing in the river bed, we later found out that its hot diff and the cold water did not get along. The diff had seized itself up nicely, making towing it out in the powder sand river bed impossible. The crew were on hand, and we had to leave them behind to remove axles to allow recovery after the bikes had made their run. Onwards down the track, back and forth on the radio to race control, trying to work out which other cars where standard, it wasnít long until the next car came into site.

Just as they did, we ran out of time. Bikes where now on the track and we had to get off it. With the competitors vehicles clear of the track. We pulled over, only to deliver to news to the crew that we were all now stuck there for a few hours as we waited for the bikes to clear by. Out with the awning! Thank goodness for that, as the clear blue skies, and lack of trees, where certainly making things warm. After several hours, and lots of water, we were given the go ahead to tow the vehicle out, after seeing the last bike pass by.

With the car towed out, and it was a GQ too, it was back to the check point to pack things up and head back to camp. With our dinners being prepared by Docís friend, we were all spoilt with a relaxing few beverages before a lovely cooked meal of steak, mash, and some sort of pommy peas that Jon was excited about having. Another early night called, as we were up at day break yet again off to do it all over again. Although, we believe Doc was out late, and avoided his curfew.

Day break and we were up and active, packing 90% of camp up to allow an early escape in the afternoon. Off to the check point after grabbing some breaky from the food stand. Thatís right, a food stand in the middle of nowhere. As well as a bar, coffee van and wood fired pizzas. The race complex out there is a great set up with a large shade area where they hold the presentation and after party from what I hear. Recommend people getting out there in future years and check it out. It was a great event.

Day two ran very much like the first, Jon off to do another recover, I chose to stay back and help with the mayhem of refuelling the bikes coming through. With it all done and dusted, check point packed up, it was back to camp to hand back race radios, and pack up the camper trailer to get Doc on the road back to work. Jon and I parted with Doc and headed west for the ocean, and Quobba Station. With a stop in Carnarvon for a splash of fuel and to grab some bait to get the fishing campaign started, I took the chance to try and touch base with the boss, and my upcoming work load.

The drive out to the coast showed us more scars from the flood, with whole sections of roads that had been replaced. Luckily this leg wasnít a long drive, three cans I think I remember the Badger saying. I think he was trying to keep up with Casper really. Well we arrived at the Blow holes, and what a site they were. The force of that water is amazing. The swell wasnít even that big, but they had a nice effect and some good pressure behind them. A quick drive to the campsite nearby, and a chat with the local ranger, soon had us headed for Quobba Station.

Upon arriving at the station, we came across the owner, Tim, and the man I was sent to question Alan, getting gear ready for another days work. It was late afternoon by this stage and they suggested we grabbed a beer and did a quick recce run up the road to a recommended fishing spot for the morning. They were both more than helpful, helping us out with their local knowledge, weather updates and giving us pointers on where to go and fish. We left Casper at camp and took the short drive up to Two Mile to inspect what we were in for in the morning.

With the sun nearly setting, and a beautiful piece of water in front of me, I couldnít resist but rig up and through a popper around to try and entice something. No matter how many ďlast castsĒ I had, it was starting to get dark and had to give it up. Back to camp, to set up and cook dinner, before jumping into bed. The fishing gear was prepped for the morningís expedition, and the pillow beckened.

Sunrise and it was time to hit the road, and get down to the patch of reef we were to be perched on to fish for the morning. After making our way through the maze of options over the sharp rocks and climbing down onto the reef no time was wasted in getting bait in the water. Jon was going well at donating some of his gear to the fishing gods after losing lures and rigs on rocks. The bottom bashing was hard work, with the bait being ripped into as soon as it hit the bottom, but not hooking up. Seeing lots of activity on the surface I started to through a metal at the commotion.

First cast, hooked up, a nice small Mackerel to open the account with. He was quickly gaffed up onto the rocks, measured in at 80cm, and placed in our fish preserving pool. After persevering and casting a few more time as the commotion went past every now and then, and flocks of bird worked overhead, it wasnít long and I was hooked up again. This time it was a nice Tuna that was stripping line from my reel. Carefully lip gaffing him, we was measured in at 78cm and quickly sent back to the depths. We persevered through harsh condition, of a light easterly breeze, low swell, and a beautiful sunrise.
With a low level fly by, by Tim in what appeared to be a very homemade gyrocopter, it was a great morning to be out on the rocks. With the fishing action slowing down and the wind picking up and changing direction quickly, we left the rocks and headed for camp. With great showers on offer, we took the chance to rinse off the red dust from the Dash, before having a morning nanna nap. I then cooked up brunch for us, before we had an ice cream for lunch and went for a bit of explore around the property.

With the sea breeze in and in strong, no more fishing was going to get done that day. We drove around and checked out other potential future spots, and a few of the memorials on the station. Itís an amazing section of coast line, and is certainly not for the faint hearted. If you go in for a swim, if you survive the fall, youíll then have to swim fast to beat the sharks, before climbing back up the razor sharp rocks. They certainly are sharp up there too, just ask the Badgers finger.

After touring the station it was off to find a hill to touch base with the boss, and prep a few jobs via e-mail. Back to camp to cook dinner, shower and get an early night. Another early start saw us back to Two Mile reef only to have been beaten there by some more fishoís. We joined them for a short time and shared the small section of fishable reef, before calling it quits after little to no action. The schools of bait fish, and tuna had seemed to have been blown off shore, and it was certainly not as attractive as the previous morning. Back to camp and an option to take a different route home was discussed.

After consulting the clock, and the map book, we worked out we could make it to Kalbarri by late afternoon. The cars were packed, and the convoy was mobile once again. A quick stop in Carnarvon for some fishing tools of the trade, and some lunch and diesel, and before we knew it we where southbound. It was a hard stretch to drive, as we had consecutive early starts, and where both glad to get into town. A quick recce on the evenings fishing spot, before checking into a caravan park for the night.

Camp was made, and then it was off to get dinner from the local Fish and Chip shop, in the spirit of things. Down to the river mouth for dinner and await prime time for fishing. After dinner was downed, and drowned it was fishing time. We watched clouds inland drop their load of rain as they headed our way, as we considered bailing to go move camp into the camp kitchen. They soon ran out of rain as they approached, as we were running out of enthusiasm and bait.

Dark came and Jon decided to retire after losing his rig, and was struggling in the dark. With the last few bits of bait, came the small tailor. With the wind changing 180 degrees and now blowing in our face, the fish switched on. With a fish a cast it was still good fun to catch these small Tailor. They even turned to cannibalism as I tried to entice a Mulloway onto a nice fresh Tailor fillet. Getting cleaned out, we headed back to camp, showered and jumped in to bed, debating whether to get up early to fish in the morning.

Morning came, and the swag was too comfy to leave. I figured we deserved a lay in before the big drive south later that day. After our lay in, we were up and packed and driving out of the caravan park by 6:50am. Some lay in. The search for a cafe for breakfast began. We found breakfast, well at least I did, and had our coffee fix for the morning. Casper got another top up as I had a quick drive around some of the coast line. Being my first visit to Kalbarri, I was impressed. With a very fishy looking coast line, Iíll be back for sure.

From there it was south bound unfortunately. With a quick stop in Gerro for Jonís Maccas fix, the reality of going back to work was getting closer. The skies started to fill with clouds, something we hadnít seen much of for the past few days. With our finally stop at a lookout behind Lancelin, it was home time by 1pm. Time to unpack the car, and get ready for work. All good things must come to an end unfortunately.

Iíd just like to thank Jon for running the trip, even though we didnít have huge numbers. Doc for the tour and knowledge about the Gas Dash and the local area out that way. Nigel and Leanne (Docís friends) for their hospitality and company, and that great night off from cooking for me. The ideas for next year have already started. Mark it in the diary ASAP. It was a great trip and Iím looking forward to going back next year.

Thanks again,



  • Guest
Re: Gascoyne Dash & Quobba Station Experience
« Reply #1 on: 04 November, 2011, 08:13:58 AM »
great report Richard, i'll get some pics up later hopefully


  • Guest
Re: Gascoyne Dash & Quobba Station Experience
« Reply #2 on: 04 November, 2011, 02:15:32 PM »
A few phots, selected from the 652 that where taken.

To see some more shots, go to: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2437851179144.130374.1037675060&type=1&l=0ee4f64ae7


  • Guest
Re: Gascoyne Dash & Quobba Station Experience
« Reply #3 on: 04 November, 2011, 08:55:47 PM »
Well words cannot express my frustration in having missed this trip.

One question from the trip report - it seems that The Flying Badger caught no fish? Is this correct or merely an oversight in the report? If correct it would appear to be a good excuse to arrange another trip to give him a fighting chance.


  • Guest
Re: Gascoyne Dash & Quobba Station Experience
« Reply #4 on: 04 November, 2011, 09:03:04 PM »

One question from the trip report - it seems that The Flying Badger caught no fish?

I did, just not any worth eating......

I did, however, catch the following during recovery on the dash
(and 968 his team-mate)

and also hooked up on this, but due to it having jammed diffs it got away


  • Guest
Re: Gascoyne Dash & Quobba Station Experience
« Reply #5 on: 04 November, 2011, 09:10:19 PM »
Sorry Badger. There was a few oversights in my report.

He managed to catch a nice Dart, and a near pigeon pair of Snook. Still think we need to go back and give it a proper go though. I'm already in discussions with others about heading back. I'll keep you posted.

I also forgot to mention the awesome sight of 6 Wedge Tailed Eagles, all gathered round waiting to feast on some road kill. They are awesome creatures, and to see so many in the one location had me stunned.


  • Guest
Re: Gascoyne Dash & Quobba Station Experience
« Reply #6 on: 04 November, 2011, 09:11:57 PM »

I also forgot to mention the awesome sight of 6 Wedge Tailed Eagles, all gathered round waiting to feast on some road kill. They are awesome creatures, and to see so many in the one location had me stunned.

on the sunday (again on carnarvon-mullewa rd), i saw 3 of them feasting on a roo. 2 flew off quickly, but the 3rd nearly flew into my open drivers window.


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