I have visited Sharks Bay a few times and each time we are able to etch out things that are important and things that are not. These are mostly done by mistakes which I am happy to share with you and hopefully will spare you trouble, time and a whole heap of money.
Sharks Bay is in a remote area of Western Australia. It is located about 2.5 hours off the North West Coastal Highway and about 4.5 hours from the nearest city, which is Geraldton.
Because of its remoteness, things are considerably more expensive. Knowing this, we packed with the idea to save money. However, we soon learnt this was not necessary the best idea.
December to February are noted as the hottest months of the year in this area. After looking at the weather report, we soon learnt that they were out about 10 degree. So instead of 37 degrees, we experience 48 degree driving conditions!
Our first mistake was making a huge picnic basket. We made a heap of finger foods which included spring rolls, chicken nuggets, brownies, mini pies, celery and hummus (things teenagers would like). We later learnt that most of us were not that hungry which resulted in huge wastage at the end of the day. A note to myself for future travel is to pack fruit and very lights snacks!
Another mistake we made was purchasing food before the trip. We knew that food in Sharks Bay cost 30% more than in Perth. However, as we only had a 40 liter car fridge/freezer, some of the less expensive foods were placed in an esky (cooler box). Upon arrival at our camping site, most of these foods in the esky had perished which added to the list of things we had to throw away. Overall, we wasted about $150.00 of food, with a note to purchase food at Sharks Bay for Day to Day use. Things such as eggs, tomatoes and cheese would be included in this list.
Because of the heat, Sharks Bay has a huge amount of flies. They are a real nuisance. An interesting fact I learnt mostly from observation was that those wearing black had more flies around them than those not wearing black. Needless to say, having a fly net is imperative if you want to prevent yourself from a few ‘fly snacks’ during the day!
Water was another mistake we made. Not all taps have drinking water. Bathrooms in our camping grounds had desalinized water which is undrinkable. It is a good idea to ask camping staff for drinking water locations to ensure you can fill up water bottles for day excursions. We went through 12 liters of water in one day’s excursion and resorted to drinking the melted ice from our cooler box. There is no drinking water at a number of locations and it is a good rule of thumb is to have at least 4 liters of water per person per day excursion. I would say more in the hotter months.
Another factor we thought was a great idea proved to be an epic fail. We took 4 air mattresses to sleep on. We are unsure if it was the heat which broke a seal however we spent the whole trip sleeping on the ground. Our kids took their two flat packed camping cots which made me think about finding something more in this line for future trips.
- We took a 4 liter tub of sunscreen, Factor 30 SPF. Although we had done this, we found that if you don’t slap on cream every 30/40 minutes, there is a huge chance of burning.
- Another factor was lip balm. Purchasing a water resistant lip balm is well worth the investment and can save a lot of pain.
- Another must need is – aloe vera after sun lotion. We purchased a 500 ml bottle in Denham, and only had a small portion of it at the end of the trip. This was even after we used sunscreen.
- Hat – This is another essential which helps keeps the sun off the face.
- Sun Glasses – The glare can be severe. I found we wore sunglasses even while paddling.
Unfortunately we experience a major break down on the last day of our travels. The car over heated and we found the radiator to be completely dry. I had noticed a drip from under the dashboard, and my husband had said it was the result of the air conditioner in this heat. Needless to say, we soon found that after our 4 x 4 trip, one of the cooling pipes had come loose. Thanks to the amazing staff at the Seaside Tourist Village, we were able to fix the problem. However, we learnt that if we had the correct car tool kit, we probably would have been able to do a McGyver Fix-It job. Those that don’t know McGyver ~ he was a role in an 80’s TV series called McGyver.
Liked this post? Follow this blog to get more.