After saying our goodbyes at Wooramel, on Tuesday 25/10/16, we drove into a head wind to Hamelin, and booked in for their final 6 nights of the season.
Hamelin Station is now a Bush Heritage site and has been virtually de-stocked of the remaining 17,000 sheep and goats. The camp was fairly exposed as there are few trees above scrub height, but it was very clean and tidy and the amenities are excellent.
We caught up with Joseph and Rhonda who gave us some good tips on places to visit between the camp and Denham. It was very windy and we put up one end of the annexe to get some respite.
Our drive to Denham on Wednesday included visits to Shell Beach and Eagle Bluff on the way. Shell Beach is covered in tiny Hamelin Cockle shells up to 10m deep in places and stretching for 120 km. In times past the compressed shells were used as building blocks. The homestead at Hamelin is built out of them and we saw other examples in buildings in Denham.
Eagle Bluff has an excellent boardwalk along the cliff top with views down into the clear waters below.
14,000 dugong graze the seagrasses of Shark Bay.
We had a fish, chips and salad lunch, and one of the worst haircuts that we have had in 12 months.
The following few days were spent visiting Hamelin Pool where we walked the boardwalk through the microbial mats and stromatolites. The sea is twice as salty in this bay due to sand banks restricting the outward flow of water at low tide. Evaporation concentrates the salt level and the stromatolites have been able to survive with minimal attack from predators. Their origins were 3.5 billion years ago. Over billions of years, a complex interaction between climate and environment at Hamlin Pool has created the miracle of “living fossils “ called stromatolites.
A visit to the old 8 stand wool shed provided some history on the station and local area. Hamelin Station is almost the size of the ACT at 202,000 hectares.
We experienced a couple of Willy Willys, one which came through the camp kitchen while we were there, blew open doors and cleaned out any loose articles with one violent gust. They only side swiped our camp and left everything covered in shell grit but with no damage thankfully.
Monday 31/10 saw us on the road to Northampton where we had planned to spend a week at Northbrook Farm Stay. Changed our minds when we arrived and stayed one night before driving on to Geraldton.
We have been here a week with walks around the foreshore, visits to The Sydney II Memorial, Western Australian Museum and Old Gaol, each very good in their own right.
A couple more poems materialised whilst at Hamelin:
WILLY OR WONTY?
” What’s a willy willy? ”
“Don’t get personal with me or I’ll spin you off into the bush and toss you up a tree.”
HOW OLD IS THAT?
I met a bloke at Hamlin Pool where Stromatolites are found.
He reckons they’ve been around for three and a half billion years.
He’d know I reckon by looking at him, he was dry behind the ears.
His face was wizened like a prune, his knowledge must be sound.
With an old burnt stick he’d made his note, it was history in the making.
Unwittingly he turned out to be the first with carbon dating.
So there we have it, now we know, the answer no more a teaser,
Because of the records long ago kept safe by this old geezer.
Hamelin October 2016