Trip 143 – Conto Campground
Thursday 26th – Sunday 29TH January 2017
Trip Leader – Sue Morrison
Co – Trip Leader – Judith Brinkley
12 Vehicles, 23 members
As it was a weekend away people made their own way to Conto with some going a couple of days earlier to make the most of the time in the Margaret River region. The Conto Campgroup is situated within the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park with various camping site options for tents up to large caravans can be accommodated. The camp ground is divided into ‘cul-de-sacs’ with each having its own toilet and kitchen area. There is no power or water [rain water is available though not recommended for drinking and campers are asked to supply their own water as availability is not guaranteed] and the toilets are a long drop [exceptionally clean].
Once everyone had arrived we collected for pre-dinner drinks and introductions as some members had not met previously. Even though it had been warm during the day it quickly cooled down and the kitchen area [BBQ, sink with very limited water, large food preparation area and picnic benches again really clean] was within a raised clearing and was chilly enough to have everyone scrambling for warmer clothes once the sun started to go down.
Friday we woke to a grey cool morning and the plan to go to Conto Springs beach for a swim was quickly changed. Julie and Mark Myles offered to lead a drive with a total of seven cars going. Others opted to go to the Eagle Heritage Park [about 10 min away] and some went to catch up with family.
The trip went along Point Rd which took us past the Old Conto Campground which is still available for camping, across Caves Rd and down to Canebrake Pool for a bit of a paddle and marron spotting.
With us then heading onto Rosa Glen Rd and to the Berry Farm for morning tea. Following an extended morning tea some cars headed back to Margaret River with five cars continuing for a bit of a relaxed meander to the Beer Farm for lunch.
Unfortunately, the rest of Perth had a similar idea, so we had a liquid lunch [checking first who was skipper] as an hour’s wait was too long for food.
To satisfy the need for food three cars headed off to Millers Ice Cream, before heading back to camp.
Friday night saw everyone collected at the kitchen area for an Aussie BBQ to celebrate Australia day and to exchange stories of what they had done during the day. As the chill factor was threatening to send us all heading for our individual campsites, Jan and Roger invited everyone to collect behind their campsite which was protected by trees and was noticeably warmer. Judith kept everyone entertained with an Aussie themed quiz with prizes of Tim Tams for the winning teams.
Saturday we woke to a bright blue sky and warmer weather. Glen suggested a mystery tour which would include a swim, which had been cancelled the previous day due to the poor weather, finishing at Augusta for a lunch of Fish and Chips. Nick and Nakako opted out as they had plans for lunch at the Watershed Winery, with Bob and Julie agreeing to meet us in Augusta.
Glen joined Bruce and Judith in their car so nine cars went off on the mystery tour
The tour started along the Beach access road and turned left onto a track at South Beach, once on the track we stopped to air down and to admire the view.
The track was easy driving but as it went thru different terrain from beach to forest it made for an interesting drive, some even suggested it was a romantic drive in places.
After leaving the track and crossing Caves Rd we headed down to Chapman Pool for a swim and morning tea. A number of people suggested that Chapman Pool outside of school holidays would be a good spot to camp as it is easy access to the Blackwood River for a swim or a bit of Kayaking.
Fish and Chips was enjoyed sitting under a tree taking in the view of the estuary. At this stage we said good bye to Chris and Liz who had arranged to stay in a hotel, catch up with the tennis final and family. Others decided to head back to camp and into Margaret River.
Glen asked if anyone was interested in a further meander before heading back so three cars went to see what was down Skippy Rock Rd. Skippy Rock Rd is a scenic drive offering a great opportunity for photos of the lighthouse.
The group also went for a walk down onto the rocks to find out what people had been catching, not a good day apparently with mainly seaweed being the catch of the day. One chap said he had caught a Port Jackson Shark last time he was there – could it be a fisherman’s tale?
Following the excitement of clambering over rocks the need for an ice-cream was acknowledged so we went onto Hamelin Bay for ice cream, plus an added bonus of a paddle with a couple of large Mantras which came right up to the beach edge.
Prior to heading back to camp we called into Bob’s track, rather than risking a late 4 o’clock track the decision was to leave it for another day. Roger, Jan, Alison and Phil had been along it prior to the main group arriving on Thursday they said it was rough in places and not how they remembered it.
Saturday evening was spent at Roger and Jan’s, after the Fish & Chip lunch everyone was happy with a ‘picky ‘meal. Nick and Nakako made us all jealous with a description of the meal and wine they had enjoyed. Nakako admitted even though she hadn’t had a lot to drink she needed a nap on returning to camp and it seems a number of people had needed a Nanna’s nap.
The trip concluded early on Sunday morning with some heading home and the lucky few who had arranged to stay for another night or two waving their goodbyes.