Barrabup Sanctuary & Campgrounds

Trip Leader:  Keith Parker

When: 23rd – 26th  January 2009

Location: Barrabup Road, Nannup WA 6275, Australia

Participants: 8 Families…some of.. Guy & Wendy, Sam & Pasc Vasile, Trevor & Rachel Theunissen and family, Richard and Helen.

Our starting convoy of 3 was reduced to one from the meeting point in Armadale but Sam and Pasc joined Keith at Mundijong and we made our way towards Pinjarra. A phone call from our aspiring Presidential candidate, Trevor, advised that, as such he was practising “Ryan Time” and was running some 30 mins late ,  so we arranged to meet them at the Pinjarra bakery. We arrived on site just after midday to be met by our host and site owner and quickly set up camp.  Others arrived during the afternoon and early evening.
Due to the recent bushfires there was a total fire ban in operation but we managed with heat beads and various types of cooking apparatus so camp oven cooking was the order of the day.
As the camp is located adjacent to the Blackwood River, Trevor took his kids down to the bank to check out the canoe launching site but was back within minutes as he had spied a large marron in the shallows and had left his snare at camp.  On returning to the river he had trouble getting the snare on the marron and suddenly it darted off into the weed bed but unperturbed our gallant hunter leapt into the water and grabbed it.  It was well over legal size so was destined for the pot.  Unfortunately, however, after such a great start this turned out to be the only ‘legal’ marron caught over the whole weekend.
Saturday January 24th
After a lazy breakfast most of us went into Nannup to visit the local markets, which took all of 15 minutes but soon found the bakery and lunch time salad promises were soon broken.  Not much else appears to happen in Nannup on a Saturday morning but there is one well stocked antique shop that had a good range of goods if you were not averse to being serenaded by the owner.  I don’t think he made any sales to us.  I headed off to the river to look at the old railway bridge which has been repaired and is now part of a walk track through the area.  A large tree next to the bridge has flood levels marked on it from 1982 (12 metres) when it was well above the bridge to 2008 (5 metres).  After lunch most of us took a short drive to Barrabup Pool where the kids, and several adults had a swim.
Sunday January 25th
Although this was meant to be a lazy weekend most of us decided on a bush drive so headed off towards Balingup looking for tracks we had been on several times in the past.  Luckily this area was untouched by the fires.  The drive took rather longer than expected following a steep hill descent but after an “interesting afternoon” including a return to camp via Bridgetown we all got back safely and enjoyed several drinks during an extended Happy Hour.
Our genial host (who was a cross between Captain Cook, Charles Darwin and Len Beadell, as he had been everywhere, knew everything about every animal in the area and probably in the World, and had trail blazed his way through the Outback) joined us.  He presented Sam with a large, frozen rabbit which was immediately defrosted, prepared and put into the camp oven.  I must admit that although I’m not a great lover of rabbit, it was delicious, especially the sauce that was made with it.  
Sam, Richard and Trevor didn’t say much as they were too busy devouring it.
 Monday January 26th
Guy left at the crack of dawn as he had to get Sean back for work in the afternoon.  The rest of us took our time packing up then left in a convoy that gradually diminished as each pulled out to do their own thing on the way home.
 This is a great place to visit but the fees were 50% higher than last year so we need to get a better deal if we intend returning.


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