Gnaraloo: Touring with Triggs

Destination – Gnaraloo North Western Australia. 13 days on a rugged coastline that fringes desert like conditions.  It’s still fairly remote.

Flushing toilets and a warm artesian bore water shower that makes it difficult for soap to lather. A small store run by Steve, a legend sea-salt from Margaret River and his girl Brooke provides a few nick nacks but basically take your own food and water. Your mobile phone should work when you travel the 200km back to civilization.

There’s some old caravans like the image below with all the extras. Regulars like Ronnie Roozen and Jeff King probably towed their vans up some 30 years ago. At night it’s 5 star accommodation as the skyline above will be more brilliant than you’ve ever seen or imagined.

25°-32° with clouds a rare sight and golden drops of rain fall every couple of years. It was offshore every morning of my stay with a Gunnamatta type sea breeze occasionally in the afternoon. Bluey the bush fly had his moments but wasn’t too bad.

The Ocean

Just 20 meters offshore is a lagoon which featured postcard perfect blue water, coral, and at least 50 varieties of some colorful fish plus a few turtles. The water temperature is around 25 degrees, so for hardy Victorians board shorts and a thermal top are ideal. Most of the locals are from te Margaret River area and suprisingly wore lots of rubber – maybe it’s a deterrent to Coral rash. Most of the coast here is rugged with just a few keyholes to get in and out. The fishing outside the marine park is awsome and from May to August there’s a few wales to be spotted.

The Waves  are located on the Coral reefs 100 – 150 meters offshore. Midgies, Centre’s, Tombstones (the main break) and the bombie are all left handers of excellent quality, but make no mistake the most intimidating wave upwards of 6′ that you’re likely to come across in Australia. Gerrard Healy puts it in the category of Shark Island and Blackfellows in S.A. Most surfers travel here with large quivers and leave with multiple jigsaw pieces. There’s definitely days when it’s great to be back on shore watching others taking their turn at that hideous drop.

The Traveling Wilburys
The evening meal always included 5 vegetable and a stir fry chicken, steak or fish. I had expected baked bean jaffles but I was in the company of royalty, two surfing legends from the Mornington Peninsula, Rod Sly and Garth McIntyre. Goat boaters aged 70 and 63 respectively they have clocked up more surfing miles than most of us ever will and built respect and credibility wherever they travel especially in the gnarly 6′-10′ ft waves of Gnaraloo. This well planned trip was for 7 weeks. Such was their impact that the camp manager Steve honored us one night with a sensational rendition of ‘The Man from Margaret River’, a priceless gift to three young surfing grommets still sporting their ‘Endless Summer’ TShirts.