Road Trip 2017: Day 2 – Dongara-Port Denison to Mullewa

After breakfast in the cottage, we returned to the Irwin River Estuary to climb up to the lookout and admire the view over the ocean.

Port Denison Coast

Looking south over the ocean

Irwin River Estuary Outlet

Looking north toward the Irwin River estuary outlet

From Dongara we drove east to Mingenew, and headed toward Mingenew Hill, north off Midlands Road, in the centre of Mingenew, across the railway track on Mingenew-Morawa Road, and then left onto Mingenew Scenic Drive. We admired the layers of rock in the hillside and the view over the surrounding farmland, as clouds gathered, bringing rain.

Rock Face

Rock face with layers of different colours

Dead Tree

Dead tree on hill top

Fence cresting Mingenew Hill

Fence cresting Mingenew Hill

View from Mingenew Hill

View from Mingenew Hill over farmland, storm clouds gathering overhead

Depot Hill is renown for fields of everlasting daisies so we drove north on Mingenew-Mullewa Road for 1.5 km, then left onto Depot Hill Road to Yarragadee West Road, and walked a short way along the bush track toward the WWII Army Rifle Range. We saw a few lone flowers, and this Hakea Recurva (below). The fairly constant drizzle and lack of flowers prompted us to move on to our next destination.

Hakea Recurva

Hakea Recurva

We headed north toward Coalseam Conservation Park along the Mingenew-Mullewa Road, and right onto the grey gravel Coalseam Road, where we passed several young grevillea bushes with delicate white flowers.

Grevillea Candelabroides

Grevillea Candelabroides

At the Irwin Lookout, we had a picnic in the car because it was raining steadily, and then we walked to the edge to look down into the valley. Usually the area along the river in the valley would be covered with everlasting daisies and other wildflowers. We saw the odd single specimen.

View from Irwin Lookout

View from Irwin Lookout, Coalseam Conservation Park

Headed for the Brand Highway near Greenough, we returned north along Coalseam Road, left onto Mingenew-Mullewa Road, and right onto Nangetty-Walkaway Road. As we approached Walkaway we passed towering windmills on both sides of the road, with their blades rhythmically turning slowly. Walkaway is a little town with a general store and a railway museum. We stopped briefly to admire a magnificent Mottlecah specimen growing beside the road. Mottlecah Eucalyptus macrocarpa are large straggly plants with huge blossoms, up to 10cm (4 inches) in diameter.

Mottlecah (Eucalyptus macrocarpa)

Mottlecah (Eucalyptus macrocarpa) blossom and leaves

Leaving Walkaway, we headed toward Brand Highway along Evans Road, and then McCartney Road, which passes the beautifully preserved buildings of Greenough Historic Settlement. We turned left onto Brand Highway, and passed the Leaning Tree just north of Greenough, and continued on to Geraldton. St Francis Xavier Cathedral (1916-1938) was designed by Monsignor John Hawes, the English priest architect who designed many buildings in Western Australia’s midwest region (and other parts of the world). The cathedral took 22 years to complete, and is currently being renovated, so unfortunately we couldn’t go inside.

St Francis Xavier Cathedral

St Francis Xavier Cathedral

After buying food supplies, we continued on to Mullewa where we stayed at Inspirations. Our rooms were clean and comfortable, and we shared a self-catered dinner and breakfast in Fi’s room.

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