After several months on the coast, it's time to head inland again. Destination is Mount Augutus, which is bigger than Uluru (depending on your definition of “rock”, “monolith” or “inselberg”).
T needs more rocks (always!) so we stop at Gascoyne Junction where Mookaite is reported to be found. It would be pushing it to call this a town, but the locals are friendly, and the pub food good. The community focus (apart from the pub) is a combined council office / post office / museum / Medicare office / library. They kindly lend D2 some books for a couple of nights.
We then hit the dirt road, heading to the Kennedy Ranges. More simple camping under a massive escarpment, with rockpools and hikes galore. Some interesting characters join us around the communal campfire, sharing travel stories and tips.
On to Mount Augustus Tourist Park, part of the cattle station. This is well set up, with grassy campsites, and a little tavern for sustenance. But the weather is cold, and at one point the whole mount is hidden in the mist. The next day is better. D1 babysits D2, while we make the 5 hour return climb to the top of Burringurrah / Mount Augustus. Amazing views in all directions.
This is real bush, but the bitumen road is slowly creeping east year by year. This is probably a good thing for the communities in the Gascoyne, but it will change things, with more tourists and probably mining too.
We follow our tracks back to Carnarvon, for more supplies, then northwards towards Exmouth for whale sharks encounters & more diving. T starts to feel unwell. OH NO COVID! We are unceremoniously kicked off the campsite at Bullara Station. WA Health provide some assistance, and find us a motel in Carnarvon where we can isolate for a week. Not the most fun week of our lives, but realistically this was going to happen at some point, and at least it's not an ICU.