Murchison House Station is located 12 km from the WA town of Kalbarri. The property is 350 000 acres and has a rich history spanning 150 years. We first visited when Jessie was just 3 months old. Unfortunately our Troopie had some engine problems which meant we could not explore the property as well as we would have liked, and so we have always wanted to go back.
A few weeks ago we got our chance. And, I have to say, after exploring it for 8 days, we still haven’t covered it and can’t wait to visit again.
Upon entering the property there’s a feeling of finding a secret place, as most cars zoom on by towards the town of Kalbarri. The road is long enough that you lose site of the road and the house, and the view that opens up as you travel towards the station gives you a taste of the vastness of the wilderness that awaits.
Left: The entrance to the station. Right: One of the military vehicles on show.
There’s a number of military vehicles that great you as you pass through the gate, and a tank in front of the homestead – all of which were great fun for the kids to explore.
There are a couple of options for camping on the station. You can opt for camping at the Homestead, which offers 2WD access to un-powered sites along the Murchison River. There are toilets and showers, a camp kitchen, laundry, fire pits and bbqs. This will cost you $12.50/adult and $5/child.
We prefer the bush camping, which opens up pretty much the entire property. You can borrow a map (or take a photo of it) and set off to find your own little piece of paradise. We ended up staying at the same place we did the first time, hearing that it is one of the prime camp sites available, Ellie’s Pool. Here the water was deep and running, great for swimming and kayaking.
Ellie’s Pool – don’t forget your pool toys!
You’ll need to be completely self-sufficient out here, taking all the water, food, fuel and power you need for your stay. In saying that, town is not too far away if you happen to forget something or run out of anything, making it a great place to test out your set up if you’re new to off-grid camping. This was our first trip with our new water tanks, so it was interesting to see how long they lasted if we weren’t being too careful (nearly got through the 8 days, needless to say we wont be using so much for dishes should we be off grid for longer!).
There’s nothing quite like dinner cooked on the camp fire!
Camp fires are permitted, and you can collect small pieces of wood from the property. A new rule brought in means there are no chainsaws allowed, so you will need to bring larger pieces with you or purchase it from the Homestead.
We went on a few exploration trips, one which led us to the coast. You are not allowed to drive on the beach to the west, but there is some areas you can get close to the water on the river side.
The tracks south towards the coast lead to some great sand dunes for sand boarding, however you are not permitted to 4WD on the beach here.
You can also fish in the river here, just be sure to keep your feet moving as the beach is packed with bull ants in places. We dubbed it the “dancing beach” as everyone at one time or another found themselves dancing through a pile!
A beautiful little private beach all for us, with a view over the packed caravan park and busy beaches on the other side.
Another day we headed north, visiting the sites along the west side of the Murchison River. The scenery on this property is spectacular, you could spend days exploring each of the areas we visited. Stone wall is a great spot to climb for some beautiful photos. You can see here the crevice to the left which we climbed, you can picture the rain pouring down here to the river below in the wet season.
Further along we found the “Unnel”, which is a tunnel with no “t”op…
Next we had a look at Goonerburralager Pool, which is another camp ground. There’s only the one place you can enter the water here, and the banks are lined with more vegetation than Ellie’s Pool, but if you have more than a few fourbies with you there is a lot of room here. Being further away from the homestead means more of a hike if you need anything, bu it’d still be my second pick of the camp sites if Ellie’s Pool was taken.
The station was founded in 1885 by Charles von Bibra (an Indian Prince!), and his cottage along with some old memorabilia is on display at the Homestead. The building itself was constructed by convict labourers, and there’s some interesting news paper articles on the wall that are worth a read.
The von Bibra Cottage
After spending a lazy day around town, we set off past the sites we had already seen and pushed further north. Now, I’m afraid to say I can’t recall where this unusual rock is, but it’s definitely before the grader, and there was enough room to park both our fourbies side by side. Damien just happened to pull up here to wait for us to catch up (I think a toilet break slowed us down), there was a rock face to the west and the back of this rock faced the road. Never know what you might find out there!
Reminds me of the pics we have of being inside a hollowed out tree…
Moving on we found the breathtaking Wilgiamia Pool – this was my favourite spot by far. It felt so remote, and even on the school holidays, we never saw a soul on any of our exploration trips around the station. You could just imagine getting lost out here. We scrambled down the rocks towards the water, even Zara managed to make it down with a little help. And although we had all forgotten to bring our bathers/towels, we couldn’t help but jump in, feeling that we were a few of the lucky ones who would ever get to swim here…
The rock face from the bottom…and our impromptu dip was beautiful!
Next on our list was Mount Curious, the name intrigued us, and we weren’t disappointed. Flat land all around and then a rising, flat topped mountain. Curious indeed…the goat poo “waterfalls” down the side were particularly curious…
8 days wasn’t nearly enough time to explore Murchsion House Station, and we will absolutely be back. I would love to simplify even more (leave the kayak behind!) and carry our swags around to the different places we visited (and those we haven’t). From here we headed home for a night and then set off for Hyden and the Holland Track…stay tuned for that one!