For the next five days, we finished cleaning up all the mess around the homestead, including burying the last of the rubbish that could not be reused or burnt, and cleaning the main house thoroughly, and removing all the graffiti, by repainting the shed.
All building material that can be reused has been stacked up in the remains of the shearing shed, and the roof of that shed is now the right way up and next to the shed, ready to be lifted back on, once stronger supports have been installed.
We also managed to completed the decking for the second gazebo and installed all of the storm shutters, that can easily be opened and closed, when needed, at the caretaker’s camp, and we were pleased that the concrete was now cured and ready for the caravan to drive onto it.
Using some of the timber from some of the buildings that didn’t survive the cyclone, we were able to design and build five picnic shelters, that consisted of a log cabin type construction, with 4 lots of seating for 12 people, around the outside, and a central table, that is underneath a low-pitched roof, the easy design, made it simple to build, even though they end up being very heavy.
Using the front-end-loader we loaded two of them onto the large trailer, and with me driving a station ute, and Matt driving the Colorado with the trailer on the back, we headed back to the 14-mile camp, so as to install the first picnic shelters for the visitors, with them placed 200 metres apart, and on the East side of the track, at least 60 metres away from the high tide make on the beach.
Using straps to pull the picnic shelters off the trailer, using the ute, we left the ute at the site of the next lot of picnic tables, and headed back to the homestead to get the next two onto the trailer, before heading north again, this time to Sandy Point, which is 4 kms south of 14 Mile, and once again, we pulled them off the trailer, 200 metres apart, on the. East side of the track.
When we loaded the last shelter onto the trailer, we headed south, to the location of main beach, just west of the main house, where there was an old fisherman’s shack, which was also blown away with the cyclone, and we place the last of the built picnic shelters, just 40 metres from the high tide mark, just in front of where the old shack use to be.
Once it was in place, we headed back to the homestead, to rest for the rest of the afternoon, as we had been working hard all week. That evening, we were relaxing after another superb dinner, when my phone rang. “Hello, Lloyd speaking” I said and listened to the caller for a short moment then hung up the phone.
“Looks like I may have to change my phone number, that was a threat on my life for putting him and his friends on probation, all because they wanted to party on the station” I said as I turned the phone off, in case they try to call again.
“Are you going to report them to the police?’ Greg asked me, “No not his time, if I did it would just stir them up some more, let’s just hope they stay away.
The next morning, with all the supplies and tools we needed, including the front-end-loader, we set off towards the front gate, and the first thing we did was to dig a line of post holes on either side of the main station access road, but we set it back away from the main road, by 50 metres.
Once the two posts on either side of the road, with the struts in place, we installed the new front gate, which was made of very solid steel, and it had a laser cut piece of artwork in the middle, and the words Coral Coast Station along the top.
With a hole dug into the side post, I hammered a piece of steel pipe tubing into the hole, and slide the bolt across, so it slid neatly inside the tubing, and I attached the new heavy-duty padlock into place and closed it. Temporarily placed over the top of the gate was a new sign, “Coral Coast Station is currently closed to all visitors, till further notice. Do not trespass, or you will be prosecuted by the law”.
Another sign that we would put up on the side fence when we do open will say “Welcome to Coral Coast Station. All visitors must report to theVisitors Centre or 14-Mile Caretaker on entering the station”. Another sign that will be installed about 50 metres further in will say – “Firearms or weapons of any kind are forbidden.
All visitors must be self-sufficient and carry a chemical toilet before being permitted to camp along the Ningaloo Coast, on this station.Please keep all gates closed. Speed limit is strictly 60 km/h. The owners reserve the right of deciding visitor entry.”
These signs would be repeated at the north entry to the station, and they are all reflective, so they can be easily seen at night time. For the rest of the day, we built the tall post and rail fence, including the strands of wires between each rail, and with the three of us working together, we had managed to complete 20 metres of new fence on both sides of the entry road, and I remembered that I needed to contact the local shore to arrange a time, for the roads to be graded.
The following day, just two hours after lunch time, we had completed, 150 metres of post and rail fencing along the front of the property, and we had joined it up to the existing boundary fence, so that the property was secure once more.
We decided to keep the original fence and gate in place, until we are ready to reopen the station to visitors again, hopefully in early April, in time for the Easter Long Weekend and school holidays.
After packing up everything, we headed back to the homestead compound, where we just relaxed for an hour, before I headed into the office, to set up a daily work calendar, which can be adjusted by me from the farm, when need be. I had decided to keep stock off the property to all for the pasture to recover properly from the cyclone, so we would be relying on income from visitors, once we are open again.
I decided that we need to update the camping sites, so I asked the lads to go out and using the station mud map, to mark the existing camp sites in each area, and come back with the numbers of camp site, and any recommendations that they may have.
At the end of the day we sat down and discussed it, and we decided to limit the number of camp sites, in each area, as it is causing too much damage to the environment. The lads also suggested doubling the fee for camping to $20, and the day visitor fee to $15. Beach access would also be restricted to no closer than 150 metres from the high tide water line, with just one small location at 14 Mile for small boat launching.
Along the coast line from 14 Mile, south to Sandy Point, all camping grounds are to be on the East side of the access track, with no camping on or near the beach at Sandy Point. No camping will be permitted from 2 kms north and 2 kms south of Pelican Point, as it is a known location for sharks.
At Maggie’s Beach, and all the way south to Elle’s Beach, camping will only be permitted on the East side of the Access track, with no vehicles to be on the beach on the western side of the beach. Further south at Stephens Break Beach, no camping is permitted, as it is a surfing location only.
No camping is permitted between Stephen’s Break Beach and the South Sand Dunes, just before Black Moon Cliffs. While at Black Moon, camping is permitted at on the west side of the Sand Dunes, along the cliff tops, with no vehicle beach access at North Bulbari.
Camping from Bulbari to the Lagoon, is permitted beyond150 metres from the high tide mark on the beach, with no vehicle access to the beach, and no camping is permitted south of the lagoon to the property southern boundary.
These are a lot of new conditions to camping on the station, but we had both the environment, and the traditional owners to consider, and from now on there will be regular patrols of all camping areas.
The new backpacker’s hostel is now located just south of the south dunes, on the eastern side of the access track, and it has its own solar power supply, a small desalination plant, and water storage tanks for freshwater, and a septic system located well back, 300 metres away from the track.
I decided that once the caretakers had arrived and settled in, I would head back to the farm, the four cottages, that are planned, will be located on the east side of the access track, behind some sand dunes and beach, between Elle’s Beach and Stephen’s Surf Break, and they would be spaced 100 metres apart.
Each of the two-bedroom cottages, will have a biodegradable sewerage tank, solar power cells, and storage battery, instant hot water, a large freshwater tank, and wonderful views of the ocean.
The cottages will be cyclone code built, and deep reinforced concrete pillars will be used to secure the cottage down, for storms and cyclones, and they are currently being built in Geraldton.
The following day, I received a call from Minilya, to let me know that my special delivery had arrived, and headed off in my own vehicle, for the 45-minute drive to the roadhouse. The special package is signs for the camping areas, one will be posted outside the visitor’s centre, and the other one at the entry gate of 14 mile.
“Due to tighter environmental restrictions, campers must camp at the designated camping locations. Any unauthorised vehicle movement on beaches or camping in non-camping zones, will result in either a fine, asked to leave the station or a ban from entering the station in the future, depending on the severity of the offence.
There will be no camping on the beaches at 14 Mile and Bulbari Beach. All other camping is to be on the east side of the access track at designated camping sites only, which are marked with clear new camp site markers. You have been warned, so please don’t spoil your stay, and other campers by breaking these new regulations”.
Apart from these two rather large signs, there are also a total of 180 designated camping marker signs, that will be attached to steel pickets, that will be driven in deep, sothey cannot be easily removed. Back at the homestead, I called the lads, and showed them the big signs, and instructed them to install them just 5 metres past the fence at 14-mile, and just before the Visitors centre.
I asked the lads to install the large signs and that this afternoon, the three of us will start from the 14- mile camp ground, and start putting the steel pickets in the ground, and attaching the camp site markers – “14 Mile Camp Bays 1 to 10” is how they are marked, with reflective blue background and clear white lettering, and by the end of the day, we had installed a total of 78 campsite markers, from 14-mile, all the way down to Maggie’s Beach.
When we arrived back at the Visitors centre, I scanned the mud map of the station, and whited out the old information, then splitting it into two halves, and enlarging them, so each half, fits snuggly on each side of the A4 page, I began entering the information for each new campsite marker.
When I had finished the first page, that consisted of the north half of the station, there was now more detailed information, on each campsite, stating how many camping bays there are for each site, plus restrictions on beach access.
With that done, I went and retrieved all the old mud maps and threw them into the bin, before I began to print out sic copies of the new design maps of the north half of the station, and I smiled at the now new improved station mud maps. Just as I was about to leave the office, my phone buzzed with a message.
“Hello Lloyd, Chris and Anne here, we will be arriving in Coral Bay shortly, and be at the main station gates at about 9am tomorrow morning”, I smiled that they were finally almost here, and I sent a quick reply.
“Go to the North entry gate, and Greg Price will unlock the door for you at 8am, your new caretaker site is ready and waiting for you. When you have settled in, come down to the visitor’s centre for some lunch with us, as I have some things to discuss with you both. Lloyd”.
During dinner with the lads, I explained to them that Chris and Anne would be arriving in the morning, and I asked Greg to be at the north entry gate at 8am to let them in, and lock the gate behind them, and issue them with a set of gate keys, and assist them with setting up their caravan if they need it.
I let Matt and Greg know that I had invited the caretakers to have lunch with us at the visitor’s centre, and while Greg is assisting them, Matt and I would continue with installing the new camping markers from Elle’s Beach down to the Lagoon, hopefully finishing before lunch time.
The next day, we were all up just as daylight was showing, just before 6am, and after a quick breakfast, the three of us headed north to Elle’s beach to start posting the new markers.
Once we had completed that, Greg set off in one of the station Utes, north to 14 Mile, while we travelled to Black Moon Cliffs, to continue with the campsite marking, taking note of the coordinates of each location, which will be added to the maps.
“Lloyd to Greg, do you copy me, over?” I said into the radio mike.
”Receiving you only just, over” Greg replied.
“Once you have finished helping Chris and Anne at their new site, can you start from the most northern camp marker, and check the coordinates for that location, and write them down, then do the same with every marker, as you come down the coast please, over” I asked.
“Sure thing boss, over and out” Greg replied.
By 11am, we had finished the last camping marker on the north side of the Lagoon, and written down the last of the location coordinates, before we began the 25-minute journey back to the Visitor’s Centre, where we found Greg preparing the BBQ.
“Salads are in the fridge, and the BBQ is ready to go, once Chris and Anne arrive, and your swag, and luggage are stowed away in my room” Greg announced when we walked into the apartment.
“Well organised I see, that is good to see. How did you go with the coordinates for each camping marker?’ I said to Greg.
“Not a problem at all, the information is on the desk, in the office” Greg replied.
While waiting for the arrival of Chris and Anne, I went to the office, and carefully added the coordinates for each campsite, alongside the Campsite Marker number, and added the same information onto the other page of the south end of the station.
Once I was happy with both pages, checking for any errors, I began to photocopy the two pages onto the front and back of one A4 page, printing out just ten pages for now.
Copyright April 2019 Preston Wigglesworth All Rights Reserved