Off-grid at Gnaraloo

Off-grid at Gnaraloo

A beer at sunset after a great day surfing and fishing - that’s what Gnaraloo is all about

A beer at sunset after a great day surfing and fishing - that’s what Gnaraloo is all about

There’s no grey nomads, individual TV satellite dishes or nighties hanging on the communal washing line here…Gnaraloo is not for the faint-hearted.

It has Tombstones, one of the best and most notorious surf breaks in the country, for a start. The first time we drove the two hour badly corrugated dirt road into Gnaraloo Station, the only vehicle we passed was an ambulance going as fast as it could back into Carnarvon. A few hours earlier a young bloke had apparently wiped out leaving part of his face behind on the coral reef and rocks.

Facilities at the Three Mile Camp are basic but really all you need. The showers and toilets until recently were primitive; the recent upgrade, though still only solar-heated salt water - get in early for a warm shower - is comparatively luxurious, and a treat at the end of a hot, dusty day. The little shop sells Gnaraloo T-shirts, stubbie holders and beanies, a few long-life groceries, and when we were there was doing a roaring trade in fly-nets as the strong easterly wind had brought millions of flies with it. 

There’s a couple of spots about the place where you can get one bar on your phone - not quite enough for a phone call but it is possible to send a text message. I think most people there like it that way.

The days revolve around swells and tides, and surfers are either on the waves, looking at the waves or discussing the waves. After several weeks meandering through the Wheatbelt and station country in the Murchison and Gascoyne regions with me, Steve was hanging to do all that!

Festival rehearsals at Warroora Station

Festival rehearsals at Warroora Station

President of the Old Bastards

President of the Old Bastards