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Escaping the double cyclone

Escaping the double cyclone

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We love holidaying in our beautiful home state of WA. Every two years, we adventure north to Kalbarri for the Easter school holidays to meet up with a group of friends (seven families, 26 people in total including children).

Our friends travel from all over WA, including places such as Karratha, Denmark, Williams, Joondalup and Fremantle to catch up. Our campsite at the Kalbarri Murchison camping grounds is always buzzing with activity and we thoroughly enjoy exploring and experiencing sight-seeing adventures as a group.

Unfortunately, our two weeks of bliss was cut short with devastating news. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) warned on 5 April 2021 that Cyclone Seroja could approach the Gascoyne coastline. It also advised that tourists be ready to change plans due to the cyclone’s uncertain track from its Fujiwhara interaction with Tropical Cyclone Odette. The BOM issued a tropical cyclone watch early on 9 April for much of the region between Coral Bay and Lancelin. Tourists were directed to clear the area by midday, 10 April.

The Murchison campsite turned into a flurry of activity as soon as we were given the news to evacuate. Our camping group was filmed packing up our campsite by Channel 7 news, and our children experienced their media debut be being interviewed by Ben Downie.

The journey back to Fremantle was long and slow with queues of caravans, motor homes, and camper trailers making their way home. The dark grey low-lying clouds of the imminent cyclone an indication of the sombre mood. Disappointment at a holiday ending early and worry about a favourite travel destination being destroyed was felt by all.

Written by Genevieve Gething

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