Finding Family

One woman's obsession with family history.

When recording details about our immediate ancestors, we are never going to know everything. We’re not always going to know the where, what, when and how and it’s our job as genealogists to establish informed theories based on the facts at hand.

There will always be little things that slip through the cracks. Take holidays, for example. Perhaps you had no idea that your Great Grandmother went on a holiday to England until her name was found in the Fremantle Passenger Lists. Other holidays however, without some sort of documentary proof, will remain constrained to the unknown. A quick getaway down south by car (unless photos were taken) will leave no evidence if it’s not remembered or spoken of. It is a thought that is both saddening to the researcher but enlightening to one born into an age of constant documentation of people’s lives. It’s sobering to think that one day my descendants will know exactly when and where I went for coffee and who I was with.

One of the best ways to discover where our relatives travelled is through the photos they do leave behind. In this instance, I was lucky enough to find that my Grandma completed an album full of photos placed in chronological order and labelled accordingly. When Grandma and Grandpa went on a holiday to the north west in celebration of their 25th wedding anniversary, I knew approximately when they went, where they went and some of what they saw. And it all began with a present.


Their 25th wedding anniversary was celebrated on 5 May 1969 so it’s likely they left sometime after this date (which makes sense given the north is extremely hot in summer). They began their holiday as anyone does, by leaving home.

Barratt Ronald Victor & Flynn Audrey [Just leaving for our North West Safari - taken by John Barratt]

“Just leaving for our North West Safari.”

They left North Perth and travelled north up to the Tarcoola Caravan Park.

01 - Tarcoola Caravan Pk Geraldton

“Tarcoola Caravan Pk Geraldton.”

It would appear they made their base here for a short time while they explored some other areas nearby.

03 - Taken over the Greenough River Bar looking out to sea

“Taken over the Greenough River Bar looking out to sea.”

04 - Old Mill. Greenough Flats Wonga Park

“Old Mill. Greenough Flats Wonga Park.”

Grandma and Grandpa had a look at the mouth of the Greenough River, visited the museum at Greenough Flats, travelled to the town of Walkaway and then, back in Tarcoola, went a little further north to Geraldton.

08 - Geraldton


They left Geraldton and again travelled north. They went up to Nazereth House in Geraldton (Bluff Point) and continued up to Port Gregory.

11 - Nazareth House. A few miles north of Geraldton

“Nazereth House. A few miles north of Geraldton.”

On the way back from Port Gregory they passed Horrocks Beach and somewhere after Horrocks Beach, they had dinner by the side of the road.

13 - Dinner here. Coming back from Horrocks Beach

“Dinner here. Coming back from Horrocks Beach.”

After Port Gregory and Horrocks Beach they drove inland to Northampton. A few miles north of Northampton, they pulled over and decided to sleep in the car.

16 - Slept here. A few miles north of Northampton

“Slept here. A few miles north of Northampton.”

They continued further north and reached the 26th parallel (a circle of latitude which passes through Australia).

17 - Unlabelled

From here they stopped at the overlander Ampol Station (it’s now BP) where a turn off (perhaps Denham-Hamelin Road) would take you to Hamelin Bay and Shark Bay. This was not part of their plans so they continued onward to Carnarvon.

18 - The overlander Ampol S Station also turn off to Hamelin Pool & Sharks Bay

“The overlander Ampol S Station also turn off to Hamelin Pool & Sharks Bay.”

27 - The old Carnarvon Townsite

“The old Carnarvon Townsite.”

They made sure to travel further north of Carnarvon to check out the spectacular natural phenomenon, the blowholes.

25 - Blow holes 42 m north of Carnarvon

“Blow holes 42 m north of Carvarvon.”

After their time in Carnarvon they went far inland to Gascoyne Junction. They viewed the Kennedy Ranges from a distance and investigated the Gascoyne River which looked as if it was quite dry.

32 - Gascoyne River Bed at Gascoyne Junction. Ghost Gums

“Gascoyne River Bed at Gascoyne Junction. Ghost Gums.”

From Gascoyne Junction, they travelled south to Cue.

33 - Band Stand. Main St Cue

“Band Stand. Main St Cue.”

34 - Govt Buildings Cue

“Govt Buildings Cue”

On their way south, they had a look at the ghost town, Big Bell. From here, they continued south and stopped to take a photo as they drove in to New Norcia. Their “North West Safari” was drawing closer to an end and this image was the last photo in the album. It may have also been one of the last photos taken before they arrived back home in North Perth.

36 - Coming in to New Norcia from the North

“Coming in to New Norcia from the North.”

Note: there are more photos within the album that have not been shared on this blog post. If you’re interested, these may be shared at a later time on Finding Family’s Facebook page or our sister page, The Dusty Box.

3 thoughts on “Grandma & Grandpa’s Road Trip

  1. Helen C says:

    Thank you for sharing… great pics… good story too 🙂

    1. Jess says:

      You’re welcome, Helen. Glad you liked the pics and story. 🙂

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