A short hop and a step from Kalbarri is the Principality of Hutt River. It makes for a half day drive around and you can loop back to Kalbarri. So we did it. Now you might be scratching your head about this Principality. If you were around in the mid 70s early 80s it was in the news quite a bit. Leonard crowned himself as a prince and seceded from Australia. Originally, it was all over wheat quotas and land repossession. The Principality is quite a big wheat and sheep farm and he had his quota slashed to almost nothing. Got a bit upset and started court battles and then seceded from Australia. Seems to have got away with something from being an utter difficult customer and persistent litigant. Has a bit of money too! He has quite a nice property, there is a Government Office including the Post Office.
Voluntary visas are issued for $4. The Principality has its own currency (parity with $A) and postage stamps ( these are not recognised by Australia Post and have to go on the back of an envelope, the envelope is then franked with Australian postage). There is a nice inter-denominational chapel and camping facilities are available. Prince Leonard is now 91 and sits in one of his buildings enjoying the sunshine. He has a number of sons and daughters, all princes and duchesses. They are all involved in working the property and administering the Principality. Prince Graeme showed us the ropes in the Government Offices; mainly commemorative booklets, gem displays, bank notes from around the world and postcards etc etc. He was most respectful towards his father’s work but also a little wry grin appeared from time to time in talking about the Principality and the services available, including knighthoods by application. It was a bit of fun!
Along the way we had called in at Pink Lake. The colouring is caused by some algae that is rich in vitamin A. There is also a large processing plant here that produces food concentrate from brine shrimp for fish farming and the aquarium industry.
We have seen the ongoing display of wild flowers but have also been shocked to see some wild life. The well-known Bob Tail Skink and Echidna have put in appearances.
The skink showed its blue tongue when Homealone got down close to it and seemed to aggravate it. The Echidnas, well there were three of them making their way out of the scrub, across the road and into the wheat fields. Quite a procession.
We now head south to Geraldton.