A Travellerspoint blog

May 2012

Ningaloo

The road to Ningaloo Station was a hard corrugated drive 50km off the highway; the greatest test for the van to date. Other than a 'D' shackle that had rattled off, the rig made it in one piece. Very slow going but well worth it once we arrived... Driving through the station we noticed that wild goats outnumbered the sheep!
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More spearfishing here along with more reef sharks! This time we teamed up - Jen in her kayak above me, ready to take the fish as soon as they were speared giving the sharks no chance. 
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The remoteness, warm weather and less restricted fishing attracts people to stay for long periods. Ken and Carol, our friendly neighbours were staying 4 months through winter (some couples stay up to 8 months a year!) They treated us like family. We were spoilt with fresh fish from the days catch, master chef quality dinners and one too many whiskeys. 
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Onto Cape Range National Park, our first booking and home for the week, a beautiful campsite in Osprey.
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We crossed paths as planned with Miki and Hadas. Great memories walking the Mundu Mundu Gorge together...
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... eating together...
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... fishing together... 
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...jamming together... 
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... and checking out more locals...
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So we know that roos come out at dusk but this place is ridiculous! Check out this video to see what we mean.

The black footed rock wallaby can only be found at Yardie Creek, Mundu Mundu Gorge and Esperence. Normally seen early mornings or late afternoons we were surprised to see them out in force around midday. Well camouflaged and smaller than expected.
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We saved the $100 p/p price tag for the Yardie Creek boat tour and headed on our kayaks first thing in the morning. Traveling through the gorge was a different experience to walking alongside it. So much more activity..

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At the top end of the range we were amazed to be sharing lunch with a Dugong,  slowly making its away along the sea grass bed.

We have been blown away by this place and leave with fond memories; soon it will be time to head out via Exmouth to Karijini NP. 

Posted by Jenandbrad 21:24 Archived in Australia Tagged wa Comments (2)

Coral Bay

Before hitting the Coral Coast we spent three nights at New Beach. The original plan was an overnight stay but the waterside camp drew us in with its peaceful solitude... 
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...Or so we thought. Forced to run for our clothes during an afternoon dip, one hand waving in apology to a startled fisherman, the other covering what was left of our dignity (no photos here, you'll be happy to know). The rest of our stay was much more subdued and we enjoyed spending quiet time playing the didge, yoga, reading and swimming.
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One of first things we noticed when entering the Coral Coast was the contrast in scenery. For hundreds of kiliometers we drove through arid landscape with the odd termite hill or emu; and no signs of civilistion apart from the road, signs and livestock grids in between. Then without warning comes an oasis, Coral Bay - lush green lawns, palm trees, beautiful shallow coral and sunsets..
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It had to happen sooner or later - on reconnaissance Brad got the Prado sand bogged. It took a Ford to pull it out, much to the drivers satisfaction. Still, nice to try out the unused snatch straps and learn a thing or two...
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... No, this hill is not where Brad got bogged but we did reach the top... Just!
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The beauty of Coral Bay is that you only have to walk out to knee deep water and the fish are everywhere...
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... The Spangled Emporers were very inquisitive, attracted to our kayaks, coming right up to us.

One morning we took a stroll to Mauds Point the other side of Coral Bay; and didn't spend too much time thrashing about in the water... 
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With the arrival of Brads new speargun the hunting began with a lively first session. We travelled south by 4wd through sand dunes to Five Finger Reef. There was a young Italian couple who came in from spearfishing describing in broken english that a shark had taken their catch... twice! Mmmm not the sort of pre-dive visual Brad was after. What turned out to be a 2 metre reef shark was never far away but perhaps already full thanks to our Italian friends. With Parrot fish in tow on the end of the new gun it was straight to shore. Jen later caught a glimpse of the cheeky shark still around while cleaning the fish on the rocks. Thankfully it was us that feasted that day :) 
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It's amazing how often we are bumping into old traveling friends, this time Miki, Hadas and their four kids. Brad and Miki made the most of it by heading out together on a Whale Shark tour...
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... this was so worth taking out a loan for. So much marine life - swam with dolphins, sandbar and reef sharks, turtles (the scratches on his shell are apparently from a tiger shark)... 


... and of coarse the whale sharks...


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We met Jen, Hadas and the kids for an early dinner on the beach. Watching the sun go down, a lovely way to spend the last few hours of the day. 
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Next stop along the Coral Coast, Ningaloo Station, another remote beachside campsite accessible by 4wd. 

Posted by Jenandbrad 23:34 Archived in Australia Tagged wa Comments (1)

Great Mid West

From Perth it was onto the small fishing town of Lancelin where we caught up with traveling friends Rob and Rhonda for a little sand boarding (points off for the dismount) and a few sundowners.

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North to Cervantes and into Nambung National Park to see the Pinnacles, ancient rock formations. These incredible limestone spiers, several metres tall rise eerily out of the sand in the middle of nowhere... 
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Even the locals were queing up!
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On our way to Kalbarri we stopped to admire the Pink Lake at Port Gregory.
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Continuing on past several spectacular coastal cliffs we arrived happy to settle for three days and soak it all in. 
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Jens new toy got a workout,...
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...Brad got a kite session in and dinner was fresh and delicious.
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One afternoon mother nature, never ceasing to amaze, displayed her power with 40 knot winds...
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...followed the next morning by a sublimely calm rainbow.
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Before leaving town we had to hit Kalbarri National Park, a popular spot with good reason. Natures Window, a natural arch carved from red rock, perfectly frames the upstream view of Murchison River gorge running some 80 kilometres.. not a bad view for our picnic lunch.
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Next stop we are really looking forward to; the coral coast!

Posted by Jenandbrad 05:29 Archived in Australia Tagged wa Comments (5)

Perth Region

We arrived in Ocean Reef, north Perth to stay with Jens cousin Carolyn and husband Clyde; and their two cheeky kids Charlie and Darcy. A nice way to spend the morning was take the kids to the dog beach just up the road at Pinnaroo Point. 
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It was great to spend time with family and we were made to feel at home. Our hosts were also great tour guides as we were shown the best of the region. Carolyn was able to join us for a day trip to Fremantle. We checked out the art gallery, 
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... the famous markets - good food so cheap!
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... and Little creatures micro brewery. A nice way to prepare for the evening 
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We stayed in Fremantle to meet up with traveling friends Guy and Steph, to help Steph celebrate her birthday; a great way to finish a huge day.
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To top off an amzing two weeks, our travels coincided with a special family occasion, the engagement of Kessley and Joel. Such a fun night, even a rare down-pouring couldn't dampen the evening!
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Apart from the obviously in love couple it was beautiful to see two very close families come together.

Along with Jens family, we were able to spend time with the wonderful people at the Edmund Rice Centre in Mirrabooka. This non profit organisation provides education and community development programs to assist indigenous and new entrants to Australia. 
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Our aim was to help out, get a sense of the programs and the people involved - if only we could have been more help! Many of the programs focus on bringing kids together through sport in the most multicultural area in WA. Both Christine, the deputy Director and Joe, the Youth Programs Coordinator were so giving of their time. Thanks for being so warm and open to us, you are exceptional people and we are in awe of what you do for the community. 
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Time again to hit the road and head north, the beginning of what feels like the second leg of our (three part) 'Coasting Around'!!!

Posted by Jenandbrad 22:54 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

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