A Travellerspoint blog

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)

Margaret River

On our way to Margaret River we spent the day exploring Pemberton and Gloucester NP. The park is known for its Karri trees, some of the tallest in the world. Brad climbed the Bi-centennial tree, the viewing platform 60m up - slightly unnerving for both of us!
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By late afternoon we hit Happy Valley campsite, our home for the coming week about 10kms out of town near Stella Bella winery.
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One of the first things we noticed was the aftermath of the bushfires from late last year. The heat must have been so intense!
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We hired an extra kayak and headed up Margaret River itself. You can see from the ridge more burnt tree line... Would rather not talk about our fishing efforts here.
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There was lots to explore around the south west tip, one of our highlights was a day trip starting in Augusta; where the Indian and Southern oceans meet...
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... From the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse we headed to Jewel cave...
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...Then a crawl back up the coast stopping for a picnic on Hamelin Bay; shared with a pod of dolphins who looked to be joining us for a feed as well.
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We stayed in Margaret River longer than expected, what a beautiful place. Leaving we came across a curious local..
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Next stop is Perth where we plan to stay for a few weeks with Jens cousin and work with the Edmund Rice Centre in Mirrabooka

Posted by Jenandbrad 22:49 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Parry Beach

Having refilled in Albany we continued towards Denmark (yes, still in Australia) which is best described as WA's spiritual hub, the equivalent of Byron Bay. Definitely a good vibe as we drove through hoping that we'd find a campsite nearby so we could return on a day trip. Thankfully we found Parry Beach only 20 kms west, a camp amongst the trees right on the water and the best part, only $50p/w! 
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On arrival the camp was bustling with activity and we were lucky to find a spot to unhook the van. At the entry of the camp there is an array of local organic vegetables, honeys, jams and relishes - all using an honesty box system.
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It felt like we'd found the perfect place to bunker down for Easter and celebrate someone's birthday!... 
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...The lucky boy was spoilt to a sunrise breakfast,
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...a private kite session at Greens Pool,  
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...lunch in Denmark, 
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...and to top off the surprises, our good friends the Champions were there to greet us as we arrived back at camp. 
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Thanks Jen for making this such a memorable birthday. 

The Champions introduced us to another traveling family, Mickie, Hadas and their four gorgeous kids. We shared so many great times together. 
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Walking along the beach one morning we watched the netting of hundreds of Salmon. Only shame is that these beautiful fish were soon to become pet food... 
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...Well most of them - Matt picked up two salmon for $10 and with Brads help had fun preparing them for the gang. 
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Towards the end of our stay it was nice to revisit Greens Pool and Elephant Rocks on a more pleasant day. 
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This was our longest stint in one spot and we enjoyed the community vibe we shared with amazing and inspiring people; an experience we will always remember. 
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Posted by Jenandbrad 21:41 Archived in Australia Tagged wa Comments (2)

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