Thursday, October 31, 2013

Kalbarri to Geraldton

Kalbarri was the first town I have come along on our Aussie Adventure that I have thought I could live there. It had a really good feel about it and nice and quiet. Although I would think in the middle of any holiday season it would be a lot busier.
While in Kalbarri we visited the Kalbarri National Park. The highlight of our visit was getting to Natures Window. It was only a 500mtr walk but the walking path is situated down in a gully and I must say it is the hottest most exhausting 500mtr I have ever walked. In the Summer the temperature can reach 50c. The day we were there I would say it would have to say the temperature would have been around 44c. As the walk was along a nice flat path we both had now worries about seeing the Natures Window, until we got to the end of the path. All of a sudden you had to climb over the rocks and around the bend where you where on the edge of the cliff with no hand rail. Needless to say Shane didn't go any further because he hates heights. It took me a while but I finally got there. It was worth all the adrenalin pumping through my body when I saw this amazing natural rock formation.

Natures Window

I had to ask some other tourists to take my photo
Our last day in Karratha was pretty quiet, the only thing we really did was do a bit of fishing at the beginning of the Macquarie River. It was a little windy but quite a nice spot to throw a line in. Shane caught a Cod and a Yellow tail, but they were both under size. So the girls won again on this fishing expedition, as I caught two Bream. I had never caught Bream before, they certainly fight fairly hard. So I came home feeling pretty happy with myself.
Nah I didn't really kiss him

Hello dinner
As normal our last night in any location we go out for dinner. This time we went to the pub and had a lovely meal with another nice couple we have met - Wendy and Mick from Busselton.
The next morning we left Kalbarri, but it is one place I'm sure I will be back to. About half way between Kalbarri and Geraldton we stopped off at a homestead in Northampton. The property of Oakabella Homestead is no longer a working property but had the title of arguably being the most haunted house in Western Australia and Australia's 5th most haunted location. This charming 1860's heritage listed, beautifully restored homestead together with it's original unique barn and restored shearing shed sits on 1,000 acres of lush farmland. As well as doing a tour of the property we had a delicious brunch of scones, jam and cream. Even though we didn't see any ghosts some of the rooms in the homestead had a feeling that all wasn't right within the walls.
Oakabella Homestead - WA's most haunted house

Beyond this door George Jackson met his maker while cleaning his gun

Mother Nature just gets it right doesn't she?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Day of Sightseeing

Today we decided to head south down along this beautiful rugged coast we are on. But first it was down to Point Gregory and one of the most amazing sights I have seen - The Pink Lake. Like many of it's kind in Western Australia, it's pink hue is created by bacteria (Dunaliella salina), which becomes trapped in the salt granules. I couldn't believe just how pink the quite big lake is.
Point Gregory

On the shore of the amazing Pink Lake

It's really PINK!
After leaving point Gregory we then wove our way back up
the coast stopping off at the various lookouts.
This was another amazing sight I saw. These 15 plus Dolphins
formed a circle to trap there lunch.
Then the water was like a washing machine with the frenzy of eating.

Island Rock

The beautiful Kalbarri National Park Coastline

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Galena Bridge to Kalbarri

We are now in the coastal town of Kalbarri, which is situated on the mouth of the Murchison River. Kalbarri has a permanent population of approx. 1500, but it attracts around 200,000 tourists each year. The town is geared to fishing and tourism. This time of the year the Western Australia countryside comes alive with lots of beautiful wild flowers and the Kalbarri region is one such place that comes alive. Today I had a day on my own as Shane wanted to watch the Melbourne races. So I took myself off in the car to get some photos of the mostly tiny but amazing wild flowers.


With the end of October almost here don't forget to leave me a comment below
for your chance to go into the draw to win a piece of my chainmaille jewellery.
Here are just two that you will have a choice from.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Denham to Galena Bridge

We left Denham, in the Shark Bay World Heritage early as there were a couple of attractions we wanted to check out before we hit the road for our next overnight destination. First stop was somewhere I really wanted to check out - Shell Beach. Shells in their millions make up this white landscape. Masses of these Cardiid Cockle shells have been drifting in for about 4000 years. They are about 5 metres deep and are still piling up today. The length of the beach where these shells are located is some 100km plus long.  When compacted the shell blocks are like concrete and in some locations they are collected and used in buildings in the area. The shells are also used in the poultry industry as shell grit for chickens. It is amazing walking onto the beach and as far as you can see there are tiny white shells framed by a beautiful blue ocean. This is one of the prettiest beaches I have ever seen.
Shell Beach

Millions of tiny shells

Shells as far as you can see
Next stop was the Stromatolites. What are Stromatolites you may ask? They are rock like structures built by microbes. Shark Bay's stromatolites are 2,000 to 3,000 years old. Apparently they provide a unique view into what the world was like at the dawn of time.
Stromatolites under the water

They sort of just look like weird rocks
Then it was off to our overnight destination, which was a free camp off the side of the highway and beside the Murchison River. It turned out to be a very pretty spot with lots of wildlife. Lots of different types of Birds, Ducks, Swans and one lone Pelican. I sat for ages watching the Black Swans duck for food and keep their four babies safe from the Kite flying overhead. The Pelican also ducked for food for a good hour getting something to swallow down almost every time.

Little ducks checking all was safe before getting back in the water

Beautiful Graceful Black Swan

The Lone Pelican - getting a belly full of food

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Glorious Day at Monkey Mia

This morning we headed off early to go and see the Dolphin Interaction (feeding) at Monkey Mia. I had heard a lot about it, both good and bad. But I was pleasantly surprised with how our day turned out. The dolphins have been coming to Monkey Mia for about the past 40 plus years to get fed. The amount varies but we were lucky enough to have a total of 10 dolphins visit the shallows. There were only four to be fed and they are the Mums with new babies. The rest of the ten were the boys playing around and keeping their eyes on their girls. They usually have 2 or 3  interactions daily, between 7.45am and noon. But it is totally dependent when the dolphins would like to arrive. They are only given 3 little fish each, each interaction as to not get them dependant on humans for their food and also so they don't take their attention away from their babies for to long.
Nothing quite like a Dolphins smile

As with most Dolphins with girl has had an altercation with a shark

The Pelicans decided they might try for a fish too
Then after having a yummy buffet breakfast ourselves we decided to go on a 2 1/2 hour cruise on the catamaran Aristocat 2. It was a beautiful calm morning - although the wind pick up a little, to head off and see the dolphins, sea snakes, turtles and dugongs in their natural habitat. It was the perfect way to spend a couple of hours enjoying nature at it's best. The colour of the water was absolutely stunning.
Aristocat 2
Dolphins playing beside the catamaran

We also visited Blue Lagoon Pearls which have their business on a pontoon off shore. They produce Black Pearls, which can actually be any colour. They are also the first and I think only pearl operator that have developed the process of combining Pearl Shell with Opal or Gold Nuggets. They have also developed another process of producing a pearl with a design embedded in it. Their work is amazing and absolutely beautiful.
Blue Lagoon Pearls
Right - Gold Nugget in pearl shell
Left - Opal in pearl shell

Dolphin design in pearl shell
The almost finished pendants

To top the cruise off we interrupted a couple of turtles in a romantic interlude.

Sorry to intruding!!
It's a wonder the poor girl doesn't drown!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Carnarvon to Shark Bay World Heritage Area

We are now in the small village of Denham which is situated in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area. As we were driving here we were approaching a bridge when a vehicle came from the opposite direction in the middle of the road with warning lights flashing. Up this way that usually something very big is following. And big it was, so big we had to move right off the road. I'm not sure what this huge machinery was used for but it was the biggest vehicle I have ever seem in my life.
One huge vehicle
Today we ventured out to the old Peron Homestead in Francois Peron National Park. Since closing as working sheep station it now gives visitors a glimpse of what life was like back in the day. Francois Peron National Park now plays a key role in Project Eden, a bold environmental project attempting to reintroduce extinct species to the peninsula by controlling feral predators. One such animal that has been successfully been reintroduced is one of my favourite native animals the Bilby.

Old Shearing equipment

If these walls could talk - they would tell some amazing stories

An old wool press

Sunday, October 20, 2013

One Mile Jetty

Today is our last day in Carnarvon and a windy one it was. But I still really wanted to head out to the end of One Mile Jetty, so wind or no wind I was going to. First we headed out to see Chinaman Pool which is a permanent pool and swimming spot. In the 1890's it was a source of freshwater for the town. Today was a little chilly for a swim but there were some beautiful Black Swans and their babies enjoying the cool water of the afternoon.

Chinaman Pool

Two babies venture out on their own

Next we headed to the HMAS Sydney II Memorial Ave. The loss of HMAS Sydney II was Australia's greatest naval tragedy of uncertainty for decades. On her return to Australia after some successful battles she encountered the German Raider HSK Kormoran on 19 November 1941. The Kormoran was disguised as a Dutch merchant vessel and did not return the Sydney's signals correctly, so the Sydney approached the unknown vessel. Once within range where the Sydney's superior weapons could not defend her, the Kormoran used the advantage of surprise and brought all it had to attack the Sydney. While neither ship survived, the Sydney lost all 645 young men, 318 of the Kormoran's 390 crew survived. As the German survivors were regarded as unreliable the mystery raged for 66 years. In March 2008, renewed efforts to find the Sydney came to fruition, confirming her fate and bringing closure to the mystery.
Memorial Cairn Sign

HMAS Sydney II Memorial Cairn

Our next stop was the One Mile Jetty. There is normally a small train that runs out to the end of the jetty, but as the wind was so strong today, about 25 knots, the train was not running. Shane's hip, knees, back etc kept him in the car, so off I headed on my walk. The timber jetty was completed being built in 1904 and is 1493 mtrs long (1.6km). It became the first port in Australia to transport livestock by sea and was used as a deep sea port for shipment of local produce and wool to Perth.

One Mile Jetty

One Mile Jetty