Sunday, 13 July 2014

Karijini and Cape Kedraunenn

Karijini was everything I had expected it to be and more. The amazing gorges and spectacular look outs and scenery certainly were awe inspiring. We walked down gorges, swam in freezing rock pools, visited lookouts and were mesmerised by the beauty. Oscar was happy to attempt some of the trickier gorges, so pleased with himself to make it all the way! The days were warm with red dirt as far as the eye can see, the kids were quickly covered head to foot in the dirt, so much so, that some days I didn't know if we were scrubbing dirt or their sun tan at night before they jumped into bed. The only downside was how freezing cold the nights were, hampering our extended happy hours as we could only sit outside for so long before we were chilled to the bone! We all cursed the no camp fire rule and happily snuggled into our beds early each night to seek relief from the freezing conditions. 

We spent the week at dales camp ground and shared the camp ground with our travelling tribe of friends we met at Kalbarri. Our new friendships have enhanced this trip so much, it is great travelling in convoy with our new mates, sometimes leapfrogging in front or lagging behind to catch up in a few days. 

We left Karijini and are currently camping at Cape Kedraunen about half way on our way to Broome. We are enjoying the nights around the camp fires with our tribe of travellers and the kids are having such a great time with all their new friends. It is awesome seeing the  kids spread out over the camping grounds, Oscar has met some boys and happily jumps on his bike to play, only returning when the hunger wins out over the fun.  The girls flit between camps and I love listening to them creating imaginary worlds and games together.  Our next stop is 80 mile beach to catch up on a bazillion loads of washing and to do some serious shell collecting. We are all looking forward to Broome as Bernie is coming for a visit, the kids excited for some aunty time and I am looking forward to sister sessions!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Monkey Mia, Coral Bay and Exmouth

What an amazing couple of weeks we have had exploring one of our favourite areas in Western Australia. 

We started the exploration of the Gasgoyne coast with the most relaxing week in Monkey Mia. All three kids were determined to feed a dolphin, so each day we would head down in the morning to dolphin feeding in the hope that they would get picked and by the end of the week they had all managed to feed one. The kids were so excited and loved the week of playing on the sand, building sand castles and watching the dolphins swim by. We had a lazy week of exploring a little of the Francois Peron national park, bathing in the 40 degree artesian hot tub, checking out the stromalites at Hamelin Pool,  shell beach and the amazing coast line. We then had the good fortune to bump into our friends again at a free camp and had a lovely few night chilling by the camp fire enjoying each other's company. Oscar had a few cool finds but his favourite was the dried up dead snake that freaked his mum out! 

We cruised through Carnavon, gorging on yummy fruit from the area and checking out the amazing blow holes at Quobba before finally reaching the spot I have been waiting for, Coral Bay. 

I have such fond memories of this spot from the last trip we did that I have been eagerly anticipating our return here, and again it exceeded my expectations! I loved that for a whole week we didn't drive anywhere, I loved that oscar could ride around the bay cruising for friends to hang with at the playground with the only stipulation that he be home by dark. I loved that all my family snorkelled and saw amazing coral and sea life from the ease of the bay. Scarlet rand Lola were so incredulous of the amazing sea life they saw and took to snorkelling so well. We enjoyed more relaxed happy hours with our friends, watching sun sets across the ocean and children enjoying the simple pleasures of sand and sea. The weather was mostly kind so nearly everyday was spent at the beach, snorkelling, swimming, playing in the inflatable boat and building amazing sand creations on the shore. Oscar was at his happiest for the week, building amazing boats from what he could scavenge around the area, he was so at peace that he hummed away as he snorkelled around the reef chasing the huge fish as they swam by and delighting in the independence this little bay afforded him.  I am always so happy when my children are happy and this week was certainly a great one for my boy. 

We were lucky enough to be there for the 'talent search' karaoke night at the caravan park. A couple of grey nomads had bought with them the karaoke system to beat all systems, they put up posters advertising the night and by 4.00pm the other oldies had bagsed a seat in the front row, we wandered across after tea to listen to the oldies in all their glory, it was hilarious!! There was a scary rendition of 'you can leave your hat on' by a bunch of 70+ old men and let me tell you I was glad they left more than just their hat on as I was not looking forward to seeing some old looking tackle I can tell you now!!  My most favourite part of the night was when a younger guy decided he was over the golden oldies that the nomads were crooning and decided to add a little poison and gunners to the mix, the look of distaste on the old peoples faces was hysterical and I enjoyed it even more when I noticed that some were even turning down their hearing aids every time a bit of heavy metal was belted out!!!

The highlight of the Coral Bay stay was swimming with the whale sharks with my boy Oscar. It was such an incredible experience and I was so proud of Oscar and his ability to keep up with how fast you had to swim to stay up with these amazing creatures. We had such an amazing day and snorkelled on the outer reefs with manta rays, turtles, amazing coral and fish life, we even saw four humpback whales whilst on the boat. This was a definite tick for the bucket list for me and was made even greater by the absolute joy on Oscars face all day.

Mike dragged me kicking and screaming from Coral Bay, I even checked out job opportunities for Mike so we could stay longer and the kids and I could become beach bums for a few more weeks, sadly it was not to be and we headed a little further north to Exmouth for a few more days of snorkelling and exploring the cape range national park. We have one more night here and then we are heading to Karijini.  I am already looking forward to my next time in this amazing area of Australia.