Friday, 14 March 2014

G'day West Australia - A slightly sunburned update from Exmouth!

We relaxed three days in Perth and recovered from our 5 hour time shift from NZ to West Australia. This includes some walking through town centre, hanging around in the King's Park and eating out in the evening. Good news: Food is tasty; Bad news: Beer is expensive! A pint costs about 11 AUD (~10 CHF) and it might get worse once we get up further north! Temperature is a bit higher than in NZ, we faced around 38 degrees in Perth and it might be even hotter up north... we'll see. Last but not least, we went to a wine trip in Swan Valley (well, you can't see a valley there, it's just called valley because it sounds nicer) for some more wine tasting...
Next morning, we packed our stuff and we hired our little car. It's a 4x4 Hilux and contains a roof top tent and (even more important) a fridge and air conditioning inside :-) So we are allowed to go wherever we want. Our first stop, after the shopping and the stop at the liquor store, was the Pinnacles a bit in the north of Perth. To get this right: a bit north means 200 km distance :-) Definitely worth a stop as you can see in the pictures. Furthermore, we saw our fist Kangaroo!)
Pinnacles
Pinnacles
 We spent our first night in the roof top tent and it's actually not too bad up there (we have been camping now every night up to now) and it saves some money as well. So we continued our road trip with a short stop in Geraldton to get some very important stuff: Fly nets and snorkelling gear! The fly nets were a perfect investment since we seem to be in the "fly" season. In Kalbarri, we visited the national park (natures window) and we planned to do a 8 km hike.... it was hot, hardly no shade and the fly nets definitely paid of!
In Kalbarri you can also attend the daily pelican feeding (funny) and there is some more National park sites you can visit (by car since the temperature is killing you!).
Nature's window
Fly hike
Pelican landing
Heading further north (about 400 km) we visited Hammelin Pool, a former telegraph station in the middle of nowhere, before we wanted to visit the most western point of Australia (main land). Although we have a 4x4 we were not able to drive up the sandy street (even with deflated tires) so we got stuck quickly and decided to go back where we came from (btw. the street is called "Useless Loop" and it is a perfect description and our compressor broke while re-inflating our tires). So we arrived Denham for a night to get to the Fran├žois Peron National Park next day. Some more sandy driving, but this time we deflated the tires more and the streets were better, so we had an enjoyable day in the park with taking pictures, swimming and wildlife watching (Kangaroo, Sharks, etc.)

Lookout from the Useless Loop Road
Or next stop was Monkey Mia, famous for it's dolphins. There is a shallow beach where around 07.45 the dolphins show up and about 150 tourists are waiting at the shore. Then, crowd is standing in the water and the dolphins are passing by and waiting for their food, but first, you have a 25 minutes speak about the dolphins... once this is done, they select some volunteers to feed some of the dolphins before they go back to deeper water. The show is very nice and it's even better when the dolphins come back the second or even third time (since fewer tourists are there then). The ressort is nice as well with pool, beach and all the things you need. So we decided to stay two nights and the second night was the hot one: There was a fire in the resort and some of the cottages burned down. AFTER helping and AFTER the fire-fighters arrived, it took some pictures of the situation... Luckily nobody got hurt and we did not have to evacuate the camping site.
So, we headed further north, to a place called "Corral bay" where we tested our snorkelling equipment to spot all the deadly and dangerous animals in the sea (we actually saw one shark and a 2 m fish that has no teeth and it disguising as a rock, sitting on the bottom of the sea, an octopus and a lot of colourful fish). It's very nice and relaxing being here, with 40 degrees and some wind in the afternoon :-) .
Francois Peron National Park
Rosi is feeding Dolphins at Monkey Mia
Fire...
The temperature is still around 40 degrees, but now, we are actually sitting in our air conditioned room in Exmouth, finalizing the blog. Tomorrow, we will go "hunting" the biggest fish in the world, the whale shark with a snorkelling tour. Looking forward for a day on a boat, before we are heading inlands to some more national parks.
Leaning Tree
A Kakadu?
Coastline close to Kalbarri
Kalbarri Red Bluff
Sunset at Kalbarri Red Bluff
Termit Dome on Fly Hike
Emu
Kangaroo

Francois Peron National Park
Monkey Mia