Perth to Broome
02.10.2008 - 18.10.2008
First impressions of Perth is a big city with nobody in it, we spent a few days with some friends Kali and Darren who live here. A trip to the Fremantle was in order to see the hippie markets and visit the home of Little Creatures Ale. The last night was spent in a hotel where we'd be collected to start the Connections trip the following day. That evening we met a few of our fellow travellers and the guides Chappie and Allie plus the bus we'd be on.
Next day was a fairly early start, aren't they always on these tours, where we'd be heading to Kalbarri which was 700km away. On the way there we saw a heavily leaning gumtree which had grown this way because of the strong west coast winds that continually batter it. We stopped for lunch at the beautiful Jurien Bay then continued on our long road arriving in time for sunset over the ocean with a beer at Red Point. We had dinner and chatted by the campfire getting to know the group.
Another early start saw us head to the national park in the gorges to see the famous Natures Window and go for a much appreciated swim in a water hole. While some of the group went horse riding in the afternoon the rest of us checked out some of the coastline at Castle Cove & Mushroom Rock. That evening we went to a local fish restaurant to sample some of the oceans produce.
Monkey Mia was our next destination on the way we'd visit Shark Bay and the Hamlin Pool Stromatolites which were single-handedly responsible for raising the oxygen levels on earth to that capable of supporting life so we've got a lot to thank these dull rock-like looking things for. They only now exist in two places on earth here and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. History lesson over we headed to the beach near Monkey Mia for lunch then went quad biking which was really good fun as we got to see some stunning coast line and some nursery sharks. After getting hot and dusty on the bikes we hit the beach for a swim and to watch the sunset. Later that evening we met up with an Aboriginal bloke called Capes who took us for a walk and told us some stories and played Didgeridoo by a fire which he was also cooking some kangaroo tails in.
In the morning I went down to the shore to watch the scientists of Monkey Mia feed the dolphins which they've been doing since the 70's, apparently they only feed the older slower dolphins so that the younger ones don't get lazy and they only get fed 1 or 2 fish so they still have to catch another 40+ to fill the quota for each day. The day would be a long one of driving to Coral Bay but we stopped on the way to see awesome views of Shark Bay. After arriving at our destination we all put up our tents after a demo by Chappie and the evening meal at Coral Bay was cooked by Allie our guide and was really nice Mexican food washed down with a few beers and a game of cards.
Spent the day chilling in Coral Bay, did some snorkeling along the Ningaloo reef whilst the rest of the group went whale watching. I took a walk along the bay and came across a shark nursery area which was fantastic, there must have been about 40 of them. I waded in knee high very quietly and took some photos, as soon as they notice you they swim off, mardy sharks! After another delicious meal we all went to the local pub for a few drinks.
The morning we were due to leave Coral Bay we took a trip on a glass bottom to see some of the reef. The rest of the day was spent driving to Karajini National Park. Here we would spend our first nights bush camping with not a shower in sight, just a couple of long drops, one of which housed a Redback spider feasting on a cockroach. There were a few Dingos knocking around whilst we were eating diner then once we were all in our tents you could hear them howling and during the night they came and ripped open the beer can bin and had a party. Today we went for a walk in the gorges at Joffre Gorge which was a great walk involvig lots of scrambling along the gorge and wading through water and a dip in a pool. Later in the afternoon we all had a swim at Fern Pool then did a further gorge walk to Circular Pool.
Another long drive later and we were at 80 mile beach where we had a sunset party on the beach and a couple Marcus & Verina celebrated their wedding anniversary. After diner we went back down to the beach to see if we could see some turtles. It was the right time of year for them and after a bit of searching we found a mother laying her eggs which was an amazing sight.
The next day we left for Broome which wasn't too far, once we arrived we stopped for lunch and then visited the costal rock formations where some fossilised dinosaur footprints were found, they can only be seen at low tide but they have a casting on the shore which you can see. By the point they have a lighthouse which is also home to a family of Osprey's nesting there. That evening we had a group meal at a local hotel and sank a few beers, not too many though as we had kayaking in the morning. The kayaking was well worth it, Broome's coastal waters are an amazing aqua colour and a great contrast to the red coastline rocks. We saw reef sharks and turtles swimming alongside us. That afternoon we met up with the rest of the group for a beachside BBQ after which we headed over to the other side of town to try and watch the staircase to the moon event. It only happens a few days of the month over a few months of the year. It is an effect created by the low tide on the mud flats which makes it look like a staircase, the problem being that it was too cloudy to see the moon. I spent the last few days chilling in Broome before heading back to Sydney for an onward flight to Hobart in Tasmania