Kangaroo's, quad bikes, whale watching....

Trip Start Mar 27, 2006
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Trip End Dec 03, 2006


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Flag of Australia  ,
Saturday, July 15, 2006

Well we haven't been eaten by crocodiles or mutilated by maniacs just yet. This is one of the few populated areas we've come across in the last week and the first place we've come across with access to the internet. One thing which is sinking in slowly is just how big Australia is. No matter how much people tell you, its not until you've drove 200 miles down the road without seeing any signs of life that you realise Australia consists of lots and lots of open road going through absolutely nothing except bushes.

We took a tour around Fremantle prison when we left Fremantle back on Tuesday then headed north. After leaving Perth we didn't see civilization again that day. Ended up spending Tuesday night miles away from any sort of anything, about 100km south of Geraldton by the side of the road in our campervan.

On Wednesday we spent most of the day taking it in turns to drive and managed to make it to Shark Bay which is a bit of a detour off the main highway but something the lonely planet guide book advised seeing. When we arrived it was just getting dark and was quite shocked to find literally a couple of caravan parks, although they still charged us to park in a gravel car park. With nowhere open to serve food past 8pm our resident chef Luke "Jamie Oliver" Johnson rustled some grub up.

After realising that we had taken a detour of about 150km to see pretty much nothing in the middle of nowhere we left Shark Bay Thursday morning and headed up to Monkey Mia where you can watch wild Dolphins being fed on the Shore between 8am-1pm. We arrived at noon paid $12 to get in and found out that they had finished feeding the dolphins for the day. Didn't really fancy staying in a caravan resort with absolutely nothing to do until the next morning so we decided to head back to the main highway and Carry on North. We stopped of at Hamelin Pool on the way back and had a look at something called Stromatolites which is the oldest living organism on the planet at about 3 billion years old. Admittedly it looks like a bunch of rocks but if it wasn't for these bunch of rocks humans very likely we wouldn't be here.

On the way to Coral Bay on Thursday night Luke managed to plow the van head first into a kangaroo which miraculously survived when he had managed to yank it out of the engine (see the photo). When he hit it I got out to have a look and almost spewed up as I saw its leg sticking out the front of the van still twitching. It wasn't until then that we kind of realised why everyone was advising us not to drive at night because of the suicidal kangaroos. They stay at the roadside dead still until it sees the headlights of an oncoming vehicle and instead of hopping away they jump out in front to have a closer look. After that little incident we finally managed to make it all the way to Coral Bay by Thursday night after scraping the bottom of the petrol tank to get us here. Found out everywhere was closed which seems to be a common thing in this part of Australia so we just pulled up in a car park and setup camp.

The following morning (Friday) we got told by a ranger we couldn't camp there which was ok by us because we'd already had the free night in the car park. Went and chilled out on the beach for a few hours which is just as nice as some of the beaches in Thailand with lush blue sea although it is freezing. Yesterday night me and Dave went on a quad bike tour for a couple of hours which was great fun off roading on the beach and on sand dunes. Dave thought he was being smooth with his Biggles style goggles but he looked more like he was going deep sea diving with a helmet on. We wanted to stay another night in Coral bay so that we could do a whale watching tour this morning but basically got kicked out of this little settlement of two caravan parks by the ranger and told to drive 12km down the road through Kangaroo country to park on the side of the road which pretty much sums up the attitude of the Australians we've met so far. We did think that we were going to get jumped by a couple of hill billies who pulled up by the side of us and all got out their car to put what looked like suits on. Turns out they were just getting in there sleeping bags outside because they didn't have a tent and there was four of them in the car. That's what you call proper roughing it and all of a sudden our campervan seemed like a five star hotel.

We returned to Coral Bay from the dirt patch on the side of the road this morning and managed to get a place at the campsite for tonight. We went on the whale watching tour this morning and saw some whales which were awesome especially when one jumped clear out of the water. Then we went snorkeling on the Ningaloo reef.

So far we've covered about 1200km not including a round trip of about 300km to see monkey mia/shark bay. We're staying one more night in Coral bay and then taking our sardine tin on wheels to Karijini park which is the second largest national park in Australia and proper isolated. Will update with photos when I get a chance again but with the huge distances between towns it probably won't be until we reach Broome or Darwin.
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Comments

mark358
mark358 on

Not all aussies are so bad
Most of us aussies are pretty good. You are really taking the long/hard way around though. You're very brave.

You are heading up into the dry season in Northern Australia - great weather ahead.

Kakadu in the top end is worth lingering - but the best places are only open to 4WD. Perhaps book a tour. Some of the country there defies description.

The beaches when you get to Queensland are fantastic. Make some time to linger at Port Douglas and Mission Beach. God's own country.

ginger-dad
ginger-dad on

Hich hiker
Thats one hell of a way to get a lift, how far did skippy want to go, could you not have made a little room for him INSIDE the van!!!!!!!!
This has got to be the funniest picture from your trip yet.
I cant help thinking it looks as if Lukes helping him get INTO the air vent.

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