A Travellerspoint blog

Road Trip Part 3

Coral Bay Exploring

sunny 25 °C

After chilling out in the great Monkey Mia Resort, we had to move along to Coral Bay. There we could go snorkelling with turtles and plenty of colourful fish exploring the coral. It was about 650 km up North. We did arrive at about 2000 km on our counter.

We made one stop that is worth mentioning, it was shell beach. Time for a nice romantic shot of us and the beach...
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At Coral Bay we both got sun burned while snorkelling. We were so amazed by the sea-life, that we lost track of time. While the sun was being magnified above our heads, burning us softly. Luckily nothing dramatic, and it were our last days, and it is part of my holiday 'getting sunburned' tradition!

On our last day we went on the Coral Breeze Tour, we went a bit further off to explore some bigger corals. They did look pretty scary, like a purple forest underwater. Their inhabitants were stingray, turtles, flute fish, big fish and we did see again some dolphins swimming around.
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After this successful snorkelling event we pleased ourselves with the last native bottle of splendid wine called 'The Promised Land'.

What more can I say?

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Posted by Busy Brabander 26.04.2012 06:39 Archived in Australia Tagged bay coral Comments (0)

Road Trip Part 2

Kalbarri & Monkey Mia

sunny 30 °C

21st of February, we had a long trip ahead, about 800 km to drive. We made a scenic drive with several stops to enjoy the views. During our ride we did enjoy the airco, because the outside temperature went up to 40 °C. When we stopped in Kalbarri to take some snapshots we did it quickly as flies and sunlight were trying to kill us.

DUTCH HISTORY
A long time ago the first Europeans arrived in Kalbarri on the coastline with the Batavia ship. The Dutch VOC crew members of the Batavia did not feel the urge to settle in this hot and dreadful place on first sight. Nowadays Western Australia is a very rich area, with a mining industry over 50 billion $ on a yearly basis. We Dutchies made a mistake by not going ashore and establishing settlements before the English came...

The cliffs near the river mouth were named after another VOC trading ship, the Zuytdorp, which wrecked there in 1712. About 200 people stranded on the coastline, many died, but remains showed some people survived. The question remains if they did integrate with Aboriginals. And maybe this explains why some of the local Aboriginals have blue eyes and a fairer skin... We even met an Aboriginal that had a Slovak girlfriend, amazing how they have things in common with 'some' Dutch people.

Hereby some shots of the Cliffs were the Zuytdorp wrecked.
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When we arrived in Monkey Mia, the main 'dolphin' attraction of the Shark Bay Unesco Heritage, we wanted to get a good view of this strangely formed piece of land on the most western tip of Australia. We could not drive around everywhere, there simple are no real roads. So a scenic flight to the most Western "Steep Point" could make our mission complete!

With a small plane we, 4 people including the 60 year old female pilot, went up to about 9000 feet (3000 meters). The views we got over Shark Bay were astonishing. Especially the nervous sharks and blue clear water impressed me. After about 20 minutes we arrived at the most Western Steep Point of Australia, it did look pretty wild, with major waves crashing on the cliffs.
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DOLPHINS !!
Every morning several wild dolphins swim around the beach at Monkey Mia. They come around for a good breakfast of fish, freely given by the Monkey Mia organisation. This routine already takes place for several decades. And many people enjoy watching them while they come by. Some of them even get to feed them as well. We could see that the dolphins do suffer from the many sharks in Shark Bay. Most of them have some nasty shark bites in their fins. That's what you get when you are playing around in Shark Bay... Hereby some shots of these happy creatures and other wildlife.
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Posted by Busy Brabander 26.04.2012 06:10 Archived in Australia Tagged monkey mia Comments (0)

Road Trip Part 1

Pinnacles Desert Here We Come

sunny 40 °C

After the city trips to Perth and Sydney it was time to discover the Western coast by car. Our Mission was to get to the most Western part of Australia!

My first experience of driving was very uncomfortable. The steering wheel is on the wrong side, therefore my turning left and right calculations were a bit disordered. After several close encounters with pavements I got the idea on how to make a good turn. Next step was to keep left, this took me a bit more time. Luckily my companion was there to remind me each time I was aiming for the right and not the left!

We drove from the Airport of Perth up North about 200km to Cervantes, our first stop on our Road Trip. Cervantes is a small town which has a lot of Spanish street names, maybe because it bears the same name as the famous Spanish author Don Quixote. I have to admit I did not really know that. And apparently many people in Cervantes do not either!

In the evening we did some sightseeing around the Pinnacles Desert, an amazing desert about 25 km from Cervantes.
We drove there and we did get to see the sunset, the moment for taking hundreds op pictures of these alienated rocks in the middle of the desert.
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What are these Pinnacles doing here?

They were formed from wind-blown sand and by rain cementing the lower levels of the dune into a soft limestone. This soft limestone of the Pinnacles came from seashells in an earlier epoch rich in marine life. These shells were broken down into lime rich sands which were blown inland to form high mobile dunes. Vegetation formed a layer of soil and humus around the dunes. A hard cap developed above the softer limestone.

Cracks in the dunes' layers were exploited by plant roots. Vegetation died and winds blew away the sand covering the eroded limestone, thus revealing the Pinnacles. It is a process that is still going on. You can see the Pinnacles breaking and eroding slowly. Maybe one day they might be gone.
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Posted by Busy Brabander 26.04.2012 05:12 Archived in Australia Tagged dessert pinnacle Comments (0)

Blue Mountains

Where the jungle meets the mountains

overcast 19 °C

Why are the Blue Mountains called the Blue Mountains?
The blue haze is created by oil droplets released into the atmosphere as the sun warms the millions of eucalyptus trees.
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We were lucky it did not rain a lot that day in the Blue Mountains. We went on a hike through the park with waterfalls and even a small part has a tropical jungle atmosphere, plenty of great trees and greenery. And not to forget we did see the 3 Sisters Rock together with more than 3 birds .°)
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Posted by Busy Brabander 25.04.2012 09:01 Archived in Australia Tagged mountains blue three sisters Comments (0)

Sydney

The City that Never Sleeps

sunny 22 °C

Sydney is really a lively place, a bit like London but with Sunshine and relaxed people. We had some good food in the Kings Cross area such as Czech cuisine, meaning sausages and pancakes, what else could you wish after a long flight!

Lots of things to see and many parks, a very green city indeed. Thanks to "I'm Free Tours" we got some interesting info about the city. I never knew that so many movies are shot in Sydney from Superman to Matrix. Apparently it is a lot less expensive down under!

We did visit Bondi Beach for a romantic stroll. We had an expensive, but definitely worth it, drink at the Sydney Tower Eye, also known as the big bucket. The Tower gave us great views over the city at 268 meters up in the sky. There was a really beautiful bar, with finally a good Belgian Hoegaarden for me and a Kir Royal for my lady as the exquisite icing on the cake!
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A boat cruise gave us the opportunity to see the Harbour Bridge and Opera House from a good angle. We also saw a great show in the Opera House called 'La Soiree' with acrobats, burlesque, singing, hoolahooping and dirty dancing in a bath tub... Sydney was indeed the coolest city in Australia.
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Posted by Busy Brabander 25.04.2012 08:54 Archived in Australia Tagged sydney Comments (0)

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