Monday, September 27, 2010


Another few days in paradise....

Turquoise Bay...

Sandy bay...

Dart Fish swimming around our ankles...

Ellie having a bush bath...

Local friends...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Night 64 - Exmouth

Last night the moonlight was amazing, so bright it lit up the whole sky. We sat under the stars and relaxed, gotta love holiday mode.

Of all the places this guy could camp along the coast he sets up his tent right next to us....he obviously doesn’t realise we have three noisy kids!

Craig was up at 7am to go and wait in the queue to see if we could get a more permanent spot. We had driven up and down the Ningaloo coast yesterday afternoon to check out all the other sites. Most beaches have only 7 camp sites and every single one of them is full. The camp host told us she had one site left at Lakeside, Craig was stoked as we rated this camp 2nd on our list of preferred sites. As we were packing up we started chatting to some others waiting at the overflow, so strange to find out they are from Cromer and live about a block away from where we do. Small world! We pack up for the last time for the next 2 weeks and head down there. There is no electricity, water, shade, generators, mobile or internet about roughing it!! We have a great site only meters from the waters edge, we will be happy to call this home for the next 2 weeks.

We set up and travel the 40ks back into town to stock up on a few supplies. We were so excited and overwhelmed at the beauty of this place that we totally forgot to get petrol. Before we knew it the petrol light was on, next thing the car chuggs and comes to a stop! We were only on the side of the road 5 minutes before a truck pulls over and a couple of plumbers jump out. They have a jerry can and fill up our car so we can drive to the nearest petrol station. We ran out of fuel about 10ks from the petrol station! Craig left a few beers on their doorstep to say thanks.

We stock up on the essentials, milk, bread, water, wine.....then we drive back to base camp for lunch and a swim. We walked down to the beach and Craig took the boys for a snorkel. Wasnt long before I heard someone yelling ‘’ from the water. There was a guy and his girlfriend who were getting swept away and she was panicking. I stood up to see what was going on when this woman runs past me and into the water to rescue her. The boyfriend was making absolutely no effort to rescue her, he was able to stand in the water and thats about all he did. Luckily for them it ended happily although if I were her my boyfriend would be dumped!!

Anyway folks thats all for now, will update again on monday....

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Night 63 - Exmouth

We were up this morning at 6am, we even had to set the alarm as we are not used to getting up this early! We drove south from our caravan park about 17k’s to the entry gate of the Cape Range National Park. By the time we arrived at 7am there were 13 other cars in front of us waiting to go in. The gate opens at 8am so we waited a while and chatted to others in front of us. When the gate finally opened we were relieved to find out they only had 14 camping places available, we were car 14!

The park ranger directed us to Bagarra which is the overflow area and only used if there are people waiting for a better spot in the national park. Id be happy to stay at the overflow!! Its really peaceful, quiet and there are only 5 places. No one is allowed generators or camp fires. We will wait here until 7am and the park ranger can let us know what other places are available in the park. Our local friends include Emu’s, Kangaroos and Echidna’s.

In the afternoon we went up the coast a little to check out the area, its simply beautiful. We have planned to stay the whole 2 weeks school holidays but I can imagine we will want to stay longer. We drove to the gorgeous Turquoise Bay which is just as it sounds. We walked over the sand dunes and were in paradise. Craig took Bailey for a snorkel while I relaxed on the beach. I could tell how amazing it was by the Craigs excited reaction when he got out of the water.

We didn’t realise how close the reef is, its literally a few feet from the shore. We saw Maori Wrasse, Clown Fish, Blue Tang, Moorish Idol, Trigger Fish, Parrot Fish and Sea Cucumbers to name a few. The current was quite strong so we didn’t need to swim, lucky we didn’t hire flippers!

I heard a few poms say that this was better than the Great Barrier Reef and even though I have not been there I don’t doubt it. In QLD you would have to go out on a boat to see this amount of tropical fish. We also heard a few people had spotted Sting Rays and Reef Sharks.

As we have no internet as phone its going to be alittle hard to update the blog. We will dive the 50k's or so into town every now and then to update the blog and add some photos to make you all jealous!!

Night 62 - Exmouth

The road is long and boring, we drove 700k’s today and there isn’t anything in between. We drove south down to Exmouth, we have been dying to come here for ages as its the gateway to the Ningaloo Reef. Thank goodness for the car dvd player, the gameboy and the DS. We would not have survived without them.

I knew this was going to be an amazing spot when we were on the road into Exmouth and we looked to the left out towards the ocean and spotted a giant humpback whale breaching. It was so beautiful to see. It looked like he was all alone out there but he was having the time of his life.

After our mammoth journey today we were all shattered, we arrived at the Lighthouse Caravan Park just in time for dinner and one last load of washing before we go deep into the national park tomorrow. We have been told to go early as there are limited spots and as its school holidays over here at the end of the week we want to make sure we get a good spot to stay.

Night 61 - Karratha

We left Port Hedland around lunchtime and drove south towards Karratha. We had been told to stay at Point Sampson which is about 30k’s before Karratha. What a great little holiday spot. There isn’t much there, just a lovely beach and light house and small village. Most houses have a nice ocean view and are worth over a million dollars. The caravan park was $49 a night, we hate spending that much a night but it was really nice and everything was brand new.

Once we have our spot we jump out of the car and spring into action! We have the whole thing sorted now and everyone knows their jobs, we can set up in about 15 mins. Craig unhooks and connects power and water, the boys get the chocks then let down the legs of the caravan. Bailey then helps me pop the roof and Kai helps with the beds. Sometimes we even get Ellie working and the oldies around us always comment on how great it is that they are helping. Many people ask to borrow them!

After we set up we drove to Karratha to have a look around. Its much like Port Hedland but slightly bigger. It’s another working town, most people are in their blue and yellow overalls and everyone drives utes and everything is covered in red dirt! Karratha has a huge port for offshore oil and gas a blue metal mine, an iron ore mine and a huge gas plant.

On to Exmouth tomorrow, going to be a long drive so we are going to bed early.

Night 60 - Port Hedland

Night 3 in Port Hedland. This morning we went to South Hedland for a look around and to Kmart to buy a few things for the kids. Half way between South Hedland and Port Hedland there is a huge salt pans. They fill the pans with salt water and wait until the sun evaporates the water then they are left with salt.

After lunch we went to a few parks with the kids and let them have a run around. The wind is still blowing, the kids keep asking if there is a cyclone coming!

Just before dinner Craig and Petra took the kids to see Brian take one of the ships through the channel. He was the pilot onboard this massive iron ore bulk carrier and sailed the ship right past the kids playing at the park. They absolutely loved it.

We cooked up a feast for dinner, Petra made a great vege pasta and Craig made homemade garlic bread. Everyone loved it. The kids have been so amazing together, just like best mates. My boys will miss their boys so much.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Night 59 - Port Hedland

What a big night catching up with great friends, many drinks and many laughs!! Craig and Brian are struggling and my head has been better!!

Port Hedland is nice, its much bigger and more spread out than I though it would be. Its a working town, most people who live here are just here to work so many of them fly in to work and fly out again.

We went down to the skate park this morning which was fun. The boys skate A-team...

And my husband.....the biggest kid of them all! What a classic.

For dinner we went to the Port Hedland Yacht Club which was awesome, we enjoyed some Thai food and the kids had fish and chips. The kids played at the park while we sipped champers, just perfect. Although this looks like a bikie clubhouse its really the Yacht Club!! Not so flash on the outside but a great atmosphere on the inside.

The sunset over the port was amazing...

Night 58 - Port Hedland

We have made it to the big smoke!! After a week with no internet and phone it's nice to connect with the world again. We are here for a few nights which will be great.

We are staying with friends Petra and Brian who are here for 2 years for work. Its great to be here, feels homely. The boys have lately been really missing playing with other kids so they were dying to get here to play with Will and Jack who are the same age. We had a bbq and watched the sun set over the ocean again.

The big boys of course had many beers, way too many!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Night 57 - 80 Mile Beach

We wake this morning to a beautiful clear sky. Here we are camping at 80 Mile Beach, notice the name of the van in the background.....The Loveshak!!

High tide was at 2pm so we drive down onto the beach and search for a relatively quiet spot to have a fish. The kids and I collect a bucket load of shells because Im going to make a wind chime.

He used a whole mullet as bait as he was aiming to catch a shark but had no luck. He was the only one that was using a blown up latex glove to try and blow the line out further, Im sure he got a few strange looks! After about an hour the breeze turned onshore and he gave up.

There was also some strange alien-like creatures we found on the beach as well!!

We arrive back at the park at about 4pm to the sound of karaoke. Some old guy had his Yamaha keyboard out and all the oldies are joining him for a bit of karaoke. I really should have videoed it, absolutely hilarious! They were rocking!

We enjoyed another night of movies and wine....onto Port Hedland to catch up with friends tomorrow.

Night 56 - 80 Mile Beach

Driving to 80 mile beach and its still windy, drizzling and a bit cold.

We take the turn off to 80 mile beach and we have another 12 km's or so of more corrugated road but its in better condition than Port Smith. The area has been flattened by a huge cyclone in Dec last year, we later learnt that nearly the whole caravan park was destroyed. The photos in the reception area are unbelievable.

The whole park is full of retirees, husbands and their wives who just love to go fishing. I'd say most of them stay here for a long time.

We set up and are all inside the van having lunch when we smell something burning, its our freezer. Its blown up (we think because it was bouncing around on the corrugated road) and we are left with that horrible burning electrical smell for hours. We had only planned on staying here one night but now we have to stay two nights and eat the entire contents of our broken freezer.

The clouds part in the arvo and we drive down onto the beach for a look around. Its really beautiful and littered with shells. I can see why its such a popular stop, just miles and miles of beautiful white sand, shells and turquoise water.

Tomorrow Craig is going for a long overdue fish (with about 50 other fisherman along the shore!!)

Night 55 - Port Smith

The wind and rain started at about 3am, Craig got up to bring everything inside and make sure everything was secure. By the time we got up at 7ish it was so muddy and wet outside, no chance of going to the beach today. It rained all day! It was actually one of the longest and most boring days of my life and I watched the clock all day! There isn’t much 5 people can do inside a caravan on a rainy day. We cooked a bit, did some schoolwork, read, played games and watched a dvd. We don’t even have phone and internet reception. Originally we were going to book and pay for 3 nights and Im so glad we only paid for two. In the morning the kids played with a local kangaroo, they fed him apples which he wasnt too interested in. He appeared at our front door and I actually thought he was going to hop inside.

Bailey took these shots....

Looking forward to packing up tomorrow, hopefully we can see some sunshine again.

Night 54 - Port Smith

So we left Broome and drove south to Port Smith. An old guy we met somewhere along the way told us it was a great secret spot with nice beaches and fishing. Sounds very appealing.

We turn off the highway onto 23km’s of corrugated dirt road. Our van really isn’t made for this so we take it pretty slowly. It takes us 45 mins to drive the 23km’s! Once we get there the sign on the reception door says they are closed from 12-3pm and to just go and find a spot.

Once we are set up we drive down to the lagoon. Its really beautiful and no one else is there. We have a swim and sit and relax on the shore for a while. A lady driving a quad bike turns up with her two small kids (one of them named Barra) on the front. She strikes up a conversation and warns us about the sand flies at night. She actually lived at the park so coming from a local we know they must be pretty bad. She also told us the road to take to the beach for tomorrow, take the road behind the caravan park and turn left at the old white car bonnet. Don’t go straight ahead or we will end up at an Aboriginal community!

We created our own hermit crab races with the hermit crabs we found. Craig's crab won!

The sand flies appear at about 4pm and are relentless. We all sit in the caravan with doors and windows shut tight and eat dinner. The wind picks up at about 8.30pm and the sand flies disappear so we sit outside for a bit before heading to bed.

Night 53 - Broome

Allan and Louise had been promising a great day today- the ‘Float-in’!!

They have some friends who live in a beautiful spot just to the north of Cable Beach, a suburb called Coconut Wells. They own a big block of land that they have turned into a B&B called ‘Coco-Eco’ that overlooks this beautiful sandy creek that fills up 3 times a year. The house is worth every cent of the $3mil price tag and you also look out over the ocean as well!!

For the ‘float-in’, you take your chosen floating item, ours being some car tyre inner tubes and Bailey’s surfboard, and walk the 30mins to the creek entrance. Then we tied our craft together and waited for the strongest flow of tide up the creek then join in. There were about 20 people involved and most had the same idea.........tie yourself to the float that had an eski in it!!

There was a heap of fish in the creek which was that milky blue colour so you could not see what they were and how big!! It took about 45mins for us to get up the creek and the boys loved it. Lisa stayed at the house with Ellie because she is still a bit small for that kind of I may have had to use my beer hand to fish her out of the water!!

We then had a great lunch there (everyone had to supply a plate of food) and a swim in the pool. While enjoying the sensational party (its been a while), we watched some whales doing big jumps out of the water.

We left at about 3 in the arvo and decided we may as well head little further north for a look. The road is the one that heads up to Cape Leveache and was corrugated as for about 30k`s so we turned off to a spot called Quondong. It must have been a national park type of camping area because we found lots of caravans dotting the beach tracks here and there. We stopped behind the beach and walked down about 500m the the waters edge (low tide) and watched a couple of dudes try to fish with a drag net....too many rocks at low tide. It would be a great spot at high tide which most of the places around these parts are.

We got back into broome at about 6pm and took the car for a needed it....could’ve left the windows down for the occupants too!!

Last night in Broome, its been awesome.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

No we havent gone missing, we have not had any phone or internet reception for the last few days.....updates soon...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Night 52- Broome

Another action packed day in beautiful Broome staying with Allan and Louise at their house.

The boys and I had another early start with a trip to Broome harbour for a walk on the mudflats. With the spring tides at the moment (10 metres high!), the low tide is exposing some flying boats that were sunk by the Japanese during WW2. The problem is that they are about 2km's out on the mudflats.....woo hoo!!

When we arrived at about 6.00am, I was thinking there wouldn`t be too many people interested in this, how wrong was I. There were loads of people heading out. I whacked the backpack on full of water and cameras and we were off. The boys had a ball jumping in the thick mud. It was awesome seeing the planes as they are still in a reasonable condition. We got to see only 2 planes as Bailey wanted to go back when his reef boot had a blowout but we could have walked another 1km further out to more planes.

We got back before the tide swallowed us back up then went back to the house for brekky with the girls.

All of us headed down to Cable Beach for a swim around lunch then it was decided that we had such a great dinner on the beach, watching the sun set the night before that we would do it again.

And it was another great evening with a bottle of bubbly, some beers, great food and a game of beach cricket while the sun set over the water.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Night 51 - Broome

Today was just one of those magical days!

We woke up this morning bright and early thanks to the birds and the early rising sun. Time for a swim while the tide is high. The beach was amazing and the water temperature was just perfect.

Here is Ellie Jaz in her new swimmers, so cute she chose them!

After lunch we visited the Japanese cemetery which was pretty amazing. These are the graves of over 900 Japanese pearlers that have died mainly due to the bends or drowning. The earliest grave dates back to 1896.

Next up on the days agenda was a camel ride on Cable Beach, what a highlight! The boys and I decided to give it a go and it was fantastic. Bailey and Kai rode a camel named Horris who was the alpha male of the group and absolutely would not let anyone else lead, if anyone else tried to overtake he would bite and kick them. He was about 30 years old and had some attitude! I rode on the 2nd camel Zara who was about 20 and always wants to be upfront, if she is not in place 1, 2 or 3 she refuses to walk! While we were walking the tour guide tells us all about the camels, where they live, what they eat and everything else you would want to know about a camel! It was really a great experience.

Us meeting our ride...

Team Gibson up the front...

After the camel ride it was time for dinner so we went to the local Cable Beach fish and chip shop. Craig had a fish burger, the kids had fish and chips and I had the best vegie burger Ive had in a long time (sorry mum!). Topped off with a bottle of bubbles it was sensational! We sat for a while and watched the sun set into the ocean...

No we are not horribly sun burnt, we are orange from the sunset!!

This was the camel ride after ours, the sunset ride. Looks pretty spectacular...

The gorgeous sunset....

The kids were absolutely wrecked by the end of the day so it was straight home to bed.