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.