Thursday, May 13, 2010

North west capers

Hi all,

We are currently in Exmouth, way up on the NW Cape of WA – see my crude map below for a trace of where we have been. We got here on Wednesday late afternoon, after a fair bit of driving via:
- Northam which is about 90 km east of Perth where we stayed with Murray and Jules McGregor, old friends from Lincoln days
- The northern wheat belt area, which is desperately dry – according to Murray, at Northam they have had only 18 mm of rain (that’s less than an inch) since start of October last year … and it shows from the photos
- the Pinnacles in Nambung National Park, near Cervantes (south of Geraldton) – crazy limestone pillars, like a graveyard or Aussie stonehenge - Carnarvon – nice town, but not much going on there
- Coral Bay – beautiful beach, but seriously overcrowded with hundreds of people cramming into a tiny little settlement with only 2 campgrounds
- Cape Ranges National Park, just south of Exmouth, where we did a beaut 2 hour walk over limestone plateau with huge ravines and good views across to Exmouth and the gulf looking north east

The clear highlight was yesterday’s trip to go snorkelling alongside whale sharks on the outer edge of the Ningaloo reef! It was a cracker. See photos, taken from underwater camera that we hired. The whale sharks come regularly to Ningaloo, between March and June each year, evidently for the food which is like a plankton soup as the corals and other sea life spawn. They are big gentle giants. This is the only place in the world where these tropical fish can be found consistently. Very little is known about their lifecycle, range, reproduction and so on. They are known as the mysterious fish, as well as the big spotty fish! Our excellent boat crew got us onto 4 fish (4- 6 m long) at various stages during the roughly 3 hours we were out there, which is good – sometimes there may only be one fish in the vicinity with 4 boats wanting to share and people might only get one or two drops to swim with it. So we had pretty good value.

Very windy today. We will probably head down the west side of NW Cape, camp somewhere in that area tonight, then head toward the Pilbarra/Karajini NP tomorrow. Next communication is likely to come from Broome. Hope all is well with you.

x marks the spot! A lazy 2200 km so far

Whale shark

Whale Shark

Cape Ranges NP

Coral Bay


Drought in the wheat-sheep zone

1 comment:

  1. Dave, Looks like you are have a great time...and some great pictures. Now that Jessica Watson ("Pink Lady") has finished her trip, I will have more time to follow your blog ...... but sorry, you are not as good looking!! Stephen Canterbury