Wednesday, June 18

An African Guide in Australia

The moon looks the same whether viewed through the branches of a Marula in Africa or a Gum Tree in Australia
I've always had the travel bug and over the years I've managed to visit a fair number of beautiful places on this planet.

It was in 1989 that I first landed in Sydney, Australia and then spent eleven weeks seeing just a little of the south, The Red Centre, Great Barrier Reef, and the East Coast. I had also intended to spend some time in Western Australia but that was postponed when I had to fly home to Zimbabwe at short notice. It's only taken me 25 years to pick up where I left off!

I had several objectives for this recent holiday. First was a family wedding and reunion in Brisbane and next in priority was seeing some of Australia's vast landscapes. Third was sailing/diving Ningaloo Reef on the north west corner of Australia.

So after two wonderful, family-intensive weeks in Brisbane I flew into Perth to start my road trip north up Australia's West Coast.

Indian Ocean Drive (Yanchep-Cervantes)

To give you a quick overview of the next 3 weeks, 7 National/Marine Parks and 3,400km on the road:-

1) Perth - Cervantes (via Yanchep and Nambung National Parks)
2) Cervantes - Kalbarri (Kalbarri National Park)
3) Kalbarri - Denham (Stromatalites, Shark Bay World Heritage Area etc.)
4) Denham - Exmouth (via Carnarvon)
5) Exmouth - Karijini National Park and back again to Exmouth incl. Cape Range National Park)
6) Ningaloo Reef (5 days), and then flying back to
7) Perth

I have so many photographs, memories, experiences that I have been struggling to decide how to post about the whole trip. Today, my last real free day at home before the winter safari season gets hectic I just had to get something out for you........... (as they say, the best way to eat an elephant is one plate at a time).

The ancient "Wicked Campers" campervan that took me over 1,800 kms up the coast

Lots of trees this far south on the West Coast
Pinnacles Desert, Nambung National Park

Every now and again amazing views of the Indian Ocean would pop up around a corner. Endless blue seas, waves breaking on fringing reefs, silver white beaches and sand dunes, low green scrub stretching into infinity

Cervantes, a typical, small West Coast fishing village

Unusually heavy autumn rains up the whole West Coast produced green vistas everywhere I went. Though as you can see from the picture above this green was very sparse in the sheep farming areas.......

Kalbarri, where the Murchison River meets the Indian Ocean
As an aside, it took me almost the whole 3 weeks to get used to an ocean on my left whilst heading north....

Most of my coastal experience has been on an East coast - it is very disorientating to suddenly be on the other side of a continent!

Kalbarri NP, Coastal Cliffs
Some great walks and bird-life along the cliffs (these are Nankeen Kestrels)
One of my favourite pictures.....

 Not long after taking these last photos I twisted my ankle badly on one of the cliffs set of steps. Fortunately I was not far from the campervan & my first aid box. I spent the rest of the day resting my ankle and I skipped visiting any of the Kalbarri NP gorges further inland.

I just had to get my ankle back into better shape before visiting Karijini a week later & then diving on Ningaloo Reef the week after that!

Well, that's all for this blog posting. Watch this space.... when I get back from safari next week I will try to get the next posting on WA (Western Australia) out.


Naresh said...

Great idea for an Australian road trip. Thanks or sharing Sue!

Gaelyn said...

Australia is so on my list and you tease me with these amazing sights. Hope the ankle healed up all right.

Coral Wild said...

Thanks Naresh, there are so many options / potential road trips in Australia, but this one worked out really well. Hope you make it there too!

Coral Wild said...

Yes Gaelyn, Australia had been on my list for a long time :)It's so big, there are still more places I want to see there and things to do!!

The ankle did prevent me from exploring the Karijini gorges as much as I would have liked, but it was almost 100% by the time I needed it for the diving....

Eric Hoffman said...

So nice to have you (and your lovely pics) back again! And the best way to take a break from an especially acute case of 'Soccer Overexposure'. Looking forward to the next Part of your Australian holiday. Cheers, Eric

Joyful said...

Stunning photos! Australia is one of my favourite destinations. I haven't been there is many years though as there are so many other places in the world to explore. Have fun and take care of the ankle ;-)

Coral Wild said...

@ Eric - I'm happy to provide a break from the soccer. One beauty of being away in the bush is that we hear very little about it (frustrating for soccer fans of course!)

Coral Wild said...

Hello Penny, the ankle is good now thank goodness, and very luckily didn't inhibit me too much in the end.
The world is so big, almost impossible to do it all:)

Mark C said...

Enjoyed following your trip in WA, which we plan to visit, next year. Looking forward to more, especially about Ningaloo!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sue - what a lovely trip and to see a part of Australia .. I'd love to visit sometime - one day I will ..

Thank goodness the ankle didn't impede you further .. but that van looks so much fun ..

Lovely photos - and enjoy being home and the Safari visitors again ... both human and fauna! Cheers Hilary

Coral Wild said...

Hello Mark, thanks for "stopping by". I hope you are planning to spend looong time in WA - there is so much to see.
Ningaloo is coming up!

Coral Wild said...

Hi Hilary :) Your list of places to visit is growing.....

I had my initial doubts about the van but it turned out to be a reliable, trusty old "steed". Got lots of laughs too!