April 28, 2009
Last day in Perth , it's ANZAC day! Apr 25, 2009
Saturday 25 April:
Perth - Sydney
Nice morning, copious brekkie at the hotel's restaurant, sitting at the terrace right on the street. Sun shines and lights up our bulb we understand just at that moment that it's ANZAC day. Quite obvious as someone hands over a Aussie flag to Cille :-)
We'll walk around and stare at the parade before discovering King's park with its amazing view on the city and the Swan river.
Cille enjoys the a fantastic playground at one end of the park.
We'll depart in the afternoon and arrive back home late evening... in cold Sydney!
All our videos for this WA trip to be found on our Youtube channel here:
We'll shortly upload the few pics we took in our gallery!
13th and 14th days - Broome - 22, 23 Apr 2009
Thursday 22 April :
We are driving the last few KM to Broome in the morning and settled at Palm Grove Holiday Park right in front of Cable Beach
Fantastic tropical temperature, warm ocean, a few little waves that Agnes will happily surf. A swimming pool at the camp. We visit Broome "center"... so tiny. Lots of tourist shops in Chinatown still very nice. Pearls shop and great lunch under the palm trees.
Lots of swimming pool enjoyment and a beach run for B at the end of the day. Cille and Agnes met him at Ganthaum point, 7km further from the lifesaver house where the beach starts. Rocky end point with a light house, red rocks shining at sunset. There are supposedly dinosaurs footprints that we could see at low tide, but we don't find them. Fabulous sunset though!
Friday 24 April:
Our last day with the Britz and in Broome. We are taking off late afternoon so still have a full day in front of us.
Agnes goes running on the beach for an hour while B and C splashes in the swimming pool. B then goes surfing even though the waves are laughable but hey whatever!. Cille and Agnes trek through the dunes to join the B at the beach. We'll then pack up , clean up the van and Agnes will return it to the Britz depot downtown.
Now we are stuck with a pile of luggage at the resort, so more swimming pool and a quick visit for A& C at the Crocodile park. The guy nicely let us visit for free as it's closing and show us the ferocious crocs around. Aggressive beasts fished out of waters just around the corner in the Kinberley's treacherous waters.
We'll take off late and arrive in a fresh Perth enjoying our last light a 4stars hotel in the CBD (Ridges Hotels, really nice)
11th & 12th days: long driving, Exmouth to Karratha, Port Hedland and Broome!
Tuesday 21 April
Cape Rang NP - Karratha
Lots of driving from Exmouth to Karratha. Long train, beautiful Pilbarra landscape: red dirt, rocky hills, and yellow savannah.
At Karratha we first try a caravan park but don't feel like spending the night right next to the road and exit to try out the other caravan park. Much better, under eucalyptus trees, swimming pool. A shower finally!!! and much needed water refill
The long train:
One of our favorite game:
Wednesday 22 April:
The longest stretch of driving we ever did in this trip: 850KM from Karratha to near-Broome (a shrotfall of 25KM).
With a lunch break at Port Hedland (ugly, industrious, mining town) where we discovered a lonely mining museum:
Then more road , up into the night. Missing our desired stop at Eco beach (never found the road leading to it, damn!). And counting the KM down up to a trucker's road right next to Broome (Roebuck roadhouse):
9th & 10th days: Ningaloo Marine reserve - Apr 19, 20 2009
Sunday 19 April
Warroora - Ningaloo Hstd
Enjoying our camp in the wilderness:
Meeting with goats:
Lots of fun and crazy 4WD along the coast:
At Coral Bay we buy snorkelling gear. Camp in the wild next to Ningaloo Homestead. Track to Cape Range is closed. Second camp in the wild
Bjoern running at sunset, while the girls collect shells:
Monday 20 April
Ningaloo Hstd - Cape Range NP
Coral Bay, snorkeling boat trip. Fantastic corals and loads of fishes and turtles.
3rd camp in the wild in Cape Range NP
We are in dear need of a real shower... Salt encrusted and rasta hairs!
8th day: from Shark Bay to Ningaloo wilderness - 18 Apr 2009
Saturday 18 April
Denham - Warroora (Ningaloo NP)
A stop at stinking hot but amazing Hamelin pool, where we discover the Stomatolites (living stones)
Lots of driving up to the start of Ningaloo NP.
Fantastic 4WDrining up to an isolated beach (called Burlalli) in the Warroora area. Beautiful wild beach with white sand, sharp waves breaking at the shore and warm blue waters.
We thought we were alone but coming out of nowhere an Aborigene lady ask us if we could help her as her car is stuck in deep sand. We tried but without success there was another car with ladies and kids and they drove back to the entrance where they could get help, leaving their car behind. they'll come back later and will managed after a while and lots of digging to get their car out.
Bjoern also met up with wild dingoes
7th day: Monkey Mia, Denham, Francois Perron NP - 17th Apr 2009
Friday 17 April
Monkey Mia - Denham (Shark Bay)
After feeding the dolphins in the morning, Agnes takes a run on the beach and makes an unexpected encounter with a dolphin further away from the touristic interaction area.
Cille snorkels a bit but gets stung and renounce. We will end up in the swimming pool a last time before heading out. We are thinking of going into the wild Francois Perron NP but before make a stop at Denham.
Bjoern needs to get organized for his call (work) scheduled later in the afternoon. We finally managed to get some connectivity in Denham. We drove into the NP with our 4WD , finally making use of it. Quite crazy:
We stopped at the big lagoon where there is a basic bush camp. The colour of the lagoon water is amazing however lots of wind, lots of seagrass, lots of stinging flies. We managed to bathe but or not feeling like staying:
Heading further into the park is also not an option considering the time and the fact that we need to get back to civilisation for Bjoern's cll. We decided to drive back to Denham and find a caravan park there. We stayed at a nice park with fantastic facilities great view on the ocean. While joern gets his call Cille and Agnes go shopping and then to the beach for the sunset.
April 26, 2009
6th day : Dolphins 1st encounter, Monkey Mia - Apr 16, 2009
Thursday 16 April:
Nanta Bay - Monkey Mia (Shark bay)
A's toe is better, nothing's broken. We quickly drove of to Monkey Mia hoping to see the famous dolphins. When we arrived we are quite surprise by the crowd. But we managed to sneak in on time for the 3rd feeding at the interaction area and lucky bastards as we are, Agnes and Cille got picked up by the volunteer to feed a fish to a wild dolphin. Amazing experience! Knowing that these are wild dolphins, that are coming everyday on their own accord. They've done so since the 60's. Only females are daring and diplomatic enough to make the contact. Also the feeding only provide a tiny portion of what they require which means that they are not relying on humans and retain their wild instinct.
We are having a brekkie at the restaurant there and check up on the resort facilities. We are able to find a spot at the un-powered camp site for the night. While Bjoern takes a run, Cille and Agnes go snorkeling. Cille learns quite fast and loves it:
She will also make a friend that day, Jorja, with whom she plays as long as possible. There is a swimming pool that we enjoy and at the end of the afternoon we rent a canoe and go for a 2h rowing on the bay. The only downer are all the stingers in the water.
4th and 5th days: Cervantes, Coronation beach, Shark Bay
Tuesday 14 April:
Cervantes to Coronation Beach (Carnarvon)
We decided not to go to Kalbarri NP and just try to reach up to one of the surfing beach above Carnarvon. But first we pay a visit to the reknown Pinnacles in Nambung NP:
Road day with a shopping stop at Carnarvon. We reached Coronation beach at sunset. A basic camp on a beach full of seaweed. The surf does not look good. But magnificent sunset!
Wednesday 15 April:
Coronation Beach to Nanta Bay (Shark Bay, Monkey Mia)
In the morning we tried our 4WD on the beach as someone told us there was a surf spot 2km south from the camp. But sand was too deep and it didn't feel like it was gonna work. However a desperate surfer got to do what a desperate surfer got to do. We took our surfboards, wetties and daughter in tow and ran down the beach!
There was indeed a magnificent surf spot with some surfers and large waves quite far out. Bjoern headed to the point first while Agnes built castles with Cille. B came back with a big mad smile across his face. Agnes took her turn but no more surfers in the water, she felt quite lonely and freaked out a bit. Still managed to take a few good waves.
We then drove up as close as we can to Monkey Mia. Decided to stop at the very nice Nanta Bay resort. Beautiful shelly beach with warm water, sea grass and ... a spa! All good until Cille fell off the bench in the bathroom which dropped on Agnes big right toe. Drama. Lots of pain and a mashed toe fearing broken bones or twisted joints? Pain killers from a caring neighbor and ice blocks were applied .
Here is an insight on how we managed boredom during the long stretches of driving:
April 13, 2009
Second and third day; Yanshep national park and Cervantes
Here some quick notes on the second and third day of our Western Australia trip.
Day 2: On the road out of Perth, leaving to Yanshep national park which we heard good things about. Finding it was not easy as we hadn't taken the main highway going up north and people seem to have an adversity against signs in WA. We ended up getting excellent indications from someone on a playground where we had stopped to de-stress a little from the worries of not finding our way. The park itself - note that we didn't have time to view the caves that must be quite beautiful - was nice to be in although nothing extraordinary. We found a camper-van site just in time before sun-down and settled in quite nicely there.
Day 3: Started off a little on the lazy side. Bjoern went for a (great !) run in the morning on the beach for an hour and something, Agnes and Cille had a long brekkie. We then joined up together again on the beach and went for a quick dive into the actually not so cold ocean. We wasted a LOT of time driving around in circles in the proximity of Lancelin looking for a dirt road that should have been there somewhere.... but turned out to now be under construction and inaccessible. We must have lost like a 100km but then went for a 2 hours straight drive and made it up to Cervantes before it got too dark (gorgeous sundown !).
Fantastic spaghetti dinner on the beach close by Thirst Point (in a city called "Beer", can't get better than that). Lots of fun driving on the beach with our 4WD switched on.
Thanks go out to Telstra by the way for allowing us to stay connected via the NextG mobile broadband network. Works flawlessly!
April 11, 2009
The morning of the first day in Freemantle
GeoTagged, [S32.05569, W115.74034]
A gorgeous first morning; Freemantle, Western Australia. Cile up in the tree, reading her book.
April 2, 2009
From the creator of 'The Singularity Is Near': The Transcendent Man
Check out the trailer of Transcendent Man
Following an excerpt of what Kurzweil Technologies sent me:
"Director Barry Ptolemy traveled to five countries and followed Ray Kurzweil for two years, documenting Kurzweil's journey to bring the ideas from his best-selling book The Singularity is Near to a world audience. Ptolemy expertly explores the social and philosophical implications of the transformative changes that Kurzweil predicts and their intertwined promise and peril, in dialogues with world leaders such as Colin Powell; technologists Hugo de Garis, Peter Diamandis, Kevin Warwick, and Dean Kamen; journalists Kevin Kelly and Tom Abate; and luminary Stevie Wonder."