Andrea Neill – Winnie Tour – Australia 0

01/09/07 Day 8

We had our maiden voyage on our very own kayak today.  The weather was beautiful and we parked at the beach and enjoyed our first swim.

We went to the famous Finlays restaurant for a fish dinner.  An unusual place, with lots of strange memorabilia displayed. During our meal we received a phone call from Caroline to tell us her and Aydin became engaged half an hour earlier.

02/09/07 Day 9

We had a lazy day today; we worked on the computer updating our photos.  In the evening we phoned home to Northern Ireland and passed on the news of Carolines engagement.

03/09/07 Day 10

We wakened very early and decided to hit the road.  We stopped at Ross Graham Lookout for breakfast.  We looked down into the gorge and saw four black swans with lots of cygnets.  As we drove along the road we saw a wild pig.  We travelled about 260kms to a $1 per night campsite on the beach at Gladstone.   This is the only place in the world where scientists have been able to observe mating habits of dugongs.  Unfortunately we didnt see any!  Although we did have a beautiful sunset and a fellow camper gave us some lovely sea mullet fillets for our barbie!

04/09/07 Day 11

We decided to go for a walk before breakfast, and noticed 7 emus walking through the bush.  It was quite funny as we started to jog and they started to run.  When we slowed down they started to walk again, and then proceeded to cross the road in front of us. We drove along the North Coastal Highway for approx 160kms, amazed by the wildflowers and wedge tailed eagles flying overhead.  Along the road we saw lots of wild goats which apparently the farmers sell for more money than the sheep they raise.  We pulled into another free campsite on the beach.  We went for a paddle and in water only shin deep saw a shovel nose shark swim past us, only about 6ft away!

05/09/07 Day 12

We moved onto Carnarvon today, restocked our groceries and continued onto Quobba campsite on the beach.  Edward enjoyed an evening fishing and we were lucky enough to see 2 huge turtles swimming in the water at the Blowholes.

06/09/07 Day 13

Continued on our journey to Coral Bay.  We booked into a campsite for 1 night.  The beach was beautiful and we enjoyed a lovely swim.

07/09/07 Day 14

Arrived at Exmouth today, stayed at the Lighthouse caravan park 17kms further north.  We took a walk across the road and over the dunes to be met with the spectacle of 2 humpback whales frolicking in the sea. Later Edward went fishing and at last caught something!  We enjoyed a spangled emperor for our dinner!

08/09/07 Day 15

We went to Cape Range National Park, which incorporates the Ningaloo Reef.  Absolutely beautiful beaches with lots of marine life in the coral reef.  Tried snorkelling but I need more practice.  We took a walk along Yardie Creek Gorge where we saw 2 not so shy black footed rock wallabies.  Further along the path we saw 2 echidnas going for a walk and lots of eagles and ospreys soaring overhead.  I could not believe I was so close to such an array of wildlife without being in a zoo.  Not to mention the fantastic scenery.  On the way back to our campsite,passing many emus and kangaroos, we pulled into a layby at the beach to cook our dinner.  We enjoyed a beautiful meal and a glass of WA wine whilst watching the sunset and guess what, the humpback whales returned!  Best day of the trip to date!

09/09/07 Day 16

Drove all day until we reached a free campsite just outside Karratha.  We camped along the riverside, a welcome cool shady spot after a hot day.

Posted from Australia:
posted Sunday September 2007