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  You are here: Home > Travel Stories > Australasia

Travel Story by Ian Reynolds

  A snapshot of WA
Western Australia, Australia

Perth skyline

Western Australia is referred to as WA by the locals. It is a great place to travel around and I could not have asked for better weather with cloudless skies and no rain in the three weeks I was there. Temperatures in April were in the mid to high 30s.

After a day in Perth I travelled up to Cervantes. This is the gateway to the Pinnacles desert where thousands of huge limestone pillars rise out of the shifting sands. They come in all shapes and sizes and a leisurely morning was spent wandering amongst them.

Next stop was Kalbarri, a pleasant town with plenty to do. I went abseiling down a river gorge at Z-bend which was great fun. On another day I walked along the coastline from Natural Bridge to Red Bluff. The rugged, beautiful seascapes were a spectacular sight.

Three days were spent relaxing in Shark Bay. I fed the dolphins and went on the Shotover cruise where we saw turtles, dugongs and manta rays. A 4WD tour of Cape Peron National Park took us off the tourist trail. The highlight was the stromatolites at Hamelin Pool, one of the earliest forms of life.

Then it was on to Exmouth for a week. It is situated near the Ningaloo Reef which offers some of the best diving in Australia. I completed my Advanced Diving course here. Dive trips were taken to Blizzard Ridge, the Navy Pier and the Muiron Islands. The waters are teeming with marine life and I saw turtles, sting rays, crayfish, red firefish, potato cod and wobbegong sharks. For a bit of variety I went on a one day safari of the Cape Range National Park with Neil McLeod. He is a real character and his Mumís cakes are legendary.

The main reason for going to Exmouth was to see the whale sharks. The whale shark season had just started when I arrived in Exmouth but sightings were infrequent and there was no guarantee that you would see one. Unfortunately I did not see one on my whale shark tour but was entitled to a free repeat tour. After what seemed an eternity the signal to follow our guide into the water was given. We swam furiously trying to keep up with our guide and soon we came across the whale shark. It was about 5m long and we followed its serene progress through the water. It swam along for about 20m before diving into the hidden depths of the ocean. Even though the sighting had been brief I had seen a whale shark and it was an awesome feeling.

From Exmouth it was a long journey by bus back to Perth. I didnít linger long and took the train to Fremantle. it has a prison museum which is rather interesting. My stay in Fremantle was brief but I found time to go across to Rottnest Island for the day.

The three weeks were up before I knew it and it was time to return home.

Click on photo to enlarge

The Pinnacles, Cervantes  Dolphin at Monkey Mia  A piece of Mrs McLeod's orange cake!

Date Submitted:
18 Aug 2006

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