You've got to come here once in your life!

Trip Start Jun 08, 2010
Trip End Dec 06, 2011

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Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hey, thanks for joining us again. We have left Kalbarri and make our way along the North Western Coastal Highway. We have around 400klms to travel today and we set off around 8.30am. It's a quiet drive with not a lot of traffic and only the odd 50mt road train. We take the turn off at the Overland Roadhouse and head into the World Heritage listed Denham/Monkey Mia area. We stop at Denham and grab some lunch from the Bakery, and then continue down the Monkey Mia road. We see some spectacular views of the water along the way and arrive with excitement at the Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort around 1.30pm. The drives up here seem a long way but don’t seem that far when you do them. I guess it’s the new views and sights that you see that makes it seem so. Anyway we book in, go to our site, and then change our site for a bigger one which suits us better. We are greeted by 6 Emu’s that roam around the park and so we set up and all rush over the beach to spill into the beautiful, warm and clear water right at our back door. It has been a big day and it’s very hot so an easy tea is the order of the day. We go to bed early as we are going to the dolphin feeding in the morning with the hope that we get picked to feed them. It’s different from the old days where you just bought a buck of fish and fed the dolphins till you ran out. They now pick you from the group and you feed them one fish. They found that the dolphins wouldn’t go off to hunt or feed their young because too much food was on offer. It depends on how many of the dolphins come in as to the number of people picked. There are only 5 dolphins that they feed, the rest might come in, but they only feed the same five. So if only 2 of the fed ones come in, that’s all they feed. So it’s up early and we walk down to the area set aside for the feeding. We arrive there with about 50 other people and wait to be all called down into the water for a talk. 5 dolphins arrive but only 3 are one’s they feed. We wait and who gets picked first? Michael and James! So they go into the water and both feed the dolphin together. It is truly awesome to be so close to these animals and we all have a great experience. Back at the van we continue with school work, and when Julie and Michael are finished their bit they head up to see if they are feeding again. They feed 3 times if the dolphins stay in, but only till lunchtime. Michael happens to get picked again and he is rapt. They come back to the van as Stewie and James are finishing, so we get ready and take a drive out to Ocean Park. It is an aquarium of sorts with ponds and tanks with fish and things from the local area. They catch a lot of the creatures themselves, and tell stories of catching Tiger Sharks for the shark lagoon. They have Tusk fish, Snapper, Mangrove Jack, Lemon Sharks, and lots of other creatures that the kids love. It is a great place to visit and we have lunch whilst we are there before driving further on to Shell Beach, which is a strange place that only one sort of shell gets washed up onto the shore. It’s a little cockle shell, known as the Hamlin Cockle, and the beach stretches for klm's and is 100mts wide and is over 10 mts deep in most places. They actually use this beach to farm all the shell grit used at chicken farms and bird cages everywhere. There are so many flies here and they drive us back to the car. We drive off to look for a place to snorkel and to cool off and find some more great views along the way. We find a beautiful place to swim and then drive to Eagle Bluff. Here you are high above the water of a clear lagoon, flanked by some islands that are important bird colonies, and you can see so much up there. We see sting rays swimming, sharks, fish and birds feeding. It is just fantastic to sit and watch as they parade past. We stop at Denham on the way home for a few things, then a stop at the picturesque Little Lagoon. It is fed via a little tidal creek and is a great spot to fish for whiting. It is still very hot so we go back to the van and then have a swim to again cool off. We snorkel again and see lots of little rays, fish and find some great shells. Friday has come and we have to do the school recording for the boy’s teachers. While Michael and Stewie start it, Julie and James go down to the dolphins again and of course James gets picked again. Michael then has a walk down there to wait whilst James and Stewie finish off. We all decide to have a coffee while we wait for the next feed and we sit back and watch the world go by. We listen to the Ranger give her talk and then Julie gets chosen. She is grinning from ear to ear as she leans down. Julie feeds the oldest dolphin, Puck and she is 35 years old. That’s the dolphin, not Julie! Although Julie looks like she is! After this we go back for lunch and then over to the beach to snorkel and swim the rest of the day. Saturday we have decided to go for a cruise on the catamaran "Aristocat 2". It leaves at 10.30am so we decide to see the dolphins get fed again. Stewie gets picked this time, so he and the boy’s feed together. It is an awesome privilege and something that we will all cherish. We board the boat and after Stewie and another guy pull the sail up, we take off for a 2.5hr cruise looking at dolphins, turtles and if we’re lucky dugongs. First we jump down the back and climb down onto the boom net and have some great fun getting towed behind. It is like being in a spa and the kids love it. Well the weather is beautiful and our cruise is superb. We see all the thing we were promised and more. We see sea snakes, small sharks and a mother dugong with calf. They are so close to us and we could nearly touch them. We have dolphins swimming at the front of the boat, the turtles that seem to be everywhere. We have a ball on the boat and we thank Nick and Chris for a great cruise. They kept us out there over 3 hours and they know heaps about the area’s wildlife, all the time having fun with the guests as well. We lunch back at the van and then all go over for a swim and some fun at the beach again. That night we watch the footy and then hit the sack after a fun filled day. Sunday has come around quickly and it is our last night here. We go for a nature walk along the trail and are looking for Thorny Devil lizards. We come to a bird hide around a pond and sit and watch a Sparrow Hawk feeding and watching for some of the rarer birds that make their homes here. The walk takes us all around the desert dunes but we have no luck finding the devils. Along the way we collect some great shells and then back to change for a swim. We spend a few hours there before we have to come home to start our pack up. Julie catches up on some things, and then we get ready to go to dinner at the restaurant. On the way we stop at the “Monkey Bar” for beer and Julie has a local cocktail called “Chunky Monkey”. The meal at the restaurant is very nice, and the service is good. The kids have bought books so they are drawing all sorts of pictures which are getting to be pretty good. They don’t take after Stewie as he has trouble with stick figures. It starts to get late, so we make our way home and hit the sack for our trip to Carnarvon in the morning. Hope you can join us again.
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