Northern Western Oz
Trip Start Sep 14, 2009
78Trip End Aug 16, 2010
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We worked our way back past Perth and headed north to Cervantes on the coast which is home to The Pinnacles. It is the Nambung National Park where fields of bizarre rock pinnacle structures punctuate the sand in what appears to be the middle of nowhere in the vast bush. We spent time learning about the formation and surrounding habitat. Nobody is quite sure how they were formed, the two common theories being that they are calcified ancient tree trunks or the second being along the same theme; formed by tree roots and plants more years ago than one could imagine
We then travelled to Lake Thetis to have a school lesson for the kids on Stromatolites. I'm sure that I don’t need to tell you that they are the oldest and simplest living organisms on the earth. They can be dated back to over 3.5 billion years but the ones there were mere babies at 3500 years old. They are bacteria that create rocky lumps in extremely salty water that enables them to grow – incredibly slowly.
Leaving The Pinnacles we continued up to Dungara and Port Denison where we tried pretty unsuccessfully to snorkel off the beach through the big waves and then spent the night on a site right on the beach front, falling asleep listening to the crashing of the waves. Our treat was watching a fantastic sunset over the ocean and harbour followed by an enormous serving of fish and chips served straight out of the paper on the port front
Continuing up the coast we dropped in at Hutt Lagoon, Port Gregory for lunch to see the pink lakes
Another hour or so north brought us to the coast line approaching Kalbarri. The tall cliffs that tumble directly down to the ocean are made from sandstone and limestone and have exceptional features carved into them by the sea, sand and wind. We walked along the cliff top looking out at the spectacular formations including a natural bridge that one day would soon collapse into the sea. Dolphins and whales can often be spotted in the ocean below – not on this day though.
In the evening we drove out of Kalbarri a little to go to the outdoor cinema. The feature was “How to train a Dragon” and it was great to sit under the stars eating popcorn covered in a granny blanket and having a nice warming cuppa. Oh the film was good too!
The interior of Kalbarri is another National Park and we booked on a tour that would take us to the gorges so that we could canoe down the River Murchison. We were picked up at 8am by Davo our tour guide in his big 4x4 bus. Australians have a penchant for sticking an “O” on the end of real blokes names for real blokes, so David is Davo, I am Ricko, Aidan is Ado and Stephen is Stevo. Davo lived up to his name by being a real outback Aussie where men worked hard, drank lots of beer, gambled their wages and told chauvinistic jokes, whilst the women stayed home and made them their dinner