Coral Coast - Exmouth

Trip Start Jan 29, 2012
Trip End Apr 01, 2013

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Where I stayed

Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Monday, June 11, 2012

Our next stop was Exmouth, where we had intended to only stay for three nights. This quickly blew out to eight weeks, as we liked it so much. There are only 2,500 permanent residents, and it averages 320 days of sunshine each year. It is a lovely peaceful town which so far has escaped the developers, and is very popular with people from Perth and further south who migrate here every year for the winter months and the place is very clean and safe to wander around at any time. There is a magnificent new school, and a good range of shops and services, and plenty of places to ride our bikes. Most of the houses in the main town area were built by the Americans in 1964 for the staff of the nearby US Naval Communication Station, which was a radio relay station passing messages between Australia and US command centres, submarines, and surface ships. They are all the same design, built to weather the cyclones. They have concrete or steel beams on top of the roofs, and mesh protection over the windows. The caravan park has emus wanding around from time to time, and is close to the marina and beach for fishing.We ended up near of a great crowd of people, and spent our time fishing, riding our bikes, going for walks, and sitting around having a laugh. The men have been competing against each other baking cakes for morning tea, even John got into the act! He managed get flour and icing sugar on the floor, in the drawers, and on the cupboards, but his cakes turned out very good. One of the group, Reg, is a more than a bit of a devil, so he and John got on like a house on fire. His wife Joan is someone you just instantly warm to, and she helped me to master crocheting and start on my first project.
To get to nearby Ningaloo Reef you need to drive out to Cape Range National Park. Here the water is crystal clear, and the beaches are covered in pristine white sand. At the aptly named Turquiose Bay you can drift snorkel off the beach, as the reef is very close to the shore. You enter the water at the left side of the beach and drift to the right, floating over the coral. The fish swimming in amongst the coral were breathtakingly beautiful, and there were so many different types and colours. We just loved the beauty of the different fish, and the beaches were stunning.
We put the kayak in at Yardie Creek one day, and paddled through the gorge. We saw black-footed-rock-wallabies which managed to jump from one hole in the sheer cliff face to another, an amazing sight. It was just such a great experience floating through a gorge, with clear water below us. The whole area is just so beautiful, with amazing gorges meeting the beautiful beaches and the reef so close to the shore, this is definitely one of the most beautiful parts of Australia, and it will be hard to find better.
Kylie, Craig and the grandkids joined us for a few days, and it was just so great catching up with them after such a long time. We haven't seen them for six months, so we were all pretty excited. The kids had a great time fishing and snorkeling, and we miss them so much now that they have gone. That's the only downside of travelling for long periods, you miss your family.
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