Sunday, September 11, 2011

Coral Bay - Mid West Coast of WA

Coral Bay is magic.... we were going to just pass through in a night as we are so keen to get to Exmouth, however, as you will see from the pictures to follow, it was so stunningly beautiful, we hung out at the beach for five days, swimming and playing rugby, watching sunsets and chatting with lots of lovely families. Its consistently 28 - 33 degrees, day-in day-out, just beautiful...

Beautiful... Coral Bay... This is the view from the Caravan Park

Playing on the beach for hours and hours and hours
Hanging out in the beautiful clear water at Coral Bay
 It's Science Week in the Shearer's caravan this week (after meeting mad-scentist woman who very passionate about Chemistry last week). So we got ourselves a packet of cornflour, water and some dye and went goo-crazy. The cool thing about the goo made from cornflour is that... if you keep the goo moving quickly, the goo firms up into a ball, however if you don't keep the goo moving quickly, it changes into a liquid consistency and drips through your fingers. Note to parents... the goo gets everywhere and the colouring stains hands and clothes for a few washes.

The Goo Experiment

Feeling the goo slip through your hands

The Goo Colouring Pot
Every afternoon at 3.30pm in the Bay, the local Spangled Emporer get a feed of ground up fish pellets. The cool thing is that anyone can come along and feed the fish these pellets. The boys got right into it, they loved feeding the fish and were yelling with excitement every time a fish swam between their legs.

Fish Feeding

Fish Feeding

The Spangled Emporers know its meal time

We took a family trip to the lookout for a sunset and late night play on the beach. There is fun and adventure around every corner for the five lucky ducks.

Sunset at Coral Bay

Coral Bay sunset

Late game of rugby on the beach

Playing in the water

Mucking about at sunset
Our little man has got a newly-found love of four-wheel drive buggys, guess what he would love for Christmas?
Beach Buggy boy
As good as it was, we had to pack up and leave Coral Bay and head north for Exmouth/Cape Range....

The Blowholes, Quobba Point

We are heading north again... We made it further north this time than our last three attempts (fingers crossed with our new motor - Bilbo is purring along again after his transplant) - yahhhhooooooo!!! We headed for the Blowholes (near Carnarvon)...
At the Blowholes

Watching the Blowholes

We camped at Quobba Station, which is still an operational sheep station (for meat now, not wool), however the season has ended so it was super quiet there. Here are some pictures of the old shearers quarters.

Shearers quarters - Wool Press

Shearers quarters - Bellows

Shearers quarters

An old windmill

Quobba Station is on a part of rugged Western coast, a bit rocky for swimming, but lovely the same. The boys had a good look around the caravan, playing with dirt and things and also checked out the local waves.
Playing around the van

Sunset at Quobba Station

Stomatolites & Hamelin Pools, Shark Bay

We stopped at Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay to see the Stromatolites (I confess I had to look up the spelling!!). What are Stromatolites? They look like a cross between a cauliflower and a rock, only unlike rock, they are alive. They have a really cool process that takes place within them and as a result they produce oxygen, added to this is they are ancient (2,000 - 3,000 years old) and are also World Heritage listed.

Hanging out at the Stromatolites


Playing trains
At Hamelin Pools campground, there are remains of an old shell quarry. They used to cut shell bricks (formed from years and years of compacted shells). These bricks were used in the area to build houses and the local church, in nearby Denham.

The homestead/camp ground there claims to make the best milkshake in the West... they were delicious!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Monkey Mia (Denham) WA

Whilst waiting for the car to be re-everythinged... the NRMA provided us with a rental car (lucky we had premium cover eh Nan and Mum!!!), so we headed north for a few days in Monkey Mia.

We spent two days at the Monkey Mia Beach Resort, that was such a treat for us lucky ducks, we hung out on the beach, hired a glass bottom boat, swam in the pool and hot tub.... just what the stress doctor ordered...... and Leo got selected to feed a wild dolphin, which he loved of course.

We really enjoyed the informative DEC talks on dolphins and found out alot of interesting facts about these wild dolphins, how they socialise, their roles (male/female), how much they eat, how they catch fish, how they teach younger dolphins to fish, how they feed their calves, the history of the dolphins visiting the area.... etc, it was great.

Very lucky duck to be selected from the crowd

The bay where the dolphins visit

Having a good look at us

Dolphin eyes, they can not look up so they turn their heads to have a better look sideways

Boys playing on the beach

Flying boy off the jetty

Flying off the jetty

Monkey Mia, WA

This dolphin went off and caught their own feed, then came back to show it off

Coalseam Conservation Park - Wildflowers Season, WA

WOW.... the wildflowers are out..... We visited the Coalseam Conservation Park, as we had been informed by a good source (i.e. Rose had told me the night before at the Provincial) that this year is the best year EVER for the wildflowers. As you can see from the following pics, it was just SOOOOOO beautiful....

Wildboy in the wildflowers
Blissful dreaming

Having a look around


analysing the texture of the flowers

family photo

this was taken by my little man, 5yrs old - I love it!

could these guys get any happier.... seriously??

Mullewa, WA

The curse of breaking down in Geraldton

Numerous people told us to be careful of Geraldton, WA, as you break down there and never leave... here's what happened....

Girl Version....After alot of discussion, we headed south to Geraldton (from Kalbarri) for a new turbo unit, which ended up taking alot longer and cost alot more money than expected!!!! Usual story...

Boy or Rev Head Version....Ross was noticing a loss of power and alot of black smoke from the vehicle, so decided to have a new turbo unit installed and replace the fuel injectors. We also had the air conditioning unit seen to whilst in Geraldton, since we are heading into hotter climates.

We got the car back feeling great about having the motor sorted for the long stretch north, when the clutch failed. Ross nursed the truck into a 4WD workshop and they replaced the slave cylinder. Whilst he was there Ross asked the mechanic to have a look at a leak in our oil cooler. The mechanic recommended bypassing the oil cooler, no worries. The mechanic then took the car for a test drive and seized the motor, he had closed off oil flow to the engine - ooooowwww noooo.

The next day they spent replacing the big end bearings on the car and the following day after that we left Geraldton, heading north (again). We made it not quite 50kms up the road and the motor blew up. We called the NRMA and were towed back to Geraldton and on Monday morning the mechanic sourced a replacement engine and told us to come back in a week. We have now picked up the car and the mechanic picked up the bill!

oh dear.... not good

not such lucky ducks today

good bye Bilbo

Big thanks to James (our rescuer), who picked up me and the small boys off the side of the road, 46 kms north of G-ton, there are good souls in the world xxxx

Geraldton, WA

We have spent quite alot of time in Geraldton... due to the car (see next post!!!). We stayed with Jess, Jonah and Luca's family for a few days, camped out in Roxanne and Adam's backyard. The boys loved hanging out with the girls, Bronte and Thea - thank you for having us xxxx

Whilst in Geraldton we visited the local optometerist (see new glasses below), museum, primary school for awards day and pottery class and the Leaning Tree for some homeschool supplies (a Steiner inspired commnity school).
hanging out in the shade

some new glasses for the lil man

Getting a pottery lesson from Rox

Pottery class with Teacher: Roxanne

Pottery class with Thea's class

At Bronte and Thea's school
We hung out at the Provincial (Roxanne's restuarant/cafe/bar) for two Friday nights. Ross did a days labour, woo hooooo, first one this year! We met lots of lovely locals and friends of Roxanne's, we even managed to catch Nathan Kaye in town playing didgeridoo and slide guitar one night.
with James at the Provincial