Part Five - Kalbarri to Perth

20th August, 1998
21st August, 1998
22nd August, 1998

Thursday, 20th August, 1998

Solar Farm photograph

Solar Farm, Kalbarri WA

Drop Cap onkey Mia! It is paradise. But first - we drove out of Kalbarri via a solar farm, like the windfarm we saw in the south, but with large solar panels.

Window Rock photograph

Window of Nature, near Kalbarri, WA

Drop Cap hen we headed off to some fantastic lookouts in the National Park, first a panoramic view of Kalbarri and the whole coast, then to the "Window of Nature" a wind formed rock, which unfortunately I was unable to reach, the way being rather too steep and rough. Mac went and took some photos. Then to one called "Hawkshead" which required rather a lot of imagination. Spectacular views.

Window WA photograph

Window of Nature, near Kalbarri, WA

Wildflowers photograph

First of the wildflowers, near Geraldton, WA

Drop Cap fter morning tea here we drove on to our lunch stop through absolute fields of wild flowers, stretching away as far as the eye could see. First white, then pink and yellow interspersed with red and a lovely vibrant purple dampiera Wayne thinks. I had thought we would be too early to see much in the way of wild flowers but these were sensational. We didn't have time to stop today because of having to get to Monkey Mia in time for our cruise, but Wayne promised faithfully he would stop tomorrow when we retrace our steps to Geraldton.

Dolphins photograph

Dolphins from the "Shotover Catamaran" Monkey Mia WA

Drop Cap hen we arrived at Monkey Mia - a sensational beach, and a very nice resort, right on the sand. We had to drop everything and head off for our cruise on the Catamaran "Shotover". This was a highlight to end all highlights. The sail was nice enough anyway, into the sunset, but the dolphins were a real bonus. We saw lots of them, doing their thing, their colour was unexpected, I had expected silver bluish grey but they were more silver greenish grey. My binoculars were handy but some came close enough to the boat for me to attempt a couple of photos. Hope they come out.

Drop Cap e got another casualty on the boat, when Gary Hayes, a big gormless farm boy type, cut his foot on a rope and bled about a litre of blood on their nice clean deck. They had to take him to the nursing station at Denham, about 25 km away for treatment. He has to see a doctor when we get to Geraldton. This is a fine collection of the walking wounded. It was a marvellous day, despite Gary. The weather is great, warm and sunny but not hot, tomorrow we go to see the dolphins being fed.

Back to Top spacer Blue up arrow

Back to Contents Yellow up arrow

Friday, 21st August, 1998

Monkey Mia Resort photograph

Restaurant, Monkey Mia Resort, WA

Drop Cap traight after breakfast this morning we went to see the dolphins being hand fed. It was lovely and clear but quite cold, so we didn't roll up our trousers and go in but we stood and watched as the brave souls went in and patted the dolphins in just about knee deep water. Not close enough to photograph but easy to see. It was great.

Monkey Mia Beach photograph

Pelicans on the beach, Monkey Mia, WA

Drop Cap n the beach there was a family of pelicans, very big birds, who seemed to be on a retainer for photos, so I took one of Mac with them. We bought a T-shirt for Neil, two postcards which we wrote and posted and a couple of badges. We didn't leave till 10 o'clock, when we set off for Denham, the most westerly town in Australia. It is on lovely Shark Bay and the colour of the water was sensational.

Shark Bay photograph

Shark Bay near Denham, WA

Shell Beach photograph

Wayne, our Driver, at Shell Beach, WA

Drop Cap e took some photos from a lookout overlooking Shark Bay and watched some sea eagles through binoculars. Then we headed off for Shell Beach, a beach entirely made up of shells, which are so compacted that they cut it out in blocks for building material.

Telegraph Station photograph

Hamelin Pool Telegraph Station, WA

Drop Cap e went on then to Hamelin Pool, home of the stromatolites, basically blue-green algae living in shallow water, constantly photo-synthesising and compacting into large rock like structures. They breathe out oxygen and are supposed to be the oldest living organism on earth and the reason the atmosphere on earth was eventually suitable for humans. Weird. We had lunch at the Old Telegraph Station at Hamelin and had a very interesting talk about the stromatolites and the shell blocks and about the Telegraph Station itself.

Wildflowers photograph

Wildflowers near Geraldton, WA

Drop Cap hen on towards Geraldton. Today was a very long day but Wayne still stopped for us to get photos of the incredible wild flowers, yellow, pink, mauve, purple and white in fields going on forever. I have never seen anything quite like it, although the fields of wildflowers in Switzerland and Italy came close.

Wildflowers photograph

Tiptoing through the wildflowers, near Geraldton WA

Drop Cap fter that it was a hard slog into Geraldton, drop Gary at the hospital and into the Mercure Motel where dinner was waiting. We are fairly dead on our feet. Tomorrow night we reach Perth and the tour as such is over. We still have Rottnest Island on Sunday and the Indian Pacific home, but tomorrow is just about it.

Back to Top spacer Blue up arrow

Back to Contents Yellow up arrow

Saturday, 22nd August, 1998

Wildflowers photograph

Fields of Wildflowers near the Wildflower Farm

Drop Cap ff from Geraldton this morning, a lovely day but quite brisk. We had a quick photo stop at an unusual tree, a large river gum which was growing completely bent in an arch because of the prevailing winds. Then on through more wildflower fields to our morning tea stop.

After this we drove through quite nice country to a wildflower farm which, although also a working sheep farm, has 6000 acres of wildflower plantings and a workshop with swags of dried flowers hanging from the ceiling and lots of relatively inexpensive artifacts for sale. I bought mum a fridge magnet and a card with pressed kangaroo paws and things.

New Norcia photograph

St. Somebody Unpronouncable's School, New Norcia

Drop Cap hen, rather late, we arrived at New Norcia for lunch in the dining room of St. Somebody Unpronounceable's School. New Norcia is a town privately owned by the Benedictines and there is a 100 year old monastery, church, several boarding schools, St. Gertrude's and St. Somebody's. St. Somebody's chapel is very ornate, lots of painting and gilding. The monastery was started by Spanish Benedictines so the decor is typically lavish.

Monastery photograph

Monastery, New Norcia WA

Drop Cap e had rather a monastic lunch of thick vegetable soup and lovely fresh bread from the 100 year old bakery on site and some coffee and cake. We had a rather rushed tour but it was quite interesting and rather unusual in a new country like Australia. Like a piece of Europe.

Our Suite photograph

Our suite, Novotel Langley, Perth WA

Drop Cap hen straight on, non stop, into Perth, back to the Novotel Langley. We were greeted (Mac and I personally) by the front desk manager who apologised profusely for the problems raised in our report card which we left last time. When we reached our room we found, to our amazement, a full suite, with lounge, kitchen, folding doors into the bedroom and bathroom. There was a bottle of red wine and two glasses on the table and a letter of more apologies from the general manager. What a little complaint can do! Dinner tonight is farewell. Ah well.

Our Suite photograph

Our suite, Novotel Langley, Perth WA

Drop Cap he tour has been good. The driver, Wayne, and hostess, Helen, could not have been more helpful, cheerful and fun to be with. Most of the people have been quite easy to get on with, none of the troubles we have encountered on foreign tours. We would recommend Australian Pacific to anyone.

Back to Top spacer Blue up arrow

Back to Contents Yellow up arrow

Orange left arrow Back to Previous Page Forward to Next Green right arrow