Nach unserer Schnorchel-Tour in Coral Bay hatten wir 3 Tage Zeit um wieder Richtung Süden zurück nach Perth zu fahren. Wir legten einen Stopp in “Monkey Mia” ein, einem winzigen Ort und Naturschutzgebiet an der Spitze einer kleinen Halbinsel. Monkey Mia ist berühmt für seine Delphine, die hier schon seit 30 Jahren jeden Vormittag nahe an den Strand ins seichte Wasser kommen um sich ein oder zwei kleine Fische als Snack von den Park-Rangern abzuholen. Sie bekommen nicht mehr, damit sie nicht von den Menschen abhängig werden. Die Delphine kommen wann sie wollen und manchmal kommen sie auch gar nicht – so wie bei uns… 🙁 Zumindest schwammen einige Delphine in Sichtweite vorbei. Als Ausgleich gab’s aber noch Emus und Pelikane aus nächster Nähe zu sehen. Auf dem Rückweg von Monkey Mia hatten wir von einem Aussichtspunkt auf den Klippen einen tollen Blick auf das seichte, klare Wasser der Shark-Bay. Diese Bucht trägt ihren Namen wirklich zu Recht, denn dort herrschte ein reges Treiben: mehrere kleinere Rochen und Riffhaie schwammen gemächlich vorbei. Ein tolles Erlebnis!
Und nach einer letzten Nacht in Perth mussten wir uns auch schon wieder von Australien verabschieden. Mit Zwischenstopp in Sydney ging’s weiter nach Hawaii.
The Ningaloo Reef is famous for one thing in particular – here you can go snorkelling with whalesharks. When we heard that we would be there at the right time for doing that, we didn’t hesitate. We booked a Manta Ray snorkelling tour for the 25th and the Whaleshark tour for the 26th. When we arrived at Coral Bay the sky was cloudy and the small village was overcrowded (still Easter Holidays). The next morning it was still cloudy, but the Manta Ray tour started as scheduled. The tour included three snorkelling stops – one with the Manta Rays. As you can see on the pictures, there was a lot to see and it was really impressive for us, as we had never been to a coral reef before. We swam with three impressive Manta Rays (~4 m wingspan) , who were doing loops in the water to graze for plankton, and we saw some more from the boat. It was a real “Wow-Feeling!! But shortly before we arrived at snorkelling spot number three, it started to rain and the wind strengthened up. We started to freeze on the boat, because this boat was not prepared for such a weather. At the beginning no one of the group was keen to go back into the rough water, but since the skipper said we would stay at this place for some more time to wait if the weather gets better, I said I would go into the water. The funny thing was that the water felt so warm as if jumping into a freshly prepared hot bathing tub. So more people joined me in the water, Eva got in too. Unfortunately the rainfall didn’t stop, but even increased instead, so we arrived completely soaked at our campsite. Luckily the tent stayed dry even after 5h of heavy rain. Rain stopped during nighttime and the sky cleared up. So we could sleep in our tent and we were also optimistic that the whaleshark tour would take place as planned. But unfortunately it rained again the next morning, so the tour was cancelled.
So we have to come back for the whalesharks in a few years…
We liked the Karijini Park that much that we drove again there next day to visit the gorges we weren´t able to do the day before. Again it was absolutely worth it. Every gorge is so special – and so are the pools there. The gorges of this day were a bit tougher to explore because they were very narrow and sometimes we had to wade through water to reach the pool at the end of the gorge. I mean end of the gorge is not 100% right. End of the area you can access without special equipment and without tour guide.
This one was really a highlight on our trip through Western Australia. We drove really, really far (one-way something like 2000km from Perth) to get to this park, but it was worth it. We had a campsite in the town Tom Price, which is about 1h away from the national park. There would have been two campsites at the national park, but they both had only basic facilities (wouldn´t have been that bad) and both were quite exposed to the sun, meaning next to no shadow (that did matter a lot since it had something around 38 degrees during daytime).
So the park faces high temperatures and there is not so much vegetation for shadow – so on the first look it is prairie like we have seen the hundreds of kilometres before. But the Karajini National Park is special because of the gorges where water is running through. At certain areas these rivers change to little lakes and the people call them pools. They call them pools because you can do a short hike and then you can swim there. So 38 degrees at the parking lot, then it gets a bit colder during the hike down to the bottom of the gorge and then it gets very cool as soon as you are in the water. A marvellous experience with a lot of intense colours and drastic changes of the lighting – my camera produced the most time too dark or too bright pictures. At least some of them became reasonable…..
On the coast near Carnarvon you can find a nice natural phenomenon. Here the rocks have a lot of holes and when the waves are moving in the right way something like a Geysir can be seen. The rougher the sea the higher the water goes up.
Next to this great place was a sandy beach that was protected by an Island from the rough sea. That was a perfect snorkling spot. And also a perfect spot to have our Easter meal. Of course the food we had wasn´t even near to the tastiness of the stuff we normally eat at Easter, but what can you do – better than nothing.
The coastline around the town Kalbarri is quite impressive. At the time we visited the lookouts we didn´t know what is awaiting us in Kalbarri itself. Because of the Easter Holidays the town was totally booked out. We were just lucky to get a spot for our tent at the overflow campsite. The campsite offered only basic facilities but still it was expensive to stay there. So, never visit Australia at Easter (and we were told also not for Christmas)
This was the first sightseeing stop after we left Perth with our new rental car (this time we selected a bigger car class and then we were upgraded for free). We liked the place a lot and for my opinion the pictures I took show not even half of the “magic” this place offers to a visitor.
We had a quite nice flight from Alice Springs to Perth, because the weather was good to permit a good view of the ground. The plane also passed Uluru and the Kata Tjuta as an extra. Later on the surface beneath us really started to look like the surface of Mars. Once in a while a mine was in sight. Working here must be a tough job – but a very well paid one as we heard. That is the reason why the cost of living is high in Western Australia. You can compare it with Norway, where the oil industry is the reason for the high cost of living.
For Melbourne we had only a short time because we agreed to do a car relocation. So we had a quick look araound for a whole day and prepared ourselves mentally to drive a car within 6 days from Melbourne to Alice Springs – including the detours along the Great Ocean Road and to Uluru/Kata Tjuta National Park.
This time Sydney was only a stop to switch to an other plane and proceed towards Melbourne. This time the plane had a nice route to the airport and so we got some good pictures from downtown as a free bonus.