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Thursday, April 25, 2013

WA - Down the Coral Coast we Go

By Sunday we were ready to starting heading back down the coast towards Perth, while making a couple of key stops along the way.

After a quick stop at the local Coral Bay bakery for breakfast, we got back into the camper and left for Monkey Mia.

The campground at Monkey Mia was more a sandy parking lot than a campground, but it had a great pool and some locals to hang out with. 

On of the highlights of Monkey Mia is that there are a number of dolphins living near the reef that come into the beach every morning between 7:30 and 9:30 to be fed. It is actually a dolphin research area where they study the dolphins and their behaviour in the Shark Bay area. It was very cool to see that many dolphins come in to the beach voluntarily. They certainly aren't coming for the food, one fish a day is just a perk and an incredibly small part of their daily diet. The rangers don't touch the dolphins or interfere with their calves and this helps the populations to grow and thrive.

So the next morning we got up early and headed down to the beach. By 8:00 there were 9 dolphins swimming near the beach waiting for fish.

There are 200 people that turn out for this first feeding and each dolphin only gets one fish. Thats 9 fish and 200 people. The odds of being picked to help feed are slim. I had read online that if you dress to be noticed by the volunteers who pick people out of the crowd to do the feeding you have a better chance.

So I dressed the kids in their red Canada t-shirts and they stood near the front looking cute. Sure enough they got picked! Up they went to feed Surprise the dolphin. Hannah still says that this was one of the highlights of her whole trip.

After the dolphin feeding frenzy we headed down the the other end of the beach for some swimming and shell searching. We easily brought back 100 amazing shells that the kids found.

That afternoon, because we hadn't squeezed enough into our day we took the kids out on a catamaran for a sail and more wildlife searching.  I think they may be adapting to this way of life!

When we had had enough of the sand of Monkey Mia we packed up and headed for the red cliffs and gorges of Kalbarri.

Along the way we stopped for a rest at Shell Beach. A huge beach covered entirely in small cockle shells that run 5 metres deep.

Kalbarri is all about red cliffs and amazing gorges. We made sure to see lots of both. 

 One of our side trips included Pink Lake. It looks orange in my picture for some reason, but it really is pink due to a higher than normal beta carotene levels in the water.

Our last day of travelling was a long one from Kalbarri to Fremantle where it proceeded to rain for the rest of our trip! 

On our last day we unpacked our rain jackets that we hadn't used for 2 weeks and headed to find the free local bus and see some sights in Fremantle.

We started at the Fremantle Prison built as convict barracks in 1850 eventually changed into a prison in the 1890's and continued as a working prison until 1991.

Out at the waterfront amongst the many freighters and cargo ships there was a sailing tour getting ready to launch

And the South Fremantle Markets were fantastic. We spent our whole afternoon here tasting new treats and doing some shopping.

It was the most amazing 2 weeks we could have asked for and we're already working on planning our next trip for the winter break in July. Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef here we come!


  1. Great pictures. The cliffs look a bit like Kildare Capes just outside Alberton. Looks like you've had a wonderful holiday. We enjoy reading all about your adventures and seeing your pictures. Keep posting.

  2. What a great trip! Now I'm really wishing we had visited WA. Next time...