Cairns fam holiday- Townsville

We got off to a bad start with Cairns, Jasper going to the vet, James/kelpie worked hard, Jasper waited patiently each day before getting over excited for James to finish work so we could all be together to adventure more. This kid is going to have a big reality check when we make it home. He is used to the three best friends all travelling together and seeing amazing things each day. The adventures definitely won’t stop tho. Jasper got a mohawk haircut for his next vet visit, his intensely white skin under the thick hair needed to be saved from the sun wherever it could. Jasper’s Mohawk then saved the day as he was attacked by an enormous angry dog with silly owners, this angry dog only bit the Mohawk which stopped most bites from getting through to the skin.

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We joined Samoa Day festivities for the Cairns festival and felt like we were in Fiji sipping coconuts, weaving plates, dancing and eating an Umu (just like a lovo), delicious! Our fav was baby taro leaves and coconut cream. This is more like it! James did some fishing in Port Douglas.

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Then the fun really began! Family we haven’t seen since Feb!! A family holiday!! We stayed in Trinity Beach and spent some time cracker lackin around the pool. Jasper loved the extra attention from family but also had some protests about how he also loves raisin toast. He loves his morning sunrise walk to the top of the cliff of amazing ocean and sunrise views.

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An adventure to Green Island 🌴

We hopped aboard the semi sub for a reef trip, views of Coral, colourful and different fish, huge sea cucumbers and even turtles!!!!! Then a snorkel off the jetty huge shells, massive clams, rainbow fish, turquoise clams, nemo and his nenanamy, we left the ocean for some lunch then went back for more, this time we swam under the Jetty with the huge ray who got up and swam towards us then turned away as we flopped around in the water. We then saw some huge fish under the jetty and casually swimming past was a reef shark! We swam along behind him then another came up from the deep and peacefully swam around the reef, we swam behind another as he went towards something in the distance, ooooh turtle! As the shark turned and swam into James’ path we were mesmerised by the sea turtle. The scariest fish we encountered was the giant trevally, getting territorial and circling us, as much as I’d love to live in the ocean we were on our way in and he followed until we were right out of his territory. Best snorkel ever! Then a boat trip back from our tropical island day.


We had days off around the pool, getting pedicures, using foot scrubs on these travelling bare feet, feeling amazing and walking down to the surf club, the boys went cable skiing and go carting on our relaxing days off.

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The sky rail was amazing! Once we got onto the old train we enjoyed the views over the cliffs and of waterfalls on our way to Kuranda. In Kuranda the little town had butterflies, on the way out we had to farewell Jeremy who we thought couldn’t fly because he stayed for the whole walk, once Liam put him on a branch he flew away. Then to the markets, fudge and lunch before heading down the sky rail amazing views from the little windowed box on a small wire, then we stopped at Barron Falls again and the view from this side was amazing!!

We enjoyed Port Douglas views and markets for the day followed by some games. A buffet dinner on the last night of the family holiday & we had such an amazing time with them all.
We farewelled the family and began our road trip to Townsville with Liam. Jasper was happy to have Liam and sleep on his floor bed only for a few nights until he decided he’d have his bed back each time Liam hoped up during the night then told him off when he wanted to go back to bed.
We enjoyed having Liam, the first day we went on walks to Babinda Boulders and Eubenangee Swamp where we spotted a croc from the hill. Then we found Josephine Falls, beautiful with a natural waterslide going down the falls!!


We stopped at Mena Falls which had a suspension bridge above. To lookouts, fishing spots, collecting coconuts & Jourama Falls which was a huge hill with a swim at the top.


We found some camp spots with an amazing sunrise over the ocean and places to catch fish! Then another free camp around the trees with a walk to the beach and an amazing fishing spot on the rocks.

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Queensland

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We made it back to the state where it all began!
Feeling closer to home but still a lot of Queensland to see before we reach home.
We found some friends in Mt Isa and stayed a few nights, movie nights and delicious desserts!

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Lots of driving though small towns and the dinosaur trail. Checked out Pentland to see where some family used to live. Jasper met a dinosaur statue. Shell fossils 🐚

Then to Mount Surprise we stayed at a caravan park for the first time in a long time, and had a look around the creeks to find some Topaz and crystals.

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After a long outback drive with the same views for days, we drove over a hill and got a much different view, grass and trees everywhere and it started to rain! We took a turn off to dinner falls and a crater, we began the walk amazed at the rainforest! A cassowary, then we saw a fluffy baby cassowary we sat and watched it until it came too close for comfort.

So many beautiful places to visit around the Atherton area! Lakes, walks along the river with platypus everywhere and turtles, amazing trees. We also stopped at Gillies Roadhouse and the lady who makes the brownies there is an absolute legend, they are amazing.

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Waterfall day, Malanda Falls and the walks with so much history and lots of wildlife spotting. Around 40 turtles in one spot! Millaa Millaa Falls, Zillie Falls and Ellinjaa Falls. Jasper got a swim in at one of the falls, happiest dog! It’s been a long time of just looking at water from a distance with crocs lurking around, so when we can swim its happy days. Millstream Falls looked amazing! Winding through the green hills to get to the waterfalls, amazing!

Archer Point, this is what we like to call paradise, we spent many days here fishing, opening coconuts, swimming in the little pools that were left when the tide and crocs went out, walks to the lighthouse to watch the whales pass, beach walks. James even had a birthday in paradise with the best fishing he’s done, some giant trevally and barracuda, this is the place you’ll hear about if you talk to James about fishing. No oven but we managed to cook up a brownie cake with m&ms, m&m chocolate, Oreos and Nutella.

Leaving paradise we stopped at Wujal Wujal Falls where Jasper spotted a small snake before I did and decided to pounce on it, luckily nobody was injured. We then headed along the Bloomfield track with amazing views along the way of rainforests, creeks, wildlife, views, crocs. We reached Cape Tribulation, checked out the views and James had a land monitor creep up on him. Daintree rainforest walks, amazing! Then I got fresh coconut fetched from the top of the tree.

Darwin

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First stop in Darwin was the Vet after Jasper was attacked by grass seeds. It was like watching those pimple popping videos as the grass seeds ooze out of the hole in his skin. A now patchy dog. To the pet shop where Jasper chose his food and put his paws up on the counter at the checkout 😂 Then he was given a treat, not such a bad day after all.

James went Barra fishing, up on a fallen tree over the creek, we later found out this creek is connected to the river where people enjoy tours watching how high the crocs can Jump out of the water for food 😳 We then saw a croc in the creek the next day, Jamesy didn’t catch Barra here but is feeling lucky he’s croc food

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In Darwin we met up with some family friends and had a BBQ. Before our international holiday we had an Aussie experience with Darwin’s best tour guide, which isn’t his occupation, so we are lucky. We went Barra fishing amongst the crocs. We drove out to a station and as we pulled up to our fishing spot there were crocs all over the banks one huge one on the other side, most slid into the water to join the other crocs we could and couldn’t see. We caught some Barra!! While the creepy crocs popped their eyes out of the water and stared at us then disappeared. Sometimes bubbles popped up from under the water close to the bank we were fishing from, that was our cue to move back.

Berry Springs was beautiful, we were told it’s a lovely swimming spot as we struggled in the afternoon heat. We arrived to look at it from behind the signs that said No swimming, they had found a salt water croc in the springs the day before. Disappointed we couldn’t swim but grateful we didn’t swim with a salty.

Litchfield National Park was beautiful! We enjoyed a croc free swim underneath the waterfall at Florence falls

A day at Kakadu. Bukbukluk lookout morning views. A walk to Maguk, just a quick dunk in the water with lots of croc signs warning saltwater crocs are sometimes found here. Then to another small waterhole, looked like a crocs paradise.

A stop at Bitter Springs on our way south to three ways turn off which will lead us back to the state we began this journey in. A lot of QLD to explore before reaching where we started.

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Bali

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Goodmorning Bali! Some very excited family waiting for us at the airport. With not much sleep from finally getting in the air then being told we are descending an hour before landing then lights coming on long before the necessary. We stopped in at KFC for a mid night snack on the way to the hotel. A choice of rice or chips with your burger. After a nap we were up again for our first Bali day after a trip to Denpasar a whole coconut for $1.50. We went shopping in poppies lane, never have we said ‘No thank you’ so many times in our lives “tidak, terima kasih” “tidak, terima kasih” “oh, Tidak terima kasih, it is very nice but I still don’t need another shirt like the one I’m wearing”. We did buy some things because I loved almost everything. I soon learnt not to really express how much I wanted things if I wasn’t committed to buying it. That night we spent on the beach relaxing on beanbags as we listened to a band while we had dinner and some more Coconut flavoured drinks 🌴 then a $15 hour long coconut oil massage.

We saw squirrels and had a tourist moment as we stopped to watch them and take photos. We saw the massive statues at GWK cultural park. Then views of Pandawa Beach.

 

 

At the holy cliff temple Uluwatu we saw some amazing views of the ocean below the cliffs. Then we saw monkeys, James was excited to see monkeys, he sat with them until the big guy wanted more food and jumped at James grabbing his temple skirt 😂

 

 

We then watched another sneaky monkey hiding behind a pole where everyone was passing. He sat looking so innocent until a passer by was unaware he was there he just reached out and took her hat. Her first mistake was showing him she had a whole bag of snacks but was only willing to give him a few nuts then attempt to get the hat back.. his big teeth came out and she almost had herself rabies instead of a hat. A worker then came and threw the monkey a snack bar, monkey dropped the hat and headed down the cliff with his snack. That’s a nice arrangement he has, I’m sure he’ll be back to swap more personal belongings for a snack again.

 

Pandang Pandang beach, no surfing on but an amazing ocean swim.

 

With the different experiences they offer in Bali we walked along window shopping, my favourite ring I’ve seen. Dog patting. Then to the ladyboy show, interesting.

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We did more shopping and more drinking coconuts on the beach.

 

 

 

 

Lunch overlooking the water in Senur & the kids went on the jet skis in Nusa Dua while I collected some rubbish for the bin then floated in the ocean.

 

The saddest part of Bali was the rubbish everywhere and plastic in the ocean. The best part was visiting the Bali Sea Turtle Society and releasing the baby turtles into the ocean. The turtles lay along the busy beach and they are hoping for a better success rate taking them to a safer place to hatch. We watched Waitui Vonu, Titan, Johnson, Myron & Kura swim into the ocean popping their heads up and ducking under waves. Good luck out there little buddies.

 

Starting the day the way it should be, we floated in the ocean before heading out. Up into the mountains to check out Bedugul Temple in the fog, a dear like creature, payed 20c to go to the toilet, we found an older coconut to eat, we found a chocolate factory, Jus found his toxic smelling durian fruit to eat, passed the rice fields & back down the mountain into the craziness.

 

Another morning in the Ocean then up the mountains to the amazing Gaye and Gus’ home amongst the jungle with views of the volcano, far away from the chaos. We saw a different side of Bali a nice and calm place with coconut trees. We had a feast of a variety of delicious home cooked Indonesian foods. Some great company in an amazing place.

 

Arrived back home and feel like bartering with Woolworths because the coconuts cost too much.

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Our drive from Port Headland to Lake Argyle

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A bit of fishing off the two story jetty at Port Headland, the tides change so much a lower level is necessary. Then along the 80 mile beach with a few stops & some amazing shells and a sunset along the beach.

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Broome has palm trees, frangipani trees, amazing shells, sunsets and beaches! & you can swim at the beach croc free which Jasper enjoyed a lot! This is the type of place you gaze into each others eyes during the sunset. After the sunset at Cable Beach we headed to the other side and watched the moon rise over the ocean.

Derby is where we learnt about the Wanjina. The Mowanjum people have amazing artwork of their spiritual wandjina, the Wandjina is the surpreme creator and is the oldest continuous sacred painting. The people are extremely grateful to have had the Wandjina with them throughout the days when they went through the unimaginable, they continued their paintings and always knew where they were from. Wandjinas have big eyes, but no mouth, they can’t pass judgement. Some rock art sites are dated back at 20000 years. Derby was sad to visit with such a sad history and sites still around town of what happened in those sad days. And now this area is full with people of the communities that have been closed. The Wandjina was such a happy thing to see in such a sad area.

On the way to Fitzroy Crossing we saw some amazing boab trees! Up to Geikie Gorge National Park we went on a walk but the footpath had no footprints along it, just snake tracks everywhere, we didn’t see any tho. Another thing we looked out for when getting to the Gorge was Crocs! Is that a log on the other side? I’m not sure if it was there before? That log next to it wasn’t there before was it? They look a lot like logs! Binoculars out and we spotted our first wild crocs! Wow!
We went on to see the Ngumban cliffs and on to Mary Pool free camp where we got a nice spot near the river, a little scary at night not knowing where the crocs were hiding.

Halls Creek, not too far from Wolfe Creek. Wish I didn’t watch it. A drive out to ‘China Wall’ a natural wall. Then to Spring Creek where we couldn’t see any croc signs but a few people with their legs in the water so Jasper had a quick swim.

Wyndham had an amazing Lookout and at the top a man said “just a quick question, were you guys on the Great Ocean Road in March?” “Yes, that was us!” Then we remembered spotting Koalas with them! “You’ve been on the road all this time? Half your luck” he said. They’ve been back home in Canberra and are escaping the cold! We went down to the Jetty and Jasper is still unsure why we won’t let him swim in some places 🐊 the grotto on the way back down, croc free refreshingly cold water Jasper LOVED. We tried to teach him a lesson for walking to far in front and hid from him, he found us pretty quick just looking down the Gorge from the top, bad hiding spot! On to Kununurra we had amazing views of the sunset over the town and ranges. Some local children tried to claim Jasper as their own dog.

We discovered Lake Argyle and it was amazing as the sun came up!

Karijini, Karratha, Red Dog & Jasper

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Heading inland we had a day in the Karijini National Park, this is the one national park we have been consistently told we need to visit on our travels.

Up early for sunrise, first to Hancock Gorge lookout then down into the gorge. Down a ladder through some water we made it to the natural amphitheatre, the next part was a spider walk with the hands and feet pushed up against the narrow gorge above a stream of water which led us to Kermit’s Pool, Beautiful!

Next to Weano gorge, up and around the gorge then through some water, almost a swim then down to the handrail pool an amazing little oasis after climbing down clinging onto the handrail.

Next was a drive around to Knox gorge, an amazing look out then a big decent into the gorge, around a few pools of water and to a nice little pool, we met a family that told us what they could see a little further on, so we did another spider walk and had an amazing view of a blue pool. On our walk through the gorge we saw colourful rocks with lines of red blue and green.

Next was Jijingunha- Joffre gorge, to the lookout and down another steep path to the waterfall. The steep walk wasn’t as crazy as it looked with an amazing little swimming hole at the bottom.

Another drive to Kalamina Gorge, a small lookout and waterfall. Some parts of Karijini have asbestos which hasn’t been found as harmful in its natural form. Some gorges have a big blue band running though with blue fibres showing.

Next was Dales gorge- Ngirribungunha, there is so much beauty in such a small area in Karijini. We started with the walk down to Fortescue falls, James got his legs wet while I went for a swim. We then continued the walk through the gorge and down to circular pool, this was my favourite! A small pool with crystal clear water and little waterfalls trickling from inside the gorge. A walk back up the gorge with less energy then when we began at Karijini. To the lookout for circular pool and that was most of Karijini done in one day.

The next day we checked out Hamersley gorge, a colourful gorge with a nice little waterfall and pools. Heading north we took the dirt road of Nanutarra- Mnjina Rd, amazing views winding through the side of Karijini then the road turned rough and ‘oh no’ that’s the sound of a flat tyre and it was going down fast, James’ puncture repair kit was put to work and our cheap air battery was loosing power and needing a charge before it could even pump one tyre up. And that’s the sound of the other tyre going down! This one with a slow leak was good with the repair kit but the other one had to be changed. A few cars passed with no tyre inflators to help us out. Then the family we met at Knox gorge stopped and was happy to help! Legends! He had mentioned they had lost a ball and we found it up the road, we collected it as they were heading back the same way after visiting the gorge. We headed up Roebourne- Wittenoom Rd very carefully.

We reached the Millstream- Chichester National Park, a little more dirt road up to the Python Pool, beautiful! It must be amazing when the waterfall is going! Then we reached the road again and headed up to Karratha.

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In Karratha we had to wait for our new tyres to arrive and while we waited we stayed with the sister in laws friend who was a stranger to us when we met and it felt like saying goodbye to family when we left. Jasper fell in love. We also got to cook things like Lasagne, garlic bread and even a corned beef one night (James’ specialty) with her kitchen! Family dinners were amazing. We also left feeling amazing with a haircut for me just a trim of the dead ends, which was a big cut with most of my hair being dead ends. James had some of the merged dreads separated. Left feeling amazing 💁🏽

We visited Dampier where Red Dogs statue and story is. Jasper met Red Dog and thought he was real (another statue). Jasper liked Red Dog. Then out to the Murujuga (Burrup Peninsula) where they have amazing rock art. These artworks were of different animals, symbol and stories. The art is thousands of years old and is amazing!

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We did some work in Karratha to pay for new tyres we didn’t plan on buying after treating ourselves with a whale shark swim and booking Bali. We did some unloading trawlers, cleaning and babysitting. I did clean one ladies place then backed into her mailbox 🙄 oops! Trawlers payed amazingly and we got contacts for more work in Darwin.

Swimming with Whale Sharks in Exmouth

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This is where we had the most amazing day swimming with the Whale Sharks!!
We found the best deal we could and booked for the very next day, only dilemma was finding someone to look after Jasper, he would have loved come with us to swim with the whale sharks. We found a nice old guy at he markets who used to run the dog boarding in town, he was happy to look after Jasper. Another lady messaged us and we kept her number just in case, she has a dog that would love a play day. In the morning we went to drop Jasper off with the old guy and no one was home! Lucky we kept the other ladies number because we did a last minute drop off. Jasper had a great day with his German Shepard friend.

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Out on the luxury catamaran we were sailing away. Our first snorkel of the day along the Ningaloo Reef we watched a beautiful turtle swim by, perfect start to the day! We saw a small white tip reef shark and lots of schools of fish. Back onto the boat to see three humpback whales pass! Wow.

Then came the whale shark experience, two small groups jump into the water as the whale shark is approaching, swim into a line, keep heads up and follow instructions on how far forward or back to swim then “heads down” and there was our first whale shark! Around 5m long and a few meters from us we watched her pass then we were able to swim with her! Once the whale sharks head passes your allowed to swim with them or with some effort swim around the back to the other side, which most forgot they could do. Most swims it was just us on the other side having a peaceful swim alongside a friendly giant of the ocean. We had two swims with this whale shark.

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The second whale shark was around 7m long. We got into position and watched as they signalled the whale shark had swam down, now back up, “heads down” expecting the whale shark to be a few meters away we were surprised to see the enormous mouth coming up at us! Apparently they think the bubbles we make are food and sometimes come over to check it out. We had an amazing swim with this whale shark, so much that we kept swimming and forgot to check where the rest of the group was, we swam pretty far away.

The third whale shark was even bigger! Around 9m. We think this one is Destiny from finding Dory. This time the instructor said “heads down and swim back”. We put our heads down and there was no swimming back, I tucked my feet up and did a little flap with my arms as I tried to swim back but she was right there!! With her enormous mouth. Another amazing swim checking out the spots, colour, length & way she swims through the water. That’s me all tucked up behind the lady in yellow.

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Some fun facts from the day were… When the fish under the whale shark feel threatened by other sea creatures they quickly hop inside the whale sharks mouth to hide then come back out when its safe to do so! They really are friendly giants. The mouth is massive but throat is small, making it a safe hiding place. Also whale sharks are not whales or sharks but just giant fish! They are mysterious in their breeding and giving birth as nobody has seen or knows where they do this.

Something James learnt is my mum is usually right… you should take those sea sick tablets, mum said prevention is better then cure… he pulled himself together and after swimming with Whale Sharks he felt better because that’s all you can think about anyways.

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A delicious lunch then we ended the day with another Ningaloo snorkel with some big groups of fish and lots of coral. We didn’t want to leave the ocean. People are getting payed as a job to swim with whale sharks! If I have a career change you’ll find me in the ocean. We will be back Exmouth! I LOVE THE OCEAN!!

The friendly Carnarvon

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We spent some time here in Carnarvon after getting some food, a lovely man walked past and said “I have some fruit and Vege, you want it? I’ll get it for you. Was given to me and I don’t want it” two loaves of bread, zucchini, corn, beans, rice, oats, soup! He also gave us a book with his artwork and dreaming stories & signed it! His name is Doug Ryder and is an indigenous elder and has amazing art!

It’s no wonder we’ve met some amazing artists in WA the colours of the sunsets, the ocean and the landscapes are amazing and inspiring.

We arrived in Carnarvon expecting work, looking up the harvest trail there should be. The amount of backpackers in this town is crazy! All looking for the same work. After advise from some lovely ladies at bumbaks farm we decided to apply for any job. I was offered childcare work until the end of the year but we have places to see! With so many things we still want to do we thankfully both got a job unloading trawlers! Heavy, hard and smelly work but a good team. To say thanks they gave us two large cod!! Filleted into bags for 18 dinners! Fish and chips, coconut fish, coconut fish curry, fish tacos, fish cakes….
The first day we worked unloading seafood we also got a call from a lady asking if we were interested in cleaning her house, Yes! She also gave us a rockmelon and some pink snapper. But after not working for a long time and the first day back at work being over 12hours we were tired, but happy.

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A man we met for around 10mins invited us to his home and we went…
Had a little chat and he told us to follow him to his place so we can watch some tv and tell some lies, we went and saw some of his amazing art work and listened to stories of his amazing life, dreamtime stories and watched his relative on tv… Earny Dingo. His mother and Earny’s mother are cousins.

He is an amazing man, apart from his unbelievable artwork that tells amazing stories he was also offering us food, tea and coffee, we were just happy to be in his company.

Carnarvon has a reputation for its fishing and it was amazing! We caught Mulloway, whiting, flathead, bream & a mud crab. We met a man called Tony who spent the day having a chat and teaching us about crabbing. When James filleted the cod he called Tony and asked if he wanted the rest of the fish for the crab pots, he was happy with that! And gave us three huge watermelons!!! A dog came a long way from home and sat with us for some comfort before his owners were found. Didn’t catch much off the one mile jetty but did see a turtle hanging out!

The trawlers went back out to sea and that work finished for us. We got a number for some people who needed help picking beans… $1 for 1kg, around 7hours for $100. Just one day of that! And we were out of there! Without our farm dog friend who spent the day with us and wanted to come home with us.

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Shark Bay

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Our celebrations didn’t go to plan… but now we have a few stories.
One year on the road for us and only 9 days from Sydney for a mother and daughter we met. She has five children and when they graduate they go on a road trip in another country… this daughter chose 5 weeks in Aus and 9 days into the trip they are already in Shark Bay, a lot faster then us!

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We took the camper off and headed around Useless Loop Rd, our most intense 4×4 drive we’ve done, I’m glad the camper was off. We packed lunch for the day and I’ve now learnt lunch isn’t necessary for a bumpy 4wd trip 😷 We reached the most Westerly point of mainland Aus & some amazing cliff top blowholes.

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Paying to stay at a caravan park isn’t something we do often but when we do we try get our money’s worth. We planned use their BBQ’s and eating area then to have a spa then a shower… half way through dinner we were asked to “turn the lights off asap and quick go have a shower because I turned the power off because some oldies arrived and are using a heater, the generator can’t keep up”. With all plans ruined we decided on a early morning spa… only to turn up and share it with two old guys, as we hoped in one said to James “don’t have to wear your pants, we don’t mind, it saves getting them wet” an awkward silence later we notice thongs on the ground outside the spa.. ah not the thongs you wear on your feet 😐 an awkward few moments later which felt like a lifetime we were out of there!

A bird had done a little poo on my shoulder the day before as I sat under the tree writing post cards. Not too impressed but excited for the good luck to come… although I wasn’t feeling very lucky with our experiences at the caravan park.

I did have to wait for the luck but it did come! We arrived at Monkey Mia despite all the reviews and people telling us not to bother. We watched the dolphins come in & I was chosen to feed one!! They don’t feed them much in the hope they aren’t ruining their natural instincts, you aren’t allowed to swim in the feeding area and many other rules they have going but we did go for a snorkel and watched a few as they passed us chasing fish along the shore. We made our money’s worth here by using the spa, accompanied by children but that was fine with us after the mornings spa, had a shower and to make my smile even bigger we noticed tropical trees! James climbed a Coconut tree to grab us a snack.

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Earlier in the morning Jasper cried as we sat on the beach watching the dolphins. He wanted to be swimming with all those friends and have people hand feed him as he plays in the water, that wasn’t happening. But as we went for a walk in the afternoon Jasper was swimming and a dolphin came up to check him out, it was a quick encounter but he was chuffed with himself.

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On the way out of the amazing Shark Bay we visited shell beach and the stromelites

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