Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Geraldton & Kalbarri

Geraldton 7th to 9th May 09

Kalbarri National Park
Kalbarri National Park Western Australia
From Kalbarri

We were pleasantly surprised by Geraldton. We were expecting just another service town but it had a nice feel about it. We spent our time here relaxing by the beach finally finding some time to read, fixing the car (brake fluid leak) and getting supplies. Geralton is apparently the windiest place in WA and we certainly weren’t spared after 2 sleepless nights with the wind hounding our tent. It somehow seemed to disappear in the day only to return at night. After picking up some snorkelling gear in readiness for Ningaloo reef we headed onwards and thought we would stay at Coronation Beach about 30ks north of Geralton, however when we arrived it wasn’t what we were expecting and a bit crowded and overused, so we headed on to Kalbarri.

Kalbarri 9th to 13th May 09

Kalbarri Sunset
Sunset Kalbarri National Park Western Australia
From Kalbarri

We were really surprised by Kalbarri, it was a nice little holiday town set on the beach front, along side the Murchison River. We arrived about 5pm and managed to get the last spot in the caravan park opposite the beach. The sun was going down, so we dumped the car, grabbed the camera and went to the beach to watch sunset. They have some amazing sunsets in WA with the sun going down over the ocean. We then treated ourselves to a beer and pizza at the pub. After a windless good nights sleep, we were originally going to hire a paddle boat and head up the river a bit, but decided to book the breakfast canoeing tour for the next morning. We then headed to one of the beaches good for snorkelling to try out our new equipment. It was a little rough but there was an outlying rocky section stopping the waves and creating an area from the beach in which to snorkel. We headed out but didn’t stay for long as it was still a little rough and difficult to negotiate, but it got us back into it. After a bit of sun bathing we headed back to camp to watch the sunset, tonight’s better due to the clouds.

Our canoes for the day
Kalbarri National Park Western Australia
From Kalbarri

The breakfast canoeing tour was really enjoyable. They drove us up the river to where we would start out trip down the river. After a 10 min run down on how to control the canoes, we were let loose. I kind of thought it would be reasonably easy as we had had a go before, but after I got in up the front and then nearly capsizing when Carl jumped in I realised this wasn’t going to be the easy task I thought. We shared a canoe, one at the front and the strongest at the back who also controlled the stearing (lucky Carl!). We paddled up the river a short way first to get use to the boat and then down the river for about 45 mins to meet the tour guy for breakfast. It took us a while to get into it and we couldn’t stop going in zig zags or around in a circle as we both tried to stir the canoe in the correct direction. A couple of the others were having some fun as we came up behind them and one splashed the other to which their canoe capsized and turfed them out. We couldn’t help but have a little giggle as they were soaked from head to toe! It was really nice paddling our way down the river even if we did zig zag our way down. The water wasn’t deep and wasn’t flowing so it was very peaceful. We arrived at the half way point to a well needed cooked breakfast with all the trimmings and a bit of a natter to the others on the tour. After being suitable stuffed with breaky we headed back into the water. We realised by now that to get the canoe to go straight only Carl needed to steer at the back and not both of us, we were a lot more successful in going straight this time. After another 45 mins we came to the pick up point and they drove us back to the beach front. A thoroughly enjoyable morning.

Natures Window
Natures Window Kalbarri National Park Western Australia
From Kalbarri

Next morning we packed up with the intention of visiting the National Park on our way out of Kalbarri and then heading onwards. We had a good look at the lookouts over the gorges including Natures Window and Z Bend. We took a bit longer than we expected with 2 more lookouts to go so decided to stay the night in Kalbarri and visit the others on our way out the next day (definitely leaving this time!) We took in Hawks Head and Ross Graham the next morning and then made our way towards Monkey Mia and Shark Bay.

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