Karijini National Park & Eighty Mile Beach, WA.

Karijini National Park: April 2017

Western Australia’s second largest National Park, filled with beautiful gorges carved out of red rock. We headed to the Eastern side of the park, near Dales gorge and Fortescue falls. A fire had passed through the summer before we arrived (December 2016) and it was burnt out. Photos below show little foliage which meant little respite from the hot sun in the day. Dan recalls us using the generator so I could cook a chickpea curry in the thermomix, one of only two times we actually used the generator, we could’ve made other dinner arrangements.

Karijini National Park
Free foot exfoliation from the little fish for Esther.
Esther and I waited in the shade while Dan did the Spider Walk on the way to Kermits Pool. It was warm, so I stripped Esther off and we waded in the water. It was so refreshing. Although there were a few awkward moments when the passers by realised she was naked.. meh, she’s a baby!
Dan the Man
Dan prior to the Spider Walk.
Fig trees bursting out of gorge rock.

Port Hedland:

We had a short stop in Port Hedland, refuelling the fridge and the car. We struggled to find any green grass at the caravan park, but we did find a really nice cafe/restaurant for dinner, where the service provided was so above standard we went out of our way to leave a facebook review! We spent the day perusing the town, walking along the foreshore, visiting the art gallery and South Headland library.

Port Hedland
This is a random selfie we took one night in Port Headland. I’ve put it in as I love seeing the inside of others vans and how they lived. Dan is sitting on Esther’s Bed. I’m sitting on the edge of the cafe lounge as we have the cushions resting on the couch. The Chaos. We started off setting up and packing away her bed, it didn’t last long, it stayed set up most of the time and given it was enclosed like a cot, it became a great place to store anything that might roll around on the move.

Eighty Mile:

The drive into Eighty Mile Beach Caravan Park is a long gravel road, which we took nice and slowly, limiting the trail of dust we left behind. As we reached the caravan park there was a caravan high on the hill advertising for sale, we came over the hill and along with views of the beach was a beautiful green grassed caravan park. After parking the caravan we made friends with other residents, so fresh and excited to be on this adventure and with Esther on board, it was easy to connect… her cuteness even scored us a freshly caught and filleted threadfin salmon, as she won over the caretakers of the caravan park who we chatted to on the beach. Esthers’ first experience eating fish… fresh as fresh could be. She loved it and still does. Spoilt!

5 mins after we got out we watched a shovel-nose shark swim by.
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Airlie Beach, QLD

It was so nice to see my cousin James, his wife Liz and their children again. We were able to conveniently park at the rear of their home, which made enjoying meals together a breeze. Boy were those meals delicious. Liz spoiled us with good home cooked food the whole time we were there, from scones to muffins (PS I still need to get that recipe off you), smoothies, a quiche bake-off, what a machine! Even treating us to her famous lasagne. It was delish! Disappointingly for everyone else, one night the enchiladas fell to the ground being brought out to the table, but it wasn’t the gluten free ones it was the glutenous ones, so I still got to enjoy dinner!! A rough week for them with kids home sick from school, they still managed to accommodate and spoil us. Introducing us to the “train game”, post cyclone home reno’s 101, where the hip hang out for some casual dining and the best places to fish.

Esther loved playing with new toys and her new friends. She even got to take some of the toys with her, including a Wiggles guitar! Which we’ve heard a few times now.

Thanks to James we were also treated to a flight with Air Whitsunday over the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands, something I had only dreamed of doing. It was amazing and I would highly recommend it. To see the reef from that perspective, the colour, the patterns and how long it extended on the horizon was amazing. I saw some sharks and Dan saw some turtles. It was truly stunning. Here are some photos, although not sure if they do it justice.

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The De Havilland Beaver .

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“Heart Reef”

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Liz kindly watched Esther for the morning and looking at these photo’s I don’t think Esther even knew we were gone (Note the bracelet):

Airlie Beach Lagoon:

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Views from the restaurant we went to on our last night together.

If we hadn’t been spoiled enough already Esther got her first ride in a small boat, although at times it was questionable as to whether she was enjoying it. James spotted turtles and showed us some of the devastation from Cyclone Debbie with a few boats still stranded. On the way we picked up a bag of ice from a vending machine, to keep our catches cool, not sure if we have any of those in WA! Meanwhile, I think James luck was about to change with us on the boat! Nothing again!

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What else do you do with a camera case? Shoe?

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So sad to say goodbye, but all the better for the time spent together. Looking forward to our future adventures on Kangaroo Island, or when they come to visit us in Perth. Beautiful family, glad we’re related!