Its finally time for a Gap Year! After 33 years of working we have decided to bite the bullet, hitch up the van and do the Big Lap of Australia.
Living in: Cairns City, Australia

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  • Day258

    Not much to see here really...a very industrial town, and the biggest town we've visited so far in WA. We restocked groceries, gas bottles, fuel etc then checked out a few sights.

    The Geraldton HMAS Sydney Memorial was great. We had a guided tour which was really helpful in understanding the history involved in the WW2 disaster that claimed 645 lives.

    Also visited the Geraldton Museum and were lucky enough to visit the Point Moore lighthouse which is only open to the public one day a year, and we fluked it!

    Temperature 7-20°
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  • Day254

    We're back on grass! This is the first grass camp since South Australia. Hopefully we'll now be able to clean the red dirt out of everything...

    We stayed 2 nights at the historic Lynton Station. It was the first convict depot north of Fremantle where 60 convicts were kept to supply labour to a nearby lead mine. Several convict depot buildings still remain and some have been beautifully restored.

    We also checked out the Pink Lake, Port Gregory and took a drive out to Hutt River Province where we spoke to the 92 year old Prince Leonard who is still sharp as a tack.
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  • Day250

    Booked in to the caravan park at Kalbarri as I'm working for a couple of days a week and we've decided to go "powered" to make things a bit easier. This was the first powered site we've had since Alice Springs in May!!!

    We met up with Robert and Karen again and spent a few days checking out Kalbarri National Park. Got the signature photo at Nature's Window, so another bucket list item checked off the list.

    Work got a bit hectic, so had to stay an extra day to get things sorted...

    Showers and cold 8- 20°
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  • Day247

    Had a relaxing 2 nights at the Bush Heritage owned Hamelin Station. Great facilities and provided easy access to Hamelin Pool, home of the Stomatolites - the oldest and largest living fossils on earth. These were quite interesting, although not much to look at.

    Also checked out Hamelin Pool Telegraph Station and Post Office as well as the Shell Block Quarry. This quarry used to provide solid building blocks made from the compacted cockle shell local to the area including Shell Beach.

    Starting to get a few showers...and cold 8-21°
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  • Day245

    Stayed 5 nights at Denham in an overflow section of the Shark Bay Caravan Park. Very busy around Shark Bay so was all we could get, but actually preferred the overflow as it had plenty of room and ocean views.

    Started working as a contractor from here and happy to say it seems to be going well. Just did 2 days to start off with...we'll see how it progresses.

    Spent an early morning at Monkey Mia with the dolphins that come in to the beach to be hand fed. Incredible story...rangers only feed them 10% of their diet so that they still learn how to hunt for themselves. Historically, many dolphins perished from losing the ability to hunt for fish after being hand fed too much.

    Splashed out on a 3 hour cruise which sailed out of Monkey Mia checking out dolphins, turtles, and dugong in the sea grass beds. Marg even got in the boom net behind the boat on the way home. We had a sunset cruise thrown in, so did that the next day which was fantastic.

    Really liked Shell Beach, one of only 2 beaches in the world covered entirely in shells. Spectacular!

    Robert & Karen caught up with us here...great to touch base again. Whilst we have to move on, I'm sure we'll be catching up again down the track.

    Weather 8-22°
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  • Day239

    Wooramel Station is a 1430 square kilometre cattle, sheep and goat station with 60 kilometres of Indian Ocean frontage. We had a relaxing 4 nights here camped beside the dry river bed. We enjoyed the hot artesian baths every afternoon followed by a couple of reds around our camp fire. The chainsaw came in handy again cutting firewood from across the river.

    Did some 4 wheel driving around the property, exploring the old sheep shearing sheds, shearer's quarters, and checked out the station tip with its myriad of old cars, tractors, washing machines and all sorts of old farm equipment.

    Beaut weather 12-23°
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  • Day236

    Spent 3 days in Carnarvon at the Oasis Outback Caravan Park. We were lucky enough to be here for Christmas in July so were treated to a teriffic roast dinner with the rest of the park.

    Really enjoyed the Space and Technology Museum and OTC Satellite Earth Station. The Earth Station played an Integral part in providing communications for NASA's Apollo Moon project.

    Also checked out the Quobba Blowhole, lighthouse, and campground. The blowhole was working well and we saw heaps of whales just offshore.

    A lot colder as we travel south 10-22°
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  • Day233

    What a great place! We stayed 3 nights at Bullara Station and used it as a base to visit Coral Bay. Coral Bay was beautiful but very busy. The caravan parks were packed in like sardines, so glad we stayed away. We went snorkling off the main beach and it was crystal clear with the coral right off the beach.

    Bullara Station have really geared up for the campers with great old "donkey" showers as well as newly built gas showers, camp kitchens, coffee garden, walks and 4 wheel drive tracks. They have something on most nights - we had damper night the first 2 nights, and hamburger night on the Friday night which was followed by some guest singers. Met some great people here, swapped details with some and caught up with a couple we met at Cape Range and also a lady we met at 80 mile Beach.

    Beautiful weather again 17-31°
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  • Day229

    Wow - This week has been one of the highlights of our trip! This place is magnificent! Not only have we been swimming with whale sharks, we've now done the "Turquoise Bay Drift". It's a beautiful snorkling location at Turquoise Bay, where the currents produced by the tidal forces escaping the reef lagoon make for a fantastic drifting snorkel experience. After walking about 500m up the beach, we entered the pristine blue waters, swam out and slowly drifted back down across the reef before swimming back to shore just before the currents swept out to sea through the gap in the reef. For a couple of novice snorklers this has been an exhilarating experience and one we won't forget.

    We visited Turquoise Bay every morning at high tide and did the drift snorkel several times. Each time offered up a different experience including swimming with the largest turtle we've ever seen, sting rays, every kind of reef fish and of course beautiful coral.

    We stayed at Osprey Bay campground ($20 pn) which is right on the beach. It's so windy here it would blow a dog off a chain and we had to tape up the fridge vent so the wind wouldn't keep blowing out the pilot flame. Apart from that, a beaut campground that we had to book online many weeks prior to get in.

    Highlights too many to mention...

    Beautiful weather 15-27°
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  • Day226

    We swam with Whale Sharks!

    A major bucket list item checked off the list. This one was way out of our comfort zone, but we're so glad we did it. We spent a full day with 3 Islands Whale Shark Dive and so happy we chose this operator. The all girl crew were fantastic and went out of their way to ensure everyone got to swim with a whale shark, regardless of their snorkling ability. We stopped at the inner reef in the morning to try our snorkling equipment whilst our spotter plane searched for whale sharks. Luckily for us the plane spotted plenty so we headed out to sea and had 6 dives with the biggest fish in the ocean! It's very tiring trying to keep up with them (especially whilst filming with a GoPro) and we all slept very well that night! We even got to see a humpback whale and calf, dolphins, manta ray, turtles and went snorkling on Ningaloo Reef on the way back to port.

    Drove up to Viamingh Head Lighthouse for sunset drinks and were lucky enough to see many humpback whales swimming past.

    Had a great dinner out with Robert & Karen at an Italian restaurant in Exmouth and had a fantastic night. We said our goodbyes as we parted ways for the time being...we may catch up down the track.

    Beautiful weather 13- 27°
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  • Day219

    Had a fantastic 5 night stay at Dales Campground at Karijini. We visited heaps of gorges, swimming holes, hikes and lookouts, our favourites being - Hancock Gorge including Kermits Pool, the Spider walk, & the Amphitheatre, Dales Gorge including Fortescue Falls, Circular Pool and Fern Pool, and Hamersley Gorge.

    The hike into Hancock gorge was beautiful and quite challenging at grade 5 (highest difficulty). We had to descend ladders, wade through thigh deep water, and negotiate the infamous Spider Walk where we straddled the walls of the gorge to reach Kermits Pool.

    Still travelling with Rob & Karen from Mackay and having a great time. We set up the sat dish here and kept the whole campground awake as we cheered on the Maroons to win the State of Origin series AGAIN!

    Fantastic weather again. 8 - 29°
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  • Day213

    What a top spot! Stayed 6 nights here with our new friends we met at Barn Hill Station - Robert & Karen from Mackay. It's great to be travelling with someone again even if only for a couple of weeks.

    80 Mile Beach is predominantly a fishing beach with 4WD access and is usually lined with fisherman on the run up to high tide. We all gave it a good go, but caught absolutely nothing. The bloke fishing beside me pulled in a monster 1.2m Threadfin Salmon which lifted our spirits, but it didn't help.

    Victor and Barbara whom we met at Broome were also here. They spend 3 months every year at 80 Mile, as do a lot of retired Perth people. I think they felt sorry for us and gave us some fresh fish fillets which were beautiful. We had afternoon tea together on our last day and I cooked up a damper which we all enjoyed.

    Beautiful weather, although starting to cool down at night. 11-30°
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