Saturday, August 27, 2011

Excited to get home...sad it's ending...

Whoops It's been ages!!! Well our time in the Northern Territory was fantastic & full of fun & adventure! Our first day in the Territory happened to be Territory Day (Ist July) which means people are allowed to buy fireworks & let them off for a few hours that night...yay! We drove into Katherine unaware of the day & thought the tackle shop was having a huge sale as people were lined up outside on the footpath until we saw the huge "FIREWORKS ON SALE HERE" sign!!!! We soon joined the queue & got a bit carried away buying fireworks but it was just so exciting...only problem was we couldn't let them off were we were camped that night so that was a bummer but we have managed to let a few off very safely at a friends farm & I have got to say they are heaps of fun! Anyway enough of the fireworks.
Our first week in the NT was spent camping at Litchfield NP & we thought it was just beautiful. It's not tropical like I expected, in fact the main road looks like your in the bush & nowhere near waterfalls but then just a little divert off the main road & you find the most stunning water falls & swimming holes. Our favourites were The Cascades & Buley Rockholes, we ended up spending most of our time at Buley Rockholes just swimming & totally relaxing. We cannot believe that this weather is winter it is so hot I'd hate to experience a summer up here.
After 4 beautiful days at Litchfield we moved on to Darwin & spent 2 wks there & the first week was spent with my Mum, Dad, Aunty & Uncle visiting us. It was so nice to see them all again & we had a great week with everyone doing the touristy things around Darwin & lots of fun & laughs were had!!! The kids favourite thing about Darwin were the Darwin water slides (a free water park for everyone of all ages to use!), it was so much fun we ended up spending 2 days there & the kids convinced me to go on the slides & let me just say I have obviously become a chicken in my 30's because I was screaming more than the kids! One of our all time favourite days we spent around Darwin was when we hired a boat & spent half a day at Corroboree Billabong, this place was magic!!! We got to the billabong very early in the morning & seeing the sunrise over the billabong was just stunning & it only took a few minutes for the wildlife to amaze us. The first thing we saw was a wallaby by the waters edge, then 3 buffalo, tonnes of bird life & so many crocs we lost count in the first hour! The scenery is just incredible & you don't get bored of the view, there's always something stunning to look at. Everything is so green & I honestly couldn't get over the amount of birds & crocs. Poor Glen had his hopes high on catching some Barra but unfortunately he only got 4 stinking catfish. The day was going perfectly until the silly hire boat broke down! Normally I wouldn't mind, but in a croc infested river were you can see crocs swimming from bank to bank (& they are not small crocodiles!) I was a little nervous. Thankfully the owner of the hire boat was fabulous & didn't hesitate in coming to our rescue & we were back on land in under 2 hours. The owner felt so bad that after abit of discussion he offered us an even bigger boat for a whole day free of charge so we accepted & spent the next day fishing in Darwin Harbour which isn't as scenic as Corroboree Billabong but we did catch more fish & Glen finally got his first ever NT Barra!
After our time in Darwin we moved onto Kakadu NP & we were really looking forward to it despite hearing so many negative comments about it. Our Kakadu experience started at a camp ground near Cahills Crossing which is on the border of Kakadu & Arnhem Land. Cahills Crossing & the nearby Ubirr is something everyone should experience but to fully appreciate it you have to stay over night so you can see an incredible sunset over the water plains of Kakadu from the top off Ubirr rock after viewing amazing aboriginal art. We spent almost 3 full days at Cahills Crossing watching the concrete crossing from Kakadu into Arnhem Land go about 1m under water before the tide turned & it went back down to about .2m & cars & trucks can start crossing safely again. One of the most amazing things for us too all watch was a local crocodile who has made this area his home rest on the banks for most of the day until the tide reached high tide them he would enter the water ever so quietly & make his way up to the crossing against the strong current with his mouth open wide fishing for his lunch & when he got a fish in his mouth you could see him thrash about killing & eating it. We loved seeing him feed in his natural environment his natural way. Glen also very carefully had a fish off the rocks here (he stayed very high up & away from the waters edge) & caught a lot of Barra. We kept one & had a very yummy feed of NT Barra. After a really interesting morning spent with local Aboriginal woman teaching us how to weave baskets & bangles from pandanus leaves it was time to say goodbye to all the thousands of friendly mossies & move further along Kakadu. We really enjoyed the next few days going on bush walks & visiting a fantastic information centre & an Aboriginal Cultural Centre, they were both brilliant. Our last day in KakaduMaguk Falls so we could swim in the rock pools above the waterfall & it was worth the 40min hike through the bush & even the terrifying 3 metre walk along the cliff edge! The rock pools were beautiful to swim in.
After Kakadu we planned to stay at Edith Falls for a couple of nights but the camp ground was fully booked so after a very quick swim there we stayed just outside of Katherine on a farm stay with horses & bulls & lots of space for the kids to run. The next few days were spent swimming in all the thermal pools Katherine & Mataranka had to offer & they were all just lovely to swim in. Each one had something different to offer that made it special & I couldn't pick a favourite. I know Glens favourite...the one we ended up having 6 topless hippies & a fully nude hippy...hahaha!
We then had 4 days of huge drives of about 600kms a day from Mataranka to Townsville with not much to see in between except an amazing fossil museum in Richmond which was so interesting & had some pretty awesome fossils of ancient creatures all found within the local area. After Townsville we very excitedly drove our way to Mission Beach to spend a month doing as little as possible besides the odd fishing trip & walks along the beach. We have been so lucky with the weather up here this time with hardly any rain. We have done loads of fishing with great fish being caught & heaps of fun being had. Our best fishing day was when we got to visit a friends Barra farm & watch how they farm & harvest Barra which was really interesting & then we were allowed to fish the dams. That was awesome, so many Barra being caught no-ones lines were empty & they were huge too! I don't know how I'm going to cope when I get home not being able to just wonder down to the beach anytime I like after spending 90% of the 8 mths practically living on a beach somewhere!
We are leaving Mission Beach tomorrow to make our way home in about 4 days & I am super excited to get home to see all my family & friends (especially our nieces & nephews!!!) again but I'm also really sad the adventure & our hassle free, easy living lifestyle will be over. We have had the most amazing 8mths on the road seeing some of the most incredible places & we have had some unforgettable experiences...oh well all good things must come to an end...until our next trip!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Our last few days in WA...

Bye bye Broome & beautiful WA beaches as that will be the last beach now until we hit Darwin, so it was a sad moment in our car as we waved goodbye to the coast & headed inland. Our first stop for today was a place called Derby & let me just say it was an eye opener, within 30 secs of us driving in & seeing the locals in the park we had decided we would not be staying here very long at all...if you've been up this way I think you can guess why! Anyway after seeing the Boab Prison Tree & reading the amazing history behind it (and meeting a lovely, very funny couple Les & Christine) we set off for our camp about 100 kms up the road.

The next morning we hit the road at 7.15am the earliest we've ever been on the road to get to our next camp spot so we could get a great spot on the river. We ended up with a really good spot near the river at Mary Pools. After the van was set up we went for a big walk up the river & got to see our first wild freshwater croc which was pretty exciting to be so close to it without being in a zoo. Les & Christine who we had met the day before came & camped near us so we had a great time chatting to them around the fire.We spent a couple of days here just chilling out & the kids had a ball making mud pies & basically getting filthy in the dirt, then it was time to move further east to explore the Bungle Bungles.

We quickly drove through Halls Creek only stopping for fuel & bread & got to our next spot which was even better than the last spot, this time we were right on the river & it was stunning. Again we did the usual arvo family thing a big walk up the river bed exploring & it was hot so it was nice to cool off in the little bits of water still there. The next morning was a super early start with us on the road at 6.30am (a new record) for our 2 hour drive on the very bumpy dirt road with 38 creek crossings to get to the Bungle Bungles & while the drive sometimes felt like I was in a washing machine it was a fun adventure & seeing the Bungle Bungles was well worth it. They are so different to anything I have ever seen before, the best way to describe them is like massive over sized rock beehives. They are huge & have a very distinctive line pattern which make them look almost unreal. We went for a big walk into one of the gorges & it was fantastic & stunning! The next walk was a hot one to a lookout over some of the Bungle Bungles & they are just amazing to see. We had a great day. On the drive home we came across Les & Christine & found out they were camping right beside us so later that night when the kids were in bed we had a great time sitting around the fire having a giggle with them.

Time to hit the road again & this time to Kunnunarra which isn't a bad town. Here we did some shopping & were we were staying we had use of a free washing machine which was very exciting for me when I have been paying $4 a load at other places so I did heaps of washing & Zac got his stitches out with no problems at all. We did a little bit of sight seeing but I think we were still so tired from the Bungle Bungles it was nice to just sit still for a while. It was Ty's 6th b'day in Kunnunarra so we had a fun day celebrating that with party food & yummy cake. We also got to catch up with my good friends parents who I hadn't seen for quite a few years so that was great fun exchanging travelling stories & having a laugh up with them. Also saw Les & Christine briefly again. It's amazing on the road we have meet so many fantastic people & seem to keep bumping into them so you always have someone to have a chat to. Leaving Kunnunarra we stopped by The Ord Dam or Lake Argyle whichever you want to call it & had a look, it is massive. It was pretty exciting as Glen's Dad worked there during the construction of it back in the 60's. On the way back to the highway Glen stopped to have a quick fish in the Ord River & here we got to see about 6 freshwater crocs including a cute little baby one! About 20 mins after being back on the highway we said a sad goodbye to WA & entered the Northern Territory. We are very sad to say bye bye to WA, we have absolutely loved it over here & plan to come back one day for another big holiday to soak up all it's beauty again!!!

Sunsets & stitches...

Since we left Karratha a couple of weeks ago we have been busy being tourists some days & beach bums other days...we get so relaxed sometimes we forget the day & dates which can be a little embarrassing at times. After Karratha we had a couple of nice river camp spots (we were very excited about having a camp fire again after a month without one!) We made our way to a place 130kms south of Broome called Barn Hill & this is were we turned into lazy relaxed beach bums & just enjoyed reading, walking on the beach, fishing, watching more amazing WA sunsets & generally just hanging on the beach & having was so warm (Winter? What winter?!) The kids even had a couple of swims in the ocean. We love Barn Hill as the beach is just stunning with amazing rock formations on the beach & also a great sandy beach which we spent many hours on playing cricket, footy, building sandcastles & just sitting around doing nothing much...heaven!

After Barn Hill it was off to Broome we go & I really didn't now what to expect & although I didn't fall in love with Broome it is still a really nice place & I thought the Cable Beach sunset would be just a big over hyped touristy thing that would be disappointing as we have found the heavily advertised tourist attractions often to be a bit of a let down but holy cow I was wrong the sunset over Cable Beach with the camels walking along it is a sight everyone should see for themselves, it truly is incredible! Thanks to some nice local advice we were given we drove onto Cable Beach & joined all the other four wheel drives & enjoyed nibbles & drinks watching the kids play on the beach, camels walking past & with the sun slowly setting over the water...really beautiful!!! The next day we set off very very early in the morning to catch the beach at low tide so we could walk out to see dinosaur foot prints in the rocks on the beach & we found them pretty easily, we just looked for the crowd of people taking photos of a rock...hahaha! It was actually pretty awesome seeing the dinosaur footprints & the kids were so excited to think dinosaurs were once walking right where we were standing. We did a few more tourist sight seeing things in Broome that day & went for a big walk on the huge Broome Jetty & got to see some cattle trucks loading cattle onto a ship to take them south. Glen had a fish but no luck with catching anything. It was another lovely warm (or hot) winters day in the north so we found a kids water park/playground & let the kids have a play while Glen went for a quick fish off the rocks & I sat relaxing reading a magazine. Then all of a sudden Zac screams this high pitch scream & comes running over to me holding his ear screaming that he had cut his ear in half!!! I had a look & quickly realised he had done a very good job at cutting his ear so told Tiana to run & get Dad as we were going for our 3rd hospital visit of the trip. Thankfully Broome hospital had just had a huge reno & was a really nice clean hospital so that made me relax a little bit. We got to see someone pretty quickly (one woman had been waiting 4 hours to see someone) but then the doctors couldn't decide the best way to handle his cut as it had cut the ear cartilage & so they started to numb his ear with cream & they all agreed it couldn't just be stitched & that a surgeon would have to do it because of how it was cut, the only thing for them to disagree about now was whether he had to go to theatre under a general or to do it in the emergency dept under a drug that would put Zac into a twilight state & while all this was going on Zac only had one major meltdown about it all & that was at the very beginning when he first found out he had to have stitches but after I explained it all to him & calmed him down the rest of the 7 hours we were there he was an absolute legend, the doctors & nurses even started calling him Bear Grylls (Zac was very excited about that!). At first we were told Zac was booked in for surgery at 9.30pm but then the doctors changed their minds & eventually they agreed the surgeon could do it with Zac in la la land in the emergency department which I honestly was much more comfortable with. Thankfully I was able to stay with Zac the whole time & although it was quite weird & abit hard to see him in a trance like state I was glad to be there to hold his hand. It was all over with very fast & as Zac started to wake up he found it quite funny that I had 4 eyes, 2 noses & 2 mouths...hahaha! Eventually at 9pm Zac & I got to go home to bed...he was such a champion my big boy. Unfortunately just as we were leaving the hospital we got to witness a young boy about 10 under the affects from sniffing petrol & that was a really sad sight, he was just so young & such a mess, very very sad. After our adventure packed afternoon we decided to stay an extra night in Broome to just relax & we really wanted to have one more sunset on Cable Beach & it was the perfect way to say goodbye to Broome.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ready to hit the road again after 4 wks sitting still...

4 weeks later & we are just about to leave Karratha & hit the road again...YAY!!!!! I really wasn't sure what to expect from Karratha & I have to admit it is much better then I had pictured it in my has Coles, Woolies, K-mart & Target...woohoo! We had been told coming here by people we had meet that Glen would have no problem getting work here & he'd be on at least $50 an hour so we figured we had to give it ago & while everyone was right about plenty of work they weren't so spot on with the money thing & they also failed to mention when you get work here the van parks won't let you take up a tourist site you have to take a permanent site for which they have waiting lists about 3 mths long! Anyway Glen had a job within 2 hours of us being here & he got it at the very first place he walked into to apply for work, so jobs are plentiful here, the pay wasn't quite what we were hoping for but it was still worth our while to stay so we did & Glen started working as Bridgestone Tyres. (Although since then in the 4 wks we've been here he has had 4 job offers with "the good money" we were told about so they do exist! The most recent offer was today & they wanted him to start straight away for Rio Tinto & then she asked me if I would like to work as well but I said I was busy home schooling 3 kids & she said "That's a shame but if you decide to stay & put them in school we will have work for you as well" Plenty of work! ) The first week we spent here we camped at a beach called Cleaverville about 20mins north of Karratha which was really nice but the sand flies were starting to eat poor Glen & Ty alive so when Glens new boss offered for us to stay at the back of the workshop in town we accepted, although we were giving up beautiful views of sunsets over the water, morning & arvo walks along the beach collecting shells, privacy, peace & quiet, we were also excited at the thought of having electricity all day without having to run the generator, running water out of a tap not having to pump it or worry about how much we were using, hot showers without having to boil the water on the fire first & then worrying about every precious drop we were using & a flushing toilet that we didn't have to empty every few days....simple things you may be taking for granted everyday but things we call little pieces of heaven & we miss after a few months without them....hahaha.

Anyway so now we have money coming in & a place to park the van. The kids & I have spent most of our time while Glen is working catching up on heaps of school work, & any spare time I get has been spent hand washing yes good old hand washing as for some reason that I can't figure out a town like Karratha that caters for 1000's & 1000's of people most of which are men flying in for work this place doesn't have a laundromat...what the?! I can only assume the red dirt ruins the machines & the rent is crazy for a shop to have one so it's not worth it, I'm really not sure, but anyway I have now become the hand washing queen.

The real estate in Karratha is quite interesting too. I found in the paper the other day a 3bedroom 1 bathroom renovators delight for the bargain price of $725 000 but I decided on the brand new 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom unit instead at the grand total of $987 000 but I'm debating whether to buy it or rent it at only $1500 PER WEEK!!!!! These prices I could understand in a place with a gorgeous beach & tonnes of facilities but here not so sure I get it.

While Karratha isn't the prettiest of places we are very lucky to see it after a huge wet season for the locals so there is a lot of green & we think the contrast of green grass & red rocks & dirt is pretty awesome to see. It's also been really interesting seeing the mining side of Western Australia. We have been pretty focused on work & schooling while here but we have also had heaps of family fun at the parks, seeing the beautiful Stairway to the Moon, fishing (I caught my first Queen fish on the weekend!), splashing in lots of red dirt mud, Tiana had her 10th b'day here & we had a ball at the speedway.

We leave here in a few days time to heap north up to Broome & make our way over a few weeks to Darwin where we get to catch up with my Mum, Dad, my Aunty, Uncle & some friends we have up there so very excited for that!!!!!! Also can't wait to explore Darwin & especially Kakadu NP. Still having a brilliant time!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Loving WA...

Well we have fallen in love with Western Australia, it has really turned about to be pretty much everything we imagined it to be so far. Last time I said we were heading to Albany which we did & had a fabulous day there, so much more to see & do then I expected. We started by going to a food market by the Marina & filled in our day visiting a Museum, having a picnic, going to visit some incredible beaches & then visiting the Albany wind farm, which was really cool. Then we went just north of Albany to Denmark to see one of the nicest beaches I ever seen called Greens Pools & if it was so cold we would of all have jumped in for a swim...bloody cold weather! The next day we did The Valley Of The Giants walk which is a walk 40 mtrs above the ground on suspension bridges & it was really interesting & exciting. The next few days were spent visiting places like Busselton, Bunbury, Mandurah etc which were all really nice but we were so sick of the cold weather & the wind we couldn't wait to get to Perth & hopefully some better weather. We arrived at Perth & instantly the weather changed it was sunny, boiling hot & much less wind! We spent the first couple of days catching up with an old friend & then spent time on beautiful Trigg Beach & a day exploring Kings Park & the city. Usually I really dislike cities but have to say Perth is really fantastic & very different to many cities. Had a great time in Perth. We decided to head north of Perth for Easter & stopped at a couple of places but ended up spending Easter at Coronation Beach just north of Geraldton. We spent a huge amount of time in Geraldton & really liked it, the beach was great & they have a brilliant kids playground & water park right on the beach front. Also had a really interesting Museum we spent heaps of time in. At Coronation Beach we got to witness the most spectacular sunsets we've ever seen. They were amazing! We had a beautiful Easter there & Easter Bunny found the kids luckily! From Coronation Beach we headed north over a few days to Canarvan & then we found out the place we had planned to camp at had closed down so we were really unsure what to do but with the suggestion of the lady at the Information Centre we decided to head to a place which was abit off our path but really had no choice, but we ended up being so grateful to this lady as the place we stayed Point Quobba is an absolute hidden little gem! It was free too! You camp just behind the sand dunes so your just a stones throw from the beach & the beach is like a little lagoon (the locals call it the aquarium) surrounded by an island of rock & then reef so the lagoon is protected from any waves & most of the wind & it was full of reef, coral & beautiful fish. We spent 4 days just snorkeling & swimming, the kids loved it because of all the amazing coral & colourful fish to see, even got to see our first Octopus. We were very sad to leave Point Quobba. Next we headed to Coral Bay & Exmouth. Coral Bay is a lovely kid friendly beach with really shallow crystal clear water for about 20 mtrs & then it drops off to the coral but after the snorkeling at Point Quobba we didn't find Coral Bay so great for snorkeling, never the less we had a fantastic day swimming there & the highlight was the afternoon fish feed. At 3.30 a tour guide comes into the water & hands out pellats to anyone who wishes to feed the fish & you start dropping the pellats in the water & you have these massive fish swimming all around your legs eating the food, you can even see their teeth. It was such an incredible experience, they kids in particular loved it! That night we stayed at a place called Bullarra Station which is just a farm or station as they are all called over here because of their size, where they farm mostly, goats & sheep. We got there late so after visiting the cute little lambs we had an early night. We were awoken the next morning by a strange noise & when we took a look outside we had 3 horses right next to the caravan & as soon as we stuck our heads out they came straight over for a pat, one of the horses even stuck his head in the van for a quick look around, it was very funny. We went for a walk & found a heap of goats & sheep & then when we went to watch the lambs have their morning milk feed in the shed our very friendly horses followed us into the shed to watch too...the kids thought it was hilarious. After a great morning with the farm animals we got back on the road to Exmouth which was only an hour up the road. Exmouth itself I have to say is abit of a let down as it really isn't a pretty town & the local beach isn't very appealing either but the Cape Range National Park 40kms up & around the corner is an incredibly beautiful place. Our first real day in Exmouth was spent out on a boat swimming with the Whale Sharks & it was truly out of this world!!! We've done alot of things & seen alot of amazing places this holiday but this is the definite highlight so far. It was just the most unbelievable feeling swimming next to this incredible giant of the sea & to see how excited the kids were with it too was just fantastic!!! The first Whale Shark we saw we all jumped in & Zac & I were the last 2 to get in so when we jumped in & looked straight ahead of us we nearly died as the Whale Shark was right there, right in front of us so I grabbed Zac & started to swim sideways as fast as I could to get out of the way, although they are harmless I wasn't going to push my luck. After the initial fright & we had calmed down it was surreal swimming next to it. The time went so fast & after 90mins of swimming with them we had to go back in but we didn't want to & we all can't wait to do it again one day. The next day we headed into Cape Range National Park got a camping spot exactly where we wanted very easily after being told it was almost impossible to get in here by everyone we have meet, very lucky I guess. We are camped at a spot called Mesa it was gorgeous. The beach is the most incredible crystal clear blue water & the whole National Park Coast line (Ningaloo Reef) is the same & then behind you we have these amazing looking huge ranges. We went to a little water hole to fill up some buckets of water & got to see 4 Emu's having a drink & have seen heaps of kangaroos here. We went for a walk through one of the Gorges here & that is a pretty special site of huge cliffs of red rock. The snorkeling at a place here about 10 mins from our camp called Turquoise Bay is sensational. The beach is stunning & very easy to access the reef which is full of fish & coral. We have seen 100's of fish, a few octopus, a couple of turtles & even got to see a couple of White Tip Reef Sharks which was a thrill to be swimming with them, one in particular gave me a bit of a fright as it got abit curious & came up off the bottom for a look around so I was a little scared being at eye level with this shark but Glen was cool calm & collected which calmed me back down & the shark just cruised back to the bottom. Cape Range NP & the Ningaloo Reef is one place we will definitely be coming back to one day, it is just the most amazing, beautiful unique place. It was very sad leaving there. Now we are Karratha & haven't had time to explore it much as it is really windy & rainy at the moment but once the sun comes back out we'll start looking around. Glen has some work here so we'll stay for a few weeks & have a look around. The kids & I are hitting the school books hard & catching up on work while it's raining. Can't believe we've been gone for over 4 mths & we are half way now, I'm having a great time but also can't wait to see everyone back home again soon!!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

We are in WA!!!

It's been a while...
I've been very slack with the blog as we have been doing so much during the day that I've just been too stuffed to do this at night & we don't always have internet connection when we are travelling either but I will try my best to update more regularly, I promise.
Where do I start??? We spent a month in Burra SA where Glen worked on renovations at the local school which was built in 1887...can you believe that & they still use it today, it is a beautiful old school. Burra while incredibly tiny was such a lovely place to spend a month. We met some wonderful people while staying there & we made some lifelong friends who we miss heaps. Burra Caravan Park is fantastic & if you ever stay there say hi to the managers Anne & Wayne for us, they are such awesome people & we had such a great time with them. We got tonnes of school work done while Glen was working which the kids are doing really well at. Tiana gets in & does her work without questions, Ty is so keen to start school I can't give him enough work he always wants more & that leaves Master Zac who spends more time day dreaming out the van door than doing work & I've never known a kid who needs to go to the toilet as much as Zac does when it's school work time...hahaha. We are getting there slowly.
After Burra we spent 10 days driving SA's Eyre Peninsula which is really pretty but it was very windy most of the time which made it a bit cold. We also got our first flat tyre of the trip which was a little exciting for us & thankfully it happened in the Hungry Jacks car park so we had plenty of food & drinks to keep us happy while Glen changed the tyre. After staying at Point Lowly (beautiful) & Whyalla we set of for Port Gibbion a place I had been wanting to go since I starting researching this area a year ago... so it had been raining & we had abit of a muddy dirt track for 14kms to drive down & although Glen wasn't really keen on the road he knew I really wanted to go there because I had read it was beautiful & there was a really good chance of seeing a Seal on the beach. So we arrive at Port Gibbon & we could smell the beach before we saw it, it was full of seaweed piles about 1m high & the wind was insane & there was no way you could walk on the beach with all the seaweed so plan B was put into gear & my wonderful husband happily got back behind the steering wheel & drove us to the next camp spot. When we arrived at Port Neill a couple of hours later we were so glad we decided to go there as it was gorgeous & our free camp there was off the beach about 100m so you felt like you were in the country (we even had a windwill behind the van!) but the ocean was a stones through away & this beach was absolutely beautiful. The next day after a spot of fishing off Port Neill's jetty we headed to Louth Bay which was another lovely spot & only 20 mins north of Port Lincoln & for $5 a night instead of a van park in Lincoln for $50 a night we spent 5 nights at Louth Bay. We did lots of fishing here but spent most of our time in at Port Lincoln. Something I have wanted to do since I can remember was to cage dive with Great White Sharks at Port Lincoln but when I looked into the prices I just couldn't justify the money so in Mummy mode decided that money would be better spent taking the whole family out on a tour to swim in the ocean with Sea Lions at Hopkins Island & then take a tour of a Tuna Farm (in the ocean), hand feed the Tuna & swim with them too so that's what we did & it was fantastic. The Sea lions was something I'll never forget!!! Glen, myself & the 3 kids all got wetsuited up & jumped in the water but the poor boys only lasted a couple of minutes in the water before they had to get out because they were too cold. Tiana lasted about 10 mins before she had to get out but at least before she got out she got to experience a Sea Lion swimming around her...awesome moment! The staff were fantastic & wouldn't let Glen & I get out of the water to look after the kids, they looked after them & told us to enjoy our time in the water. It was incredible having these wild animals swimming all around me & one in particular came up & eyed me off & the more you move around the more interested they are in you & so this one keep swimming around me & playing with me & in the end I popped my head out of the water to talk to Glen & the Sea Lion came up behind me & hit me on the back!!! Next we went to the Tuna Farm which is in the ocean made from a massive big net & a few other things holding it together obviously...hahaha. Anyway we got to go in an underwater observation room & see the Tuna & see just how huge they were & how many there were. Next we got to hand feed them. You could use tongs which I did to begin with but then Glen dared me to feed them with my hand (but you have to wear a glove to protect your hand from their teeth) so I did & it was brilliant but so scary as they just come from no where with so much force & rip this tiny fish out of your hand. I let a few little girly screams out every time one took my fish. The kids absolutely loved feeding them & they were alot braver than me & continued feeding them the whole time we were there. Glen jumped in to swim with them & eventually Zac braved the cold water & had a quick swim with the Tuna too. Minus the sea sickness vomit on the way to the Sea Lions I was an AWESOME day!!! Back to the cage dive with Great Whites story on the way back from the Tuna Farm we got talking to the owner of the business that had taken us out for the day & Glen told him how I wanted to do the shark dive but spent the money on this instead & believe it or not he was taking his staff & a couple of other people out 2 days later for their first cage dive of the year & said we could all go for the same price it was going to cost me to go on my of course we calmy said yeah that would be great & then when I got in the car I jumped around like a lunatic so excited!!!!!! So a couple of days later we were on the boat heading out to the Neptune Islands to hopefully see these amazing creatures of the ocean! Poor Tiana this time was so sea sick but she didn't complain at all, she was amazing. The boys were brilliant as well for spending a total of 10 hours on a boat...fabulous kids! We spent abit of time waiting for sharks to come around & in the end we just had to get in the cage & wait. Tiana got in with us but again a couple of minutes later she was freezing & had to get out but I was so proud of her giving it ago. Honestly it was terrifying getting in the cage but once I was under the water & got my breathing under control it was so fun just waiting & then about 10 mins later I got a tap on the shoulder & there it was this massive monster of the sea swimming straight at the cage & slowly gracefully swimming under the cage & just disappearing into the water. I was so excited I had to go up for a proper breath & tell the kids I had seen one & then a couple of minutes later Glen grabbed my leg & I put my head back under & there was another one gliding past the cage....I was more than a little excited by now!!!!!! After that I got out of the cage to let someone else have a go but as it ended up by the end of the day those 2 sharks were the only 2 to come around the boat that day & Glen & I were lucky enough to see them!!! loved our time in Port Lincon & so incredibly happy I had done something I'd always wanted to do.
We spent another few days staying at some other beautiful beaches on the Eyre Peninsula before making our way across the mighty Nullarbor. Interesting thing is that although for the most part the 1200kms across the Nullarbor it's flat & nothing to see it is so amazing to see, if that makes sense? We took 3 days to do it & spent one night sleeping on the Great Australian Bite Marine Park lookout only about 100m from the cliffs. The cliffs straight into the ocean was an amazing sight to see. I was really wanting to see a camel on the drive but all we got to see was a dingo & 100's of mice. Very exciting when we crossed the border & entered Western Australia!!!! We are in Esperance at the moment & although it is abit rainy we still had a great day driving out to Cape La Grand National Park to see some gorgeous beaches. Can't get over the colour of the water here, it is the most amazing colours of blue & green & so clear, although the water is absolutely freezing! Heading off to Albany tomorrow & making our way up to Perth by Easter.
This has turned out to be a mighty massive blog...hahaha. I'll try to post some pics soon :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

We are in South Australia & we've found the hot weather!

We hit the South Australia border & we hit the heat on the same day...holy cow! Took the jumpers off & got the summer gear back out. It was quite strange after almost 2 mths of our driving being on the coast & the drive being quite slow due to the roads being so windy & hilly to entering South Australia & the roads are all so flat & straight & even the landscape is just flat & dry, trees seem to be rare thanks to the farmers clearing everything. Our first stop was at Mt Gambier & while to me it was just another city we did visit the Blue Crater Lake to see the amazing blue water & it was so worth seeing, you can hardly believe the colour, it didn't look real. We also went to visit the sunken garden but couldn't go down as it was closed due to 1000's of very angry bees. It looked really pretty from the top though. We moved on to Kingston SE which is a nice little town & we camped about 20mins north of there at a beach called The Granites. It was a great beach & it was so hot we all went for a swim in the ocean which was lovely but I had a very good eye on the water looking for any friendly Great Whites who may have been looking for a snack. We had a fantastic arvo swimming & making sandcastles & then to top it off we got to see the most incredible sunset over the ocean & if we turned around right behind us was a full moon over storm clouds, awesome sight!
The next few days were spent making our way slowly to Burra via Murray Bridge, Hahndorf & Adelaide. The kids absolutely loved Hahndorf where we took them to a Farm Barn & they got to play with heaps of baby animals & also got to feed them all & they got to milk a cow the old fashioned way & they were super excited when they got to hold a snake!

We are in Burra now for a few weeks were Glen has some work at the local school painting which is just over the fence from the caravan park we are staying at. We have meet a great couple staying next to us & are spending alot of time having fun all together, the kids are loving the extra little friend to play with. Burra is a beautiful little town with alot of history & old houses & buildings to look at. We are spending alot of time catching up on lots of school work which the kids are handling really well so far. It's pretty hot here at the moment so we are spending alot of time playing under the sprinklers....I miss my air con when it's this hot!