Two hours north of Geraldton in Western Australia is the spectacular Kalbarri National Park. Stretching from the coast about 50km inland the park encompasses a pretty amazing range of ecosystems from the inland reach that really made me feel as though I was back in Alice Springs with bush tomatos and low scrub the most noticable species (except for a small native pine which I’ll have to read up on). The coastline is stark and dramatic with cliffs and sea stacks that could rival the Great Ocean Road down in Victoria.
So this weekend I am in Geraldton, Western Australia exploring the town for things of interest while work keeps me here for a while. Luckily there seems to be plenty on this weekend which means that I’ve had a busy day of coffee, washing, viewing a church, the Valley View Airshow, sunset at the beach and putting together a quick video from some canyons I did recently.
Some photos to corroborate my very brief words (oh and open up the photos).
And then there was the sunset!
This weekend I had some spare time to fill in Western Australia so I thought I would take a little drive and check out some of the amazing natural phenomena that abound the ‘Coral Coast’ as this area has been dubbed. With a massively long coastline with warm tropical waters flowing down from the northern Indian Ocean there is a massive variety of sea life including whales (in season), sea lions and so many varieties of sea grass that the coast line is quite putridly fascinating.
So, what is it that I actually went to see? Well an example of the oldest type of living creatures of the world (well slime) which despite being more then 1, 300 million years old can actually be found in quite a few locations around Australia and the world. In one of my little nerding out periods it is interesting to know that Stromatolites and Thromatolites (their very close relative) are communities of bacteria that form large accretions which over time become large rock like structures. These living fossils really don’t look exciting, but when you consider almost identical fossils are the oldest known fossils that is cool.
The second part of my adventure was to visit the Pinnacles, which are fascinating limestone structures sticking out of the sand in a desert like part of the coastline. The pinnacles can be best describes as stalamites that have formed in rock by limestone perculating through fissures instead of through the conventional dripping process. But that is enough science I think.
I’ve mentioned this before, but one of the perks of my job is being able to stop in at interesting locations near my work sites. At the moment I am spending a little time based out of Geraldton in Western Australia, and instead of heading straight home from the office today I decided to turn off the main drag at the big brown sign to Ellendale Pool. Not having a clue what I was heading towards, or how far down the road it might be is always a little worrying but today it worked out when I noticed the trees thickening and a few reeds starting to survive in the creek lines.
Soon I was driving parallel to what looked like a rather health swamp, but after taking another turn off I started to see glimpses of water. Ellendale Pool turned out to be a large spring fed billabong at the bend in a big cliff line. A few slightly worrying signs (not sure if I want meningitis) stopped me from swimming, or at least until I have spoken to some locals in the know.
Occasionally I do some work. Mostly I like to check out places like this.
As I mentioned in a recent post, I’ve been a long way from anywhere a few times in the last month or so.
To get to this particular Long Way From took quite a few hours and a the permission of a number of station owners, so I wouldn’t suggest getting excited about going to a Long Way From.
Anyway the drive was exciting! There were lots of gates through stock country before getting into the start of the true desert country. As soon as the desert started the dunes began. Dune after dune we rose up hills and rolled down the other side before crossing large grassed flats between said dunes. It is impossible to explain just how fantastic these locations are, or to convey the feeling of extreme remoteness that this locations holds.
One of Broome’s many amazing natural features and experiences is the Staircase to the Moon, where the full moon raises over the mudflats of Roebuck Bay at low tide.
I was lucky enough to be in town for one of the lowest tides, with a rather large moon and can I just say, these photos just don’t do it justice. This spectacle is amazing. It is spectacular.
Last night I camped a long way from, well, anywhere.
To prove it, I was here…
So I am in Broome at the moment. Technically it is a work trip, but due to semi-predictable circumstances I haven’t been able to head out bush in the past week. As a consequence, I’ve been making the most of my time here buy going to some of the events that form part of the Broome Shinju Matsuri Festival which opened last night with a whole lot of speeches and a performance by Sammy the Dragon!
Being in Broome I’ve also done a few other essential things, like going to the beach, so life is tough.
Here are some snap shots of my “work trip” so far.
Oh and here are some photos of the beach…