Tag Archives: Australia

Eagle Bluff, Shark Bay

Eagle Bluff can be found outside of Denham.  It is one of my BIG 9’s to visit.

I have been to Shark Bay a number of times.  On all occasions I found Eagle Bluff to be windy.  However, on our last visit, it was a little windier than all my past visits.

Eagle Bluff offers an amazing aerial view of the bay.  It has a board walk which you can walk and view different angles of the bay.

Eagle Bluff, Shark Bay

On our visit we spotted 5 Hammerheads, some rays and some turtles.  I was especially excited about the former marine animal, because I have a wish to kayak with some hammerheads and capture them on camera with a ‘go pro’.

Eagle Bluff

Shark Bay only receives about 134 mm of rain per year.  We were fortunate to experience a range of weather conditions during our short stay with amazing Thunderstorms and rain near the end of our stay.  Interesting, even though it was a heavy downpour, only 18 mm was recorded.

Eagle Island

The island by Eagle Bluff is called Eagle Island.  I have it on my scope to kayak to – when it is not blowing a gale.  This island is the home to Pied Comorants and Silver Gulls.

Eagle Bluff Swim Zone

 

One will need to drive along a gravel road to reach Eagle Bluff.  You don’t need a 4 x 4 for this stretch, however it will be fairly bumpy.  There is unmarked parking and closest toilets are either at Denham or Shell Beach.

Eagle Bluff Swim

About 1 km shy of Eagle Bluff is a turn off to a remote beach area.  If you have a 4 x 4, you will be able to drive onto the beach area.  This would probably be the perfect launch spot for a kayak.  #futureadventure.

Spot the Ray

We had a little swim in this area and were visited by a small hammerhead.  Unfortunately I did not have my camera.  Of course while everyone was running out of the water, I was running after the shark to determine why type it was.  [note self – tie gopro to waist]

 

 

Advertisements

Accommodation at Monkey Mia

Monkey Mia offers a range of accommodation options from hiring a hotel room on the beach front to a un-powered tent site.  However, prices for all options can be a real budget killer, especially the latter version.

monkey mia caravan park

As a family of 4, we are always looking at ways to travel without spending a lifetime paying it off.  As a result, we invested in camping equipment which means that we have the opportunity to see places that do not have a motel or other forms of accommodation.

monkey mia caravan park

Most caravan parks that we have visited have charged anything from $30.00 to $65.00 for a family of 4.  Paying $120.00 per night with RAC membership was a lot more than we expected, so don’t be fooled with the term:  “powered sites from $35.00”.  This is for one adult with an adult classified as anyone 12 years and older.

monkey mia bathrooms

If you plan to visit during December/January, you will need to consider shaded areas.  Monkey Mia Caravan Lots have very little, if any, trees to offer shade during these extremely hot months. Most the trees are on the boundary area, with no trees in the central section.

monkey mia caravan park
No trees in the central section of the caravan park

The bathrooms/showers are clean and presentable.  One also has access to drinking water.

Shared accommodation, monkey mia

For about $60.00 more per night, according to service staff at the Resort, one can book a budget shared accommodation room.  This means you will have a room for the family but will share a bathroom.  We were quoted $195.00 per night for 5 adults (we had one of the kid’s friends join us on this trip)

Monkey Mia Resort
Rooms with an Ocean View

I have stayed in a budget room before a few years ago.  This was during the latter stages of winter.  The bed was comfortable and the room was big enough to store clothes under the bed.  Apart from sharing a bathroom, one could also share a kitchen.  Notably, if you have perishables, you can store this in the community fridge which is located in the shared kitchen.  However, my food was consumed by someone over night, so if you do so ~ make sure it is marked and taped up!

Lastly, you can opt to hire a hotel room.  I have never personally experienced this option, however they do look comfy and have a shaded patio for the hot days.

Overall ratings (out of 4 stars):

Camping Sites:  2.5 Stars.  Fairly pricey for a family.  No trees for cover.  Very little parking area.
Budget Accommodation:  4 Stars.  Don’t leave food unmarked in fridge
Hotel:  no rating as I have not personally experienced this.

Questions to ask if making a booking:

  1.  Is this a shaded area?
  2. Is this sheltered from the wind?
  3. How far is it located from the bathrooms?
  4. Is there easy access to drinking water?
  5. Is this a powered site?
  6. Are there any other fees that I may need to consider in this booking?  (park fees are an additional extra to bookings)

For Bookings contact RAC directly:  RAC Parks and Resorts

 

Monkey Mia ~ Home of the Dolphins

A number of years ago, I had the privilege to swim with dolphins at Discovery Cove in Florida.  The experience was a budget breaker, but at the time I thought that this was a once in a life time experience – so why not.

Little did I know that at a place called Monkey Mia in Australia, offered almost the same thing for only the cost of an entry fee into the park.  Granted, you will not swim with dolphins, but with a wild dolphin just meters from you, makes the experience so much more exciting.

Monkey Mia Resort

Monkey Mia is about 25 km from Denham.  It is in a remote location with accommodation options, restaurants and a shop.  They also host a range of activities which include kayaking, camel riding, and cruises.  All of these are fee payable which means that if your budget is already complaining about stretch marks, then these activities may send it in a riot!

Tennis Court, Monkey Mia

However, there are activities which are mostly free which include chess, volley ball, tennis, swimming in the pool or swimming in the bay.  Some may include an equipment hire fee such as tennis or volley ball, however on the most half these experiences are free.

If you have never visited Monkey Mia, I will be covering a range of things which include:

  1.  Accommodation
  2. Activities
  3. Food/Drink
  4. Things to be Aware Of!
  5. Park & Fees
  6. Dolphin & Marine Life
  7. Budget Tips

 

 

 

 

Point Peron WW2 Battery and Observation Bunkers

Point Peron can be found near Rockingham.  It is an amazing national reserve that offers a range of trails.  However, one main feature is the military bunkers which were built for World War II.

Cape Peron Military Bunker WWII

These sites were established 1942 as part of the Australian coastal defense created in response to the World War II threat.

World War II bunker, Peron Point

Point Peron can be found in the southern end of Cockburn Sounds, south of Rockingham.  Apart from its abundance of natural beauty, Point Peron is also a gathering point for photographers.  With sea, rocks, fauna and flora – it is no wonder.

Cape Peron, Perth

After walking a flight of stairs to see the first bunker, one begins to understand why it was built in this location.  It has an almost 360 vantage point where troops can react immediately if they saw any enemy ships entering the Australian waters.

Cape Peron, Rockingham

Although the bunker is in fairly good condition, one can see wear and tear from vagrants that have left their marks without care to the historical significance. Of course, I began to imagine what it would have been like for the soldiers where manning this point.  Temperatures soar in the summer afternoons with flies notoriously making their debut as the uninvited guest to a private party.

World War II bunker, Perth

As per my adventurous spirit, I followed a pathway at the top end of the bunker.  To my surprise, I found another bunker.  This one was built into the hill and was a little harder to get to.  It was cooler due to the absence of light which also gave that eerie impression.  I could imagine this bunker housing ammunition, as the two bunkers themselves were a good distance from any military base.

Cape Peron Military Bunker World War 2

Military Bunker World War 2

I managed to capture a shot of the ‘dark room’, however I wondered why anyone would make their way into these bunkers.  With graffiti all over the wall and an obvious stench of defecating a heritage site, I could not find any reason why anyone would want to make their way here other than for a dare.  Notably, given its location, this would be a haven for other critters – a dark hole that is easy to access.

Military Bunker, Perth

Apart from the two military bunkers, Cockburn Sounds has a very interesting background.  Because submarines were used extensively during World War II, anti-submarine nets were created in this region. Given the technology they had back in those days, the construction was impressive which you can read about in an extensive article written by Matt Carter and Ross Anderson.

Click on pick for link of pdf

I am not sure if there are any tours in this area, however one just needs to pick a trail and walk it.  All trails tend to link up to each other and there are signs.

Tips for Visiting Point Peron:

  1.  Plan to stay a while.  There is a lot to see and do here, so think about taking a picnic basket.
  2.  If you visit during the day – take sunscreen, hat and water.  (oh and maybe a fly swat or two)
  3.  Wear appropriate shoes and don’t forget the camera.

 

Young Bird Spotter Check List – Karrinyup, Perth

If you like birds and have never seen ‘the Big Year’ then I would say you are missing out.  It is positively one of the funniest and most riveting movies I have seen.

However, as I was watching it I began to think how little I really know about birds and wildlife.  The past weekend I spent a weekend at the Karrinyup Water Resort which was the perfect place to learn about birds.

With two lakes and loads of trees means this was a haven for birds.  And, because bird congregated into one spot meant it was easy to take photos and learn about them!

Notably I began to think that it would be helpful if there was a quick guide to birds in this area, and as a result spent some time creating a quick guide to help newbies to Bird Watching to recognize birds.

I created the TOP 36 Birds found in and around the Karrinyup Water Resort ‘cheat sheet’. Apparently there are 73 birds that have been recorded in this area.  However, I think 36 is a GREAT place to start.

To download your copy of the TOP 36, just click on the image below.  And, if you happen see something else – please comment and share with us.  There are a couple of very rare birds I have left off the list because a great place to start would be the ones you see frequently.

1

Dog in a Ute

When you pass a statue of a black ute and the words “Home of Dog in a Ute”, you just have to stop and take a pic.

Dog in Ute Corrigan

Now the next question that was going through my mind while standing on a main road in the Wheatbelt to Corrigan was:

What on earth is a ute doing here?  Is it a sculpture or does it lead to something a little more exciting?

img_0159

After I had taken my fair share of photos, we made our way back to Perth. Corrigan was our next stop, and as we entered into the town I could not help but notice a ‘Roadhouse’ Sign.  I LOVE roadhouses and this was a perfect time to take a ‘look-see’.

ROADHOUSE CORRIGAN

To my delight, the Roadhouse was called:  THE DOG IN A UTE ROADHOUSE!

DOG IN UTE ROADHOUSE

I am not sure when I was attracted to Roadhouses.  I think it was the time I passed the Billabong Roadhouse near Sharks Bay when I made a point to stop at more Roadhouses!

dog in a ute roadhouse

The ‘Dog in a Ute Roadhouse’ measured up to all what a Roadhouse should be (in my opinion) and more.  With a little diner, it allows for travelers to make a much needed stop, take a break and enjoy a good meal.  With great friendly service means your stay here is a very pleasant one.

dog in ute roadhouse

The ‘Dog in a Ute’ Roadhouse is opposite a wonderful park.  It is more of a kids park, but it is worth your time to see it.corrigan

My stop included a purchase of a coffee and some hot chips.  Coffee was good (so take the chance) and chips were crunchy.  Of course, with 3 in the car meant those chips were devoured before we left town, but the coffee lasted a ‘little’ longer.

dog in a ute roadhosue

If you are travelling along State Highway 40, you will pass through Corrigan.  So make sure you take the time to visit this place….I think you will be entertained.

 

The Balga's in Western Australia

In the beginning of 2016, there was a massive fire that swept over thousands of acres of land near Cervantes.  In fact, it was this fire that forced us to make an unexpected and most adventurous detour to get to Cervantes.  In the process we saw places we would not necessarily see #bonus.

img_0429

On our return later this year, we noticed a sea of Balga’s that had a prolific flowering stem.  The scientific name for the Balga tree is Xanthorrhoea preissii Endl.  The aboriginals have been using parts of the Balga for centuries for

Hut construction, tool-making, igniting fires, source of edible beetle larvae, compass plant, medicinal uses, ornamental.

Balga Grass Tree Western Australia

To see so many with a flowering stem was amazing.  And instantly we deducted that the fire must have had something to do with this phenomena.

img_0441

After some research I found that the Balga is resistant to fire.  In fact, fire causes the plants to flower which is why we were seeing a sea of flowering Balga’s over the coastal region near Cervantes.

img_0431

Balga, which is classified as a non-threatened plant, can withstand the harshest of climate (of course) and offer foliage to insects, birds and mammals.  Having been in Western Australia for a while, this was the first time I had seen such an amazing sight.

img_0439

With a closer inspection, I saw the stem looked like it had a soft white-like exterior.  Keeping simple rules in check, I observed with camera and eyes.  I did not want to damage the plant by touching it or it damaging me.  As it turned out, the Aboriginals would cut this section off to make a sugary energy drink…so touching it may not have been as harmful as I initially thought.

img_0442

The best time to see this phenomena is a few months after a fire.  As it turned out, the vegetation in this area recovered very quickly and apart from the black outer ‘crust’ on the Balga’s, one could hardly see evidence that a fire in this region just over 10 months ago.

Tips to See a Flowering Balga:

  1.  Visit a region where the was a flower a few month prior to your visit.
  2.  Make sure this region has Balga’s.  Balga’s are a coastal plant so you will see more in this region.
  3.  Always think of preservation.  While Balga’s are not a threatened species, touching it or take parts of it, will not preserve the ecosystem of this area.  Besides, these plants are on private or national land, and it is unlawful to remove any part of them.
  4.  Of course take your camera and enjoy the scenery!