IN SHORT: Pulled into the car park at Monkey Mia in time to grab a coffee and hit the beach to watch the dolphins have their breakfast. As people lined the shore we were joined by 7 or 8 playful dolphins. We were advised to not touch them and fair enough, to be honest if 100 people patted me on the head every day there’s a good chance I’d become aggressive too. They’re not fed until the last minute, nor are they fed very much, just a third of their daily requirements. This ensures they don’t rely on these handouts and lose their wild instincts!
Out the window of the bus I could make out an island on my right as we left town. Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog stumbled upon this island back in 1616 nailing a pewter plate to a post inscribed with the details of his visit. This plate was swapped in 1697 by another Dutch explorer with a competitive streak and evidently, little faith in historical records.
Billabong Roadhouse was our lunch stop, we arrived just minutes after a seniors tour bus. Some men with walking sticks were inspecting an area that was taped off with clearly marked ‘danger’ tape, women were dancing rather vigorously by the petrol bowsers and the rest were lined up out the doors for the toilets. I preferred my bus.
On to Kalbarri National Park to a lookout that took in the Murchison River as it wound its way through the steep gorges. Next was Red Bluff where sheer sea cliffs meet the Indian Ocean, not the best place to play catch. Further along, the view from the Natural Bridge lookout added to this impressive coastline – be sure to lean over the railing a little so you can see it properly, yes, so I don’t have a photo of it…
TIP: Colourful flowers do not mean phone reception, it just feels like you’ve returned to civilisation! So much so you could be arriving at a friend’s place, that is, providing they enjoy gardening and have an exceptionally long driveway.
TRACK: Part Time Believer – Boy and Bear