Have had a very ‘cultural’ day today, calling in at all the tourist attractions I bypassed (deliberately) on the way up to Denham.
Packed up and left Denham about 8 this morning and my first stop was the Ocean Park Aquarium in Shark Bay, which didn’t open till 9.00am (I arrived there at 8.30).
It was getting hot so I got out of the car and stood in the shade until the doors opened at 9. A New Zealander from Westport arrived not long after me – he had ridden his motorbike from Queensland and was on a three month sabbatical. Of course, as you do, especially when you meet a fellow Kiwi, we exchanged a few words, and turns out he has been working in the mines in Australia. We also talked about the Pike River Mine Disaster in NZ some years ago and he told me he had lost a few mates on that terrible day.
Again, amazing how you exchange info quite freely and naturally when you meet other travellers. We talked about the Nullarbor and how we both enjoyed seeing the Great Australian Bight.
Eventually more people arrived and our guide at the Aquarium was very knowledgeable and informative about the many different species of fish, sea snakes, turtles etc.
Apologies as I have forgotten the names of most of the fish but I have to admit that after viewing the stone fish and hearing what happens if you accidentally step on one, I started to feel quite nervous about swimming in the sea again.
Next stop was Eagle Bluff, a few kilometres off the main road so I made sure Bluebird took it very easily because of the corrugations.
It’s a very imposing bluff protecting shallow waters supposedly teeming with marine life, though I didn’t see any today. However, there is a boardwalk leading to a lookout which is very impressive and apparently rays, sharks, turtles can often be seen. And on occasions you may even be rewarded with a sighting of a rare dugong …
Called in to Shell Beach which is very famous as all the ‘sand’ is actually shells. Had my lunch here, battling with the flies once again – and then headed for the remarkable Hamelin Pool to see the world-famous stromotolites.
Apparently these stromatolites are the oldest and largest living fossils on earth. and are of great interest to botanists and geologists as it gives an indication of what the earth may have looked like about 3.7 billion years ago when stromatolites grew widespread across the water.
Hamelin Pool in Western Australia is one of only four places on earth where living marine stromatolites exist and the location contains by far the biggest colony on earth.
Eventually reached the highway and filled up with petrol at the Overlander Roadhouse and continued the drive up the very long stretch of road to Carnarvon. Lots of cars passed me. I didn’t feel like hurrying.
Arrived at the campground at Carnarvon about 4.00pm and after trying to unlock my cabin realised I had been given the wrong key!