Emu Creek Cattle Station – Exmouth – Coral Bay
Kilometres 14954 – 15514 km
Having arrived at the Emu Creek cattle station late on Sunday we were keen to start the new week by having a look around this isolated station. We joined Daryl as he headed out for his weekly check of the watering holes which lie on one half of the property. We rode around in the back of the Ute as we visited many of the windmills and storage drums that litter the property. Along the way we saw some of the various cattle breeds that occupy the station. By mid-afternoon we’d returned to the homestead where we spent the rest of the day looking around the different machinery and buildings that were close to the homestead. As the sun set on our busy farming day we spent a cool evening relaxing by our own campfire which overlooked the billabong.
|A nice way to relax|
|Ready for export|
Wednesday had promised some fast rally action as the hundred or so rally cars, bikes, buggies and quads were to whiz past us at the homestead, unfortunately some changes to the event timings meant the whole field was delayed, reluctantly we chose to head off as we’d still see the field of vehicles at the nights service point in Exmouth. After a few hours’ drive we arrived in Exmouth and found a suitable van park for the next couple of days, we spent the remainder of the day lazing around the van. By sunset many of the competitors in the rally had arrived in town and the public was welcomed to walk amongst the teams as they did vehicle maintenance or repairs throughout the night.
|Australasian Safari - Exmouth|
On Thursday we spent the morning at the van, the kids hadn’t done much schoolwork this week so there was a bit of catching up for them while Leonie and I played the nasty teachers. Of course our kids are still kicking n screaming that they get it so hard, having to do the little bit of schoolwork while Mum and Dad don’t do any. Anyway some 4 hrs later I was climbing the walls and in desperate need to get out of the van, which the kids thought was a great idea…. We headed off to the Cape Range Lighthouse and the SS Mildura shipwreck, the former offering great views and our first glimpse of the Ningaloo Reef while the later marked a small milestone for us. It was our furthest point from home at 3855km. Having past this point we are now technically heading home. My day wouldn’t have been complete without another walk around the rally cars as many of the teams busily completed repairs.
|Lighthouse north of Exmouth|
Friday and we were on the move again but it was only a short trip down the coast to Coral Bay. This seaside village on the Ningaloo Reef swells to overflowing as many Perth people make this their holiday destination and for us it was the first time we'd had to pre-book any accommodation as it was a long weekend in WA. The town has very limited fresh water as most the water comes from a very hot artesian bore, so hot in fact that water can’t be directly supplied to taps in the van park as people may scald themselves, plus it tastes terrible….. By late-morning we’d already setup and were pleased to see some friends we’d met back at Eighty Mile Beach were in the same park. The kids instantly became inseparable for the next few days….. After lunch we headed out to see the sights, which on land isn’t much. All the attractions lie off the coast. The Ningaloo Reef is only 50m offshore and at the right time of year you can swim with the Whale Sharks that visit here, unfortunately for us that’s not this time of year, but we did hand-feed the huge Emperor Snapper fish which swam amongst our feet, we followed this with a quick snorkel amongst the coral which had the kids in awe.
|Fish feeding at Coral Bay|
By Saturday our eagerness to see more of the reef saw us book a cruise out onto the reef. We headed offshore in a deep V-hulled boat which had large glass windows below deck (similar to a glass-bottom boat) allowing us to sit and watch the underwater magic. After a short while we moored on the reef and spent the next hour snorkelling amongst the coloured coral and fish. By the time we’d returned to shore the kids were well and truly worn out from all their swimming but the grins on their faces spoke volumes….. While much of the town stopped to watch the AFL grandfinal we were more content to spend a relaxing afternoon by the pool and beach.
|Ningaloo Reef from our boat|
Our day started early as some rowdy neighbours were given their marching orders from the park, needless to say they didn’t go quietly, but as one door closes another open s and the first new arrivals to the park were some people we’d met in Broome so it was nice to catch up with them. Throughout the day we had many comings and goings from the van, we checked out a few of the other sights around town before spending the last few daylight hours watching the baby Reef Sharks wallowing in the shallows of the nearby sanctuary.
As another week draws to an end we’ve all commented on how relaxing the week has been. The weather whilst being blustery has been very hot and we’ve all had a bit too much sun this week.
Until next week