Sunday, July 24, 2011

Harvey to Kalbarri - Day 1 of our Aussie Road Trip

After last minute shopping, cleaning and packing the day before, we finally left our house in Harvey for our great big 4000+ km Western Australian Road Trip.  We were on the road by 5:30 am on Sunday, July 10th before the sun was up.  We had planned to get to the small fishing and resort village of Kalbarri by sundown the same day - some 720 km away along the Indian Ocean Drive.  Besides fuel and pee breaks, our first stop was the Pinnacles Desert near Cervantes.  These amazing limestone structure (some taller than a man) were created by ancient shells and marine life and over many millenia the surrounding material has been eroded by water and wind.  We visited it on a cool and windy, and somewhat wet day.  Still, it was otherwordly!
Caleb is becoming the family photographer.
Jackson and his 'baby' pinnacle.

The elusive Caleb came out from behind the lens.

A rock turtle in Geraldton.
North of the capital city Perth, towns become farther and farther apart and the and great openness of WA becomes more real. We continued driving to Geraldton, a port city of more than 26 000 and the regional centre for the coastal midwest.  Most travellers stock up here before heading inland to the outback or north to the coral coast.  We only hit the vistor centre and a playground on the foreshore for a stretch.  It was 13 degrees, wet and windy, but we needed some fresh air.  The kids travelled so well considering the time spent in their seats and the distance driven our first day.
A rock dolphin in Geraldton.
The last stop of the day was the red coastal cliffs of Kalbarri National Park.  The photos do not do it justice.  Collin would of liked to photograph them at sunset on a warmer and sunnier day.

 We rolled into Big River Ranch, a riding stable and farm stay 2 km out of Kalbarri at 6:00 pm.  The accommodation was a clean simple room with beds for all and a common outdoor camp kitchen.  The boys had lots of fun playing on the trampoline and kicking the footy while the parents made supper.  Soon, everyone was in bed and asleep.

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