So, what are our highlights? What will the Walker's remember the most? Or miss the most? It is hard to prioritize or make a countdown list. A few weeks before we left Australia several people including parents, students, colleagues, and neighbours began asking us what was our favourite place or most interesting part of the exchange. Both Collin and Becky stumbled around the answer and never clearly committed to one particular destination or experience. It was all worth it! But alas we do want to give some reasons why Western Australia is a great place to visit. Read below...
Like anywhere its the people that draw you back to a place. We had wonderful neighbours. Made long lasting friendships with quite a few Harvey families and of course Caleb and Jackson will miss their little mates at school. Notable mentions - Lemke family, Wheat-Jones family, Newton family, Bonner family, Parker family, Martella family, Tindale family and although we only met face to face in the Edmonton airport, our exchange partners - the Spraggs.
Both Collin and Becky agree, we have never been to any better beaches than Western Australia. We lost count after 20 beaches, but it would be a realistic estimate that we went to double that or more. Every state capital city in Australia is located on the coast and all boast their own major beaches. Yes, they are famous and from the amount of people on them, popular. But, the feeling of being on a beach and as far as the eye can see you are the only ones on it, can not be beat! True solitude. Many, many times during our year we went to the beach and there was less than ten people. And several times our family was alone to play in the sand, walk the coast, pick seashells, dig, swim, snorkel, body board, float, play in the waves, watch for dolphins, or have a picnic.
Fruit & Veg
We had no clue that Australia had so many unique and unusual and sometimes very rare fauna. We came across numerous marsupials that we never heard of before our exchange year. Many are nocturnal and most live only in a small geographic region of the country, let alone not being found anywhere else on the planet. There are too many examples to include photos of all of them, so we encourage you do to a google image search on your own. In the wild we have seen... an echidna, quokkas, bandicoot, skinks, blue-tongue lizards, a few snakes, goanna, 100's of western grey kangaroos, and a couple euro. In nature reserves, zoos and animal farms we have seen koalas, a cassowary, crocodiles, wallabies, numbats, wombats, dingoes, a bilby, boodies, possums and Tasmanian devils. Along the coast, we caught glimpses of humpback whales, sea lions, Indo-Pacific dolphins, bottle-nosed dolphins, dugongs, green sea turtles, a reef shark and numerous schools of fish.