Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Cape Range National Park (Exmouth and Ningaloo)

After an overnight stop through Karratha we spent two nights in Exmouth with some time at the town beach to get eaten by sand flies then onto the park swimming pool. Exmouth itself is frightfully expensive with the only two supermarkets being "competing" IGA's which we later found out are owned by the same person.

We ventured into Cape Range national park early one morning to queue up for camping spots. We stayed at Kurajong campsite which had a toilet but no power or water. We spent the next six nights here yet had to move camp site three times during this stay. If we had known that you could book spots online 48hours prior to arrival it would not have been a problem yet dipsy at the visitors centre decided to omit this information to us. Anyway it was obviously a lovely spot to go, to move three times and still stay on, we are getting pretty good at the pack up and set up. We didn't even drop the van to move as each time it was only 50 meters or so.

The fishing started well but dropped off pretty quick, only got a few long toms. I even went on a guide on one day which unfortunately was too cloudy to spot the schooling bone fish which was the target species. Hooked onto a few trevally and a permit (off the back of a ray) but we called it quits after lunch as we could not see a thing. The guide kindly refunded half my coin which was very good of him, would love to have another crack one day. I managed a few small fish on the fly on the last morning utilizing a different technique learnt the day before on the guided trip.

The weather was perfect yet heard some spitting one night and awoke to this view, it blew over without another drop. It did leave some puddles on the road however, the kangaroos wouldn't budge.

Speaking of Roos, the roads here are full of them some happilly bouncing about, many not. I had a close call with one and he decided to leave his mark (along with some fur on the wheel rim). The roo was fine and bounced away...maybe with a sore head.

We spend a few days at the aptly named Turquoise Bay which is well renowned for its snorkeling. The clarity wasn't fantastic but what was fantastic is that the girls (particularly Brielle) got right into it. Brielle joined me on a section which is called the drift which is a 200meter stretch where the current drags you along the beach over the reef, we obviously saw heaps of fish including large permit, snapper, queenies, GT and emperors, but Brielle's favorite were the angel fish. We also saw turtles, clams, anemones, sting rays and corals...oh and one big reef shark - that was my last drift. The photos were not great, the video is better but I can't get it on the blog :(. I also dragged the hyperventilating claustrophobic Vesna out for the drift, once she got the hang of it she really enjoyed it.

We also happened to camp again with Tara and Angus and met up with Cailin and Siana who we had also met at Fitzroy Crossing and Middle Lagoon which we all enjoyed.

Emus were abundant here and are much harder to hit than the Roos which was good.

Sand dunes....

Brielle types....

"I made this in the sand with: rocks, clams, coral and used pointy shells as hats. I used coral as hatstands. I used the clams for a door and a bed. For the pillow I used a rock and coral as people."

We enjoyed our time at Cape Range and the Ningaloo reef, we successfully camped off the grid for six nights and even managed a few hot showers without running out of water.



  1. Fish pictures look great. Looking forward to the video! Well done Brielle for snorkelling "The Drift" - obviously not too impacted by her uncle's thrashing back to shore when she and he saw a stingray while snorkelling at Middle Lagoon!

  2. Never seen your arms looking so tanned and muscular Benny!
    Great that Brielle is enjoying the snorkelling so much. I'm looking forward to a touch of it up at Port Douglas next week too. I can see that aquarium re-surfacing at Rowvillle! Ri

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