30 Nov 2016

Room With a View

No we did not turn the van into a boat! This was from one of the more amazing spots we have camped. This is along the Indian Ocean Road, so named because, well you can probably figure it out....We were camped just meters from the ocean and it was absolutely spectacular!

It was a lovely evening and we actually met another camper and spent hours talking into the night with him. It rained in the night and in the morning which brought another dimension to the whole experience!

29 Nov 2016


This is a dead critcher. We stopped to take a picture of it, so we thought we might pass it on to you all. Also it was the first picture we took on an empty memory card, so any time we tab over looking through ones we have taken recently and we go to far this guy pops up as we come around to the first pictures again.

28 Nov 2016

Simply Splendid

This is a Splendid Fairy Wren. Seriously, that's its name. Australian ornithologists are great.

I will make a much bigger post that features this lovely fellow in the future! It involves pancakes, syrup, and birds :)

27 Nov 2016

Two Oceans

This is just a beautiful picture of some flowers right down in the south-westiest part of the southwest. This is right near the lighthouse at Cape Leeuwin. This is the Indian Ocean, but turn around and go a hundred meters across the small cape and you are looking out at the Southern Ocean. Absolutely gorgeous place.

26 Nov 2016

Red Bluff

The gorgeous coast just south of Kalbarri. This is from near the top of Red Bluff which you can see to the left of the photo. Kalbarri lies not at the first point on the right but where you can see the surf breaking behind it. That is the mouth of the Murchison river. To get there from Galena Bridge the water has traveled about 70kms to the coast and has passed through the very spectacular gorges of Kalbarri National Park.

25 Nov 2016

The Southwest of Australia

The funny thing about where we are is that it doesn't have an official sort of name. It's the Southwest, the Margaret River area, the Naturaliste Peninsula, the wine region of Western Australia... but it's so distinct and wonderful. It is so vastly different from the Australia that I've come to know. It's lush, green, wet, highly vegetated and, above all, mild. That being said, it is spring/early summer so it's going to be a bit cooler now than later but it's lovely. There are rolling wheat hills, vineyards, orchards, karri forests, farmlands, adorable rural centers with lush artisan coffee shops, festivals and farmers markets, wine tours and chocolate tastings, olive oil in every possible form!

This is an 'anywhere' land in that it could be anywhere in the world. We could be in the countryside of the UK, the verdant sheep hills of Ireland, the national parks of New Zealand, the pine forests of Northern Alberta (albeit non-native here), the redwood forests of Oregon, the vineyards of the Okanagan, the rain forests of the Canadian West Coast, the brooks of Southern Ontario, the olive groves of Italy... it's endless!

And yet it is so far off the radar of anyone that isn't Australian. Or even any Australian that isn't Western Australian. It's so far down on the modern tourists list that it's nearly free of tourists! We love it. It's like finding the most beautiful and best kept secret in Australia and we don't have to share it with anyone. 

It's also a completely different region for plants and animals. There are full-size kangaroos, hundreds of flowers, brightly coloured birds, giant trees... the biodiversity is endless. Indeed, it's one of the most biodiverse places in the world. There are an estimated 8000 plant varieties in this tiny region, making up two thirds of Western Australia's total plant taxonomies. AND over 80% of the plants are endemic, meaning they're not found anywhere else at all. This is an area of about 150x150km... compare that to Western Australia which is about 1500 x 2500km... 

We are in a very special place.

Here are just a few photos from around the place showing some of the amazing scenery!

More to come later!

Galena Bridge 2

This one is a kind of continuation of yesterdays post. This is the van parked where we camped at Galena Bridge. That in the background is the Murchison River, one of the few we have seen in WA with actual water in it!! We actually camped here two nights in a row. I think we have talked about it before, but all along the highways of Australia are stretched 24 hour rest areas where there are often toilets and bins, and you are allowed to camp there for free. They are often about 100 kms apart and make for a very easy cheap way to travel.

24 Nov 2016

Galena Bridge

Night time at Galena Bridge. This is from a while after the sun set with the nearly full moon behind me. Looks like daytime, but for the stars! This was possibly our favorite place we have camped in the van. Beautiful place, nice and quiet, plenty of birds. Good rest area. This is shot from the old lower crossing back at the new bridge.

23 Nov 2016


The view looking south from the carpark at Kooljaman at Cape Leveque. This is at the tip of the Dampier Peninsula. It is absolutely gorgeous as you can see!

22 Nov 2016

Emus and the advent of life

Probably what Mr. Emu exclaimed as his wife walked away from the nest, leaving him in charge of raising the children alone. I can imagine her smug look of satisfaction as she turns the patriarchy of the animal kingdom on its head. She's probably going of to join the lady seahorses for tea. What a woman.

This delightful octosome was seen driving to Hamelin Pool, better known as Shark Bay. Shark Bay is very famous for those geologically inclined (or deep historians) who just don't mind looking at something utterly underwhelming (after driving 100s of km just to see it) as long as they know there is some deeper meaning. They are stromatolites, the origins of life on Earth. They are the pioneers of mankind. They are the building block of all living things! And they look rather like weird rocky mounds. See below. The scenery kind of makes up for their... underwhelmingness....

I think you can see why we lead with the Emu. Riveting stuff these things. 
Truthfully. I love it. This is our third visit :) Can't stay away.  

21 Nov 2016

Nature's Window

Here is one of the two of us with our bums parked right in a spot called Nature's Window. This is in Kalbarri National Park overlooking the Murchison River. Thanks to random dude who took the photo! Kalbarri is a lovely place, can't quite put the finger on what is so lovely about it but we like it a lot. We will have more pictures of the town at some point in the future I am sure, but this one is from the park about 40kms inland.

20 Nov 2016

Fairy Wrens

We have become quite enamored with one of the smallest avian members of the Australian forests and scrublands... the Fairy Wren. We have seen a handful of different types and they have never ceased to capture our imagination. It has been a goal of ours to get a good picture of one of the males as they are quite brilliantly coloured and much more illusive. We finally found a great location, Borunup Forest Maze. They were everywhere.
We had a handful of great shots before we even exited the van! We went off scurrying after them as they playfully bounded through the lush undergrowth. We call them 'Popcorn Mice' as they kind of roundly bumble around and are quite small (8-10cm).
Here are a handful of our favourite photographs that we are quite proud of:

As you can see, very cute little birds!!

I think we will try to do more bird series as we go along and gather enough pictures. There's something that feels quite rewarding in getting a good shot.

Coming soon: Carnaby Cockatoos, Western Corellas, 'Twenty eight' Ring-Neck Parrots, and more!