Where are we now?

Where are we now?
Where are we now? Tahmoor, NSW. Updated 7th December 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

Day 103. Monkey Mia

Project Eden

Scarlett was up at the crack of dawn this morning, and she was dressed and ready to go before anyone else had even woken up. It was a great way to meet the coming day; a kiss and a hug from Scarlett!

Bec and Wendy finally climbed out of bed and started getting everything ready for our days ‘out and about’ activities, while Scarlett and I went down to the beach to see if the dolphins were coming in for their morning visit and feed.

While we were waiting for the dolphins, Scarlett and I went exploring over the surrounding sand dunes and discovered a million animal tracks. It was actually quite exciting, as Scarlett went searching for the animals that made the tracks.

Who you looking at?

Eventually we returned to the beach, and on cue the dolphins arrived at 8:30am. There were 4 x dolphins in total, but the ‘rangers’ only fed 1 x dolphin this morning, and it only had 2 x fish. There were two very lucky people who were chosen out of the crowd to feed it, and probably 100 or so very disappointed people – including Scarlett. I’m actually very surprised that the dolphins come at all, as they are made to wait at least half an hour before they get fed, and even then its only a single fish or two at the most; and not all the dolphins get fed anyway.

Who knows, maybe she will get chosen tomorrow?

Monkey Mia

We went into Denham this morning to have a look at the Shark Bay Discovery Centre, have a look at the ‘Blue Lagoon Pearl Farm Shop’ (because of farmer Jamie), and did some minor shopping at the local IGA. It was then off to the Francois Peron National Park; where we planned on spending most of our day exploring the sites.

Skipjack Point

Anyone seen a Bilby?
The Francois Peron National Park lies within the Shark Bay World Heritage Area and adjacent to the Shark Bay Marine Park. The park is one of Western Australia’s most significant conservation projects, and is presently aimed at returning 5 x native species that have become extinct in other parts of the country because of predation and habitat loss caused by introduced foxes, cats and grazing animals. The species that are being reintroduced to the national park at present include; the woylie, the banded hare-wallaby, the mala, the bilby and the malleefowl. Already species including the woma python, echidna, several species of dunnart and many species of reptiles have already made a remarkable recovery since reducing the feral animals from the Peron Peninsula.

I love the idea of what ‘Project Eden’ is trying to achieve, and I fully support its values. We were very excited about entering such an area, and eagerly kept an eye out for any wildlife. Wendy desperately wanted to see a Bilby, but unfortunately for her they are a nocturnal animal; so the only way she will see one will be to go spotlighting in the dark of night. Bec wanted to see a Woma Python or Thorny Devil; Scarlett a Kangaroo, and I would loved to of seen a Dugong off the cliffs overlooking Shark Bay.

Unfortunately we never did see any of our chosen animals we were looking for, but on the bright side we did spot a Wedge-tailed Eagle; an Australian Kestrel; 2 x Manta Rays; a couple of Bottle-nosed Dolphins; a Green Sea Turtle; lots and lots of Cormorants and Seagulls, 3 x Emu’s, and on the way out I spotted a small Black-Naped Snake that was quickly disappearing under some shrubs. Not a bad day on the wildlife spotting side of things really!

It was over 140km’s of soft sand and corrugated ‘tracks’, but it was well worth it. The landscape; although quite desolate and sometimes a little featureless; was spectacular at the same time. Just as you were getting over the mallee shrubs as the only scenery, you would come around a corner and all of a sudden the contrasting colours of red and white sands would be highlighted by the vivid blues of the seas and sky. It really is spectacular country, and I can now see why it has been World Heritage Listed.

Cape Peron

The 'Hot Tub'
On the way back out of the national park, we stopped in at ‘Peron Homestead’, where we climbed into the ‘Hot Tub’ – a converted corrugated water tank that is continually fed by 40deg hot artesian water from deep below the Earth’s surface.

It was a great way to relax after a long day out exploring this magic part of Australia.

Posted By Shane

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