Where are we now?

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

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Exploring the Range

 Most weekends we try and get out exploring the range behind the base. The base is over 300,000 acres including the range and it's filled with wild goats, sink holes and caves.

First stop was a massive cave called "Fig Tree Cave", guarding the entrance was a massive fig tree which made finding the caves entrance quite a challenge.

To get down into the cave you need to descend a very old rickety chain ladder, it was a effort to say the least. But once we climbed down into the cave it was amazing.

The pictures don't do it justice sorry, it was dark and the flash caught all the dust stirred up from our presence. But it went down so deep, and was filled with huge stalagmites and stalactite's.

Can't believe this is in our own backyard!

Wild goats run free all over the range behind the base

The next cave was called the "Goat Cave" for obvious reasons, it was where the wild goats hang out to escape the heat, and also go to die. It was at least a foot deep with goat poo, and the floor was littered with dead goat skeletons eeewwwww!

Shane exploring the far reaches of the Goat Cave

We stopped at a observation tower used in exercises to monitor the bombing and detonation of targets out on the range. On the roof was a couple of huge bird nests. Were not sure what the bird was who built the nest, but there was a healthy clutch of eggs waiting for mum and dad's return.

Big Sea Eagle, maybe those were her eggs?
Coming over the range to the other side where you meet the Ningaloo Reef

Bundera Sinkhole
Next stop was the 'Bundera Sinkhole'. This sink hole is protected as it contains endangered species of fish, and shrimp found no where else in Australia. It's tidal, meaning it is connected via a complex underwater cave system to the ocean.
Ningaloo Reef

We finally made it over the range, and met the crystal blue water of the beautiful Ningaloo Reef. We were up on the sand dunes above, when we spotted a huge Tiger shark cruising along the shoreline. I did what any normal person would do, ran down to the waters edge, and slapped my thongs on top of the water trying to attract him. Seems he had places to go and fish to feed, cause he never even looked back...

The Allousive Baby Turtles Hatching

The Ningaloo reef is one of Australia's biggest turtle hatchery's!

We were lucky enough when nana was here to see a mother turtle returning to the sea after laying a clutch of eggs, and now after many scouting expeditions the cycle is complete with seeing babies turtles now hatching.

Poor nana spent many afternoons, nights and early mornings (before sunrise) scouring the beaches looking for a hatching, and it was literally a week after she left we were lucky enough to see one.

We were walking along the beach one night, and one of the RAAF guys with us just happen to be up on the high tide mark when he saw three tiny little heads poking out of the sand. By the time we had all rushed up to him the sand erupted with what felt like hundreds of little baby turtles piling out all over each other, and making the mad dash down to the sea.

We had to be careful with our torch's as they can confuse the turtles path to the ocean, so Shane who had the biggest light shone it down the beach to the water and that was the way they ran.

We were so lucky the whole experience was over in less than 10 minutes, and if we had of been just a few steps ahead we would never of heard anything and missed the whole thing.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

First Day Of School

Scarlett is going into year 3 at Exmouth District High School. There is only one school here in Exmouth and it is a combined primary and high school with about 400 kids. Some of these kids come from as far away as Coral Bay 150kms away!

Scarlett's first day of school
We are 40kms out of town so poor Scarlett is first on and last off her little bus. We meet to bus up at the front gate a 7:15 and she gets to school approx. 8:15 for an 8:30am start. It's an early morning, but with that comes an early finish of 2:30pm to account for the heat up here in summer.

Scarlett with Ronnie her awesome bus driver!
 We are really lucky Ronnie let's Scarlett take here ipad on the bus so she can watch movies and play games. And Wednesday is lolly day on the bus, a huge hit with the kids as Ronnie gives them all lollies for the ride home.

Off we go for the hour long trip to school
Nana with Scarlett on her fist day

Hitching a ride to the front gate to meet the bus

Being the only kid on base has it's perks!

Her teacher is Miss Alborough who we met last year on our familiarity visit in Now, she is lovely.
Scarlett does really love school, but the heat has really knocked her. When I asked her how school is going? she tells me she hates recess and lunch. The heat can get up to 47 deg here, and the kids hate going outside. It's not unusual for Miss Alborough to find them sitting at the class room door at the end of break trying to feel the air-conditioning coming under from inside.
There is air-conditioning in the library, but they only allow so many kids in at a time. So I always let Scarlett know if it is going to be over 40 deg that morning, so on break she can make a run for it to the library and can get in before they close the doors.

A big week for Scarlett

I know I am so far behind in this blog..... the internet here is practically non-existent so it has been a struggle. But I'm tethering to my mobile and will endeavour to catch up over the next couple of weeks.

While here nana really helped with the last of the unpacking, and cooked some lovely meals for us. We took her down to Coral Bay for a day to thank her, turtle sight seeing (we only saw one big girl returning to the ocean after laying her clutch of eggs) and also snorkelling out at Oyster Stacks.

Oyster Stacks is our favourite snorkelling spot

Nana with this big female leather back had just laid a clutch of eggs up in the dunes

Beautiful big shell Scarlett found

Scarlett was also lucky enough to go horse riding with a beautiful Defence family that live here on the beach and out in the ocean!


But before we knew it, it was Scarlett's first day at Exmouth District High School, so the new routine had to begin.....