Friday, March 2, 2012

Roadtrip to Coral Coast, Western Australia Part 6 Geraldton and Jurien Bay

We had to return the motorhome in 3 days time so we could only manage a day trip to Geraldton while on route to Jurien Bay. Geraldton has tonnes to offer - the beach, the museums, shopping, eating...but we decided to focus only on two. We headed for a live lobster tour at Geraldton Fishermen's Co-operative Ltd. They run a morning tour every Monday to Friday at 930am and we were glad that we made it. We paid AUD$25 or 2 adults (AUD$10 each) and 1 child (AUD$5). It was free for the younger one. We were brought around the lobster factory. Grading and shipping of lobsters were explained and it sure was fascinating to know that lobsters hibernate in cold water and wake up when put in room temperature water. A good way to avoid motion-sickness during the transportation. The crowd was also given a chance to feel the lobsters. The children on the tour had a great time.

A family shot. Not everyone looked at the camera
but that was still a 50% success rate. Good enough, especially with kids.

We got a chance to feel the water in which the lobsters sleep and wake up in.

Kids loved the lobster. Can't say that about the lobster though.

The lobster pot was so heavy that no one on the tour could lift it.
Really admire those fishermen.

Gotta wear hair-net for the second part of the tour. The girls were very amused by them.

Next, we headed to the Western Australia Museum Geraldton where the town's rich maritime history was showcased. We figured it was the best place to soak up the history of the place before coming back again for more. The great thing about the museum was that they have a kids' corner within the building. There were a lot of activities to keep the girls occupied while we were there. Daddy took a tour around the place first while I stayed with the girls. We made puzzles, played with toy dinosaurs, studied fossils in short, the kids were busy. This allowed Daddy and I to tour the museum in peace. It wasn't a big place but with its substantial display, we spent more than 3 hours there.

Lots to play with...

Made a dinosaur mask

Concentrated play

Beautiful view of the Marina

The coolest museum staff I have ever met - their skeleton staff.
Love how they took the term literally.
The skeleton staff was so cool that he even wore slippers to work!

By the time we reached Jurien Bay, it was almost evening. We stayed at Jurien Bay Tourist Park ( which is located just beside the beach. Daddy took the girls to the beach while I got dinner ready. The tourist park has a huge jumping pillow and A, after being introduced to the trampoline at Carnarvon, had absolutely no qualms about doing more stunts on the huge pillow. K was too scared to even get near it. I wouldn't blame her. It was really huge, at least from her perspective.

Sisters forever

A on jumping pillow

We had to head back to Perth the next day so we spent the whole night playing silly games in the motorhome. Now that we were nearer the city, the temperature was getting lower. Just nice to stay in the warm motorhome and enjoy one another's company.

Roadtrip to Coral Coast, Western Australia Part 5 Carnarvon and Kalbarri

We set off for Carnarvon after a nice breakfast at the resort. Yes, we drove past the many termites nests again but this time, I saw something that made me stop the motorhome and got off without any hestitation. It was the sign, 'Tropic of Capricorn'. It is a plain sign and you might even miss it. After having taught Geography for years, it sure was a thrill to be able to 'touch' the imaginery Tropic of Capricorn. I took a photo with it and strangely, it made me feel powerful, like I have conqured the world...fine, just the Tropic of Capricorn.

I can't say much about Carnarvon as we had only one night there. Well, I suppose we did spend too much time in Exmouth. By the time we got there, it was already 2pm in the afternoon. It was a Sunday and a lot of the shops were closed. The supermarket would close in a few hours time so we hurried with our grocery shopping before checking in to Coral Coast Tourist Park ( . I had wanted to visit Gascoyne Growers' Market but it only operates every Saturday morning from May to October. We had also wanted to visit The Coffee Pot Train, One Mile Jetty and other lovely spots but the girls were too tired from the long journey so we had no choice but to give them a miss. Of course, that also meant that we had the time to do our laundry which was piling up. The staff at Coral Coast Tourist Park were very friendly. They had two kids too and welcomed our kids to play with theirs. They had a trampoline within the park and A had a great time. She was a bit scared at first but once A got a hang of it, she was jumping non stop. The day ended early as the girls were too tired. Might as well as that gave Daddy and I more time to prepare for the drive to Kalbarri the next day.

Up, up but not away

Kalbarri is famous for a few highlights - their resident pelicans feed on the foreshore every morning, the beautifully sculpted coastal gorges and not forgetting, Kalbarri National Park. We stayed for 3 days at Murchison Caravan Park ( and simply loved how peaceful and beautiful the whole town was. I had wanted to visit Nature's Window within the Kalbarri National Park but motorhomes and caravans are not recommended in the park. The visitor center did provide day tour services to a few attraction spots within the national park but I could not make it on any of the dates. In fact, one just set off on the day we arrived. I had wanted to try my hand on canoeing along the Murchison River in the National Park but they needed a group of four. I was but one. Pelican feeding was also not available as the pelicians were off to Eyre Island for their nesting season. The girls were so disappointed. Thankfully, Kalbarri was a great place for easy walks with the children. The playground within the caravan park did great in keeping them happy too. We did spend half a day exploring the coastal gorges. There are simply beautiful. I couldn't help but asked, "God, did you make this?" everytime I stood on the viewing platforms of all the river gorges.

Natural Bridge

Eagle Gorge

Minature watermelons by the road!
Play time while Mummy cooked dinner

Winding down time - Coloring

The stay at Kalbarri was peaceful. Just the way we liked it. We met another family travelling up to Coral Bay. Their daughter played with ours. He lamented how rushed it was and he had only 1 day to drive up to Coral Bay before reaching Perth 3 days later. He did not enjoy the trip as her daughter couldn't sit still. He was amazed at how calm we looked. We smiled. Response did not seem necessary at that time as it was clear that he just needed a listening ear.  Of course, we had our own fair share of difficulties. However, we were realistic in our planning. We gave ourselves more than enough time on the road so we could stop whenever we and the kids needed to. We gave ourselves extra days to unwind and enjoy the surroundings before heading off to the next destination. We expected little from the kids and were mentally prepared for the countless pit-stops on the way. We let the kids decide what they wanted to do whenever we got to any destination and we spent time just chatting and playing silly games. In short, we took it slow. Afterall, that was the whole reason why we go on family holidays. To get away from the rush and routine at home and take time to understand and appreciate one another. Let go and you would be amazed at what you get.

Beautiful sunset at Kalbarri