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AUSTRALIA, Geraldton, Western Australia, 2-4 Apr 2013

Albany to Geraldton via Perth to fix cracked wheel rim #scary, driving the magnificent Indian Ocean Drive and visiting the FAB Peel Zoo at Pinjarra and of course the Pinnacles National Park

Australia, Albany to Geraldton, 2-4 apr 2013, albany, bunbury, ledge point and fab Big 4 site there, geraldton, perth, jurien bay, covering amongst others 150 selective slideshow images, getting the tyre / cracked rim fixed in perth, pinjarra, lancelin, big 4 campsites, snakes including carpet, black and brown ones, cervantes, coral coast, animals galore, possum, birds, koalas, dingos, koombana bay and the dolphin discovery centre, the Indian Ocean, relaxing in koombara pool, kangaroos, dolphin boat tours, never saw one despite trying, blackwood river & park, bridgetown,  indian ocean drive, state highway 60, jurien bay, pinnacles national park, desert, lorikeets, parrots, sunsets, inland waters, manta ray, dolphin discovery centre, dunes, sunsets, tasmanian devils, rusty the koala, 10 interesting facts about Koalas, photoshoots, the wedge, warrengaren nature reserve, bunbury wildlife park, collie river, patrick joseph usher obe, mayor of bunbury, places to shop, coles, woolies, iga, bottlenose dolphins, evening swim, Peel Zoo at Pinjarra, ibis, gouldian finch, red rumped parakeet, golden pheasant, eclectus parrots, lovebirds, annie in the feeding pen (smile), white cockatoo, peacock, owls, potoroo, skink, wedge island, whitlock island. We were previously in this area in 1995, 2007 and then again in 2017.

annie geraldton sunset beach, created by KeefH Web Designs for this travel blog
panorama - pinnacles national park from the viewing platform, a hot walk, created by KeefH Web Designs for this travel blog
jurien bay beach - great fish & chips here, created by KeefH Web Designs for this travel blog
wow its bluey at Peel Zoo, Western Australia, created by KeefH Web Designs for this travel blog
2 apr 13
3 apr 13
4 apr 13

Tuesday April 2nd 2013

Summary, Albany to Bunbury. Fixing the cracked rim on the Motorhome at Britz Perth, it should never have been let out of Adelaide like this, especially as crossing the Nullarbor, Grrrr Britz!!!

Posted off postcard to Doug & Phoenix at the Albany post office, with a picture of the Nullarbor Plain on it. We also called in at the Telstra office to get our pay as you go internet service extended, it cost $30.

We then rang Britz in Perth as Easter over re the tyre problem. Left Albany early and called in at the petrol station for air for the tyre and a fuel fill up. We then drove through farmland, bush land, cows, sheep, plus some grass that finally looked green and water still in puddles on the ground from recent rain. Australia is moving towards Autumn. Sadly, didn’t see any wildlife along the route but you can rest assured we were looking for kangaroos, wombats, and dingoes.

Stopped for lunch by the Blackwood River and park at Bridgetown. Nice area tranquil with good scenery. The river was an olive green colour and flowed quite slowly.

Arrived in Bunbury, a large town to us but in Australian terms it is a city. Went to the tourist info situated in the old railway station, quite quirky, we loved it.  The lady there was very helpful about the dolphins in the bay and Peel Zoo at Pinjarra, further up from Bunbury as they had koalas there.

We then drove to Koombana Bay, the local beach and had a walk along the lovely soft sand there, bare footed of course. The sea and skies were just so blue with bright sunshine. So love the Indian Ocean, it was very hot today.

We checked into the Big 4 campsite across the highway from Koombana bay, a lovely modern campsite with great facilities, tennis and basketball courts, swimming pool, jacuzzi. We had a quick swim before it got dark at 6.30 p.m. It cost $35.10 to stay there, well worth it.

Had showers after the swim and Keef cooked a lovely steak on the BBQ attached to the side of the motorhome, we had it with salad and garlic bread and a jacket potato done in the microwave. We watched telly, the Australian version of Who do you think you are, it featured Aussie comedian Adam Hills who at the time we had no idea who he was, now in 2022 he is on UK telly often and despite his family being back in Melbourne lives a lot of the time in England as he is the main presenter of the last leg, a UK comedy programme born out of the 2012 Paralympic games and it champions disability awareness, Adam and one other presenter are disabled.     

Aussie programme is on both SBS1 & 2 at 7.30 p.m. on a Tuesday each week, wish we had known sooner, it is a genealogy programme we like back in the UK.

Wednesday April 3rd 2013

Summary, Koombana Bay, Bunbury to Ledge Point, 90 minutes north of Perth. 32 degrees centigrade today and very hot.

We got up at 7 a.m. the tyre was very deflated; we are quite worried. There were speed humps on the campsite which made in doubly difficult getting out, it was almost down to the rim. Drove back into town gingerly to find a garage to put air in the tyre. We then headed back to Koombana bay by 8.15 a.m. to look for dolphins as they allegedly came into the bay in the morning. We had been to the Dolphin Discovery centre yesterday which is where we got the tip. The girls aid they usually arrive about 8 a.m. We saw nothing. We know she was lying as trying to get us on the tourist boat trip which cost $185 each for a half day trip, a lot of money. She offered a reduction down to $149 but we politely declined. This was a con as from past experience and this we knew the dolphins were not often in the Bay but much further out. Annie, Chris, and Allyson did see one from the jetty to the left in 2017.

We then set off for Pinjarra and Peel Zoo, it is north of Bunbury. This was a small independently run zoo with lots of Australian animals and birds. A truly wonderful experience can’t recommend them highly enough.

We loved the parrots and hand fed the grey kangaroos and one of them had a joey in her pouch. We also hand fed goats, deer, and llamas. Annie got mobbed as she held the food bag. A deer tried to knock it out of her hand. The we saw Rusty the Koala and we had pictures taken with him on a branch. The zoo charged $5 for the privilege, well worth it. By 2022 Koalas have been declared endangered, would be horrid if they die out especially as when we were on Kangaroo Island in 2008, they culled 30,000 of them saying they were a farming pest. Sadly, they are tied to the type of eucalyptus trees in their area and cannot be repatriated, or so they say, not sure how this stacks up with zoos around the world.   

Rusty was very sleepy; they sleep about 20 hours a day. We then walked through the bird aviary and hand fed with supplied apple pieces rosellas, lorikeets, and many other native Australian birds. It was just so memorable, they were on our heads, hands, and shoulders, not shy at all and obviously hungry, ha-ha. There were so many beautiful coloured birds.

We also saw dingoes, emus, Tasmanian devils, pythons, and wallabies. We really enjoyed Peel Zoo, it was fantastic.

We then drove on to the Britz tyre repair department near Perth airport. It took 1 hour to fix. Conclusion it was a cracked rim. Thank goodness it is fixed, a huge weight off our minds, it could have been a whole lot worse.

We then headed north and arrived at the Big 4 campsite at Ledge Point off the Indian Ocean at 6 p.m. Had a quick swim in the pool which was relaxing after such a hot day, by now it was already getting dark.  

Thursday April 4th 2013

Summary, Ledge Point to Geraldton. 35 degrees centigrade today and very hot.

The Big 4 campsite at Ledge Point was excellent with very modern facilities, a spacious pitch with grass, not sand or grit and a pool, gets our vote. So much so we returned in 2017.

Headed north to Geraldton and called in at a few small holiday / fishing towns on route off the Indian Ocean drive, such as Lancelin, Cervantes, Jurien Bay and Dongara. We visited the Pinnacles National Park off the fab Indian Ocean drive near Cervantes.  It cost $11 to get in, although you can drive your vehicle around the one-way sand road we decided not to and parked the motorhome in the car park and walked to the desert through the shrub land on a board walk to the start of the pinnacles. They are limestone pillars on a sandy terrain, hundreds of them, the remains of erosion of what was once the ocean floor. It was very hot, Keef took lots of pictures.

We did not see any animals around the pinnacles and we did walk around quite a bit across the park, but just too hot so we returned to the cooler visitors centre which was both interesting and informative.

We then drove on and saw a whole emu family down a side road. There were lots of huge sand dunes along the road and occasional glimpses of the Indian Ocean. We had lunch in Jurien Bay. A small fishing town, our fish and chips bought there were exquisite the fish being so fresh.  

We later joined the main state highway to Geraldton. Highway 1. We arrived at the Big 4 campsite which is about 6 kilometers north of Geraldton on the coast. Annie did some laundry and then we went for a walk on the beach at 5.45 p.m. The tide was coming in and we saw both beach runners and a man beach fishing we watched him cast into the twilight. There was a lovely sunset at 6.30 p.m.

Audio Diary
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