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Western Australia Roadtrip, July 2010

Day 15: there was lots of wattle in bloom

Day 15: Chinderwariner Pool, Millstream-Chichester NP

Day 15: Tom crossing a section of the Fortescue River while we were doing the Murlamunjunha Trail

Day 15: The flooding river is pretty fierce - see how exposed the tree roots are

Day 15: This is the Crossing Pool Campsite. It was pretty intimate - everyone jammed in, but not that much room so not too many people. It was a lovely place to swim and there was a canoe campers could borrow for a paddle. Hundreds of corellas visited during the day and their arrival each morning (as shown in the picture) was spectacular

Day 15: We visited Deep Reach Pool while driving Snappy Gum Drive loop. As both of our air mattresses has sprung leaks Tom decided they needed to be repaired.

Day 15: Tom randomly pulled off the road while we were driving to the Northern section of Millsteam-Chichester NP so he could take some landscape photos. By good coincidence there were some of these Sturt Desert Pea flowers in bloom right next to where he pulled off.

Day 15: the landscape difference between the Southern (Crossing Pool) and Northern sections of the park were stark. This is Tom at the summit of Mt Herbert.

Day 15: The mighty McKenzie Spring. This track went along an old Camel Trail - once a watering hole for camel and bullock teams. Wouldn't rate it as a "must do".

Day 15: Python Pool near Snake Creek campsite. Spectacular but very low water which was full of algae. Would love to see it after a decent amount of rain.

Day 15: Python Pool

Day 15: Sunset from the Snake Creek Campsite - our only night completely by ourselves. The campsite wasn't anything more than a parking area with a toilet but that suited us fine.

Day 15: Crossing Pool to Snake Creek (both in Millstream Chichester NP) (78km) Millstream Chichester NP used to be two separate parks and so there are two distinct areas.

Day 16: Snake Creek Campsite to Barradale Rest Area (531km) We did a shop in Karratha, detoured to the Burrup Peninsula to find rock art (failed) and drove a lot. Clearly did nothing today that I thought worthy of a photo.

Day 17: Tom with Shothole Canyon Road in the background, Cape Range NP

Day 17: Since the weather wasn't conducive to swimming we drove out to Shothole Canyon and Charles Knife Gorge. This is Tom overlooking Charles Knife Gorge. The road to Charles Knife was spectacular along a knife-edge ridge. we were kind of glad we didn't know what we were to find out about the car the next day....

Day 17: Barradale Rest Area to Exmouth (364km) Having spotted an oil leak (having put obscene amounts of oil into the van over the previous few days) we rang Wicked and were advised to take it it the mechanic in Exmouth on Monday (it was Sunday). That meant hanging out in Exmouth for the night. The weather was a bit crappy so it wasn't too big a deal.

Day 18: So Monday morning was spent doing a tour of the mechanics of Exmouth. The first dude, Travis, was too busy to work on the car until Friday so we were lined up with Mal instead. This is the van in Mal's workshop while they look at our non-existent front brake pads. They were running metal-to-metal - something Wicked couldn't avoid fixing (unlike the oil leak which we were told just to keep filling up until we got back to Perth)

Day 18: Tom about to go snorkelling on the Ningaloo reef. This photo was taken during the 1 hour of sunshine we had over the 2 days we were out there. This was my first snorkelling experience and it was awesome. The reason the hot showers were so good was that given the inclement weather we were freezing after our snorkelling and needed to warm up.

Day 18: Sunset from the Jurabi Sanctuary Zone, Ningaloo Marine Park

Day 18: Exmouth to Yardie Homestead Caravan Park (86km) The mechanic had to wait for the new brake pads to arrive from Perth so we arranged to go to Cape Range NP for 2 nights and bring the van back in a couple of days. We had waited until the school holidays were over to head to Exmouth, unfortunately it seemed that everyone else without kids had the same idea. It was packed, camping options were very limited. Unable to get a space in Cape Range NP we ended up at the closest caravan park. In retrospect this was good as there were hot showers there.

Day 19: Mandu Mandu Gorge

Day 19: Mandu Mandu Gorge, Cape Range NP. We spotted lots of black-footed rock wallabies on this walk.

Day 19: Yardie Creek, Cape Range NP. We spent today doing walks because the weather was overcast and windy. We also went snorkelling at Turquoise Bay since we were at Ningaloo and felt we should. It wasn't the best conditions and with the cool weather, murky waters we didn't spend too long in.

Day 20: Tom watching sunset at Coral Bay. We watched a lot of sunsets/sunrises so Tom could take photos

Day 20: Yardie Homestead to Coral Bay (via Exmouth to get brake pads fitted) (197km)

Day 21: we booked a snorkelling tour in Coral Bay. It was awesome. We saw whales breaching not far off the reef. While snorkelling I saw a reef shark, turtle and a large ray as well as heaps of cool fish.

Day 21: On our way back in you could go "boomnetting" - this is Tom participating in the boomnetting.

Day 21: the boomnetters

Day 21: the boat we spent the day on

Day 21: Coral Bay shortly before sunset

Day 21: This gets my vote for the most ridiculous 'risk area' of the trip

Day 21: Sunset from Coral Bay

Day 21: beach detail at Coral Bay

Day 21: Sunset from Coral Bay

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