Day 56 – 29 Aug 2012 – at Coral Bay

Went to sleep with the sound of the waves crashing on the beach. Very nice indeed.

We left Exmouth around 8.45 and headed straight to Coral Bay – 150 or so kms down the road. This is not a main road but it was in excellent condition. At least a dozen Vans passed us on their way to Exmouth. Before leaving Exmouth, we pulled into the Info. Centre and Ian was able to re-fill our water tanks again – this time with good fresh water – as last night’s Park’s water was very brackish.

The scenery here is the dullest we have seen on our entire trip. Just spinifex, spinifex, spinifex – and very coastal with sand dunes etc. But we knew it would be like this as we drove close to the coast and then of course out to the coast at Coral Bay.

Coral Bay is about 13kms off the road, bitumen road all the way, and much to our surprise there is quite a small township here, with 2 caravan parks, 2 restaurants, a small shopping centre, tourist booking office for local tours. We rang from Exmouth this morning and booked in advance to this Park because we had been told that there were only unpowered sites left and they were going fairly fast, so were pleased to get a nice site with – wait for it – grass!! Green grass!!

Ocean at Coral Bay

We thought the sight of the ocean at Exmouth was amazing, but this is even nicer. This is a much safer beach with areas where children can swim and much more accessible by pathways etc. whereas at Exmouth the beach could only be accessed at certain points, and it was not a safe in our opinion swimming area.

The beach is fantastic and we walked along it for a long while. The sand is so white and the water is an amazing color. Or I should say ‘colours’. Depending on the depth the water changed from clear,to light blue, to dark blue, to deep blue. This is a large coral coast area and the coral is just metres from the beach. There were people everywhere snorkeling so they could view the coral. There are glass bottom boat tours for those who do not snorkel.

While walking along the beach we bumped into the Monsons and Tomasetti’s whom we first met at Alice Springs, and saw again at Dunmarra quite a long time ago. We talked for a while. We then stopped and talked to another couple who came from Gladstone. When Ian mentioned we were from Victoria, she said they had lived in Victoria for some time but in the Latrobe Valley. So Ian said he originally came from Longwarry. The chap then asked Ian – “Did you know the Chimelewski’s?” Well, of course he did – the Chimelewski’s were near neighbours of our Longwarry farm. This chap then said he remembers going to the dances at the Longwarry Hall. How small is this world???? We talked for ages, waiting for the 3.30pm daily fish feeding display.

This was amazing. A local chap provided some fish pellets which people could slowly throw into the water, and fish came all around our legs, to eat these pellets. They were mainly spangled emperors and would have been around 40cms or so in length. There were dozens of them. We were told just to stand still and definitely not to touch them (which would not have been hard as they were swimming in and out of our legs) and most people obeyed. The display went on for about 20 minutes or so. The little children were very excited – so were so of the big ones!!!!

Fish feeding – around Ian’s legs

We then walked up to the lookout which was just 10 minutes away. What a lovely view.

View over township of Coral Bay

People were planning on being there for sunset, but we figured we have seen quite a few sunsets over the ocean this past week or so, so just walked back to the Van. This coastline has a very long coral reef, and although where we were was calm we could see the breakers on the reef some distance out so I hope you can see the white breakers in the this next photo.

Breakers in the distance

When we arrived back, the area behind us was full of small tents – a bus load of people had pulled in. It was an off-road tour bus with 26 passengers (mostly around our age) and they were all set up for the night. I talked to a few of them. They were loving their adventure.

This is a lovely relaxed spot and we certainly would recommend it.

Love to all, Janese and Ian


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