Day 57 – 30 Aug 2012 – still at Coral Bay

Such a quiet night – there is only one road in this town and it goes just to the end of the second Caravan Park, so there is actually no traffic at all once the sun sets. A bit like Baldwin Road!!!!

We decided that because it will be some time before we were up this way again we might as well stay another day and do some of the ‘tourist’ activities available. So while Ian went and booked us in for another night I managed to do some washing.

We then went to the info. office and booked in for 2 activities.

Our coral viewing boat

The first was around 11.00am and was a trip out over the coral reefs in a glass windowed boat. The viewing seats were below the water line and all the walls were glass windows. The coral here is not as spectacular as on the Barrier Reef because it was what they call ‘hard’ coral. It is something to do with the proximity of the coral to the beach. Here at Ningaloo Reef it is only 2 to 7 kms from shore, as compared to the 40 or so kms. in Queensland. There were patches of soft coral and they were quite a pretty color, but on the whole the coral, although spectacular in size and shape, was quite dull. However, it was a lovely morning’s trip. There were many pretty colored fish swimming in and out of the coral so that was nice to see.

I think I forgot to mention that Ningaloo Reef is where you can take a boat tour out past the reef and see the whale sharks (and swim with them although from a distance as you are not allowed withing 200 metres or so of them). This also the area where the large Manta Rays can be seen from this tour boats. Maybe next time.

At one stage the boat was stopped and we all went up on the deck and were given pellets to feed the fish. Like yesterday, the fish were mostly spangled emperor (we think they are the same ones who come to the shore at 3.30 each afternoon!!). There were other fish, but the emperors were the dominant species.

Spangled Emperor fish swimming past the sub-sea window

We then came back to shore and Ian and I just walked around the shoreline, absolutely enjoying the lovely scenery.

We then called in at the local bakery and shouted ourselves to a freshly made lamington. I have not bothered to cook cakes in our Van oven and we both felt like something sweet. It was delicious.

By the time we got back to the Van for lunch, most of our neighbours from last night were all gone. A very transient population we are.

After lunch we walked down to the beach again and saw that Bruce and Linda had parked in the parking bay there. They did not intend to stay for the night, but took the time for a quick swim (and snorkel) before moving on.

Around 4.30 we did our second activity for the day. It was a 2 hour 4WD quad bike tour over the sand dunes. This was so much fun.

All the Quad Bikes

They are dual seat bikes, so we chose to do it together. There were 7 other bikes on the tour – 14 pe0ple all up. We rode out of town – took all of 2 minutes – and then entered the sand dunes. We wove in and out of the dunes, occasionally turning out on to the magnificent beach here, and occasionally just riding between the dunes amongst the spinifex. Because Ian had driven a bike before, we were the last bike – this was so if anyone had any trouble we could stop and help. But everyone did very well and seemed to enjoy the experience.

We stopped for a short while at a place where turtles usually can be seen, but the tide was too low, so we just took photos and had a walk around.

Quad Bikes along the beach

We then started off until we got to the top of a large dune and waited to watch the sunset. Very lovely indeed. I got some lovely photos. It was a 20 minute wait so we all managed to have a good chat with the people there. Most people are surprised to learn that we are ‘homeless’, but nearly everyone says they hope they will be able to do that one day – i.e. sell up and travel!

There we a few kangaroos on the dunes amongst the spinifex which was lovely to see. There were emu prints everywhere in the sand as well, but we did not see any.

By the time we left that dune it was getting a little dark, so we had to put our lights on and head for home. It was a great way to see the ocean and the dunes. We believe we can call in at the shop and get a photo of the 2 of us on the bike, so we will go and enquire before we leave tomorrow.

This has been a lovely spot and we have enjoyed our stay here and we know we were lucky to get in to this Park with short notice.

Love to all, Janese and Ian

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