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Roadtrip Australia: Van-Tastic Western Australia - PATRICK & ALEX

GORGES, REEFS AND CAMELS, OH MY!

AUSTRALIA | Sunday, 23 May 2010 | Views [1007]

So it's been a while, so let me get you guys up to speed…

So we arrived in Broome, jumped out of the van and down to Cable Beach for the Ships of the Desert camel ride at sunset. I'd only seen camels in zoos so it was cool to see them out and walking along the sand. The ride was heaps of fun, very relaxing and we had a beautiful sunset backdrop to get some good shots with the cameras. Our friend Andy was running around like a mad man trying to get as many shots as he could. The staff were super friendly and laid back and it was a great experience from start to finish.

After Broome we headed to Port Headland, which was a long drive, and we arrived after dark, so all of us were exhausted and we crashed as soon as we got to Cooke Point caravan park. The next day we met a group of Kiwis travelling together up to Darwin, really nice folks and we had a drink with them in the afternoon and one of the gentlemen was nice enough to help us out with shooting a short scene for our Brokeback Outback trailer.

From Port Hedland we headed south to Karijini National Park where we checked into the camp grounds there. We spent the next day exploring Dale's Gorge. With some stunning scenery and beautiful water falls and swimming holes, it was a great day of exploring.

Later that day we checked into the Eco Retreat on the other side of the park. A truly unique experience, the Eco Retreat is a site with deluxe tents, complete with a separate washroom (toilet, shower and sink - I still call them washrooms, nobody knows what you're talking about here if you ask for a washroom) That night we tried crocodile, kangaroo and emu sausages at the restaurant. I wasn't sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised (my favourite was the kangaroo).

Bright and early the next morning we met Dan Francis and we headed out to Knox gorge with West Oz Active. It was one of the best things I think I've ever done. We started by jumping in an ice cold river at the start of the gorge and then climbed onto a tube and paddled down the river. After an hour or so in we arrived at the waterside - a natural rock slide down 5-6 metres before a drop off into the pool at the bottom. After the waterside we got to the abseiling section where we clipped our harnesses onto the ropes and stood at the end of the waterfall and gently lowered ourselves down the 8 metre drop to the bottom. I know 8 metres doesn't seem very high, but let me tell you when you're standing backwards at the edge with your heels over the drop, it's a little unnerving. The rest of the day consisted of exploring the breathtaking gorges, navigating tight squeezes, climbing up rock faces (safely tied in of course) and wading through the river. If you're ever out to Karijini N.P. you have to do this trip, you'll have the time of your life. Big thanks to Dan for taking us and his patience.

From Karijini we had originally planned on heading to Karratha, but we decided to drive all the way out to Exmouth, which is where we are now. Exmouth is a quaint little seaside town, most famous for the whale shark dives. We were supposed to do our dive on Saturday, but unfortunately it was cancelled due to bad weather. So we decided to leave tomorrow to go do the manta ray snorkel in Coral Bay and then drive back up to Exmouth to do the whale sharks on Tuesday. It's one of those opportunities we might not get to do again so coming back was a no-brainer.

After that we head south and along the way we're going to be having a quick stop in Geraldton for a television interview with a local station later in the week.

So until next time...

Patrick

Tags: australia, backpacking, campervan, canyoning, oz, roadtrip, snorkeling, travel, trips, van-tastic adventures

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