Thursday, 27 September 2012

Kalbari - 20/09/12 to 24/09/12

Driving into Kalbarri was like driving down somebodies very long landscaped driveway - beautiful trees and wild flowers on either side. Here we caught up with the McSorleys', Darren, Rachael and Ryan. Tanya is presently in Sydney catching up with friends. It was great for the boys to catch up with friends, especially Jacob as he and Ryan were great mates at school before Ryan left on their around Australia trip in 2010. Once we had set up it was time for a drink and we didn't see the kids again until the bbq dinner was ready. Had a great night with quite a few laughs as Darren filled us in on their travels and we passed on some of our stories.

Next day all seven of us headed out the the Kalbarri National Park to check out the gorges and take a look at "Natures Window". This is a rock formation where the centre has been worn away to leave a big hole (a window). You have to get your picture taken here and we all complied. We all did the eight km walk down into, along and then back up out of the gorge. Hard going but well worth it as you walked along the river bed and then up along rock ledges a few metres high. Kids had fun but were worn out by the end. We had lunch here, checked out another gorge, but only from the look out, and then headed back home. Again the kids were gone and spent the rest of the day on and around the jumping pillow. Darren and I listened to the footy semi while having a few beers and Vicki took the opportunity to have some "Vic time" watching a movie in the caravan all by herself (probably while eating a packet of Tim Tams).

Next day the McSorleys departed. They are moving on to Lancelin and we will catch up with them again there in around a week. Very windy day and we spent most of it in and around the park. Ventured out down the road in the afternoon to take the boys, and a few of their new mates, to the local skate park.

Following day weather had improved some so we headed out to check out the cliff coastline south of town. The coastline here is absolutely spectacular. First stop was Jakes Point to watch the huge waves that were coming through and check out the form of the local surfers. Waves were around 8-9 feet and big left handed break. Some pretty impressive surfers in action. We saw one bloke come in with half a board - probably going to get another out of the car and get back in. Surf only for the very capable and there were more locals in the car park than in the water; and I don't blame them. From there we ventured a further 8-10 km down the road, driving in every so often to check out Red Bluff, Mushroom Rock, Pott Alley, Eagle Gorge, Shellhouse Grandstand, Island Rock and Natural Bridge. Pretty amazing coastline with sheer cliff faces and wild ocean crashing against them.

A bit of an unexpected surprise for us was the competitors in the Australasian Rally stopping overnight in Kalbarri. The Australian Rally is a huge event with competitors coming from all over Australia and overseas to race through the West Australian outback on motor bikes, quad bikes, 4wd's and specially prepared buggies. It's fully professional with huge support crews for the competitors. They set up overnight at the local aussie rules ground which was just across the road from our caravan park. The boys and I wandered over and strolled around checking out all the rigs. The boys had a few photos taken in and around various vehicles and got some posters and some signatures from competitors.

This is how the more affluent travel the country. Full size bus with boat on top towing a Landcruiser

The Brennan and McSorley kids catching up

Nate planking in Kalbarri National Park

Jacob and Ryan

The Brennans at "Natures Window"

Everybody at ......

And the boys at ......

Kalbarri Gorge

Jakes Point going off

After watching it a while I just had to get in and have a crack myself

One of the "amateurs" snapping a board

Me again. Need to have a word with my camera crew

Coastline north of Kalbarri

Preparing the Pajero ready for the next stage of the Australasian  Rally

Some of the bikes in the rally

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