After my visit to Kalbarri I continued on the road to the North in the Gascony region. Trip rather turned towards the beach and the sea 😎 .
First step in the Gascony: Shark bay! And no you are not going to be eaten by a shark here;). On the other hand there are rare species that come here like the dugong.
I spent the night in a campsite near Hamelin pool. This allowed me to be very close to the start of Shark bay for the next morning :). It turns out that there is a stromatolite site (still active, it’s rare) here. It is one of the oldest traces of life on earth.
I started with the West Coast spots with Eagle Bluff.
Then I refueled in Denram (be careful that a small store) to then go to the little lagoon (stunning!)
I was able to meet a family of Emu who passed by there 😎 .
François Perron national park
In fact I did not go … For several reasons :
– going to this park requires a good 4×4 that I did not have (SUV rental).
– there is a charge for the park, even when you have the WA parks pass.
– I am absolutely against the attraction of Monkey Mia and the entrance to the park finances them.
To say more about Monkey Mia, this is a bay where dolphins came naturally near the beach a few years ago (I met tourists who knew this time). Subsequently the locals turned it into a business and they fed the dolphins to attract them to tourists. It is now regulated but this practice still exists (a priori on a few dolphins only). So the attraction is paying to be dozens around 3 dolphins who stay there because we feed them without them having to make any effort.
Clearly it was for me the essential stop in Shark bay. There is a beach (Shell beach) made only of shells. It’s very atypical and it’s worth the detour. The beach is huge, immaculate with tiny white seashells!
Clear water, we can even see some species approaching the shore :).
Having little time for this road trip, I booked a day at sea to snorkel and swim with manta rays! I booked at Coral Bay eco tour. I think this is one of the rare trip of this type where there was a deep respect for the marine environment. We already ask to put on sunscreen as soon as we are on the boat so that it has time to penetrate before we enter the water. Then they explain well that you should not touch the corals (even if at first they seem non-living). That if there are turtles it is necessary to stay behind them and not above (otherwise they prevent themselves from going up and lack oxygen). And concerning the rays, there is also a protocol (do not get too close, stay behind, etc.). And we go in a small group not long to then let her go alone.
The tour also stops near a beach which is home to a lot of marine animals including dolphins and turtles. And that’s where we have lunch while taking full view 😎 .
And on the road there are also some wild animals :).
PS: However, I did not stop in Exmouth unfortunately: not enough time and the campsites were already full!