On our last full day in Exmouth we drove to Cape Range National Park for more snorkelling and sight seeing. Being horrifically sunburnt I tried my best to cover up, but I guess that doesn’t really work when you’re at the beach now does it?
The first place we stopped was a well known place called Turquoise Bay. Nothing like a nice, obvious name to let you know what to expect.
And we weren’t disappointed.
Don’t let these photos fool you, it was a very popular spot. And being used to sleepy Esperance on the south coast of WA, I kept getting irrationally irate when people would set up towels near us. Spoilt brat!
We headed into the water and saw some really amazing coral and fish, I think Turquoise Bay was definitely the best spot we went to. I spotted an octopus and we watched it for a while, seamlessly blending into the coral until it would shoot off a few metres trying to shake off a few pesky fish hanging around.
Mandu Mandu Gorge
Unfortunately we didn’t have the right shoes for walking the full track into Mandu Mandu gorge, but what we did manage to see was pretty great.
It’s kind of hard to tell how massive these rocks are without some perspective:
We’d heard that Oyster Stacks was a great spot for snorkelling. We were certainly very close to the fish because even at high tide it was pretty shallow.
It was good but I think I was a bit snorkelled-out at this point. Plus there was sea cucumbers everywhere and I was petrified of stepping on one. Gross.
Vlamingh Head Lighthouse
The Vlamingh Head Lighthouse was built in 1912 after the SS Mildura sank when it hit the reef in 1907. There are amazing views over the coast from the lighthouse.
Andrew, supposedly imitating ‘my’ pose in front of the SS Mildura’s anchor:
You can actually see the wreck of the SS Mildura from the beach:
Apparently the crew made it to land safely, but the many cows onboard didn’t make it 😦
Back in Exmouth
We drove back and went to check out the Big Prawn. I thought The Prawn was Ballina’s thing. Controversial. Knowing what little regard the east coast of Australia has for the west coast, they probably don’t even know Exmouth has ripped off their ‘big thing’.
We caught the fourth sunset in a row by the road.
And went to Grace’s Tavern, which is an American themed bar and grill. The country music channel played on at least seven screens and the walls were covered with posters of Johnny Cash.
I had pork ribs, brought by a waitress in Daisy Dukes and a cowboy hat.
Andrew had a seriously long hot dog:
And we shared a cookie ice cream sandwich for dessert.
It was all delicious.
Feeling sufficiently stuffed, we had an early night so that we could get up early and watch the sunrise over the water.
We had a rather average breakfast (I left most of it behind and went to the bakery around the corner) before packing up the car and driving to the airport.It was such an amazing little trip to such a beautiful part of the world.
I highly recommend you go there. Now. As soon as you finish reading this. Bye.