Swap Dolphin for camel...

Monday 17.10.2006



What's out in the Outback?

Since it has started raining in Perth we decide to move back to the Outback. More then 2000 km of bitumen and gravel roads connect Perth with the Ayers Rock. This is where we're heading now. Since we have to cross Aborigine Communities we have to apply for two permits. Then, off we go.

What can you expect to see in the Outback? If you take a closer look it's incredible, how many flowers and even wild pumpkins are growing along the way. Impossible to be overlooked are all the car wrecks ditched next to the road. If you're lucky, you might even see some crazy cyclists participating in a race. It has to be mentioned that the road is very sandy and not even always fun with the car. But a bicycle? Reto even met some Aborigines asking him for "ganja" (dope). And from time to time wild camels are crossing the road.

However, what we would have chosen not to see... a car sending a stone right into our windshield. But the worst was, when we were setting up our tent again only to find out that a peg must have driven several wholes through our tent. Just great! Chris angry and depressed at the same time. Reto as Mr. Handy-Man fixes the tent with some tape. The ultimate tests will still take place in New Zealand. We'll keep you posted ;-)

The 7 lives of a kangaroo

The more south we drive the more colorful the landscape gets. It's Wildflower season and we really enjoy the flora.

The Pinnacles are limestones which resemble huge termite nests. On the campground we meet another couple from Switzerland. We squeeze all in our car and drive to the Pinnacles. There, we decide to walk the 3.5 km loop. The Pinnacles are known to be most impressive at dusk or dawn. To our surprise the loop has a dead end. It's already late and we feel a little bit stressed. Not to loose any time, I stop a car and ask for directions. Most probably the passengers of the car think we're the dumbest tourists on earth getting lost on a loop. Never mind. At least we find our car before it gets dark. Relieved and done with our adventure for today we're heading back. But another adventure lies still ahead of us. All of a sudden a suicidal, huge kangaroo jumps out of nowhere right in front of our car. I'm convinced that we've hit the animal. Cursing and swearing we get out of the car to inspect the damage. But, it seems that not only cats have seven lives. Luckily no kangaroo around. What a day.

City life in Freemantle - Perth

After all the outback we enjoy the diverse city life. We stroll through Freemantle, feast on seafood, bratwurst (sausage) and crepe. Browsing through book stores and visit one of the oldest gaols of Australia. To our surprise we learn that the prison has been in use until recently. No toilets in the cells, just buckets. Yuck.

Dream beaches...

In Cape Range N.P. we find more dream beaches. The Ningaloo Reef is just a short in swimming distance off the beach. Every time we're snorkeling we see some turtles and rays. We just love it! However, we notice the 1000 km we're further south. The water is already a bit chilly and the strong breeze at the beach sandblasts our smooth skin.

... and other beaches

Well, not all beaches are dream beaches. We spent one night at a very interesting beach. Swimming impossible, unless we swim faster than the crocs. At sunset, thousands of sandflies are biting us. After sunset the sandflies are being followed with enormous moskitos. Hiding in the car we are more then surprised to see dozens of cows stomping around our tent. And last but not least, uncountable little crabs inspect our bush camp at night. Well.... and why exactly have we chosen to be here?

Sharing the shower with Emus and Kangaroos

There's no water in the Cape Range N.P. Which means, we have to carry all the drinking water and all other water we need during our stay. However, right at the beginning of the N.P. is one water tap. The water is being used by the tourists as much as by the local animals. Which means, we have to share the shower with Emus and Kangaroos. Does anybody ever mentioned having a shower is boring?

Dolphins, Pelicans and Stromatolites

Years ago a fisherman used to feed some wild dolphins. Nowadays, the dolphins swim right to the beach, where they get some fishes hand-fed and everybody could get close to the dolphins. The place I'm talking about is Monkey Mia. However, the Dolphins are by no means the only attraction here. Pelicans as well seem to have heard about the "flying" fishes. Every evening the pelicans are waiting for the return of the fishermen, anticipating their own fish flying into their mouth.

Shell beach lies on our way to Monkey Mia. Well, shells are not uncommon and can be found on almost every beach. But nothing is like Shell Beach. No sand, no gravel, no mud on the beach, just millions of tiny little shells, as far as the eye can see. The deeper we dig, the more compact the shells get. The pressed shells are even used in bricks for building houses.

And then, there are the Stromatolites. They look like dead coral. However, they are living organism, which existed already millions of years ago. Well...... I prefer the dolphins. At least I can tell they're alive ;-)

Who invented the flies anyway?

Kalbarri is an idyllic little sea resort. We indulge ourselves at a Swiss Restaurant and think of staying here for a while. If it weren't for the flies around. Hundreds of flies are chasing us on a hike in the N.P. If anybody now has the nice and harmless European flies in mind is completely wrong. The flies here are trying to get into your nose, ears, mouth or eyes. It's just impossible to wave them off quick enough before one sits in your face again. After having swallowed enough flies and got rid of the vanity, there are alternatives: The fly net over the head doesn't look sexy but it is effective.

Speechless at the Ayers Rock

Wow. What's there to say? Ayers Rock is definitely impressive. Within a wasteland of nothing one of the biggest monoliths is posing just in front of us. Is there more to add?

Monkey Mia

Popular Resort to watch Dolphins. Very touristy. You can hire Kanu's and little Boats.

GPS: 25°47'39.2"S / 113°43'00.7"E


The Pinnacles

Special stone formatioen, grown over thousands of years. One can discover the Pinnacles on a 3.5km loop-course by foot or with the car.

GPS: 30°29'55.7"S / 115°04'06.2"E


Freemantle Prison

Different tours are offered to visit the former Prison of Freemantle. It's even possible to visit the cave system underneath the prison.


Great Central Highway

Is described as the real outback adventure. We only found it a 1500km dirt-track leading from Leonora to Uluru. 2 different permit are neccessary, because the route crosses Aboriginal land.



The Olgas (Kata Tjuta)

The Olgas are in viewing distance to the Ayers Rock. Huge dome-shaped Rocks in the flat desert. There are 2 walking tracks.

GPS: 25°18'00.3"S / 130°43'24.9"E


Ayers Rock (Uluru)

The ultimate tourist attraction. You have to queue-up to see the sunset or sunrise. Climbing Uluru is strongly discouraged. The summit can be closed due to wind or heat.

GPS: 25°20'20.5"S / 131°03'31.3"E


Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon is north of Uluru. There is a very good walk in around the Canyon.

GPS: 24°15'20.3"S / 131°34'11.8"E