If you have peeped into this site’s section entitled “Trish and Paula’s Travels’, you may know that my wife and I have been house/pet sitting for three years. During that time we have visited the following countries doing these incredible assignments: Britain, France, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, and the island of Tahiti.
This is our fourth visit to Australia and this year 2016 we decided to carry out our assignments in Western Australia. We started off in Perth and enjoyed four assignments within the vicinity of this wonderful city. Perth is modern and with past money from mining has made incredible highways and modern suburbs. Perth has incredible architecture and inviting beaches.
Travelling North to Kalbarri and the Dessert National Park.
When we rented a van we were surprised to be turned back by a police road block and routed to another highway. We could see smoke billowing in the distance. It was one of the many bushfires that plague Australia. The term “bush” is a catchall phrase for any forest, grassland scares etc. After about an extra hour to an hour and a half drive, we arrived at the town of Cervantes named for the author of the book “Man of La Manche.” It’s a small town with all streets called after Spanish places or roads: Madrid, Barcelona, Cadiz, Terragona, Malaga, etc.
Disasters bring people together and we encountered a woman who had to abandon her home because of fire. She and her two friends and another boy had rented a cabin in Cervantes. She invited Trish and I to join them. We had a large pizza and she cooked chicken wings. It was a great night.
Arriving in Kalbarri
Kalbarri is a seven hour drive from Perth so we took it leisurely and eventually arrived in Kalbarri. Geraldton is the nearest big town in Western Australia which is thinly populated not like the eastern coast.
It is a delightful town where the Murchison River meets the Indian ocean and nearby Kalbarri Desert National Park. There is a stunning coastline, soaring river gorges and protected swimming bays. Sharks and jellyfish are sealed off by powerful nets.
Trish and I wanted a different scene and as Trish is an avid photographer we chose a desert environment. We were not disappointed. We drove down a bitumen road and then it became a dirt track. There were many desert tree and shrubs in bloom (even though this is not the season for wildflowers). On the road we spied Gould’s monitor which is a lovely speckled large lizard. It was quite happy to pose for us. The area has incredible floral beauty set against vast red rolling sand plains. While we were eating our sandwiches and drinks, we notice an incredible bug that turned out to be a cockroach.
There are various loops that can be driven and many offer a high cliff look down into gorges where the Murchison River flows. As it was summer time, the river had lost most of it water.
One of the loops led us to the famous “Nature’s Window” a place for taking pictures set in front of a gorgeous red sandstone rock gorge
One of the warnings largely placed in many areas of the park’s entrance and in brochures (to prepare potential visitors) is the fact that there is NO WATER available in the park. There is a written and well enforced law that each person has to consume up to three litres of water per day. Trust me, Trish and I were drinking water every few minutes. I read that you should not drink when you feel very thirsty – drink ahead, so you don’t get to this dehydrated state.
Living in a non-desert environment, it is such an awesome pleasure to explore a place like the Kalbarri National Park. It is amazing how life can live here, but it does and often living creatures come out in the cool of the night.