Leaving tropical Ningaloo reef behind we continued south and popped into the fruit growing region of Canarvon. We passed many fruit farms on the way and stopped in on a mango plantation (of course!) where we cooled down with a delicious all-natural frozen mango icy-pole. Yum! Although the mangos were not ripe enough to pick down here, the farmer explained to us that they were already being picked up north in Broome and that they are the cheapest when the mango picking seasons up north and down south overlap.
Heading into Shark Bay, we based ourselves in windswept Denham and set out to explore yet another World Heritage area, this time gaining its status mostly because of the prolific sea grass that line the coast. First stop was Monkey Mia. Touristy, yes, but for good reason. Wild dolphins have been visiting this area for over 40 years and have developed a playful and friendly relationship with the tourists who line the shores each morning hoping to be one of the lucky few picked out of the crowd to feed them. And I was one of the lucky few! It was a complete joy. Tip # 1 for those wanting to be picked: Don’t stand next to the kids. Thanks to the park rangers there are a number of things in place so that the dolphins continue to return including that the dolphins are not to be touched and they are fed only a tiny fraction of the food that they would need for the day.
Shell beach was a bit of a novelty, with the sand part of the beach being made up entirely of tiny white shells.
Lastly, we visited the innocent looking stromatolites at Hamlin Pool. These living fosils are one of the oldest lifeforms on earth, having been around for billions of years producing and releasing oxygen which helped create Earth’s life supporting atmosphere.
Apart from hiking and exploring the remote and beautiful nature that Australia has to offer, over the past few months another fun pastime has been to check out our fellow camper’s/traveller’s “set up” to get some ideas for next time. This one takes the cake so far, trailing not only a boat but also a car!!