Smithsdownunder
Our journeys around Australia

Western Australia at the start of our journey

18-Sep-2004

We are still in Denham, the most Westerly town in Australia. Come to think of it, we are the most Westerly caravan in the most Westerly caravan park in the most Westerly town in Australia! The climate here is excellent at the moment. Temperatures in the day are about 26deg in the shade and the nights are cool. The humidity is low and there is usually a breeze to keep you cool (and fly kites). Apparently they get about 35mm rain per year yet everything seems so green around - except for the golf course that is. Here is a picture of one of the greens (or blacks!)

.Denham Golf Course

Monkey Mia DolphinWe drove the 28kms across the Francois Peron peninsula to Monkey Mia today. This place is well known for its dolphins, which come to the beach each day to feed.

The whole of the Shark Bay area is designated a 'World Heritage Area' and is rich in marine life. We went out on a catamaran to see Dugongs, which are similar looking to Manatees but are actually a totally different mammal.

Dugong in Shark BayThey estimate that there are only about 9000 left in the World and something like 95% of them live here in Shark Bay. We were quite fortunate and saw quite a few, some with young. We were invited back in the evening to a talk on the beach given by an astronomer. The sky here is crystal clear with little or no light or air pollution. The stars are all different from those in the UK so it was very interesting.

PeliI noticed that the pelicans were very wary of the dolphins. Apparently, a week or two ago, a dolphin caught a fish but it was the wrong way around. They like to swallow them headfirst. The Dolphin flipped the fish into the air to turn it around and the peli swooped in caught and ate it. This upset the dolphin somewhat so it gave the peli a slap with its tail and knocked the peli clear out of the water and onto the beach.

Ali went in the sea, but I am not sure if she was aware that a lot of research into Tiger sharks is done here and sea snakes are quite common in the area! We have a few more days here and plan to drive up the peninsula into the national park. We will let you know how we get on.