Tuesday 5th May 2015, cool very windy
Exmouth to Osprey campground, Cape Range Nat Park
A southerly blew strongly overnight making it hard to sleep. On TV the Perth weather girl is wearing a jumper and complaining about the cold weather which is expected to be 23-25!
We pass the VLF submarine communication aerials at close hand. They have been built to withstand 500 kph winds. The highest recorded gusts in the world were 400kph at Barrow Island. The folks here really know how to manage their wind.
A sprightly little Pole named Alek takes us on a glass bottom boat cruise of the Ningaloo reef. It is blowing so hard we can barely stand against it but Alek assures us that all will be fine. And it is. We spend an hour puttering about the reef gawking at the fish and oohing at the enormous coral bommies but the visibility is poor. We get wet through with spray but it is fun and I step off thankful that I didn’t re acquaint myself with my breakfast.
Further down the coast we set up at the Osprey camp ground. The wind is too strong for our fussy fridge so we get permission from the camp hosts to park the wrong way round and all is solved. The coastal view is wondrous in all directions with the reef close to shore. Behind us is the red and craggy Cape Range which I could grow to love. The rocky shore is a conglomeration of pink rocks, swirls of grey silt and fossilised coral and shells. Without exaggeration there are millions of fossils. And it is hell for a beachcomber like me because nothing, nothing is to be removed except the sand on our feet. Osprey has recently been upgraded and the sites are flat, spacious and clean. The drop toilets are cleaner than city flushing toilets! With tide charts on the walls too, how thoughtful is that for those who must linger? There is a sign that says “don’t feed the fish they’ll become aggressive.” After Coral Bay’s mishap we can attest to that!
The receding tide leaves red jellyfish on the beach and they look for all the world like they’ve been made with my Mum’s old jelly mould.
The wind slowly drops out to perfect stillness at sunset and when the stars come out a young English girl asks us to turn out the van light so that she can see the Milky Way.
Travelling Kms: 79Kms
Note: You know how you sometimes realise that you are in a truly special place? Well this has to be one of those places. We would not have found it if not for The Ollies’ friend who casually mentioned it on a chance meeting in a restaurant. This and the other suggestion of “Oh and don’t miss Cape Le Grand” were invaluable to us and oh so memorable.
6 thoughts on “Go West, Day 60 – Ningaloo Reef”
Sigh. This is one place I can’t wait to experience. Beautiful photos and captivating narrative. Just lovely! 😊💙
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That fossilized coral is amazing.
I found it fascinating, so many shapes and patterns.
I think I might have stayed in the same campsite in July! I had a wild time of it as a storm front came in and I spent most of the time trying to keep a marquee tied down in 35 knot winds and rain. Made a great tale for writing up haha!
I’ve heard several people talk of bad weather there. Perhaps we were lucky.