Reflections in Kiama

April 25, 2008 at 5:28 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Kiama is a salubrious place to return after a holiday – even if it is a little rainy (I cannot believe that it has rained here every day of the hols so far). We all agree that Our Trip was great and worth the expense. The kids are calm and confident; we noticed today just how much Sarah can talk, compared with when we departed last month. She speaks in complete sentences and is quite a charmer. Today, when she woke, the first thing she said was, ‘love your haircut, Dad!” Both her and Lucy have received a reward they have been looking forward too for being so well behaved on the trip. Sarah thanked me and said, ‘you’re so kind!” She’ll go far (little finger and all that) but it is pretty advanced for someone who is not yet two. What’s the definition of ‘gifted and talented’ – 20% of the population and my kids.

I’ll remember the following things about our WA trip fondly (in no particular order):

1. snorkelling along the length of the magical Ningaloo reef

2. swimming with whale sharks and manta rays

3. the Pinnacles

4. free buses

5. riding around Rottnest Island in the early morning with Lucy

6. Lucy swimming in the ocean at Ningaloo reef

7. laughing with Sarah in the artesian bore spa

8. Kate driving through water Nth of Carnarvon with fear and loathing that we were about to be submerged but plunging on regardless

9. the sheer joy the girls showed at being in caves, feeding animals and playing on the beach

10) Lucy’s ‘dances’ – there were many, mostly unfilmed – especially, the quokka dance.

and that Kate and I have a shared memory with our children that will last a life time – and longer (now that the blog can be archived).

Thanks to everyone that read, commented and emailed about Our Trip – we appreciate your interest and time. So long…


Last day of Our Trip

April 25, 2008 at 6:45 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Art Gallery provided us all with inspiration before flying at 4.15pm. Sarah is prepared to comment whenever asked and i love her description of the more surreal works – ‘that’s just crazy’. Other comments included, ‘that’s scary’ and also ‘funny’. She loved the Y12 art, especially the models. We headed off to the state library and checked out the exhibit of Mr Squiggle and friends Gus and Blackboard too.

Lucy and Sarah played games outside the cultural precinct; Lucy affected her supermodel pose:

We returned to the Good Fortune and had a fantastic meal of Peking duck, salt and pepper female capelin, san choy bow and laksa before catching our last Blue Cat free bus in Perth:

We caught the plane with a only a few baggage issues (one bag was too heavy and had to be repacked) and had an uneventful flight (kids spectacular) but unfortunately Virgin had lost a bag in transit. Of course, it was the one with our toiletries and clothes for tomorrow. All’s well that ends well; thebag arrived 24 hours later at our home in Kiama.

One more entry is needed befor Our Trip is concluded…

Some stats

April 23, 2008 at 8:11 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wikipedia says that WA has a population of 2,105,800 making up 10% of Australia’s total population.

Just for the record Kate drove 5265 kms and we spent $600 on petrol over the 26 days we had the car. That averages 200 kms per day of driving for Kate but basically we had 5 days of driving 500 + kms and quite a few days of leaving the car completely unused. I think, having such a good chauffeur, I will plan another trip in the future, where Kate drives us from Brisbane to Perth across the Top End. Amazingly, she has already agreed to this madness. We’ll buy a campervan in Qld and sell it in WA 3 months later.

Fortune smiles

April 23, 2008 at 6:13 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We’ve had a good and lucky penultimate day in WA. We left Cervantes at 7am and navigated directly to the hotel without taking a wrong turn; a grand effort for us in a city. 26 days of driving around and we reurned the Corolla to the hire place an hour early, no dents, and received our bond back. The most incredibly complete rainbow arced over the wind farm at emu downs; we could see the entire spectrum and thought about the rainbow serpent’s power over collective imagination.

Checked out the Shipwreck Museum in Fremantle, allowing Lucy to pursue her skeleton obsession, before returning to Perth:

Lucy kept pretending to be a tour guide:

The Western Australian Museum provided Sarah with a ‘real’ brown bear, much to her delight and fright. It had been stuffed c 1897. We had to rush to Dymocks to buy her a ‘brown bear book’ to pique her interest:

The Hong Kong BBQ restaurant fed us extremely well before we returned to rest for the evening.Lucy’s growing culinary sophistication was evident as she scoffed noodles. Of course, Sarah tried everything including the chilli sauce.

Cervantes – The Pinnacles

April 22, 2008 at 8:21 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Pinnacles Desert is stunning – and totally unexpected. We went for a quick look, while Sarah slept, when we first arrived in Cervantes thinking we would return for sunset and enjoy the preternatural glow from a full moon:

This was not to be as it rained most of the afternoon and night. We returned the next day and had a good walk around and took some photos and footage:

Sarah loves this lullaby:

We drive to Perth tomorrow to return the Corolla and it is sadly, the beginning of the end but we still have a few plans for come cultural and culinary pursuits before the plane flies.

Not much today but…

April 18, 2008 at 4:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

it was a sunnier day (not really hot enough to make one wish to swim) so we wandered ’round Dongara and did a few silly things for a laugh:

but were uncertain what significance the stocks had to the history of the area (the museum was closed).

We went to a good (Irwin River) vineyard too and have some fine wine to wash down our seafood pie this evening.

Off to Leeman for crayfish sangers tomorrow.

Speaking of film in Geraldton

April 18, 2008 at 7:46 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We should have auditioned:

Geraldton abuzz as film auditions held

Aspiring young actors from around Western Australia are gathering in Geraldton to audition for the feature film Batavia’s Blood Temper Fury.

The contemporary interpretation of the 17th century Batavia shipwreck will be shot in the mid-west next month and stars Andie MacDowell and former English soccer star-turned-actor Vinnie Jones.

Director David Blake has called on local children to audition for speaking roles and as extras.

Paula Wilkinson, director of the Creative Works Youth Theatre, says it is rare opportunity for aspiring actors.

“You don’t ever get a chance to audition for movie in your own hometown. [Normally] you need a director, agents, you need a lot of background training just to get your foot in the door,” she said.

“Whereas we’ve got a feature film right here that are asking for people to audition for it.

“Just to say you’ve auditioned for a movie is a huge pat on your back.”

Ms Wilkinson says she has been inundated with calls from children and parents around the state.

“I was fortunate enough to be able to sit in and watch the public auditions on Monday and Tuesday and they had a really good turnout,” she said.

“It was good to see Geraldton getting very, very excited. I expect the same with the children.

“I think it’ll be a big turnout for that as well.”

Source: ABC Just in


April 17, 2008 at 8:31 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

We have had absolutely brilliant weather but it rained today and we wore jeans and shoes rather than swimmers and sunscreen. Drove from Kalbarri to Geraldton and watched a film, Dr Suess – Horton Hears a Who. The usher made a mistake and sent us into the wrong film – along with every single parent with kids – and we started watching an M rated film, Forgetting Sarah Marshall. In the 2 minutes we watched, thinking it was a preview, the male character dropped his towel and started swinging his genitalia around wildly, making a loud slapping sound on his leg. At this point parents with young children, expecting to see Horton, started flooding out of the cinema. One in particular was very agitated at the trauma her children had just experienced. The manager started yelling at the 14 yo usher and everyone was herded into the correct cinema. We were told it was not possible to rewind the film and missed the first 5 minutes or so. I could see the funny side but there were very agitated folks. Lucy and Sarah did not appear to need counselling.

We spent the rest of the rainy day shopping before heading off to Pt Denison-Dongarra. Looks like our last few days at a beach may be less than sunny but no point complaining after such a fine run of luck.

Monkey Mia – Dolphins

April 16, 2008 at 4:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Feeding the dolphins in the early morning is the thing everyone is here at Monkey Mia for – no doubt about it. Here’s some footage of what greeted us this morning:



 And some stills:


Kate and Lucy went out on a wildlife cruise for the morning aboard the catamaran Shotover, looking for dugongs, sharks, manta rays and dolphins. A dugong with calf was sighted and Lucy now knows about the origin of those mermaid stories. here’s the catamaran:

We all took this little boat with an electric motor out for a joyride and took a few photos:

Sarah really loved the artesian bore spa located in the pool:

We ended the evening celebrating sunset, at the Monkey Bar, with pizza and a really cool local beer that has an infusion of lemon, Barefoot Radler.

We watched the HMAS Sydney doco on the ABC and will check out the memorial in Geraldton in the next couple of days. There’s plenty of goodies here about the search and history of the ship.

Off to Kalbarri tomorrow after we spend the morning with the dolphins. Hopefully the kids will be chosen to feed them.


Shark Bay – Monkey Mia

April 16, 2008 at 4:06 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

‘Monkey Mia – a bloody long way’ is a t-shirt we just have to have, maybe tomorrow we can buy four. We spent about 25 minutes unpacking and walked the 150 metres to the beach when a pod of dolphins dutifully sailed past, metres from we were we were swimming. Talk about just like the brochure said, only better; we really didn’t expect to see dolphins until tomorrow, at the early morning feeding session.

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