From the wheat fields to the desert coast.

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November 6th 2014
Published: November 6th 2014
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West Australian Christmas TreeWest Australian Christmas TreeWest Australian Christmas Tree

A member of the mistletoe family, but unique to this part of WA and down to the lower coast of WA
If you have been following our blog, you will see that we have adjusted our travel a little from the map we published earlier.

As temperatures at Karijini were getting too high for rock climbing etc, we headed from the Gold Fields firstly to Geraldton, and then to Kalbarri.

Our first stop just a little north of Geraldton was to Batavia Coast Caravan Land who have a good reputation for running repairs. In fact, we used them on our last trip for a toilet repair. It was the vacuum toilet again that had been giving us grief by not being able to hold vacuum. We had purchased the required seal and expected the service person in Ceduna to also install the seal. As we reported, he backed off and just sold us the part.

The senior tradie at Batavia Coast was away, but a good young guy was willing to have a go with a little guidance as Rob had seen how the unit is removed and installed last year. The young fellow did a good job so it seemed right up until we wanted to put the system under vacuum. The new seal
Kalbarri Rescue BoatKalbarri Rescue BoatKalbarri Rescue Boat

Possibly freeing a dolphin caught in a net.
leaked worse than the old seal. To cut a long story short, when we got to the caravan park Rob flush cleaned the loo to remove fine calcium sediment, and wallah, all was well, and has returned to performing as it was when brand new.

We had a second repair done on the kitchen mixer tap. Last year when in Perth we had the tap replaced due to a crack in the body of the tap. The first replacement on that occasion leaked into our kitchen draws, the second did the same. After Dometic (manufacturer) messed us around I sealed the offending component with silicon, but it never was a really satisfactory tap as it dripped and leaked out of the upper seal, but we put up with it.

Marg found that Batavia Coast had two such taps in stock. So we got them to do a replacement. It didn't take long to do, and we turned the water on, and OH NO, this one leaked into the drawers. A quick change to tap 2 in stock, no leak, no dripping from a tap that wouldn't quite shut off. We paid quick and left rejoicing! It has taken 5 taps now to get a good one. (Dometic, work on your quality control)

The only disappointment occurred the following day. Horizon Motorhomes had put us in a Melbourne Cup sweepstake for being good customers and helping others along the way to choose a good motorhome. (Good = Horizon) Sadly, our horse was scratched an hour or two before the race.

Last year when we visited Geraldton, we could not get access to the Catholic Cathedral. The doors were open today so while Marg did some packing of groceries, I took the camera for a walk. The Cathedral was designed by an architect who became a Catholic Priest, Monsignor Hawse, also famous for the design and construction of many of the Wheat belt town churches. This job ran into trouble, and was not finished or 25 years and not to the original design due to the Great Depression and a conflict between designer and others who held the purse strings. For example, I expected to find the 'Dome' ornately painted. Worse, apparently it was asbestos sheeting and just plain painted. Rather sad when compared to the beautiful domes found not far away at New Norcia. There is a 3 million dollar upgrade and restoration job getting under way now, and hopefully we will see the job completed as per the original design.

Heading north from Geraldton, we stopped at Pink Lake and Port Gregory for a break. We came here last year but could not get our cameras to show the pink lake like it really is to the eye. This time we look a little more time to take our pics and have come up with images without post processing that are pretty close to what you see. But even as you look, the colour keeps changing. It seems that currents, possibly temperature effects and the angle of the sun all work against both the eye and the camera. The pink colour is due to the presence of the carotenoid producing algae, Dunalliella Salina, a source of ß-carotene, a food-colouring agent and source of vitamin A. The lagoon contains the world's largest microalgae production plant, a 250 ha series of artificial ponds used to farm and produce B-carotene. So the coloured water was not the result of the photographer and camera drinking too much red wine. Also, this lake is below sea level, with water seeping under the dunes from the ocean. Maybe this is technically a lagoon with no current outlet to the sea.

Kalbarri is one of our favourite coastal spots. The inner beach is the Murchison River Mouth and barely gets ruffled. Interestingly, the Murchison finds its head waters way out in the gold fields (Mt Morgan), and wanders about 800ks to the sea. A little north east of Kalbarri is the Murchison River Gorge. Access to the gorge is in two main places, Nature's Window/Z-Bend, and a further 20 ks east at Hawkes Head and Ross Graham Park. Access to the later two points is fully sealed, where as the road into Natures Window starts with 9ks of sealed road followed by another 13 ks of seriously rutted road. There is a ban on motorhomes or campers and caravans from using this road. 2 WD cars are ok mostly, but 4 WD is recommended. The best views are at Natures Window and Z-Bend, however we were stunned at the beautiful wild flowers going into Hawkes Head. (Last year we went with Mary and David into Natures Window)

For lovers of sea scapes, the river mouth at Kalbarri is a dream. There are two reefs, a large sand bar and a bay which causes the waves to enter, bounce back at 90 degrees, and when mixed with the river flow, there are amazing troughs and spray as the waves hit the reefs and rocks.

Additional photos below
Photos: 30, Displayed: 26



Not sure of breed.
Hungry Gallah BabyHungry Gallah Baby
Hungry Gallah Baby

The noise while feeding has to be heard to be believed.
Be Patient - not ready yetBe Patient - not ready yet
Be Patient - not ready yet

But a few minutes later baby was fed.
Murchison RiverMurchison River
Murchison River

Ross Graham Park

6th November 2014

Up to your usual high standard!
Another interesting blog with some great photos. The cute bird is a Honeyeater for sure check the bird book.
7th November 2014

Beautiful photos
Loved the pink lake and the glorious flower photos, and the hungry baby birds, am so glad you are having such an interesting trip, I'm so enjoying it! I have a new great-grandson Liam Jacob, his mum is Chinese , so a beautiful babe, but then all babies are beautiful aren't they?
9th November 2014

Australia is diverse
One would not think Australia has so much diversity to offer but it does and you've certainly captured it well. Thanks again.

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