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Published: June 21st 2013
Our next destination, Francois Person National Park lies in the World Heritage listed area of Shark Bay. A 40km 4WD track takes us through a variety of road ways from sandy tracks to vast gypsum pans (birridas). It was an exciting journey as tyres were deflated ready to navigate our heavy load of car and caravan into the park. One bogging and digging out, some more windy tracks and lots of bumps later we arrive at the Bottle Bay campground.
The Francois Peron National Park brochure promises diverse and abundant marine life and although we were at first skeptical it sure did not disappoint. We saw whales, sharks, manta rays, dugongs, turtles, crabs, fish etc, etc.
The tinnie finally got wet again and ensured that some exciting fishing adventures unfolded. There were so many fish to catch that your bait would hardly hit the water. There were many squeals and laughs as Ki and Ella excitedly pulled in their catch of fish.
In the morning I went out on the tinnie with Dad, James and Hannah. While we were on the boat we threw back a bleeding fish that we had
caught and it floated to the top, at the same time Hannah caught a fish on her line, next thing a huge grey nurse shark as big as the tinnie lunged out of the water and took the dead fish and Hannah’s line! We both screamed, but were very excited about our adventure.
A paddle out on the mal turned into an exciting adventure as Carrie paddled right next to a huge dugong in the shallows. An amazing site and a massive fright! (Blog fact – approximately 10%!o(MISSING)f the worlds dugong population thrive in Shark Bay. They grow to 3.3m long and weigh in approximately 250kg.)
On our way out of the park we visited the Old Homestead and in particular it’s outdoor hot tub, filled with artesian waters drawn from a bore 540m below which flows at a constant 40 degrees celsius. It was so nice to relax in the hot tub and soak away the dust and salt after 5 days out bush.
We continue on with our tour of Shark Bay to Shell Beach, a pure white beach created naturally from millions of tiny cockle shells. They span 120km along the coastline, lie
to a depth of 5 metres and have been there for 4000 years! A beautiful sight and a great prop for some photos.
Next on the cultural tour is Hamelin Pool and a viewing of the Stromalotites from the board walk over the ocean. What are they you might be wondering? They are formed from living microbes that build Stromalotites in highly salinic water and are similar to the earliest forms of life dating back 300 million years. Amazing facts yes, but they do just look like rocks. Enough history for us, time to get back to the beach!
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