Friday, June 14, 2013

Exmouth

After five days in the Perth area we boarded a another flight for Exmouth. Situated 1,300 kilometers north of Perth, the town was built in1967 to support the nearby United States Naval Communication Station. Today it relies on tourism for its existence and it's one of only a few places in the world where you can swim with whale sharks. That will be the fourth and final post in this series and it's gonna be a good one!

Off for a wander around the town. With fewer than 2000 permanent residents, there's not much to do in Exmouth itself but it's a terrific starting point for adventures in the Cape Range National Park and the World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef.

You know you're in the tropics when you see Frangipani everywhere. We've got a particularly soft spot in our hearts for this fragrant flower as they're common in Hawaii (though they call them Plumeria there) and we recall the time we lived in Maui quite fondly.

My handsome boy.

I booked Carl and Jan on a boat tour to swim with whale sharks on our first full day in Exmouth. We were scheduled to go out the next day which meant Carl and Jan would look after the boys for us. They set off bright and early and when we woke up, Brian suggested we take the boys out on a glass bottom boat tour. A quick phone call found they could just squeeze the four of us in and they'd be around to pick us up in a half hour! Excited to be doing something spontaneously, we scurried to pack towels and snacks and water and the million other things required for outings with kids and then caught the shuttle to the marina.

Ari (looking beat up from a face plant off a park bench the day before) and I find our seats on the boat.

All the kids liked looking through the glass bottom...

..and we actually saw quite a lot of fish and even a turtle!

The owner and guide for the morning was really friendly and knowledgeable and kindly sent us a photo of everyone after our morning snorkel. Riker even got in the water and while he didn't like having a snorkel mask on, he happily swam in the open ocean with his floaty vest for the first time!


One of the nice features of the glass bottom boat tour was that the shuttle bus stopped at a few notable sites on the way there and back that we wouldn't otherwise have visited.


We stopped at the beach with the shipwreck of the SS Mildura, the Jurabi Turtle Centre and the Vlamingh Head Lighthouse (shown below).


After a great morning getting to know Exmouth we were ready to head back to our villa to rest up for the day we'd been talking about for years - the day we'd get to swim with whale sharks!

Sunset on our three bedroom villa in Exmouth.


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