Home' Caravanning Australia : Autumn 2011 Contents On The Road
As soon as we arrived in town we realised that we
had severely underestimated Kalgoorlie/Boulder, and
with our days here limited we thought it a good idea to
jump on a tour to see the highlights. We had a fantastic
day on a gold rush tour bus that took us around both
towns, explaining the history and stories of this gold
town. We visited the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and
were lucky enough to get out to the hangar and get up
close and personal with one of the aircraft.
Jack and I also had fun panning for gold at Hanna's
North Tourist Mine while Anthony and Bella went on
a tour underground (with aftershocks happening daily
while we were there, there was not a chance in hell I
was going underground, and Jack shared the same
thoughts). I watched Anthony and Bella get lowered
down with a very big knot in my stomach.
What a great way to see Kalgoorlie, and what a
great place to visit. Anthony finished his Nullarbor Links
adventure, but the score? That's a secret.
The moral of the story is never to pre-judge a place
or a golf game before you get there. Had I had it my
way, we would have bypassed the golf links holes and
Kalgoorlie and would have missed out on stopping
at some unique Nullarbor sites, and seeing an iconic
Australian gold mining town.
Next, we made our way to Esperance, but really had
no idea what a terrific time we were in for.
We found ourselves a caravan park in an area of
Esperance called Pink Lake. Why is it called Pink Lake?
Because it is home to a giant lake that's pink, of course.
Pink Lake, a popular natural tourist attraction, is a salt
lake and is just a short drive from town. In the right
weather conditions, it appears pink, which is due to the
high concentration of salt-tolerant algae. Unfortunately
for us, it was not pink when we were there.
Esperance is beautiful, and I was amazed that I
hadn't heard much about its spectacular beaches before
getting close and talking to other travellers, who couldn't
stop talking it up.
So after settling in we went for a drive around and
found that all the claims were true -- it really is beautiful,
with glorious blue water and brilliant white sand. Word
has it that a team of scientists took samples from
different beaches around Australia to determine the
whitest beach, and apparently once the samples were
examined the winner was Lucky Bay, just down the road
Another spectacular element of Esperance is the
fishing. Anthony had the day out on Esperance Fishing
Charters -- a really well-run professional crew took him
out on board their amazing 60-foot charter boat, and
he came home with some beautiful fish, including red
snapper, blue moowong (queen snapper), breaksea cod
and swallowtail nannygai.
The beautiful Cape Le Grand National Park was well
and truly worth a visit, so with Anthony still excited about
his fishing charter, he put the rods on the roof, just in
case we were to find a fishing spot.
Cape Le Grand National Park is 56 kilometres east
of Esperance, all sealed roads, plenty of walking trails,
great facilities for camping, and 2WD access to some of
the best beaches in the world. Our first stop was a bay
called Hellfire Bay, and as we walked down toward the
beach we saw a large bucket containing some very large
salmon. The owner of this was a man by the name of
Michael, who shared his fishing spot on the rocks with
us, and helped give Jack and Isabella the thrill of their
lives as they fished for salmon. Isabella tried her hand,
and with the help of Mummy caught one of the many
salmon we pulled in that day. She was not a bit happy
about the end result and sat very sadly as we bled her
catch. 'Poor little thing,' she muttered, and then refused
to have her photo taken with it.
To add to the kids' excitement we brought our catch
back to the jetty in town and cleaned them on the fishing
tables. A very well known local -- Sammy the Seal -- gave
us a hand to get rid of the heads and discarded bits of
the kids' salmon. Bella said, 'He is so gorgeous!'
Sammy has been the resident seal in Esperance for
around 25 years now. The town has a bronze statue of
Sammy at the entry to the jetty, and all the locals seem
to have fond stories and memories of their Sammy.
To complete our wonderful visit to Esperance we had
been recommended a wildlife tour. Mackenzie Island
Wildlife Cruises gave us a day the kids have not stopped
talking about, and we got to see the most incredible
I was extremely excited to see a pod of dolphins
escorting our boat through the beautiful clear waters
around the Recherche Archipelago, and I was even more
excited to get some incredible photos.
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