Denham and Monkey Mia

Perth to Geraldton to Denham to Geraldton to Perth for ANZAC day 2013.

Friday 19th April to Sunday 28th April

A two day trip with a stop over in Geraldton to rest the driver. Dinner at the foreshore and a good rest before a big shop for food and onwards to Denham. The final leg west to the town into the blinding setting sun. Arriving late, we collected the key to the holiday house and found our home for the week. Simple and very conveniently located.

Sunday we headed to Monkey Mia and fed the Dolphins and had coffee and a walk before heading back to check out the aerial photo display before a foreshore walk, a play in the skate park and a game of Yahtzee.

Monday we were thrilled to head out on an eco tour in kayaks with snorkels and goggles. We launched into the ocean on a sand flat and paddled north to the mouth of the creek feeding into Little Lagoon. Capesy wrestled a shovel nose shark and an olive turtle, thrilling the kids and the other tourists. Schools of mullet surrounded the kayaks and scattered as we paddled into them. The kids enjoyed snorkelling in the creek as others went squelching through the mud. Capesy’s wife Mira, puts on a fabulous lunch. If you go this way make sure you join a tour with Wula Guda Nyinda.

Tuesday we headed to the Shark Bay Discovery and Visitor Centre for the morning. The children spent their time completing an engaging worksheet. On the way down we had a look at St Andrews by the sea, a church made of shell bricks. The bricks are made from the shells taken from Shell Beach. After the discovery centre we headed out the Peron Homestead for a wander and a hot tub. The homestead provides a glimpse into the settlers attempts to graze sheep. The hot tub appealed to some more than others. At 40°C it’s just too hot for me. A information booth at the attraction describes Project Eden which has done a great job of controlling foxes and feral cats on the peninsula. Our sighting of an echidna on the way home speaks to the success of the wildlife protection project.

Wednesday we traipsed the coast. Starting at Ocean Park Aquarium we met the Sharks, turtles and squid. I loved the encouragement by the staff to fish for all the squid you can eat because they have such a short life span and are prolific breeders. The kids enjoyed everything about the attraction. After our fill of marine life we headed along to Shell Beach for a look. What a great spot. According to my book on the top 101 beaches in Australia, this beach is made up of millions of shells, several metres deep. It’s the only one of its kind in Australia and there is only one other in the world. After that beach we head back to Denham via the various cliffs, headlands and beaches. Back in town we headed down to the foreshore and the children had a swim out to the pontoon for a jump into the water.

Thursday was an exceedingly long day, starting before dawn for the ANZAC day service. After breakfast we headed to the jetty for a fish and the kids all caught something but nothing we wanted to keep. Kiss and release. More swimming and some snorkelling off the foreshore beach before dinner and another fish. How exciting to catch squid! Lots and lots of fun followed by a huge rigmarole to clean them up ready for eating. I think it was long after midnight before the last shower was had and we hit the sack.

Friday we were woken by the phone and an offer to head out again with Capsey to kayak Big Lagoon. It was a great day, despite being very difficult in windy conditions. We saw rays and fish and sharks as well as seeing the effects of goats. The drive up on sand was only slightly challenging and we had the requisite hot tub and BBQ at Peron Homestead on the way back.

Saturday started with a run out to Monkey Mia where I got to feed the Dolphins! Very cool. I’m not sure how I feel about humans need to interact with these animals but I’m thrilled I got to stand in the water with Nikki. They are simply wonderful creatures and I’m looking forward to being in the Amazon with the pink ones in just a couple of weeks (obviously this is written a couple of years after the trip). All you can eat breaky at the resort filled the kids up and then we headed home to complete the packing exercise and head out of town. Not before a final swim at the town beach, another peek at Shell Beach and a stop over at the stromatolites. Finally we were on the long road to Geraldton and a stop over for the night.

Sunday started with a swim and surf before the rest of our drive home to Perth. It was a great trip and we all had a lot of fun and even learnt a lot about our world and how to care for it. I can thoroughly recommend a trip to Denham and there is more than enough to do to warrant a week long stay. My advice, just do it … In the mean time enjoy our photos. Tap each one to see them in their full glory.

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