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Travellers Tales - Western Australia - Coral Bay to Kununurra

Tales of travels from Coral Bay to Kununurra in Western Australia, highlighting places of interest such as Turquoise Bay, Exmouth, Ningaloo Reef, Karijini National Park, Port Headland, Eighty Mile Beach, Broome, Gibb River Road, Fitzroy Crossing, Geikie Gorge and Halls Creek.

Having reached Coral Bay on only one of the three coral spawning days of the year we decided to continue north to Turquoise Bay. Here we 'drift snorkelled' over coral and the ever present amazing multicoloured fish. We walked out into the bay until we reached about one meter in depth and were then swept away by what felt like a river flowing along the length of the beach. If you saw something that you wanted to stop and view for a time you needed to swim with flippers against the current just to stay in the same spot. Being of a laid back nature I chose mostly to just float by enjoying the scenery.

We then drove to Exmouth where we did a couple of scuba dives from boats on the Ningaloo Reef which has been described as comparable with the Great Barrier Reef. We saw a turtle, several carpet sharks, sea cucumbers and shoals and shoals of brightly coloured fish. During our second dive I had a great time fooling around doing rolls, loops and chasing fish, though neglected to appreciate that this required more air than usual at 12 plus meters so had to cut my dive shorter than it might have been.

Next we headed inland to the Karijini National Park where we enjoyed the scenery, gorge walking and swam in rock pools under waterfalls. We also did some cliff jumping into the pools which no doubt impressed the ladies but hurt like heck if executed incorrectly.

Back to the coast and Port Headland; my first experience of the tropics ever. For those of you yet to experience it for yourself it is hot and humid to the point where the least thing going wrong will irritate you to distraction. I constantly look like I've just stepped out a shower fully clothed. We treated ourselves to the best backpacker hostel I've ever stayed in; hand held remote controlled air conditioning in the non-dorm bed room.

Following a night spent in our campervans on Eighty Mile Beach we reached Broome where we booked into another backpackers (with air con). The palm trees, pool table, bar, swimming pool, all made it feel more like five star accommodation having been on the road for so long.

Having investigated the possibility of taking the Gibb River Road (unsealed) the 700km's to Kununurra we opted for the Great Northern Highway (sealed) instead. The policeman we quizzed about it put us off slightly when he remembered that only "one two wheel drive made it through last season".

The first stop after Broome was the Fitzroy Crossing Hotel where the barman closed the pub at 6pm because he wanted a beer himself. He then asked us to join him in a beef feast with some aboriginal mates at their campfire. The next day we took a hike down Geikie Gorge where we sadly failed to see any crocs and, following a brief stop at Halls CreekFree Articles, we reached Kununurra.

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If you like the idea of a campervan holiday in Australia then check out Maui, Britz or BackpackerCampervans, depending on your budget.

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