Before we arrived in Australia we had looked up an area made up of a string of beaches with incredible white sands and crystal clear turquoise waters we just had to visit! Better known as the Coral Coast, the area spans from Shark Bay to Exmouth and is one of the highlights of Western Australia. It is not only the beaches that attract visitors from all over the world, as it is also one of the few places in the world where you can swim with whale sharks and a place with stunning coral reefs that some say is more impressive as the Great Barrier Reef.
We’d gotten up well before sunrise as we were eager to kick off our Shark Bay adventure and first drove to spectacular Monkey Mia. The place is on many people’s bucket list as you can see and potentially feed wild dolphins. To get there we had to drive the perilous road to Monkey Mia. The kangaroos and cattle appeared to be less a problem than the rising sun. Dazzling sun-rise, but unfortunately right above the road, meaning you could not see a darn thing. Thankfully nothing happened and after we parked the car we quickly made our way to the docks. Lucky for us the dolphins were soon to make an entrance.
Monkey Mia is one of the oldest places of oceanic conservation research with dolphins and they knew the dolphins pretty well. There is a group of five dolphins, led by the matriarch Puck, who came out three times a day for a feeding. The staff keeps records of all the encounters and take their time to explain people about conservation and interaction with wild animals. Highlight of any visit is at the end of the show, when they pick several volunteers to hand-feed a fish to the dolphins. With my Captain America shirt and bright red pants I seemed to stick out, as they picked me on the first go. To have such an amazing animal gracefully swim around your feet is an ecstatic feeling I will remember for the rest of my life. On Puck’s way out she brushed her tail fin against my leg, leaving me with a feeling of privilege which put a smile on my face for the rest of the day. Not only dolphins made an entrance as we could see turtles coming up for air and giant pelicans soaring over people’s heads. Two resident emus were causing havoc at the restaurant which was an absolute blast to watch.
After our memorable experience with the dolphins we drove Beasty to Shark Bay’s Little Lagoon. The turquoise waters and perfect white sand made it look like a picture-perfect place to be. We took our time and strolled over the delightful soft-sand beach enjoying the sun and views before getting back to the van.
We drove onwards to the cliffs of Eagle Bluff where we got stunning views of the ocean and a small isle before the coast and could even make out swarms of fishes and prowling sharks. The high cliffs are a natural lookout and the perfect spot for a quick lunch. Unfortunately we could not make out any gentle dugongs that are said to roam the area. From all the beaches we have ever visited, Shell Beach has to be one of the most peculiar ones. The beach is completely and solemnly made up of tiny white shells. The beach is gigantic and goes on for kilometres. It took us a good five minutes to reach the water. We sat around in the hills of shells and took ample pictures of this special place.
On our way out of Shark Bay we made a final stop at Hamelin Pool, home of some of the oldest mechanisms in the world. Stromatolites, a form of organisms that have the ability to survive the harshest of conditions, cover the entire shallow area. We walked around a bit over the docks before heading to the nearby campsite for the night.
The next day we set off towards Coral Bay, but not before embarking on a side-trip to the Quobba Blowholes. It isn’t exactly on the way, and added a good hundred kilometres to our route but proved well worth the trip. The entire coastline in the area is made up of these corroded rock faces where the rough sea bashes into. Once the waves hit the rocks the water gets spewed upwards through holes in the rock. The water can be tossed up for an incredible thirty meters if conditions are right.
Next up are fifty shades of turquoise waters in Coral Bay and Turquoise Bay. We can’t wait!