Posts Tagged With: Shell Beach

Shell Beach and Hamelin Pools (Shark Bay)

Returning back down the Shark Bay peninsula there were a couple of spots that we also were keen to see. Amanda had been raving about Shell Beach since we left Sydney, how the beach was several metres deep in shells and how gorgeous the photos looked. It was almost ten metres deep in places, predominantly with salt tolerant fragum clam shells, the water being particularly salty in this part of the bay, but by WA standards the beach was nothing spectacular. We took some obligatory beach shots then moved on pretty quickly.

Next stop was Hamelin Pool, a place I was keen to visit, having seen it in books as a kid, famous for its stromatolites.

Stromatolites are “living rocks”, microbial mat growths that grow very slowly upwards in the inter-tidal regions. At Hamelin the extreme conditions, high salt content of the ocean, heat and UV of the sun at low tide have made it hard for other life forms to survive and compete, allowing the stromatolite columns to grow very slowly over thousands of years.

A boardwalk takes you over the best area, providing optimal viewing. These were more impressive than the ones at Lake Thetis in Cervantes. Whilst they may just look like slimy algae-covered rocks the bacteria that form them are among the oldest lifeforms on Earth and would have been major contributors to the first oxygen in the atmosphere.

From there on to a very spacious beach location at Gladstone to camp, and endure more fly-blown madness. With all the flies we have been putting up the complete awning including walls and this just adds to the time to setup and de-camp, a nuisance when only planning an overnight stay.



Categories: australia, Australian Outback, Beach, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Natural World, Photography, Photos, Travel, Travel Adventure, West Australia | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Innes National Park – Ship wrecks, Emus, Snakes and Shingleback lizards

Innes National Park occupies almost 100 sq km of land at the bottom of the Yorke Peninsula, due west across the Vincent Gulf from Adelaide. It used to be a favourite haunt of mine so it was a pleasure to take the family back.

Thankfully little has changed in the time that has past since I last visited. Surprisingly, only a handful of people were actually staying in the park. On our way down we had a quick close-up of the emus in an enclosure at Minlaton, but just as we entered the park we were greeted by an emu and two chicks strutting by the side of the road. From then on families of them were encountered at what seemed like every bend in the road, with anything from two to six youngsters, even marching towards us on the road at one point.

Shingleback lizards were to be found regularly, either by the side of the road sunning themselves, or rustling through the undergrowth around the camp at Pondalowie. The first one the kids found was infested with reptile ticks and Hannah insisted we remove them all with tweezers, for which the lizard appeared to be grateful, sitting patiently as they were removed one by one and professionally squashed by Xavier.

Ethel Beach is named after a shipwreck in 1920 whose rusting iron carcass still protrudes from the sand above the high water mark. In the shallows nearby lies another wreck, the Ferret, that used a rope tied to the Ethel wreck to save its passengers. After exploring a few caves at the end of the beach it was time to go fishing and looking for shells at Shell Beach. By the end of the day Hannah had caught three fish (sweep and zebra fish) and was happily baiting her own hook casting, landing, and even trying to unhook them herself. I caught a salmon for dinner off my favourite rocks, and Amanda and Xavier had accumulated a nice collection of shells.

Categories: Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Beach, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, National Park, Photography, South Australia, Travel, Travel Adventure | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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