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In possum habitat

Yalgorup NP, Busselton

sunny 34 °C
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After two nights at a commercial big caravan park, we longed for a quiet place to stay for the night. We found exactly what we were looking for at Yalgorup National Park. The Martin’s Tank campground was fairly big and almost empty, so we got to pick a great shady spot close to the camp kitchen.
We had known that the national park is protecting a couple of lakes that are important wetlands for migrating birds. But we were surprised to learn that it is also the home for a couple of endangered marsupials.
We were in fact lucky and got to see some of them. A quenda passed through our campsite on our first evening. And later that night when Sam and I were still sitting outside working at the laptop and reading, a small possum family visited our camp. The furry animals were not afraid of us at all, exploring everything and even passing underneath the chairs we were sitting on. Very cute!

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The next morning, we decided to stay for one more night. After all, we had not had a really calm day for almost two weeks and we were happy to take it easy and just do nothing special. Max enjoyed playing with his cars in the sand, while we read, typed and edited pictures.
That evening, the possums stopped by again – this time even early enough such that Max was able to see them.

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It’s really nice to have wildlife so close and that’s probably one of the reasons we like staying in national parks. Still, as long as we’re talking about cute marsupials, this is certainly true. The statement is not true at all though, in regards to the creepy small animals around. The monster ants were leaving me alone, so that was no issue. But I just hate ticks and as soon as I discovered, that there are some gigantic ones around, I simply tried to keep my feet away from the ground when seated. Only once Sam started excitedly to take pictures of the spider that was just crawling up the back of my camping chair, it was enough and I headed up into the roof top tent. Luckily enough, the tent is far enough away from the ground and equipped with window screens, such that I was able to feel safe there.

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The next morning, Sam was keen to get some exercise and went for a run with Max biking next to him. A couple of km further along the road I picked them up again and we headed to the beach in Bunburry.
We had lunch right next to the beach and took a dip in the water before heading on. Getting into South Western Australia, it was time to start tasting some of its renown wines. The Capel Vale winery was a nice place with excellent wines. We were the only guests and Anja from Heilbronn served us around ten different wines to taste. The first two wines were the best and after a fun hour of tasting and having great chats about lots of things, we ended up buying a bottle of each.

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At the Busselton RAC campground, we were welcomed by Lucia. Back in Yanchep NP we had agreed to stay at the same campground with our Swiss friends for three nights. And even though the office staff had not known about us knowing each other, they had placed us directly next to each other. Great!
Once we explored the campground, we realized that it had perfect facilities. Behind the playground which also featured a big bouncing pillow, there was also a big bike park. In addition to that, there was a nice camp kitchen, just a couple of steps from our camp, a game room and a daily movie night with kids’ movies.
While Emia and Max were sitting in the hammock playing TipToi, the adults had a great time talking about traveling, building methods for houses, kids… We could have talked the whole night, but eventually it was time to take the kids to bed and to get some sleep ourselves.
The next day it was burning hot, a consequence of the first tropical storm of this season in Broome. That was a good reason for us to take it easy and stay at the campground and in its pleasant pool.
Also the evening was very quiet with reading, blog writing, picture editing, movies.
After a lazy day, we were keen to explore Busselton. We started at the biggest attraction: the longest wooden jetty in the southern hemisphere. The jetty looked long, but only once we had walked all the way out to the end, we realized that it was almost 1800m long. On the way back we noticed some dolphins in the water below the jetty. And Sam got a nice snapshot of an eagle with his lucky catch.

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After our lunch break at the playground, it was time to cool off. The water bounce park was just too tempting and it turned out to be a lot of fun.

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Back at the campground we had an invitation to dinner waiting for us on our table which Emia had nicely written for us. What a pleasant surprise – especially as we were anyhow very hungry already.
The next morning, it was our time to cook Kaiserschmarrn for them as a good-bye breakfast. It had been very nice to meet them again and we’ll see if and where we’ll meet again – Australia, NZ Germany, Switzerland or elsewhere.

Posted by dreiumdiewelt 22:41 Archived in Australia Tagged park beach walk spider possum jetty bounce Comments (1)

Aussie Christmas

Cape Naturaliste, Margaret River

sunny 28 °C
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After two relaxed days in Busselton, we were keen to explore the coast on the way to Margaret River. Our first stop was at the Cape Naturaliste lighthouse for taking a walk to the whale lookout. As whale watching season is over already, we were it was not too surprising that we did not see any. Instead we got to see a seal playing in the waters below us.

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A short ride in the car brought us to Bunker Bay, where we found a nice and secluded spot for lunch. Our only companion was a big lizard that seemed not to take notice of our presence.

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At Sugarloaf Rock, we had hoped to see a couple of phaetons that are supposed to nest there. Even though we did not see any, the detour was certainly worth it: the coastline was spectacular with the waves hitting the rocky coast. And it was not only us enjoying the waves: a pod of dolphins surfed the waves seemingly having lots of fun in the process.

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But not only the dolphins were keen to surf the waves. At Yallingup Beach there were lots of kite surfers enjoying the powerful wind and the breaks coming in.

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Finally, it was time to drive the last couple of kilometers to Margaret River, where we planned to be over Christmas. Along the way, we passed at least 20 wineries, some distilleries and a couple of specialty food places, like a very tempting chocolate factory. We resisted the temptation to make a stop at any of the nicely landscaped places and headed on.
After all, our campground featured not only a pool, but also a bouncing pillow. That is a guarantee that Max will have fun and consequently we’d be happy as well – an important prerequisite for Christmas.
Also the weather treated us to a special pre-Christmas present. As we soon realized, it was not windy anymore. Since back in Exmouth and Coral Bay, we’d been getting used to (and sometimes upset about) the constant heavy winds that made even the hottest days feel chilly and uncomfortable. And suddenly, just in time for Christmas, the wind was gone!
Life is good. And even more so when it’s Christmas Eve and the day starts already with a traditional and relaxed breakfast: rolls with salmon and horseradish with sparkling wine from Capel Vale. Max was happy with his choice of jam instead of salmon and apple juice instead of sparkling wine.
Another tradition of the Dorner family is to take a hike up a mountain in the afternoon. Due to the acute lack of mountains around Margaret River, we skipped the mountain part of the tradition and went for a simple walk into the town of Margaret River instead. We made it all the way to the River and the Rotary Park before going back to our campground.

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After all, we were ready for having our Christmas Eve dinner. And contrary to what we usually have, this time we went for the classical Aussie Christmas meal. In other words: we headed to the ‘barbie’ and had steak and sausages with mashed potatoes and a glass of white wine to go with it.
It is not necessarily straight forward to create a traditional Christmas celebration, when outside it’s sunny and warm and there’s not even a living room to set up a Christmas tree in. Despite the challenges, it still seemed like an almost ‘normal’ Christmas, starting with the ringing of a bell up in the rooftop tent. And when Max got to check what’s up there, there was a (painting of a) tree, there were presents, cookies and mulled apple juice.
Once all carols were sung, wishes exchanged, presents opened, we had a very pleasant evening. Calling home, playing with Max’ new presents and simply enjoying the moment.

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Christmas Day is the big day for the Australians and we were surrounded by Christmas carols and greetings. As we had celebrated already the day before, we took it easy. Sam edited probably two weeks’ worth of pictures while I swam, jumped and played with Max.

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It had been a very peaceful Christmas indeed. Different than usual, but very close to the ‘normal’ version we’re used to.

Posted by dreiumdiewelt 21:53 Archived in Australia Tagged river walk breakfast kite christmas aussie lighthouse dolphin surfer present barbie Comments (2)

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