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The Strange and Alluring Pinnacles Desert {Photo Junket}

By on Aug 10, 2011 in Western Australia | 0 comments

Like eerie fingers erupting up from a desert wasteland, the ghostly Pinnacles situated in the Nambung National Park near Cervantes is said by those indigenous to the area to be inhabited by evil spirits. For this week’s photo junket I thought I’d take you on a journey into this harsh environment and to a place that is avoided by some Indigenous Australian’s and sadly, a place that your children’s children may never have the chance to see due to the constant wind erosion of the site. Niki and I visited here on our way to Desperation Beach as part of an experimental tourism project we were working on and were mesmerized by the sight of hundreds of limestone mounds that scattered across the plain which eventually rendezvous with the Indian Ocean. The Pinnacles are about a one and a half hours drive north of Perth along the new Indian Ocean Drive and is an easy day trip. The cost is about $10 per car and after 4.30pm it’s by honour box, which is well worth visiting at this time if you want to photograph some of the most extraordinary sunsets. Just watch out for the creeping shadows as they reach out for your soul…        ...

Visiting Monkey Mia and Feeding the Dolphins

By on Jul 24, 2011 in Western Australia | 0 comments

  ‘Peter, do exactly what I say! Look at me and do not panic. I want you to stand up and walk towards me nice and steadily. Whatever you do, don’t panic, there is a snake just behind your heel’.  With that I quietly got up from my seat at the bar at Monkey Mia Resort in Northern Western Australia and walked towards my wife all whilst trying not to wet my pants. It was a glorious afternoon in Monkey Mia, the crystal blue waters of the world heritage listed Shark Bay were lapping the bay and the local bar was dotted with travellers from all over the world downing a nice cold one.    I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word snake I run as fast I can, screaming like a 4 year old girl who didn’t get an ice cream from the Mr. Whippy van. So it boggles me that when the world snake was shouted out in the bar, instead of the crowd erupting into panic, everyone got their cameras out and tried to take a photo with it. You’ve got to love European and Japanese tourists. I also loved the great Aussie character, who pops up every bar, skulls a XXXX and then shouts out “that one’s a really deadly one” before doing a Steve Irwin and shooing it off back towards the camp site (Not sure if you can actually shoo a snake).   Niki and I were in Monkey Mia stopping over for two days on the way to Carnarvon for a spot of fishing with my grandfather. Monkey Mia is arguably Western Australia’s most visited tourist destination and this is due to the iconic dolphins that come in to feed at the beach.  Some decades ago when Monkey Mia was just a hideaway for locals and long before mass tourism came along, families would feed the local pod of dolphins as they camped in the area.  The dolphins realising the benefits of the food free for all,  hung around and before long things started to get a little carried away. Today Monkey Mia is regulated by the Department of Conservation and Environment and there are strict laws in place to protect the dolphins. Feeding is still allowed however only a hand full of people will be chosen by volunteers each morning and there is not guarantee dolphins will come in. Incidentally, they only feed the female dolphins as the males can get too aggressive. Niki was lucky enough to be selected and she was cooing with the best of them.   So here are a few tips to be selected to feed the dolphins. First of all, forget about it in the first session at 7.45am. This is when all the tour groups are there and you will be fighting the crowds. Come back for the second feeding a little later in the morning. Some mornings there is also a  third feeding. Don’t stand next to children; you have no chance ending that match made in heaven. Niki was chosen as she stood right at the end of the line and some of the dolphins often timidly sit  to the side of the main cluster of people. Also people aren’t aloud to feed the dolphins twice. So try to remember who fed in the first session and stand next to them in the second session. Finally, work out who the feeding volunteers are as they are usually staying on site (backpackers) and buy them a drink.   Monkey Mia isn’t just about the dolphins, there also plenty of activities such as snorkelling, swimming and hiking as well as the chance to get involved in some local indigenous tourism.  There was plenty of native animals for the wildlife lovers with emus, kangaroos, dolphins, dugongs and various reptiles witnessed. Monkey Mia is about a ten hour drive north of Perth or a quick flight if you’re stuck for time. It’s one of my favourite ecotourism destinations in Western Australia and you’ll understand why when you make the drive through Shark Bay. Oh by the way, please don’t chase the dolphins like some of the gaffers we saw in spite of yells and protests from everyone around, they are more likely to swim up to you if you’re quiet and...

EVENT-Store Twenty3’s Birthday Party

By on Jul 18, 2011 in Western Australia | 0 comments

  Store Twenty3 is turning 2 years old and they are celebrating by having a sweet as birthday party on the 20th of August at Wolfe Lane Bar (near king st, Perth). Grab Your Tickets...

The Nullarbor Plain, Australia {Photo Junket}

By on Jul 11, 2011 in Western Australia | 0 comments

The Nullarbor Plain appears at first to be an open wasteland, a shrine to a dead sea that once flooded this part of the world. A place of isolation where thoughts of solitude intimately dances with the notions of going walk-about. For this week’s photo junket I thought I’d take you on a road-trip across the Nullarbor, and for me, a trip down memory lane. We encountered the fascinating treeless landscape of The Nullarbor Plain on a road trip from Melbourne to Perth. This adventure would see us relocate over 3500kms from one side of our vast country to the other all whilst driving a twenty year old Ford Fiesta. Needless to say our adventure across the Australian Outback was an action packed and unforgettable experience. The drive takes you along the Eyre Highway (A1) which stretches from Port Augusta to Norseman via some of the most remote towns in Australia before passing by the desolate Great Australian Bight. This almost endless stretch of straight road  can seem lonely at times and it is truly one of the most magnificent landscapes in the world!      ...

Photo of the Week: Fishing in Carnarvon

By on Jun 8, 2011 in Western Australia | 0 comments

I recently spent a couple of days up in the banana capital of Carnarvon, located in the Gasgoyne Pilbara region of Western Australia. I was staying in this coastal town to get in touch with my inner Bear Grylls and to get involved in a bit of fishing which somewhere along the line of growing up, I had forgot to embrace this primal hunter instinct in me. So joined by my grandfather and my partner in crime Niki, we ventured out to Babbage island before sunrise to cast a line. This photo was taken out to sea at the end of the mile long jetty looking back as the rustic town of Carnarvon. I found it fascinating to watch the colours of the sky change as the sun rose up to reflect the scorched earth that make this part of the world so harsh. Carnarvon has plenty to offer if you’re travelling north and is approximately twelve hours driving from Perth, making it a great stop over on your way to Exmouth and Ningaloo. By the way, in case you wanted to know how many fish Niki caught? A nice half dozen. Want to know how many I caught in my Bear Grylls Action Man stance? Zero….I’ve never lived it down!...

The Best Coffee in Perth

By on Jun 1, 2011 in Western Australia | 0 comments

“It’s a big call I know, but as a serious coffee connoisseur I can say the search is over. The best brown drop in Perth may have been found…”     It belongs to that of Oxford 130, a funky little cafe that has long been established among locals and Perth’s die-hard coffee devotee’s alike. Located on Oxford Street in Leederville this cafe and its staff are dedicated to blending the perfect brew. Forget the recent trend of polished cafes with menu’s so long they confuse, this place is all about ‘the coffee’. They do however offer a small menu of simple but great breakfasts and yummy handmade cakes. The thick sourdough toast is a must! This small but comfortable cafe lines its walls with both old and new gig posters, providing a interesting aesthetic but also offering an education on the headline acts that have passed through and entertained Perth over the years. You could spend the whole day lost in the walls of this place. It’s a great cafe to spend a morning losing time with a coffee in hand. Nestled amongst the gig posters you’ll find the cafe’s motto on coffee proudly painted next to the Barista’s, which really proves their passion for their craft: “Few beverages are are as intoxicating, heartwarming and utterly satisfying as a steaming cup of hot freshly made coffee. There is the flavour, the stimulation and the colour. There is the body and point, sharpness and above all the aroma. Preserving the fragrance and the fleeting aroma is what good coffee is all about, and the secret as all the pundits often repeat, lies in the word ‘fresh’ = freshly roasted, freshly ground, freshly made” Oxford 130. So impressed with Soy Lattes at Oxford 130 I refer to them as ‘magic coffee’. But even great coffee aside, this cafe is a great place to sit and ponder, work on your novel or grab a window seat and people watch as the ‘cool kids’ of Leederville wander by…    ...