Up North, Episode 9 - Shell Beach

There really isn't much to write about shell beach, save for some history/facts about how the shells came to the beach. The tiny shells are pure white and belong to Cardiid Cockles (fragum erugatum). Scientific names make me feel smart. Pardon me I just had to say it. These little cockles thrive in very salty water and live in dense clusters in the sea. When they die, the tide and waves wash their shells onto the shore, and you get a landscape like that of Shell Beach. It's an all-natural process. Pretty cool.

You may be interested to know the process has been taking place for 4,000 years. So the shell layer on the beach is estimated to be a whopping 5 meters deep. Holy sh*t. That amount of shells could bury all of us alive!

Abba, walking on 5m deep of shells.

Shells close-up!

The entire beach was made of nothing but shells.

 To those with pro cams, the place made for some good photos.

Shells aside, the water was also clean and clear. Beautiful!

 You won't get a beach this clear in Malaysia.

The next post on Pink Lake will be the last about Kalbarri National Park. I will then proceed to Jurien Bay, our last stop for the road trip.

Up North, Episode 8 - Hawk's Head

Here's a short post about Hawk's Head. It's a cliff region that sports a shape similar to a hawk. Hence the name. From the lookout point on the top of the cliff, you get to see wild ducks and red kangaroos on the banks of the Murchison River. The animals were tiny because they were very far below. It's a very bad idea to drop your slipper or something else down. You'll probably never ever get it back.

 High above the Murchison River.

See the hawk? That red rock jutting out is the 'head'. Photo taken on left wing.

 There. You can see the head clearer in this one.

I tried to photograph the kangaroos down there (red spots). Obviously too small to see.

That reddish speck there is a kangaroo. Notice the tail.

And this is the lookout point.


The next and last post about Kalbarri will be of Shell Beach. As the name suggests it is a beach made entirely out of shells. I'll talk about that one soon. This blog is starting to look like a travel blog. lol

Up North, Episode 7 - Ross Graham Lookout

The Ross Graham Lookout is a lookout over the Murchison River, which runs through Kalbarri to the Indian Ocean. It was named after the first headmaster of the Kalbarri Primary School, who was some kind of nature-lover.

The lookout is made up of a 250m walk down to the banks of the said river. The river was pretty dried up when we visited, save for a few pockets of water. Still, it was interesting to see the rock formations around the river. The rocks basically formed a small canyon with the river flowing through. I wanted to move closer to inspect the rock walls, but decided against it for fear of snakes.

The so called 'canyon' with the river.

Like I said, basically quite dry.

The dried river still looks good in the pictures.

I found these rock formations fascinating. Never seen anything like that.

Another shot of the river.

A close-up of the rock wall around the river.

 Cheers everyone!

This is an interesting photo, If you look closely, you will see 2 human faces!

I have only a few more stories to tell before I finish this road-trip thing. We went to many places, hence the large number of episodes. And on a different note, the haze is back in Penang. Drink more water my friends.

Up North, Episode 6 - Red Bluff

Red Bluff is basically a cliff overlooking a very pretty stretch of beach. According to an information board I read, it was a navigation point for Dutch sailors about 800 years ago. Today its sole function is as a tourist destination where you can get some great photos taken. Do be careful though, a warning sign at the entrance tells of unstable cliffs and loose rocks. It's a long, painful way down to the bottom.

Pretty, isn't it?

Notice that green stuff? That's the edge of the cliff. It's not connected to the red soil and the beach!

Anymore closer to the edge would be dangerous, guys.
 This is the path where you walk. Notice how the beach goes around you.

That's me!

This lookout point is where you can get the best view.

For $2, you get to use a pair of high-powered binoculars to scan the coastline. I think it was intended for us to observe the waves and discover some wildlife. We did indeed discover some wildlife. We saw a young couple dating down there! I have no idea how they managed to get below the cliff though.

I spy with my little eye.

And finally, a group photo.

By now you should have noticed our road trip is mainly about enjoying scenery, scenery and more scenery. Well, that's my idea of a holiday. :D

Up North, Episode 5 - Kalbarri

Our journey up north has now taken a southward direction (towards Perth). After leaving Shark Bay we ventured to Kalbarri National Park and spent a night there. There was much to see in Kalbarri. In this post I will present photos of our lodging, its surroundings and a very pleasant beach nearby.

We stayed at this place called Pelican's Nest. Our unit was a small house on its own, complete with 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, a lounge and a kitchen. It could house all 7 of us comfortably although 5 of us had to squeeze into a room (that room was supposed to be the kids' bedroom I think). 

Reception, with a very friendly dog.

Our 'house'.

5 of us into this room, but wasn't uncomfortable.

Lounge area and kitchen at the far end.

A short drive from our accommodation took us to a beach with very violent waves. We stood there for 15 minutes just watching the waves crash on the shore. It was a magnificent sight. Surfers would be happy to hop on those waves, although I personally feel challenging such rough waters means to suicide.

The beach.

The following is a series of photos that demonstrate how violent the waves were. I wouldn't want to be caught in such waters by any chance!


That's all for now. The next few posts will be about the attractions we visited while staying in the national park.

Up North, Episode 4 - Eagle Bluff

This post will consist mostly of photos. These photos are of Eagle Bluff, a famous lookout point in Shark Bay. You will find yourself perched high on a cliff overlooking a very clear ocean, where it is possible to see sharks, stingrays, turtles and even dugongs swimming below. My descriptive abilities are very limited so I will let the photos do the talking.

Feast your eyes on Eagle Bluff.

A closer look at how clear the ocean is below.

A look further out.

 This sign says you may be able to see lots of stuff.

Unfortunately because it was winter we did not get to see much wildlife. I suppose they were shying away from the freezing waters. We did see a small stingray swimming below though, but it was to far away to capture on photo. We might have seen a turtle too, but it was swimming to far out for us see clearly.

Here is where you stroll and enjoy the view.

Group photo!

Up North, Episode 3 - Ocean Park Aquarium

Before I begin, allow me to first declare that I am now blogging from home sweet home in Penang. Cheers to that! I have successfully adapted to the weather at home and am now enjoying all types of hawker food. Okay, now we can talk about the aquarium.

And this is the main sign.

The Ocean Park Aquarium is famous for its shark-feeding. I'm sure you can tell from the sign on top. They have a large pool where several sharks are free to swim about. They also have a full-fledged restaurant where we decided to have lunch. Not the cheapest of restaurants, but the food was quite nice. And guess what, they don't serve sharks there! :P

A photo of the food. They did well in making the dish look pretty.

Shark-feeding at the shark pool.

Their idea of shark-feeding was to hang a dead fish into the water (from a safe distance), and allow the sharks to tear it to pieces. No humans were harmed in the process of feeding. When we got there the fish was already torn to pieces. You can probably tell from the picture above. But despite the fish being in bad shape the sharks still went for it anyway.

One of the sharks swimming by.

After the shark-feeding we explored the other parts of the aquarium. It wasn't a big place, but we had a very competent and humorous tour guide which made the visit worth our while. Here are a few pics of the sea life we saw.

 The notorious stone fish. One sting and you're history.
This turtle actually tried to bite our tour guide's finger off. I got a good shot of this.

Moray eel. Also dangerous because its bite packs a bacteria bomb that will give you a nasty infection.

Now let's move on to a few residents of the aquarium who have no intention to poison you/remove your finger/force you to amputate your arm because of an infection.

The common squid. Found all over Australia and very delicious!

Clownfish and sea anemone. You probably call the Clownfish "Nemo". I don't have that habit.

Lion Fish. Again not so friendly. They're poisonous.

So that's my short update about the aquarium. I will continue to finish the Australian story here before I move to any entries about Penang. Hopefully I blog fast enough.