- By Dee
As the sound of wedding bells faded, we headed off to the Quobba Blowholes for Honeymoon, Part 1.
It was great to revisit Quobba, to relax and adjust to married life. The weather wasn’t idyllic, with a few hot and windy days teeming with friendly flies, but it was still pretty special.
Stunning sunsets, snorkelling in the lagoon, socialising with Cliff, the generous fisherman and catching up with Roger and Kayleen, fellow camphosts from Queensland.
We made sure to treasure the relative solitude at Quobba, as the time for us to be hosts of a busy campground in Cape Range National Park was imminent. For six weeks, we would have very little privacy, as we played host to 10 campsites in a very popular national park near Exmouth. We had no idea how we would cope with the new experience.
In the end, we were so happy that we did. It was thoroughly enjoyable, although different to anything we had done before. (An oft-repeated phrase in our crazy nomad life.)
The job part was pretty easy, especially since the campers had to book online. We greeted people as they arrived, checked their details to make sure they were in the right place, answered any questions and kept the toilets and picnic area clean. We didn’t have to take any money or assign sites, which was fine by us.
We soon got used to having people around; in fact, we met lots of terrific travellers and had many an enjoyable chat up at the Happy Hour tables, where we all watched the sun putting on a show as it set slowly over the reef.
One particularly beautiful evening, we found ourselves between a rainbow and a breathtaking sunset. Outstanding!
The other camphosts, rangers and staff were also good company and it was great being part of the team.
We had been keen to return to Ningaloo Reef, after spending 2 weeks here last August. There were plenty of opportunities to go swimming in the beautiful coral reef, surrounded by weird and wonderful fish and sea creatures of every colour and shape you could imagine.
As we were camped next door to Kurrajong Campground, a great snorkelling spot, I was in the water every chance I could get, and Rod took advantage of our proximity to some spectacular gorges to get some great sunrise and sunset shots.
These Black-flanked rock wallabies were a particular favourite of his to shoot.
Let’s see, what else did we do? That’s right, WE WENT SWIMMING WITH FRICKIN’ WHALE SHARKS!
What an awesome experience. The weather gods were smiling on us, in an otherwise windy and cloudy week. It was a warm, sunny day with no wind and clear visibility underwater. The tour company, King’s Ningaloo Reef Tours, were fantastic.
We had a marine biologist and an experienced professional photographer onboard and we got to swim with six whale sharks! And yes, they are big! Really big! We were told that the largest one we swam with was over 10 metres long. We forgot to bring a tape measure, so can’t guarantee that, but bloody enormous is a safe estimate.
It was not the slightest bit scary, though. Surreal, but not scary. Swimming in (what felt like) the middle of the deep blue sea, metres from the biggest fish on the planet, was exhilarating, but tiring. Lunchtime was a welcome break, with a beautiful spread of cold meats and fresh salads.
We even got to see a Dugong back in the lagoon!
We loved our time at Cape Range and Ningaloo Reef. I could quite happily have stayed longer, but there were lots of other new adventures awaiting us.
You can see more photos from our time at Ningaloo Reef here