13/9 – 15/9/2913
It is funny what you hear on the way through from other travellers and we had not really heard much good about Denham and Monkey Mia. It is only because one of our friends said, “well you are this close you may as well go.” People also said things about Broome to us and we really enjoyed being there so with an open mind we head off the main highway to the coast.
First we check out the Stromatolites at Hamelin Pool that resemble the oldest and simplest forms of life found 3.5 billion years ago – they were apparently all over the world and made oxygen so we could be here all these years later. The beach is made up of billions upon billions of tiny shells called Coquina Shells that, in some places, over time, water interaction with lime, with downward pressure has turned them rock hard. They made buildings out of this stuff that has to be cut out with a ban saw.
Denham, in a way, reminds us of Batemans Bay from years ago. The fishing boats, the open bay and the size. Perhaps even the name as I did a lot of surfing and hanging out at a beach called Denhams – either way we are happy to be here. Monkey Mia is just a short drive away and we head there for the first dolphin feed of the day. It is a wonderful experience and the dolphins seem just as curious about us. They have restricted the feeding to just 5 dolphins and only feed them very small amounts but today they are with young babies who frolic, chase a small stingray and seem to be having a lovely time. Other dolphins turn up to watch the show that do not look for food at all but seem to enjoy just hanging out with us humans. We also board the Aristocat 11, yes Shane too, and head out to a pearl farm and see if we can find some dugongs. The pearl farm is very interesting and opens your eyes to the painstaking effort to ‘make’ a large pearl and the years of patience. We do find some dugongs, only because of the dedication of our 2 man crew and I almost think they are more excited than us to finally see a couple of these very strange looking creatures – we see 3 all up and as things are getting very windy and rough the skipper heads back to the jetty.
Time for a quick soak in the hot tub – a public artesian bore fed small pool. This is our 2nd time in the pool and we have met some really nice and some very unusual people – it’s quite a phenomenon when seated in close, almost intimate surroundings, everyone chats like long lost friends – very nice
We finish the day at the Old Pearler Restaurant, which the building blocks are made up of Coquina shells, and enjoy an amazing seafood platter of oysters, prawns, calamari, fish and lobster.