The first two days after leaving Karijini, May 14th & 15th, were rather uneventful, since all I did was drive to Exmouth.
Along the way I did pick up a hitchhiker though, Jerome from Paris. He is traveling all over Australia while trying not to spend any money at all. That means hitchhiking, sleeping under bridges and searching for food in the dumpsters behind big grocery stores. Apparently, this also means getting free flights on private jets from random business men you meet in small airports, so it’s not all bad :).
Once in Exmouth, which is situated right next to the Ningaloo reef, I got myself a snorkel and headed to the Cape Reef National Park. By then the sun had already set, so snorkeling would have to wait.
There’s a few famous snorkeling spots in the park, so I woke up early to make the most of my day. Up first were the Oyster Stacks, where it’s only possible to snorkel at high tide. It’s basically a bunch of small coral towers right near the coast. Tons of fish here, super cool! The ocean was rather wild though, so there was less visibility than usual.
Next up was Turquoise Bay, which is a little more open than the Oyster Stacks. There were just as many fish here, just a little deeper in the water.
In between the snorkeling sessions, I did a quick run of the rocky 3km Marlu trail. The steep rocky trail and riverbed full of rocks were exhausting to run through, but on the upside the views were really nice.
Unfortunately the weather forecast for the next days was pretty bad: 4 days of rain and lots of wind. So, I decided not to stick around and headed south to Coral Bay. Along the way, I checked out the beached remains of an old ship, right near the coast.
As usual, I spent the night on a roadside campground. Most of these are rather plain, so not worth mentioning. This one, however, was something else. Everything was quite alright, except for the toilet which was literally crawling with cockroaches. I’ve never seen so many in my life, urgh!
Anyway, back to the fun stuff :). The weather in Coral Bay wasn’t really great either, but I figured I had to snorkel at least once. The corals are much farther out in the sea here and the current is quite strong, so I was glad to encounter a father and his two daughters to tag along with. The water here was much deeper than in Cape Range NP, so it was a lot harder to spot the fishes. The coral was very impressive though: really big and at times quite colorful.
Because the weather forecast hadn’t changed, I drove further south in the afternoon, to Shark Bay. To be continued!