After waving goodbye to Rob at Mandurah we then headed north towards Lake Karrinyup Caravan park only a mere 70 odd kms away, however when you head off at 4pm on a Friday afternoon to head through the city the drive is certainly a long slow affair. Needless to say, 2 and a half hours later our patience was gone as we drove into the caravan park and set up…….
Our stay here was purely due to Nik working lots of long hours across the road at Lake Karrinyup Country Club in preparation for and during the Perth International golf tournament. He had started at the course back at the beginning of January, commuting the hour long drive twice a day, thankfully his hours missed the peak hour traffic we had encountered on out way up. However with the tournament less than a week away he was working everyday starting at 4am for a few hours then returning at 4pm to finish up the day at 9pm, clearly too far to be driving 4 times a day to and from Mandurah. So with Nik bouncing back and forth from work the girls and I got stuck into school work, whilst enjoying the swimming pools, playground and jumping pillow. It was a hectic 2 weeks for Nik, but once the tournament arrived he was in his element, thoroughly enjoying the buzz, one that he first experienced way back in 1995 when he worked at Kingston Heath Golf Club in Melbourne and they hosted the Australia Open. The girls and I, along with our travelling buddies, the Leeds, were lucky enough to get snuck into the course the day before the tournament to watch the players practice in a pro am.
To celebrate Nik finishing work on the Sunday we organised a return day back to Adventure World, this time with the wonderful Lauren, my cousins daughter. The day was a lovely 30degrees, the non existent lines were even better (the line for the ‘Kracken’ was 2 minutes as opposed to the 2 1/2 hour wait back in the school holidays) and we got to go up and down and around and around the whole park for 6 hours. Needless to say the calf burn from going up and down stairs all day was horrendous, but we had a great day and were glad we revisited with less crowds and hustle and bustle.
Our final day in Perth we had organised with my cousin David and his wife Debbie to head over to the famous Rottnest Island, only a short 30 minute ferry drive from Fremantle. We were lucky enough to be given vouchers for the ferry from my brother and sister in law for Christmas, so we once again took advantage of the weekday lack of crowds and the ‘tight arse Tuesday’ rates that the ferry had. We left home with plenty of time to spare, which was lucky as Nik noticed 15 minutes later that he wasn’t wearing any shoes……. needless to say we promptly turned around, collected said thongs and preceded back towards Fremantle in a knife cutting silence which was not broken until we arrived in time to catch the ferry!! The ferry ride over was uneventful (at least one way was smooth….) and we arrived on the island bright and early at 9am. We quickly purchased our tickets for the shuttle bus that continously drives around the island and headed tot eh bus stop where we sat and planned our attack for the day. First up we were taking the bus all the way around the island, however we decided to get off at the very west end of the island, Catherdral Rocks. However David jumped of a stop before and quickly went for a dive to get some crays, he caught a few, however they were a little small, so after showing the girls he threw them back in to fight another day. We in the meantime had walked down to Cape Vlamingh to the lookout for Fish Hook Bay, we took some great photos then walked around to the seal viewong platform at Cathedral Rocks to watch the seals frolicing in the water, they were quite funny to watch actually, rollong around and waving their fins in the air like they were waving at us.
On the way back to the bus stop we found a geo cache and whilst sitting at the stop we were inundated with lizards and quokkas, all crossing the road and searching around us for food. It was quite funny as we felt like we were Dr Doolittle, that was until Nik picked up a lizard and it latched on so hard it broke the skin and then Debbie was holding her hand out to a quokka who decided to see how it tasted…….. thankfully no blood was drawn and they both had recent tetanus shots so we decided to just observe them both for signs of rabies or the like!!! Thankfully the bus came and we continued on our journey, next stop we got off was at Parakeet Bay, for some lunch, swim and a snorkel. Parakeet Bay was a gorgeous small bay with some awesome sorkeling that Nik, David and the girls had a great time exploring, until the coolness of the water drove them out.
From Parakeet Bay we caught the bus back to the main settlement, grabbed a bite and a coffee from the bakery and walked down to The Basin to join the other 100’s of people on the beach. We managed to find our own patch of sand and the kids, Nik and David once again had a great time snorkelling. However as the afternoon wore on we decided to head back to the settlement and have a beer at the pub while we waited for the 6pm ferry.
In hindsight, perhaps I should have had a few dozen wines, or as Debbie suggested caught the earlier ferry, as the last ferry trip home was horrendous and downright scary, thankfully the strong southerly wind seemed to help us in our efforts back to shore as the trip only took 20 minutes. Nik, David and the girls were having a blast, mucking around and being silly, whilst Debbie and I, the mature ones were holding on tightly fearing the worst……
Clearly we made it home from Rottnest Island, it was a great day, made all the more special to spend it with David and Debbie, however we tucked ourselves in early that night as the next day, after a long stint in suburbia, we heading out of metropolitan Perth, away from the crowds of people, away from the traffic and away from the conveniences of city living. We had enjoyed staying in and around Perth, exploring different things and settling into everyday life for a few months, however we found the masses quite claustrophobic and were looking forward to heading norther. Leaving at the beginning of March we figured we could get an early start on the ‘grey nomads’ and travelling masses as we all headed norther, all in search of our next adventure and destination on our OZLAP……..