Exmouth, Western Australia

After a week of high 30’s temperatures out in the National Park, it was nice to drive into the Big 4 caravan park at Exmouth and have power with which to run the air conditioning, as it was still bloody hot!!! However, the downside was how busy the caravan park was, I had to queue for a washing machine even though I actually needed about 4 of them!!! The minor downside of camping at the beach is the amount of sand in the van and in the beds!!! Our plan was to spend a few days washing clothes, recharging devices and desanding the caravan, as well as celebrate Zoe’s 13th birthday!!! Outwardly, we had all discussed and ‘planned’ to head to mini golf on the morning of her birthday, come back to the park for a swim and then Bec had decided to organise a party for her, her sisters and our friends the Mols, complete with party games and then finish the day off with cake. However, inwardly I had liased with the Fiona and Corey and we had actually booked into a glass bottomed boat tour instead of the mini golf.

With only the adults aware the kids were completly unsuspecting, so we got organised to walk across the road to mini golf, we packed food, put sunscreen on and even bathers, as we now never go anywhere without our bathers on due to the heat…… As we were heading past the park office we spotted the mini bus ready to pick us and take us to the boat, so we said aloud to all the kids, ‘c’mon we’ll jump on the bus and he can take us to mini golf’…… Normally the kids would have jumped at the chance to hitch a ride instead of walk, but of course not today, they then started to argue with us that it was only across the road, we can walk………. So pretty much in the end the adults demanded the kids get on the bus!!!! Then as all the kids pretty much had got annoyed with us, none of them read the side of the bus which told them what we were doing, so we then had to pretty much spell it out to them that we weren’t going to mini golf, we were going on a boat instead. Needless to say, this little surprise actually went down like a lead balloon, especially with Zoe as she actually still really wanted to go to mini golf…… The bus drive was a relatively quiet affair after that, however as we boarded the boat I saw a shimmer of excitement from her, just a slight shimmer though.

Glass bottom boat tour (15)
The birthday girl and her dad.
Glass bottom boat tour (18)
The reef down below.
Glass bottom boat tour (29)
Chloe, Jess and Bec checking out the glass bottomed boat.

We ended up having a great morning out on the boat, we even got to have a snorkel a bit further out than normal. Some of the bombies here were awesome, we even fleetingly spotted a turtle underneath, although Zoe missed it 😦  We had heaps of questions for the tour operator and his assisstant (who was a marine biologist) and thoroughly enjoyed the morning, however Zoe really started to enjoy it when her and Bec started swimming under the boat taking photos under the glass bottom. We arrived home around 2pm, then as organised the girls went for a swim as it was still really hot. Then the rest of the afternoon was taken up with Zoe’s party, Bec had it all under control, they had games galore including pin the tail on the unicorn, and of course the day concluded with chocolate birthday cake. Zoe said she really enjoyed her second travelling birthday, however did point out that she still wanted to go and play mini golf…..

Zoes 13th Birthday (2)
The day started with present giving.
Zoes 13th Birthday (3)
Feeling the love today!!!
Party time with pin the tail on the unicorn.
I think Louisa was the winner of this game and a very melted freddo frog!!!
Zoe's 13th Birthday (3)
Happy Birthday singing and blowing out the candles.
Zoe's 13th Birthday (9)
Our old 13 year old!!!


Whilst in Exmouth we also went for a drive south into the east side of the Cape Range National Park to explore the Shothole Canyon and also along the Charles Knife Gorge Road. The drives were both pretty easy along the dirt roads, however the scenery was amazing literally around every corner we turned we were oohhing and ahhing.

The drive into Shothole Canyon.
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The rocks were amazing.
The view back to the car park at Shothole Canyon.
One of the many views of Shothole Canyon.
Spectacular views along the Charles Knife Gorge Rd.
Such a vast amazing place.
Charles Knife Gorge Rd panorama.

So with all the charging, cleaning, laundry and birthdays complete, it was time for us to head off nice and early as we had a long drive towards our next destination and adventure on our OZLAP……

Birthday girl Zoe one year ago turing 12 at Moonta Bay, SA.
Zoe's 13th Birthday (12)
Zoe turning 13, this year in Exmouth, WA.
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Sunrise on the Exmouth town beach.
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Exmouth Foreshore.

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