Geraldton has one of those iconic lighthouses. Those red and white stripes can’t be missed. It’s only about 5km from the centre of Geraldton and has a busy beach across the road.
The light house was built in Britain and shipped to Point Moore. The sign gives detail of its history, when they went to erect the lighthouse they realised the foundation had been laid in the wrong place and had to start all over. The lighthouse had 60+ keepers before its automation.
When it was first lit in 1878 the light was so intense that a ship thought it to be a bushfire until they saw that it flashed and intervals and they realised what it was. According to this site the red and white stripes were added in 1969. It’s the oldest surviving Commonwealth lighthouse in WA and was the first steel tower built on the mainland of Australia.
It’s so iconic that it’s made its way into other things in town, like the beach shower across the road!
So striking against that blue sky.
Across the road from the lighthouse is a very windy beach. Actually, most of Geraldton is very windy and that makes it a perfect place for kiteboarding. It was very busy, heaps of kiteboarders around. They were getting some fantastic rides.
The kids wandered down the beach for a play while we were watching the kiteboarders. I couldn’t decide which of these pictures I like more. TurboBug, at 2.5, does not always consent to holding hands with his siblings anymore so there may not be too many more pictures like these in our future.
We were in Geraldton in December. It was the first sizeable town we’d been in for ages. We were able to get some Christmas shopping done and rest up a bit before spending the holidays in Perth.
Several weeks ago I got some lovely Aussie temporary tattoos for the kids in anticipation of Australia Day. I hid them away so they’d be a surprise. Nearly a week past the holiday we still haven’t found them. They’re in the van somewhere, they’ll show up eventually and we’ll have a nice surprise. The day before the holiday I grabbed some of the yellow & green ones that were on sale so we survived. (Yes, survived. How do you survive Australia Day without your Aussie pride showing on your face?) 😉
When we visited the Margaret River Chocolate Factory we were introduced to the concept of Fruffles. They looked just like truffles but they were covered in sprinkles (hundreds & thousands) instead of coconut. I’m assuming the name is a combination of Freckles and Truffles, Freckles being little chocolates covered in sprinkles that you can buy at any supermarket in Australia. The ones at the chocolate store were gorgeous and cost two dollars each. We decided to try our hand at making some ourselves. What better day than Australia Day to make this Aussie treat?
We were staying at the Big Valley Campsite, a farm just ten minutes from Margaret River. Which meant we got to feed the sheep and the goats every day. Australia Day was no exception for this little guy, though his brothers were off playing cricket at the time.
After the sheep the goats get a turn. LadyBug found us there, she and her friend had been hunting for magic seeds. Apparently when you plant them they take ten years to grow. They later brought them back and painted them and we wrote down all sorts of interesting facts about them. Things like: ‘We collected them.’ and ‘They are round.’ The next morning all the kids were out looking for them and we had magic seeds coming out our ears. But back to the goats…
The kids must have spent hours in the Magic Tree during our stay here. The first night we wandered up to watch the chook feeding because we wanted to see the young emu that had been hanging around. He was about six months of age, orphaned, and happily ate right along with all the chooks. That was quite the sight, this giant bird as tall as me towering over all the chooks. We turned around to see this massive tree canopy across from the shed with an entrance just begging to be explored.
So much climbing to be done here. I mostly stayed out of there because it did seem like a magical place just for kids and grown-ups really shouldn’t be allowed. I just prayed no one would be injured since the kids were quite capable of climbing pretty high in this tree. JitterBug (8) will proudly tell you he fell out of the tree but thankfully only suffered a scrape or two. LadyBug likewise got a few scrapes from running into branches when she thought she was just running through the leaves.
When we left we told the owners how much fun the kids had climbing in the tree. It helped that it had a great name and a sign all its own.
We had sausages for lunch and then that afternoon there was the cricket. Kids and adults alike. Aussie flags decorated the camp kitchen. TurboBug found his own bat and kept himself busy. He had quite the time offering his ‘cricket’ ball to a nearby dog who would then relinquish it and stare after it longingly. Over and over again TurboBug would approach the dog and play this game with him. It was very cute and had the dog’s owners giggling away.
The boys spent ages playing cricket. JitterBug was there all afternoon. Thankfully there were lots of families there so everyone made sure the kids were enjoying themselves. I saw the backpackers enjoying a game or two of bocce over near the other camp kitchen, sans kids.
Last year on Australia Day we were in Myrtleford, Victoria. We’ve nearly made it all the way around Australia since then!
Now that I’ve transferred to WordPress I can no longer use the graphics from my old template, so I’ve updated everything with a fresh new design. I’m still playing around with it a bit and trying to decide if I want to ‘go public’ with this blog. We’ve only ever given the blog info to a few people here and there. The idea of sharing our travel memories is a bit unsettling, so I must not be quite ready yet.
New posts coming soon!
For Christmas we got ourselves a membership to the Melbourne Zoo, which gives us a reciprocal membership to several zoos around the country, including the Perth Zoo. It was definitely summer while we were in Perth so we checked the weather forecast and chose the coolest day to head to the zoo. It was still quite warm and we were so glad we hadn’t chosen an even hotter day. The zoo is located very much in the middle of the city, so much so that it can be a challenge to find parking since it doesn’t have its own carpark. We didn’t plan to see every animal, we each chose our favourites but of course once we checked the map it looked like we’d be covering the whole zoo just to get to see our faves! Not too far in the kids quickly spotted one of my favourites, pelicans. I just love them and could watch them all day.
I didn’t try to take pictures of all the animals I saw, but we all exclaimed over this tree kangaroo. Look at that tail!
There were a couple of cassowaries, they are so gorgeous with their bright blues and reds. We were happily reminded of feeding the cassowaries at the Billabong Sanctuary in Townsville.
The rhino is fascinating because of their sheer size, they are so massive. This one was up and moving about so we watched for awhile.
TurboBug doesn’t remember having seen any of these animals before, only pictures in books. He was certainly very interested!
JitterBug (8) really wanted to see the African painted dogs, but they were sleeping and very hard to see. The sign was a better view of them. Does this count as a roadsign?
The mighty lions were not moving around much in the heat but they’d all managed to find shady spots to lounge around in.
The zebras were hiding back in the corner.
We watched a couple of small tortoises for a little while, they had such beautiful patterns on their shells and were happily wandering around. Well, I guess they were happy, I’m not really sure how to tell if a tortoise is happy.
The giant tortoise was enjoying a meal. Really, I could spend all day watching the tortoises and the pelicans and I’d be happy! I’ve always loved these giant ones, look at that shell, it’s gorgeous.
The meerkats. Who doesn’t love the meerkats? Especially when they are darting around from this place to that.
But one of us finally had too much and took advantage of his seat on wheels. The one all the older kids are jealous of. Wouldn’t they love to be pushed around when their legs are tired!
One of our favourite areas of the zoo was the nocturnal animals building. I didn’t try to take pictures in there because it was so dark, but it was one of the largest nocturnal displays I can remember seeing. Heaps of little animals in there, including the first bilbies we’ve seen on our trip.
This is the first blog post I’ve done to the new blog site using Open Live Writer, hopefully this will all post correctly. I’m having trouble with some of the formatting, it will take some getting used to. No spell-check in this software yet so all mistakes are my own!
It’s the same website address, but I’ve transferred everything over from blogger to WordPress and changed a few small things in the design. I’ve been working on another website and had the hosting already so I thought I’d change this one as well. It’s been a good learning process for me! It looks like everything transferred correctly except for the spacing in the blog posts, but I don’t have the inclination to deal with that right now or maybe ever. 🙂
All of the feeds were supposed to transfer. If you can see this, all is well!
After we visited the Perth Mint we stopped in at Nando’s for a quick bite before getting back on the train. I ended up across the table from little TurboBug and I thought he just might fall asleep there.
He was so tired and it was the cutest thing. Dada started playing with him which is probably all that kept him awake until the food came.
There’s that dimple.
My boy sitting next to me put his head down too so I couldn’t help but turn the camera around. You can see the remnants of his black eye that he got from a collision on the jumping pillow.
One more…I tried zooming in on this to crop out some of the table, but then you lose perspective on how small he is and that’s what makes this a lovely picture of him. He’s getting so big, but he’s still my little guy for now.
After sharing some chicken and a couple of huge plates of chips we all felt like we might be able to go on and so off to the train it was. Tired and hungry kids are no fun to drag around town, we at least were able to eliminate the hungry part for the time being. So many little memories on this trip (in life, really), I think I’m going to start posting random memories as they come to mind to help me remember details. The kind of thing we don’t have pictures of but don’t want to forget.