Now everybody loves whales, seriously what’s not to like! The humpbacks that migrate to Exmouth and have their calves in the safety of the Exmouth Gulf are happy – well the ones I saw seemed to be!! From the beaches and up at the lighthouse, in 5 days, there wasn’t once when we saw none. They were breaching, tail slapping and playing and so close to shore. It was so fantastic to see them and I never got sick of scanning the water, binoculars at the ready! While in Exmouth we hired a 6 metre tinny and headed out to the Murion Island group to chase some dinner. It was an amazing day, water like glass in the morning and spotted some dolphins playing around on the way out. On the way back we got fairly close to a family of humpbacks and watched with delight as the baby/junior did his/her breaching practice, very clumsily it seemed and then one of it’s parents would do one and so one, just amazing. It made my day, that and the mackerel i caught on a handline for our dinner!!
Exmouth’s main attraction if only for a few months a year is it’s proximity to ningaloo reef where the whale sharks come between March and July. We’ll have to leave that for another trip!
Another attraction is Cape Range National Park which is on the western side of the peninsula and has lots of lovely bays, a gorge and camping areas and lots of emu’s! We saw our first wild emu’s out here, amazingly only a couple of days after I’d been lamenting not seeing any in outback Qld or the NT? And now we haven’t stopped seeing them.
We were unable to camp at Cape Range for a couple of reasons, one being that you are unable to book a site and so you have to pack up where you are and be at the ranger’s station entrance every morning by 8am to try your luck and most days it’s always full but also the weather turned windy from the west so we chose to day trip into the park and stay in town with a bit more shelter.
Exmouth is an interesting town and a bit different to what I had pictured. There’s only a handful of old houses left due to a cyclone that practically flattened and then flooded the place in 1990. So all the shops and schools and housing estates are all new, they’ve even built a small canal housing estate off the new marina. But everybody was friendly and we enjoyed our stay. We enjoyed getting our fuel and ice from the local servo that has a lady called Fran working there – have to be in her 70’s, not too many teeth, sharp as a button and the locals call her Fucking Fran due to her colourful language – too funny!!