Sunday, October 21, 2012

Adventures in Western Australia

Sorry, my vast fan base -- long time, no write! Things have just been that busy!

In addition to living and working here, we have decided that it is important to take advantage of our location and (occasionally at least) be tourists. Last month, we went on a really cool tour. We took a tour like the actual tourists, in a group, on a bus, and with a tour guide. It was no ordinary tour, though.

Our transportation was a 4-wheel-drive bus. It was really tall and you had to ascend some very steep steps to get in.

Our chariot awaits!

It looks tall enough in that picture, but for scale, here it is with Vinny:

4WD bus with tall five-year-old for scale.
 First, we went to Caversham Wildlife Park and got to see the animals:

Vinny feeding a kangaroo
After a stop in the lobster-fishing town of Cervantes for lunch, we went on to Nambung National Park, home of the Pinnacles, some very strange and very ancient rock formations.

First views of the Pinnacle formations (click for a bigger view).
Panorama of some pinnacles (click for a bigger view).

A pinnacle viewed through another pinnacle.

I thought this looked like a Picasso pinnacle!

The pinnacles were truly amazing natural formations, and I really enjoyed our time there. But soon it was time to load back up in the bus so we could go to a gigantic sand dune near the town of Lancelin, where our bus took advantage of its four-wheel-drive capabilities and drove around on the sand dunes (with us inside, except for the last turn, where Jeff got off and took the below picture).

Four-wheeling bus on the sand dunes
Then, we got to go sand-boarding, which as it turned out was really fun for Vinny. I didn't enjoy it as much as he did, probably because I ended up getting sand in places that I did not think it was possible to get sand.
Vinny sandboarding for the first time

But a good time was had by all, and I'm really glad we took the tour!

We've also gone several times now to King's Park, a 1000-acre park in Perth. There is lots to do and see there. The first time, we went to the "Lotterywest Federation Walkway," a large suspended bridge from which you have a great view of the park and the city. The last time we were there, we went to the Naturescape area, which is a natural bushland area for kids. Vinny had a blast climbing the lookout towers, climbing on ropes, and wading in the water.

In the future, we are going to explore more of this enormous and diverse state. Western Australia encompasses nearly 40% of the Australian continent, so there is lots to see. Our tourism will be facilitated by purchasing a car, which we will finally be able to do next month when we close on our house in Tennessee.