Holiday time in Kalbarri

Kalbarri is about 2 hours from Geraldton and about 2 (wonderful) degrees warmer… we are surrounded by tropical palms, staying in a cabin and it completely feels as though we are on a holiday. And it’s an eventful holiday at that.
• When fishing off the pier Benji manages to get a bite. Unfortunately it happens when we reel in a fish too small to keep, and Benji picks it up to toss it back in – only to have it bite him, hard, on the hand.
• Leaving her challah dough to rise in the sun, Sam gets it to rise to almost triple its size, the best result to date. Sadly her efforts are in vain because it is only then that we discover our cabin, in fact, has no oven to speak of. (Subsequent attempts to boil the challah along with some bagels are a resounding failure).
• Budge outdoes himself in the kitchen not once but twice – firstly by converting 4 chicken thighs into a staggering 49 nuggets, then by turning a simple broccoli and rice dish into a stirfry masterpiece that convinces the kids that they CAN enjoy a meal that is meatless AND includes onion.
• Budge outdoes himself again when we decide on a whim to drive onto a beach for a spot of R&R… and promptly find ourselves bogged. So it’s R&R for everyone except our man of the moment, who instead gets busy letting the tyres down, driving the car out to firmer ground, then pumping each tyre up all over again. No rest for the wicked…
• No sunbaked holiday is complete without the obligatory “non-stop-rain-for-the-entire-day” day and ours comes on our forth day in town. But with the novelty and spaciousness of two bedrooms plus living area available, sleeping bags on hand to prompt all sorts of play ideas, and the saving grace of a laptop well stocked with downloaded movies - nothing is going to rain on our parade!
• Our daily drives and walks along the coast take us to countless lookouts with superb panoramas atop sea cliffs layered with the famous Tumblagooda sandstone (“remember kids, that’s tumbler like rolling on the ground and gouda like the cheese”). Emboldened and inspired, we tackle the gorge walk in Kalbarri National Park – 8 kilometres long and pitched as a 3 hour exercise. We complete it in just under five. It is without question the most gruelling thing we have done to date.
All holidays must come to an end so we swap shorts for pants and dig out our hoodies. It is high time we collected our beloved and much missed caravan.

Plenty of time to play while daddy unbogs the car.
Amazingly our bogging on the beach happens at the mouth of the Whitecarra Creek, site of what is believed to be the first permanant landing of white men in Australia in 1629 - castaways from the Batavia shipwreck (our all time favourite seafaring tale).   
Sprinting off on the Mushroom Rock coastal trail. The kids grizzle about going but concede quickly that it's a beauty, what with crab spotting and lots and lots of scrambling. In hindsight, it's their enthusiam on this walk (1.5km) that encourages us to tackle the National Park Gorge walk (8km).  Hmm, the logic stacked up at the time.
B-Man at the Z-Bend lookout.