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Beaches

I am currently sat on Monkey Mia beach in Western Australia and it got me thinking about New Zealand. I would generally say that I prefer New Zealand to Australia but there are certain things New Zealand just doesn’t have that Australia does and vice Versa.

One of those things most definitely being beaches, when I was younger I was never a big fan of beaches or summer in general being very self conscious and not liking the lack of clothes available to me in summer to cover up the body parts I didn’t like (that’s a story for another day). As I’ve got older however I’ve really started to love summer and beaches and have learnt to put aside my insecurities or at least bury them so that I can start to enjoy all the wonderful things involved with Summer.

I think the moment I fell in love with beaches was in November 2011 when I saw Santa Monica beach for  the first time, it grabbed a hold of my heart and has never let go. I came to have much appreciation for beaches whilst I was travelling there, I had a much smaller budget than I’ve had the last couple of years, looking back now I’m not how I managed to travel consistently for 4 months on almost no money.

This is where beaches came in, they’re free! They were the places I could go when I didn’t want to spend any money, but also didn’t want to sit around the hostel all day or if I didn’t like my hostel or room or roommates or I just felt like having some alone time. My time in the States happened when I’d just been through a massive emotional upheaval so I was a little fragile. I remember Sandra Barbara beach being my sanctuary for the few days I was there as all of the above reasons applied whilst I was there.

Coming to Australia made me fall in love with beaches even more, again they were free and as a solo traveller they’re a place you can go by yourself with out feeling too much like Billy no mates. Each Australian coast how ever does happen to be beautiful beach after beautiful beach which definitely endears them to you.

Whilst I’m sat here looking out to sea watching a pelican and seagull diving for fish, I can’t think of any place else I’d rather be and how very grateful I am that I haven’t let my insecurities ruin my love for a place where Mother Nature has really out done herself and how I will miss such beautiful beaches when I head back to New Zealand at the end of the month.

P.s. I have written this on my iPad so please excuse any typos or spelling mistakes.

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Bunbary:

We drove up to Bunbury for the night stopping of at beautiful Busselton on the way for breakfast. We decided to spend our last night in Bunbury as we had to have the car back early and it’s only a couple of hours from Perth and it’s the second biggest city in Western Australia so we all wanted to have a look.

 Michelle a girl from our hostel in Margaret River was heading back to Perth as well so we gave her a lift up with us. There isn’t too much to do in Bunbury, they have a beautiful beach which went to and had an ice cream, something that I don’t think I’ve ever done in December before! 

Instead of cooking or going for a meal we decided to go get some snacks and have dinner on the beach whilst watching the sunset. It’s one of the best things about being on the west coast watching the sunset over the water, and what a sunset it was.

The next morning we got up early to head down to the beach to see if we could see any Dolphins as Bunbury is a bit like Monkey Mia in that it has a lot of dolphins in the area that you can interact with. We were limited on time as we had to have the car back, so we weren’t able to stay long enough to see the Dolphins come in which was a bit of shame.

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West Coast Tour Day 3: Monkey Mia

Monkey Mia is known for it’s Dolphins. They are wild and cleverly have trained us humans into feeding them fish for their breakfast.  There are 3 feelings that happen each day between 7:45am and 12:00pm.

I saw the first feeding at just after 7:45 which was fairly crowded, the interactions are limited to 20 minutes at a time, the way it works is you line up in a straight line on the waters edge and one of the trainers (that isn’t the right word but not sure what else to call them) explains a bit about the Dolphins and how it all works, the Dolphins have all been named and you can tell them apart by their dorsal fins (the top one) some of which have bits taken out of them, where they’ve had a run in with a shark -it’s not called shark bay for nothing -or a fishing net. The Dolphins have always come into the shallows around Monkey Mia ( Mia is the aboriginal word for Dolphin) and we humans have been feeding them since the 70s.  

The amount of fish the Dolphins get now is really restricted due to the fact that in the 70s & 80s a lot of calves were lost due to malnutrition as they only feed the females (only 4 currently) and the way the calves learn to hunt is from watching their mum and social group hunt, but if the mum was getting fed a bucket of fish a day by humans than it wasn’t hunting and the mums don’t go out and catch fish for their babies.  

The current Dolphins get 500 grams of fish a day in the 3 feedings.  Once we were all lined up on the waters edge volunteers come out with their buckets with the fish in them and the Dolphins who are swimming around generally a bit further out come in and the volunteers then pick one person at a time to come out and feed one of the Dolphins I saw 2 feedings and there were 2 Dolphins at each one a Dolphin called surprise was at both (she was obviously hungry).  

I didn’t get picked the first feeding, but the second feeding I got picked and got to go out and give Piccolo a fish, you aren’t allowed to touch the Dolphins and they won’t accept the fish from your hand so you have to place it on the top of the water it then starts to sink. Piccolo caught it and showed us (a girl from my tour came out with me) that she’d got it – so cute – then Lucy the girl I was watching with got picked to feed Piccolo next so I went out with her again and we did the same thing was such an awesome experience and Piccolo was adorable.  That was her last fish so she a Surprise headed off to get on their Dolphin day! 

The rest of day was pretty much driving to a place called Coral Bay, we stopped off at Shell beach on the way which is a beach made up of mini shells instead of sand, it’s really glary and bright if you take your sunglasses off.  The tide was really out so we used the shells to write our names in the darker bit where the tide had gone out and they’ll apparently stay there for a couple of weeks until the tide comes back in properly and washes them away.