Recently I went to Exmouth which is a stunning place up north in Western Australia, approx. a 1.5hour flight or 15 hour drive away from Perth. I went there to swim with Humpback whales and Whalesharks, a unique experience that Ningaloo reef /Exmouth is famous for.
End of August marked the 10 year anniversary of me migrating to Australia and since it was the first year that one is allowed to swim with Humpback whales I thought what an awesome way to celebrate. Swimming with Humpbacks or Humpies as the people in Exmouth call them lovelingly has been a lifelong dream of mine and when I found out about it there was no holding back for me.
I spent a whole day on the boat and got to swim with Whalesharks which are amazing and huge, the water is pristine and clear and it was a lovely sunny day too. Then I got to swim with Humpback whales next which is not an easy task, while you are dropped in the water very gently approx 50m away from them it is up to the whale to come up to you and interact. I was lucky I guess, while I was snorkeling the whales came up close and when I looked up I saw the back of the whale approx 10 m away, I quickly put my head underwater and saw two black shadows swimming past me, it all goes very quick as Humpies are quite fast swimmers but it was beautiful never the less. My heart was going hundred miles an hour :-)
It was a beautiful day and I saw a Manta ray jumping out of the water and flying for a short distance, it was awesome. Didn't know it can do that. We also saw Orcas another dream of mine to see them in the wild. The Orcas hadn't been seen all season and it was beautiful to watch them form the boat. Being far out in the ocean there were Humpback whales everywhere. One could see the tail slapping, spy hopping, breaching or just simply the spout of water when they breath. When with the head underwater you can hear the whale song which is absolutely beautiful.
I spent 4 days in total up at Ningaloo reef and felt so happy and relaxed like I haven't in a long time. I went to Turquoise Bay a stunning beach where you can snorkel the reef right from the beach. I got to snorkel/swim with a turtle which was beautiful and saw some big and colourful fish too.
I came up close with an Eagle when he lifted up from the bush of the side of the road and kept flying close above me which gave me the opportunity to take some good pictures. And then I saw my first Echidna ( the Australian hedgehog), a funny and cute creature that is very hard to see in the wild and doesn't show it self very often. I was delighted and in the end saw two that day, it was as if they had a message for me, like the other animals had too.
The wild flower season is also starting and I got to see the Sturt desert Pea flower. It's striking red colour is hard to miss when you drive past it. I was so glad I had that little hire car which made it easy to get around that peninsula and I could stop where ever I wanted and for however long I wanted. Self care at its best! :-)
Loved the white sand dunes that went straight into the ocean and the cape range in the back with its red and green colours in contrast. It is such an arid and wild country with its beauty, I can't get enough of. It makes me feel alive and full of joy.
I stayed at Ningaloo lodge which is a beautiful and serene accomodation in the town centre of Exmouth. A quiet place and still close to shops and cafe' if you need to get something.
Overlooking the ocean from the lighthouse was a great way to observe the Humpback whales and one could see them playing for miles, especially at sunset.
Needless to say I had a fabulous time and enjoyed my solo adventure very much. It reminded me to live life more and to go on adventures more often again rather than just working, working, working. Life is short and I want to make the most of its.
Here are some pictures of my adventure, enjoy! :-)