Whale sightings and other happenings
The white southern right whale calf off the Head of the Bight. Picture: Kerry Edwards

Latest news in West Australian travel.


WHALE OF A TIME

Former staff photographer at The West Australian Kerry Edwards got in touch to tell us about a fantastic whale-watching experience he had crossing the Nullarbor.

Edwards writes: "Travellers crossing the Nullarbor were treated to some great entertainment at the Head of the Bight. A white southern right whale calf, with mother close at hand, wallowed in the warm, shallow waters. To the delight of the small crowd it practised breaching only 100m from shore. Southern right whales breed in the bight from May until October before heading back to the Antarctic."

Edwards said the word from the "grey nomads" heading back east was that WA caravan parks were too expensive and many wouldn't be returning. "From our experience this is true," he said. "In South Australia we didn't pay more than $29, even at beachside parks such as Streaky Bay."


A TOUR TO REMEMBER

Reader Leigh O'Brien, of Kensington, missed out on the whales but still had a great travel experience recently at the Great Southern Bloom Festival.

"My mother and I joined the festival tour Flowers, Food and Fascination of the Fitz, organised by two local Jerramungup women Jeannine and Jane, the first time this tour has been run. Even though we were the only two booked, Jeannine and Jane went ahead with the tour and gave us a day to remember. They were keen that Jerramungup was represented in the bloom festival and wanted to test the tour and hopefully run it again this time next year - though there is still the last tour, which is on Monday.

"The tour was an opportunity to experience the wonders of the unique Fitzgerald National Park at what is probably the best time of year to enjoy the wildflowers and endemic plant species at their finest. We indulged in gourmet treats during the day and a wonderful barbecue lunch at Point Anne. Although the whales weren't around on the day, it was a beautiful beach on the pristine south coast with good facilities and we felt privileged to spend a couple of hours there.

"On the trip back through the park, we stopped at the historic Quaalup homestead, but the trip was flexible and our great hosts and driver were happy to stop for photo opportunities, taking in the sweeping views or macro shots of stunning wildflowers. The highlights were many but seeing the majestic royal hakea at its best throughout the park will be a long lasting memory. I hope you can share this story ... I think it's fantastic that a community is proactive in sharing the wonders on their own doorstep with the rest of us."


FESTIVE FARM FUN

The Beverley Harvest Festival at Avondale Discovery Farm runs from 10am-4pm on November 25. Just 6km west of Beverley, it will feature farm animals, Clydesdale horses, vintage machinery, art, music, dancing, log chops, food and market stalls including Devonshire teas.

Entry is $10 for adults and $5 for children. beverleywa.com/Avondale


GRAN OCCASION

Celebrate Grandparents Day 2012 with free entry to the Bell Tower for all grandparents on October 28 from 10am-4pm. thebelltower.com.au


NINGALOO FOR TWO

For selected dates between November 1 and February 28, Ningaloo Reef Resort in Coral Bay has a Just For Two package which includes a bottle of sparkling wine and a cheeseboard on arrival, continental breakfast daily and a late check-out. The offer is for all room types on a minimum two-night stay. 1800 795 522


DOUBLE DELIGHT

Kalbarri Palm Resort has a “double your stay on us” deal on all standard and deluxe rooms and family apartments. Standard rooms are usually $160 per night but under this offer are $158 for two nights while deluxe suites, usually $220 per night, are $218 for two nights, minimum two-night stay. palmresort.com.au


4WD WILDERNESS DEAL

Kimberley Wilderness Adventures and Jetset Travel have announced discounts of up to $1500 per couple on some of the small group 4WD tours between April and October.

The 13-day Kimberley Complete tour, round trip from Broome, is reduced from $7895 to $7145 per person twin share on any departure in April, May, September or October.

The price includes 4WD touring, accommodation in luxury wilderness lodges, 35 meals, sightseeing, park fees, cruises and permits. Highlights include visits to Mitchell Falls (with a helicopter flight and two nights at Mitchell Plateau), Purnululu National Park, Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek, the Gibb River Road, hiking and swimming at Bell and Barnett River gorges and cruising on the Ord River, Lake Kununurra and Geikie Gorge. Phone 1300 538 738.

The West Australian

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