Lake Argyle and Surrounds

Today was a full-day cultural experience! We went on the ‘jaliwang journey’ while taking a scenic flight to the aboriginal town of Warmun, took a tour around Argyle pink diamond mine, had lunch in the bush, cruised the waters of Lake Argyle and ended the day with a ‘dip’ in the water to cool off while watching the sunset on the bright red rock cliffs of the Kimberly region. Lake Argyle is Australia’s largest freshwater lake and is set among some of the most spectacular scenery on earth. A picture hardly does it justice.

Today was a jam packed day and my first real ‘taste’ of the Kimberly region. It certainly did not disappoint with its beautiful landscapes, colours, wildlife and history.

Kununurra: the Heart of the Kimberly

After a day of travel with 2 flights via Broome we flew over the beautiful Cable Beach to join our flight to Kununurra with Airnorth, the major aviation operator in Northern Australia.
This flight was our first taste of the vast distances the Kimberly region has to offer. While flying from the west to the East of the Kimberly region you see just how rugged this land really is. After arriving at Kununurra country club resort, it was time to go straight to dinner. The night falls quickly in this part of Australia. We headed to the ‘pumphouse’ restaurant, built in 1963 and originally used as a pump station, it is located right by the picturesque Lake Kununurra.

Kununurra and the East Kimberly region is filled with some of western Australia’s most prized natural attractions, which I am super excited to share with you 😊

 

Australian Tourism Exchange 2019

Tourism Australia really knows how to put on a successful event!

The Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) is Australia’s largest annual travel and tourism business-to-business event and brings together Australian tourism businesses, and tourism wholesalers and retailers from around the world through a combination of scheduled business appointments and networking events.

Around 1,500 Australian seller delegates from approximately 550 companies, 650 key buyer delegates from over 30 countries, and 70 international and Australian media outlet representatives attended this global event April 8-12. Organised by Tourism Australia in partnership with Tourism Western Australia, ATE19 took place at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre and Karen was in attendance.

After a week of meeting over 100 people, the week ended off with a party downtown watching the sunset over the city.

Beautiful Western Australia – APRIL 7th

What I am noticing most about this beautiful state of Western Australia (WA), is that it is very difficult to choose the highlights. In saying this…. the first thing that does come to mind is that today is my birthday 😊

With a quick reminder of how old I was turning, at 6am this morning we set off to the superb suburb of Fremantle. Known as ‘Freo’ to the locals.  Here you can experience the ‘convicts  & colonials tour’ of the city and really embrace the history that surrounds the area.  Perhaps spend a pretty penny at the Freo markets and, after all that shopping, enjoy a nice cold craft beer at the Little Creatures Brewery.

Only 25 minutes drive from Perth’s city center discover the rich fusion of award winning wineries, fine food, fascinating history and amazing art set against the stunning scenery of WA’s swan valley.  And on your way, why not stop at the Caversham Wildlife Park and experience native wildlife up close and personal for a memory you’ll never forget!

Rottnest Island Quokka Selfies

OOoo, I could  hardly wait for today!  The day we visit the breathtaking island of Rottnest.

Just a 40 minute ferry ride from the mainland, this island has a rich history, spanning cultures and generations. It has been known by many names and used for different purposes.  You can find out more about the history at the interesting Rottnest Island Museum or by taking a lovely guided air conditioned bus around the 22km road with various historical sites.  Even visit the Oliver Hill Battery, a site from World War II, featuring a restored 9.2inch gun, which you can accessed by train.

So much to do on this little island 😊 HOWEVER…the main drawer to visiting this little island is to take a ‘selfie’ with the the funny little marsupial we call the ‘quokka’….They are friendly fellows, just like the Aussies! With no predator on the island, you can get up close and personal just like I did!  Wooo hooo…..bucket list item. TICK!

Perth, WA

Perth is a beautiful city!
Built on the swan river, take a cruise down the shores and view the skyline from a different perspective! Dolphins swimming beside you while you take in the new grand sporting area – Optus stadium.
Perth has an incredible 900 acres of bush land overlooking the skyline. This is the beautiful memorial naming the soldiers who gave their lives during World War 1.

Day 11 – Disembarkation

We bid farewell to our crew and disembark the mighty Ioffe.

With some time to spare before heading to the airport we explored this town known for its ice-capped mountains and tundra valleys, home to caribou and Arctic foxes.  We learnt of the ancient Thule people and the lives of the Inuit.  What an incredible journey…..a trip we will always hold close to our hearts!

Day 10 – Baffin Island

Today we sail across the mouth of Frobisher Bay and hit the coast of Baffin Island.  Steep sided outcrop….we zodiac into the Charles Francis Hall Bay to try our luck sighting more polar bears and walrus. No such luck, however we did find these beautiful chunks of iceberg resting on the shore and floating through the bay.  Tonight we sail to Iqaluit where we will finish our sailing!

Day 9 – Button Islands Polar Bears!

TODAY was an exceptional highlight!

We reached the Button Islands which are in the middle of an upwelling of nutrients on the edge of the continental shelf.  This action makes it a magnet for thousands of seabirds, seals and POLAR BEARS!  One of our coldest days yet…this fact was soon forgotten when we experienced this incredible polar bear encounter during standing hibernation…just breathtaking!  With over 9 sightings in the area, this guy really was something special. Probably only weeks off the ice, he was healthy and strong……..such an amazing marine mammal!