Coral Bay

by Konrad Bucheli

Monday/Tuesday 15th/16th August, 2016

On Monday morning we leave Nanutarra at quarter past eight. Today we drive not that far anymore. At a sign for a photography stop we stop too. Is it the red mountain range which emerges behind the hill?

Or is it because of the inscribed stones which are place all around the square to remember loved ones passed away? Sometimes also a beer stands beside. After a further hill we suddenly see red. Somehow the grass nearly disappeared and there are only a few bushes and little trees with few blades of grass an a lot of red soil in between. At some point the grass returns, but there nearly no bushes and trees anymore. Suddenly we see down to a plane. At least it looks like that. But down there we find small rolling hills. And the soil is losing colour and gets sandy. And everywhere there are, regularly irregularly distributed, big termite mounds.

Shortly before noon we reach Coral Bay. It is a tourist resort with one street where there is everything a tourist would need. Only normal clothing sizes seam to be sold out. OK, what the tourists really want to see is the Ningaloo Reef. Here it reaches until the beach. A bit more out in the sea the waves breaking on the outer rim of the reef. All is a marine park. Half of the bay is prohibited to enter as it is a breeding place for reef sharks. We stay two days.

In the afternoon we go to the beach. The kids play in the sand. Petra first goes snorkelling. She sees many fishes. I also try. First I break the fins while trying to put them on. And I still do not feel well if I have to flounder in order to not to drown. So I stay close to the beach and do not see that much, still a few fishes come to see me. When I leave the water, all are gone. There is a public fish feeding. Jann stands in the water and retreats after some half metre long fishes are swimming around his legs. Kiara enjoys the fishes with all possible sounds.

On Tuesday we sleep in. For noon we booked a glass bottom boat tour. That is more my style. Immediately after we pulled out we see already the different types of corals. They are mainly brown because of the algae which lives within the coral. The hard corals here are not colourful like the more tropical soft corals. OK, a few lucent blue tips we still see. At one place we stop to avoid the scaring away of the fishes. Now many of them swim below us. Jann enjoys the aquarium. Kiara tries to start communication with the fishes. As it does not succeed as intended, she tries it with my sandals. On the way back we even see a turtle. Then we stop at Ayers Rock. So they call their biggest coral which must be over thousand years old. She has more than ten meters in diameter.

In the afternoon we go again to the beach. Petra goes into the water with Jann. But he enters the water only up to the knee. Back with me he is crying because the salty water hurts his scraped knee. Petra is already back in the water snorkelling and returns excited. She also has seen a flat fish digging itself into the ground. With a sunset we close the chapter Coral Bay.