We drove into Cape Range National Park after our day swimming with the whale sharks. We’d picked up some cheeses, crackers and salami for dinner. Because we're van people, but we're also classy.
On the road in, we saw an echidna, emus and many euros (smaller kangaroos).
Our campsite turned out to be one of the best ever, only one of five sites, right next to the beach. We watched the sun set and ate dinner. Other than the kangaroos trying to sneak up on us and steal our food, their eyes glowing red like demons in the light from our headlamps, it was perfect.
The next morning, sunrise was just as nice, if not better. It gave the previous night’s sunset a run for its sunmoney!
We drove a bit farther south in the park and hiked the Yardie Creek Gorge, where the river carved through the wild coastal plateau. Grace's first hike wearing two sneakers and no boot! Woot woot!
Then, it was time to snorkel. We drove to Oyster Stacks, which was pretty but we had to swim against a strong current. We didn’t see any sharks or turtles (the two things we’re always hoping to see), so we continued on to the next beach, the famous Turquoise Bay.
There's a reason that Turquoise Bay is consistently ranked among the top ten beaches in Australia. We walked over the dunes and immediately felt we had arrived in heaven.
Turquoise Bay is, in essence, the perfect beach. The beach is striking and vibrant: the turquoise water is perfectly clear, the sand is white and soft, the dune grasses are a calm, neutral shade of green.
It was also quiet, since we’d arrived quite early. A beach this spectacular AND we have it all to ourselves? Yes, please.
I laid on a towel in the sand, perfectly content. I was over not having any cell service and had relaxed into a state of disconnected glee. Meanwhile, Mike the merman went on yet another snorkel.
And then he proceeded to save some people from drowning. No, really.
I was laying in the sun with my eyes closed when I heard a man's strained voice exclaim, “HELP!” Just a single time, almost like he was asking a question. I opened my eyes and sat up, grabbing my top (What? I told you there were no people on the beach!) and as I looked up, I saw Mike quickly wading into the water, toward two people who were hanging onto a pool noodle. They had drifted too far and couldn’t swim out of the strong current to the shore. They were getting sucked out toward the break in the reef.
Mike, being the man-dolphin hybrid that he is, swam over to them, and then reached out, pulling them toward him and out of the dangerous current. The couple were from Perth and were very thankful that he’d rescued them. They thanked him profusely. I was just glad I’d witnessed it!
After that moment of greatness, as Mike basked in the glow of his hero status, we drove out of the park and down toward our next stop in paradise, Coral Bay.