It had been three years since we last visited Bremer Bay. And it's been two years since I wrote and published a blog post. But when a long weekend coincided with some gloriously sunny winter weather, conditions were perfect to scoot around the south coast and show the kids some whales. Last time we were there it rained all weekend and we spent most of our time cooped up inside the holiday house. This time the sun shone, the whales were plentiful, and we had the caravan park pretty much to ourselves.
Fitzgerald River National Park is one of those secret treasures protected by its very remote location - a long, long way from any regional centre. Flanked on either side by the tiny fishing and holiday towns of Bremer Bay and Hopetoun, its rocky, arid interior is swathed with wildflowers each spring. And the long, protective arm of Point Ann provides a sheltered nursery for Southern Right Whales and their calves each winter.
The wildflowers were just starting to come out when we visited on the weekend, and the bay was full of whales. We drove along the beach to get a closer look at the giants lolling just beyond the breakers. My five-year-old daughter stood up on her seat and stuck her head out of the window: eyes scrunched up against the glare; cold winter wind whipping through her hair. "This is the best holiday ever," she declared, as Grant told her to sit back down.
It was another test outing for our vintage caravan, too, before heading into the workshop this week to have a new fridge installed and some leaks patched up. We'll be hitting the road at the end of the year, caravan in tow, to drive around Australia.
I've kept this blog mostly because I knew I wanted to return to it as a record of our family adventure - which is starting to feel close now. So it feels like the right time to dust off this cosy corner of cyberspace to join us on the journey.