We’d unintentionally managed to choose a wonderfully shady spot last night when selecting our campsite so we had a nice sleep in without the sun blaring down on us too early on. We took the road back to Kalbarri to drive south along the coastal gorges part of the national park, pulling in at every lookout and walk and beach access point to check out the spectacular cliffs, beautiful eroded rock formations and managed to successfully shuck some oysters this time around down along the rocks at Eagle Bluff’s beach! They weren’t huge or particularly full of flavour but we were proud of our efforts regardless. Smash also spotted a massive pod of dolphins making their way around the headland from one of the lookouts which was spectacular. There must have been about 20 or 30 of them – mothers with their calves from the looks of it. We watched them fish from afar and then they disappeared out of view, so we continued the coastal drive and stuck our heads in at a place called Rainbow Jungle – a parrot breeding centre.
We didn’t have high expectations for the parrot centre but Trundle’s bird obsession could not be stopped so we paid our admission and went to have a look at the aviaries. What we found was incredible! The place was huge and had countless varieties of Australian and exotic parrot species, from cockatoos to macaws to lorikeets and cockatiels and tiny little finches and quails and huge green parrots who called out “Hello sunshine” as you walked past… and there were a few favourite pet ones in cages around the shop who had some serious personalities. Hulk the green parrot didn’t like to be handled but apparently knew a lot of swear words, but he was holding back today and was all manners. Cocky had a full vocabulary (“what’s the matter with you, Mum I need you, where’s the toilet, etc”), and would angle his head up to the cage inviting you to give him a scratch, being all cute and chatty, then snap his beak around at the last minute at your fingers and literally laugh at you with this dopey grin on his face. He was also calling out to the lady in the shop to “come here” to which she’d yell out “no!” and he’d mumble something in complaint – apparently he’d been giving her a hard time ever since lunch when she refused to share her ham sandwich with him. Hot Tuna the large black and blue parrot could whistle jingle bells and happy birthday and the scarlet macaws were a chatty pair who played a hilarious game of hide and seek with Smash around the side of the cage.
It was lovely to see all the beautiful varieties of birds in there – a little sad to have them all in cages without much opportunity for flight, but they’d all been bred in enclosures so we assumed that was all they really knew. Either way it was an awesome few hours spent wandering the maze of aviaries and enclosures and seeing these wonderful creatures up close… Some extremely close – the red tailed black cockatoos and the scarlet macaws in particular, very energetic and super curious! We were exhausted from the excitement of the unexpectedly awesome amount of bird life we’d just encountered so it was back to town to wander and relax and get some supplies for an early dinner, which we cooked back at the campsite from last night up the road. It was a lot windier but the stars were out in force and looked beautiful!