Another slow start morning, and we lazily made our way back to Kalbarri to do a quick tour around the inland river gorges before it got too hot. We took the gravelly and heavily graded road with a stream of other tourists in shiny hire cars, overtaking a few who were being overly cautious on the graded sections and getting hammered by the bumps at too low a speed. We were headed for Nature’s Window – a natural hole in the rock with a view out over the river in one of the immense inland gorges in Kalbarri.
It was a beautiful sight for sure – but we were pretty overwhelmed by the amount of tourists that were there! So we didn’t stay for long. But we soaked up as much as we could as far away from the crowds as we could manage. The park facilities and paths and signage was all shiny brand new and very fancy, so it must have had a big revamp recently – maybe one of the reasons why it was so crowded? Still worth the trip though.
The colours of the rock and the strange jagged formations were pretty spectacular. Then it was on the road to Geraldton – a fairly uneventful drive with not much in between, but we took the coastal route which had a few more interesting things such as a pink lake and a few convict ruins. Smash had found a nifty camp spot on WikiCamps that appeared to be someone’s property just outside of Geraldton that they’d turned in to a wildlife sanctuary for injured animals, and they allowed camping if you called up and asked, and presumably made some sort of donation when you left. Such a great idea and a godsend considering there were really limited camping spots on this section of the coast. She called up and spoke to Ian, the owner, and he said that was all good, and to just head through the gate and go say hello when we arrived. We found Waminda fairly easily and followed some cute hand-drawn signage to the campsite area, then went for a walk to find Ian or his team of woofers. We came across a bunch of emus and their chicks and kangaroos being fed bread by Jennifer, a woofer on the farm, and a nice German couple who had just arrived before us to camp too.
The animals were totally tame and Jennifer had a hilarious rapport with a few of them who were giving her some attitude! Then we followed her to feed Goldy, the lovely old horse, a pack of dingoes in their enclosure who were extremely excited for their hunks of meat from Jennifer, who patiently tried to calm them down and spoke strong words to them in Italian to keep them all in line.
They all had so much energy! And Ian’s top dog One (yes it’s name was One) is alpha and was doing her best to show them who was boss too.
Then we fed the birds in the wonderfully massive walk in aviary at the front of the house – there was a hilariously bossy one legged black cockatoo who only ate the sunflower seeds in the feed and would have a tantrum when they ran out, and and lots of pretty lovebirds and parrots and some very bitey galahs.
Then we chatted at the house and met Bona, the pet kangaroo, who is 100% blind which is totally tragic but also at the same time totally adorable. She was fed cows milk as a joey when her previous owners found her and the overdose of proteins apparently causes blindness. Crazy. But she’s pretty happy being top roo at Waminda! She hilariously runs in to doors and poles and just pops up in the middle of your gathering sniffing and licking and eating anything in front of her. Bloody hilarious and super cuddly too – the girls were giving her a big hug and cradling her in the afternoon.
Ian is saving up for an operation which is around $4,000 but apparently there’s a chance that it might not work, so they’ll see how they go. She has eyedrops currently that are about $400 a set so she is definitely a much loved kangaroo and hopefully people continue to stay to help with donations to keep her happy and healthy! There was also a ton of chickens and turkeys and geese and ducks around the side with a huge garden and hanging pot plants galore. The whole place is awesome – little tracks going everywhere, the emus and kangaroos roaming around checking you out, a couple of old buses and vans and dongas for people to stay in, a lovely clean hot shower for a donation, and an outback loo (labelled the kangaroo lookout!). The whole place is a great initiative and it’s so lovely of Ian and his crew to let people in to help and to stay and simply donate what they’d like to donate when they leave. We said goodnight to Jennifer and wandered back to camp and tried to stay out of the wind in the evening. We also had our first shower in a week which was quite an achievement!