After our disappointing attempt at fossicking we followed the highway south towards Esperence and Cape Le Grand National Park, named after one of the officers on the 1792 expedition aboard L’Esperence the area is famed for its granite coastline, white sandy beaches and relict species. Relict Species are those which used to appear in abundance all over the world but are now isolated to specific areas or are of rare existence, within the national park there are a number of relict species with strong links to the Gondwanan age when the world comprised of just a few large land masses. Gondwana included most of the landmasses in today’s Southern Hemisphere, including Antarctica, South America, Africa, Madagascar and the Australian continent, as well as the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian subcontinent, which have now moved entirely into the Northern Hemisphere.
Snorkeling with a Pod of Wild Dolphins South Australia
Popular with tourists for hiking, camping and fishing the park offers the opportunity to get back to nature and relax in peace, something that we were keen to do! After spending a few nights camped at Lucky Bay and our days hiking and beach combing we moved further along the coast to Quaqi Beach. The beach borders a small bay surrounded by rocks and cliff face on each side, brilliant for exploring at low tide. However it wasn’t the scenery that will make our stay at Quaqi so memorable. Having spent our first night camped in the dunes I woke early and headed out to clear my head with a walk along the beach. The sun hadn’t long been up and the air was still cool and crisp, as I made my way through the dunes and down onto the beach I noticed something in the water. Dolphins. I stood transfixed for what felt like hours watching them, a pod of at least 30 they appeared to be feeding as they were traversing the length of the bay in formation and then turning and swimming back along the line of the beach to the other side. Every so often one of the youngsters would flip out of the water and there would be more tail flicking and splashing, it was memorising to watch.
Realising the Ben was missing out on this amazing sight I ran back to the camper to wake him and grab the camera. Running back to the beach with Ben, the camera and our snorkeling gear we stripped off and ran down into the water. As soon as we were out in water deep enough they came over to investigate, watching them as they shot their sonar our way and feeling the force it produced was just incredible. To be so close to these animals in their natural habitat is a gift I will always treasure. Each time a wave came over our heads we sank down to the sandy bottom and watched as the dolphins rode the water towards the shore.
Having realised we had no film as a keepsake of the day I swam back to the beach and got some great snaps of Ben at play with the pod. It is days like this that make me realise just how lucky we are to be on such a fantastic adventure.