Monday, October 10, 2016

Our Incredible Whale Encounter in Nelson Bay, Port Stephens, NSW

Last weekend we headed out on a tour to hopefully swim with wild dolphins, and I will post more about that in my next post because this story deserves it's own entry.  While we were searching for Dolphins we saw a Humpack Whale near some sort of buoy field that appeared to be stuck.  We also noticed there was another whale close by that kept surfacing.  The marine specialist on board presumed them to be a mother and her calf travelling back down south.  The crew alerted us that we would slowly move towards them to see if they could in some way help the whale.  They started radioing for help and making sure the whale wasn't in too much distress.  After a few moments it seemed that the Whale had untangled itself and was free.  We were all so happy and relieved! As we started motoring away both the Whales approached our boat.  This is extremely exciting because there is a law in Australia that only allows you to get within 100 meters (a reader clarified it is actually 300 meters for a mother and calf) to any whales with your boat, but if they approach you its OK.  We have previously been on Whale watching tours and seen some amazing things but never ever been this close to a whale and its calf.  It was unforgettable in the best way.
Approaching the Whale when it was tangled in the Buoy.
Here is some Video footage we got on our iphone. It completely took us off guard or we would have grabbed a better camera for video footage!

The following are some of my favorite photos (out of hundreds) I was able to capture of these  magnificent creatures.  It was like they were giving us a private performance to the Humpback Whale Ballet.  

Thank you to Dolphin Swim Australia and the boat crew for an incredible and unforgettable experience.  We will treasure these memories for ever.  

Monday, October 3, 2016

Jervis Bay

 We had the most wonderful holiday weekend down at Jervis Bay, and it did not disappoint.  In a nut shell Jervis Bay is many gorgeous easily accessible beaches, white sand, and clear waters different shades of turquoise and blue.  It is also mostly national park or protected lands so very small town feel, no big resorts.  There is an abundance of wildlife, we saw so many different kinds of birds, wild kangaroos, even an Echidna.  Also in the water they have dolphins, rays, sharks, and over 10,000 Fairy Penguins live on Bowen Island right off the mainland.  I am already planning our next trip to this amazing place.

Greenpatch Beach
Australian King Parrots

Gala cleaning its beautiful grey wings.

The River next to Greenpatch beach and campgrounds.  Some of the kids from the campground playing and running up it. 

Walk down to Cave Beach.

Entrance to Cave Beach. Pretty surreal. 

Exploring the caves. 

Cutest little explorer I ever did see. 

First time seeing wild Kangaroos! Love the one in the background hopping.
Mum and Joey in her pouch.
Lighthouse Ruins in Booderee National Park

Our Cute little "Nelson Beach House" Airbnb rental. (That really is it's name, and why I picked it!)

Michael's favorite part was the outdoor shower! He took one every time we got back from the beach.

Cutest bum in the world!

Handsome Liam getting his short ipad time while brother naps. 
Bush Walkin...

Murrays Beach!

Bowen Island across from Murrays Beach.

Liam's favorite part of the trip was renting these bikes.  His attached to Jason's so he felt like he was riding a big boy bike.  We had a gorgeous bike path right down the street from our rental property from Vincentia to Huskisson.  We passed many beautiful beaches overlooking Jervis Bay. 
We are smiling because we have no idea how sore our bottoms will be the next day since neither of us have ridden a proper bike in years. 

Last but not least Nelson Beach, about a 2 minute walk down from where we stayed and what our property was named after. 

Kookaburra hunting for worms and staking its territory.

Sunset on our last night.  

Woke up bright and early to see the sunrise on the beach.  It was worth it. 

The drive from Sydney down south is breathtaking.  Views of rolling green hills and vineyards on one side, picturesque beaches and cliffs on the other.  
Photobombed myself, but this was basically me most of the drive.  So gorgeous!