Wednesday, August 08, 2007

you choose

Right - since I discovered the Poll feature on Blogger, I have realised I need your help. Besides hopping across Australia in December to spend a few days to a week in Sydney, I just have to do something else travel-wise in Australia, and preferably Western Australia, which is VAST and cool (in the slang way - definitely the opposite literally). But I can't decide what to do! There are various complicating factors such as expense, because I don't have a whole lot to spend, especially as I have to save some for Sydney and Malaysia in November. So I'm setting up a poll on the menu, and I would be so grateful if you give me your opinions about which option is the best.

Ningaloo Reef. This is near Exmouth on the map shown above. Pros: it is apparently a paradise that I must see and should be top of my priorities (according to my sister and brother-in-law whom I will refer to as J&J in all future blog posts). According to this website, "it is a virtually untouched barrier reef of 260km length protecting a shallow, brilliant white sandy lagoon of clear tropical waters" in which you can snorkel or simply lie on the beach.

Cons: It is by far the farthest destination from Perth that I am considering and is subsequently more expensive. I could go by air (quite expensive) or by bus (not cheap and a long, long trip).
Also, when I googled images of Ningaloo, there were all these pictures of WHALE SHARKS. A bit of a turn-off.

Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort, which is near the next sticky-outy part south of Exmouth. In its favour: the photo above. A "natural dolphin sighting area", "secluded crystal blue waters" and "pristine white-shell beaches", according to the website, and is "one of the most reliable meeting places for dolphins in the world". This place is seriously tempting and every single photo I have seen backs up all the good things said about it.

Only problems: it's not cheap to get there by air (though cheaper than Ningaloo), and when you do, you have to stay at the resort. Although they have some cheaper options available within the resort, I don't much like that. Also, it is an area of ocean named 'Shark Bay' - another warning signal, the like of which is seen in horror films and usually ignored, much to the dismay of most of the characters!

A different option for getting to Monkey Mia is as follows:

A different option is to take an EasyRider backpacker tour by bus from Perth up to Monkey Mia and back. These take four days and drop you off each night at a backpackers. As well as getting to see Monkey Mia, you get to see the Kalbarri River gorges (top), the Pinnacles Desert (middle), the Stromatolites at Hamelin Pool (bottom) and more such as the Coastal Gorges, the Swan River Winery and a wildlife park on the way back. This is a pretty cool option because you get to see so much, and do it with other people, although...

Cons: it's a bit daunting doing it with a whole lot of backpackers who for all I know could be a pack of psychotic alcoholic Satanists. Am I jumping to conclusions?

Also, the price is an issue - $369 for the bus trip but as far as I can see that doesn't include accomodation or food etc. Still a better deal than flying up, probably, but something to think about.

Finally, Kalgoorlie. In its favour: it is very cheap to get to, by bus. And there are ghost towns nearby, left from the gold rush of the late nineteenth century, and there is always something cool about ghost towns.

Not so interesting: it's a town of 30,000 and so therefore the tourist attractions are things like an old hotel or pub, or (wait for it) brothel tours. My kind of travelling - or not.

Also, this was the most attractive/interesting photo I could find of Kalgoorlie. It kind of pales in comparison with the others, wouldn’t you say?

So - please be enlisted to the Help Allie Out cause, and take my poll! (See menu, under my profile info.)


Stacy said...

Dolphins always win. Always.

slskenyon said...

Wow--those options all sound great, and me having never been out to Austrailia, I am sure I am the wrong person to ask. All I can say is, "take pictures wherever you decide to go for the poor souls on the other side of the globe."

ukrainiandiva said...

Go see the dolphins, go see the dolphins!!!

They're SMART. And they sing!!! ("So long and thanks for all the fish")