Open air showers & swimming with whale sharks

We had enough of the cramped up caravan parks last week so we decided to search for something else, luckily the internet and our Camps book brought us to Bullara Station Campstay. A cattle station (yup sheep, emus and others are walking amongst you on the campground) where the people are the friendliest we have experienced so far, the showers & toilets are open air & wood fired. The coffee and scones in the morning are amazing and the hamburger, sausage and damper nights shouldn’t be missed! We met some great Australians, who gave us loads of tips, beers and much excitement for the rest of our trip! Special thanks to An & Peter, for the lovely morning coffees & tales & to Tricia for the many tips & good laughs. 🙂 You guys were awesome and we’ll definitely stop by if we’re near.  

We booked for 2 nights in Bullara but ended up staying 5, as we just couldn’t miss our evening fires, damper delights (worth googling) & warm showers under the tree. I even saw my first snake there, it was a tiny one but later Arno told me that it still was a pretty deadly one. (Not my kind of creatures anyway) We only went out once to go to Exmouth so we could book our once in a lifetime day tour: swimming with whale sharks! 

I was actually pretty terrified beforehand, I mean they’re sharks, they’re huge! I was a bit scared I might have paid big bucks (because yes the “once in a lifetime” is mostly due to the price I guess) and then panic in the water after seeing it for 1 second. But I couldn’t come forward about those feelings too much as all Australians seem like such fearless coolios so I acted like a brave big girl (that’s what got me the stuffed animal shaped like a whale shark in the end!) However it all ended well and it was one of the coolest things I ever did.  

Arno swimming along with the whale shark
Arno swimming along with the whale shark

In the morning we did a little snorkeling just to get used to our gear and stuff, the water was rather cold but luckily we had thick wetsuits on. Then their very own plane took off to search for the whale sharks and guide the boat to them. Moment of truth, we all had to sit next to each other with our gear on and ready to jump into the sea, the first time was a bit scary as we didn’t have a clue what it was going to be like. We jumped in the water, looked under and there it was.. A beautiful and gigantic fish, right next to you. A crazy experience!

We were lucky to have had the chance to swim with them about 5 times (when swimming along with the shark you’re quite exhausted after a good 10 minutes so you get back on the boat, the boat follows the shark a bit further and then you go in again & again & again). Now our group guide was the absolute best, I had the pleasure to be in a group with a very friendly person whose paddling skills weren’t that developed, meaning that he just slapped his fins on the water surface as hard as humanly possible. At one time I was that unfortunate to be swimming behind him and got a firm fin slap on my head which left me somewhat disoriented for a moment. Our guide saw it, grabbed the back of my wetsuit and pulled me in full turbo mode (or thanks to her giant fins) to the front of the group and right next to the whale shark’s eye! That was awesome! 

But even between the swims we were ecstatic as apparently we had an all-in-one trip, we saw humpback whales breaching out of the water, we could get a little tan on the deck, we even saw a sea snake (glad I didn’t encounter that during my swim) and we ended the day with champagne & strawberries, happy me!