The tiny town of Exmouth in West Australia is most famous for being the home of whale sharks, but the surrounding bush country is just as rewarding
17 May 2007, 8 Years Ago This Week: Exmouth is one of those places that took hold of my imagination: I visited there in May 2003 while I was backpacking around Australia and was fascinated by this tiny township that was in the middle of nowhere halfway up the vast Western Australian coast. I went there the first time to go snorkelling with whale sharks, and the second time was very special as I took my parents there. My dad is a lifelong scuba diver, training with the Royal Marines back in the Sixties, but he’d never seen a whale shark. We ticked that particular box but I wanted to figure out a trip that my mum could enjoy too (she’s not so fond of the water).
This trip into the bush country proved to be a real winner – not only is the desolate terrain around Exmouth beautiful in its own way, it’s also teeming with life if you know where to look – and thanks to our guide Kim, the landscape really came alive. I wrote about the trip in depth previously, but besides it being a glorious day, what for me made it really special was sharing it with my parents: not least because Kim and his family joined us at Exmouth lighthouse for sunset at the end of the tour with a bottle of champagne and it felt like we were all old friends even though we’d only met that day.
I think this was the point where I finally felt I’d given something back to my parents, that I’d done something or enabled something they wouldn’t necessarily have done on their own. Seeing their happiness was a kind of role reversal – after the decades where they’d selflessly looked after me and been the people I’d looked to for advice, now I was competent enough for them to look to me.
What Is 12 Years Of Travel?I'm publishing a photo each week during 2015 that was taken in the same week sometime in the previous 12 years on my travels. Join me in my journey to combat early senility by trying to remember what the hell I was doing over the last decade.
- Week 1: Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Melbourne
- Week 2: Cannibal Rock, Komodo, Indonesia
- Week 3: Ocean Reflection, Ari Atoll, Maldives
- Week 4: Vertigo Bar Sunset, Banyan Tree Hotel, Bangkok
- Week 5: Talc Alf Sculptures, Flinders Ranges, Australia
- Week 6: After The Tsunami, Khao Lak, Thailand
- Week 7: Drugs Warning, Jakarta Airport, Indonesia
- Week 8: Beng Mealea Temple, Angkor, Cambodia
- Week 9: Failing To Climb Mount Kinabalu, Borneo
- Week 10: Night Diving At Maaya Thila, Maldives
- Week 11: Schwezigon Paya Temple, Bagan, Myanmar
- Week 12: Octopus, Hin Daeng, Thailand
- Week 13: A View With A Room, Bangkok Tree House
- Week 14: Koh Haa, Thailand
- Week 15: Angry Whopper, Singapore
- Week 16: Kuda Gili Shipwreck, Maldives
- Week 17: Model Shoot, Bangkok
- Week 18: Banda Islands, Indonesia
- Week 19: Port Eliot, Cornwall
- Week 20: Exmouth, Australia
- Week 21: Newquay Cliffs, Cornwall