Amazing Albany, Western Australia

Hosting overseas visitors is a great excuse to indulge in the oft overlooked touristy pleasures of my own backyard. Even in winter there is no shortage of things to do and more importantly see based in Albany.

Whales in King George Sound.

Whales in King George Sound.

A glistening Seal prepares to make the plunge.

A glistening Seal prepares to make the plunge.

Segway Adventures for something different!

Segway Adventures for something different!

The Tree Top Walk near Walpole.

The Tree Top Walk near Walpole.

Cosy Park Farm Holiday Retreat.

Cosy Park Farm Holiday Retreat.

The friendly Highland Cattle put the "farm" in Park Farm.

The friendly Highland Cattle put the "farm" in Park Farm.

Maxtrax first impression

Cape Arid NP, Western Australia

Cape Arid NP, Western Australia

After the beach narrowed there was the choice of the harder, but wet low road or the very soft high road. With only one car and no one in sight I chose the conservative, albeit more difficult, soft road. Sure enough the back slide and we were stuck with an incoming tide very close. 

Time to test the new Maxtrax my wife bought me for christmas! The first three goes were a great success, each one giving us a good metre "pop" away from the water. As we bellied out a little, more digging was required before we were finally away. 

Two more of these are on my shopping list and with so much sand in Western Australia they are straight on my must take list.

Fitzroy River Expedition taster...

A world class expedition river in our own back yard, the Fitzroy should be on every Australian whitewater paddlers bucket list.

More photos and some handy hints to help you plan your own trip to follow.

Views to return to...

Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, New Zealand

With a view like this there is little wonder Queenstown has so many repeat visitors.

Bunker Bay Sunrise

Bunker Bay, Western Australia

Bunker Bay, Western Australia

Bunker Bay at sunrise is a photographer's dream. Spoil yourself and spend a little time in this delightful part of the world.

Travel and camp on durable surfaces

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Campsites like these with a hard rock base are easy to look after. It is always great to camp someplace pristine where there is no signs of human life. No rubbish, no graffiti, nothing. Campsites like this are why I love the outdoors. Put our modern gear to one side and things haven't changed over time, just how it should be.

Katadyn Pocket

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Staying hydrated is difficult at the best of times. With 40 plus degree temperatures and a silty river as the main water source on expedition in Australia's remote Kimberley region, it's serious business. The Katadyn Pocket is built tough. Although it was pushed to the limits it stood up to the task. At times the water was so dirty the ceramic filter had to be scrubber every litre, however 6 thirsty kayakers were kept in water.

Fitzroy Expedition Camera Gear

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Choosing what camera gear to bring is always a challenge. When you are self support in a small whitewater kayak for 2 weeks it is critical. For this trip my Nikon D90 with 18-105mm is a great one camera one lens solution. This is an old enough setup that I am not too precious about, perfect for expedition and whitewater. Nothing is more watertight than a Pelican case. The 1200 size is a good fit for this setup, with just enough room for spare Nikon and GoPro batteries. 

Additionally I used a GoPro for some on the water shots, though I must say the verdict is still out for me and this style of photography. The results people achieve are not questionable, but I need a view finder!

Finally I chose to bring a full size tripod. This is a luxury in terms of both weight and bulk, but it is hard to beat in beautiful places and low light. For quality I choose Manfrotto and for size and weight I choose 4-section and carbon fibre. For this expedition I actually had to remove the rear support foam in my kayak to make room.