The full camp sign was not up as we left Exmouth so we were hopeful of getting a site. At the gate to the National Park the worker recommended the Pilgramunna camp site, so we headed there. There are numerous camp areas within Cape Range National Park and in peak season if you're not at the gate by 5am you most likely won't get in. We were pretty lucky that day, although after five nights in the park we did realise that it was not so busy anymore even though there was still a week of WA school holidays left.
Cape Range National Park lies along perhaps half of the Ningaloo Reef. During our time in the park we did heaps of snorkeling at various spots including directly from our campground. One of the better spots was Turquoise Bay. It was here that we saw a rather large mantra ray and three reef sharks. The fish were plenty and varied. It was really good fun even though it was quite windy most days (October is generally pretty windy on the northern west coast of WA so visit before then).
The wind ended up driving us out of the park as it would blow our trailer and awning so much it would keep you awake. We were able to stay five nights on the battery as a couple camped with us let us use their generator a couple of nights.
The Pilgramunna camp site had nine spots in it, one of which, during the peak season has camp hosts in it. These camp hosts are volunteers. Pretty much they get to camp for free in exnchange for collecting money from campers in their area and doing a few other chores. During peak season, their job is pretty much over by 9am, as everyone has come and gone, then they have the rest of the day to themselves.
Our hosts were a couple from Pemberton, WA, Margaret and Greg. They were a really nice couple. We had happy hour every night from 5pm. This was a great opportunity to hear what other campers had been doing and what they had been seeing. This allowed us to get to know the couple, Ray and Marie, who let us use their generator. We also went snorkeling with Margaret and Ray at various times. One snorkeling session with Ray even turned up a brand new anchor which had snagged on the coral.
We did a lot of walking along the beach and also into the Mandu Mandu gorge. One afternoon we sat and whale watched and to our joy we saw whales jumping out of the water. You first notice the splash - huge - and then when look more closely you see them jumping out. It was an amazing sight, obviously would be better closer up but was still great.
I had been without a book since finishing "Kane and Abel" in Tom Price, so we bought one in Exmouth and it was finished a few days later. I haven't read as much as I thought I would and David even less. We do read The Australian when we can get our hands on it.