Dingo Beach was one of our favorite stops in Australia. We weren't originally planning to go there, but we were bored in Airlie Beach and it wasn't too far away. It is off the beaten path and not at all commercial. The long beaches are almost empty, and covered with chunks of coral.
We took a long walk at low tide and found all sorts of things living in the shallows. Anemones, coral, little crabs and worms were everywhere.
|Do you see the little crab in hiding?|
We camped overnight in a great little spot off a four wheel drive track overlooking the bays. It led down to a little island which could be reached by foot at low tide. That night, we decided to rent a dinghy the following day and head out for some fishing and island exploring.
As if the birds at Dingo Beach weren't interesting enough, we met another famous Australian animal, the kangaroo. On the way to meet the boat rental guy, we saw three grey kangaroos lounging in a field. Unlike the larger red kangaroos, greys are less well known outside of Australia, though they are more commonly seen. There was a fourth, larger kangaroo who looked reddish in color, but he shied away out of sight pretty quickly, while these three were less alarmed and let me get much closer before hopping away.
After all these animal encounters, you might be wondering, as we did, how Dingo Beach got its name. Would we see any dingos? We asked Duncan, the man with the boats, and he told us they are regularly sighted slinking past his house before sunrise after a night of foraging in town. He invited us to stake out his street and try to spot them at 5am. We were eager at first, but ultimately sleep won over and we missed out on the eponymous canines.
We spent Sam's 28th birthday out on the boat and on a deserted island. Well, deserted except for us. We found lots of coral that we can't afford to take back, like this giant specimen. Overall, I highly recommend Dingo Beach. If you're planning to go there, get in touch with Duncan, who's very nice and who has a lot of information about the area.
Gearing up for our big "reef cruise," I decided to try snorkeling. Duncan kindly threw in some snorkel gear and a stinger suit with our boat rental. Confession time: I hated snorkeling. It was a combination of the mask, the salty water, and the unfamiliarity and discomfort of being fully submerged in these waters. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but it's the truth. At least I got to see a little bit of fringe reef before the hyperventilating made it clear I wasn't ready for this. The good news is, renting this boat was a MUCH cheaper way to discover my phobia than a $400 reef cruise.
We canceled the big reef trip.
Looks like I have to practice snorkeling in my Memaw's pool until I come back to the Great Barrier Reef. Baby steps!