It’s winter in Perth, so it’s cold by our spoiled standards, but the weather’s lovely up north at this time of year.

So, when the West Australian government lifted the state’s internal COVID lockdown borders this month, we made a pilgrimage to the insanely beautiful places Val and Stella visited in Meet Me at the Hanging Tree.

It was fantastic, thanks for asking, until a storm front came in. We were tenting, the last four days of our trip were a dash back home, but not before we’d done the best parts.

Some things have changed since I first put fingertip to keyboard in 2015, most importantly the rules at Monkey Mia.

Val and Stella could feed any dolphin who happened along.

Unfortunately, too many tourists took the opportunity. The baby dolphins didn’t learn how to hunt with disastrous results for the health of the pod. Nowadays, the dolphins are fed a maximum three times a day, no more than one-tenth of their daily fish intake. Park rangers supervise the ‘dolphin experience’.

It’s still magical.

The caravan park has been upgraded a bit too.

This feller lives under the jetty.

Ningaloo Reef at Exmouth has so far avoided the worst of the global warming ravages suffered by the Great Barrier Reef. The corals are healthy, growing and the fish which flock there to feed are as abundant and as beautiful as ever.

Turquoise Beach is still awesome.

You can wade to the reef from many beaches, the snorkelling is incredible.

Some of the wildlife follows you into the caravan park.

The roads haven’t changed much.

Yep, just like the back blocks of Texas and New Mexico for Americans, with much narrower pavement!

Val and Stella did their north-west road trip in the first couple of chapters of Meet Me at the Hanging Tree. Then they went to the south-west wine country where the fun started. If you haven’t read it yet, click here. 🙂

Or if you’ve already tried that one, don’t forget Stella’s back in Meet Me Under Brooklyn Bridge, which is available on pre-order here for just Aus$1.42 (US$0.99).

While we were in Monkey Mia, I started the third instalment of the Meet Me series. With any luck, Meet Me Where The Surf Breaks will be available for interested readers late this year.


2 thoughts to “Feed the dolphins, anyone?

  • Enid

    Oh good news. Two books to look forward to. Surfing too. I wonder if you tried it to get tha story right.

    • T.J.

      Ooh, that’s an idea. I could claim surfing lessons as research expense. It’s time I gave it a go.

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