Despite the overcast weather it was a beautiful drive heading east into Pemberton, from our Thurs night camp at Alexandra Bridge. Instead of taking the most direct route, we did some of the scenic roads on the way. The main ‘feature’ of these scenic routes are the Karri forests – the huge eucalyptus trees with tall straight trunks really are an impressive sight. A lot of it has been logged (hence the lovely green fields and the like), but there are large areas of protected national park, and also a lot under new plantation. I must be getting a bit slack with my photography – could of got some lovely shots of quiet remote dirt roads overshadowed by these huge forests had we stopped the vehicle and taken some photos – but we didn’t… Here is one from later on in the day though, to give you some idea.
We stopped in at Beedelup National Park for a quick look at Beedelup Falls. Nice but nothing spectacular. Didn’t feel it was worth paying the $12 NP day entry fee, though we ended up buying one later in the day for the Gloucester tree anyway….
Then on the way into Permberton we side tripped to The Cascades, where we did a circuit walk. A pretty enough creek again, but I get the impression that WA doesn’t have the same level of spectacular creeks and waterfalls down here as what you might find in rainforests in various areas of QLD (or NSW).
There is a MTB (mountain bike) park in Permberton, which Daniel was dead set on going to, so I went on a little ride with him on a trail, and a jump track. Very nice country to be MTB’ing in. In town we also had a bit of a look around – a fine furniture gallery for example (very nice but very exy).
Then it was out to the Gloucester Tree, which is an old Karri tree that used to be a fire lookout, from back early last century. This is a great big tall thing, and the ‘ladder’ is a bit of an interesting one. Have a look at this:
I went right to the platform at the top, and it was a nice climb. Just made sure I always had one hand and one foot firmly planted/attached! The view was pretty good too! Nicole tells me that the boys went up about a quarter of the way (perhaps 15m) when I was up there, but she didn’t want them going any higher.
So the tree was pretty good fun. We did a circuit walk here too.
It was getting late so we headed over to a campground at Big Brook Arboretum. Another nice damp green campsite, and another fire, this time used for grilling steak for dinner!
Saturday morning (18/10/14) we had a look at the arboretum, though it wasn’t well marked or cared for. All pretty big trees now.
Travelling south through Northcliffe, we decided to go and visit Windy Habour despite the inclement weather. Sure enough Windy Habour was windy!! And wet… The township itself is a quaint old place – little cottages and similar. Not sure if these are holiday or permanent homes!
There is a nice scenic drive up the top of the peninsula, with some walks and nice views.
We spent Sat night a little out of Walpole, visiting the info centre there Sunday morning. It was funny listening to the info centre bloke talk to one of the overseas tourists; she must have been wanting to wait for some good weather to do something. He was replying along the lines of:
….. this is Walpole, this is normal, you just do stuff anyway – regardless of the weather! Or you’d never do anything! It might be like this till Christmas, perhaps with an occasional sunny day here and there!….
I found it amusing anyway! Probably sounds normal to Victorians though! 😉
We had a look around Walpole, but the weather was pretty horrible! Even so we could tell it is a picturesque town.
We did several of the tourist things out of Walpole. We went up the scenic drive to see the Giant Tingle Tree. These trees seem particularly prone to getting hollowed out by fire and fungus, but look pretty cool.
It was a bit of a dirt goat track up the side of the mountain, but Nicole confidently raced the motorhome up the wet track! The huge trees we are driving past are a mixture of Karri and Tingle. If you haven’t heard of Tingle trees, it is because they are specific to a small area down here in the bottom of WA.
Then it was on to the Valley of the Giants scenic drive, and the Tree Top Walk. As far as tree top walks go it is fairly non-scary, with the steel structure being pretty solid/rigid (though there is some movement). It’s up nice and high in the trees, so you get a good view, but not as high as the Gloucester Tree I’d climbed the previous day. Better to do that I reckon 😉 Also a bit pricey for what it is, at $37.50 for the family – makes you appreciate things close to home such as O-Reillys at Lamington National Park!
I finally took some photos of a nice green pasture typical in this ‘southern forests’ area.
After visiting a toffee factory, and a meadery (tastings, and we usually get at least something small from each place), our final site-seeing for the day was a visit to Greens Pool at Williams Bay National Park. It was a quick run down in the rain, grab some photos, and move on… Unfortunate, as I could see it would be absolutely beautiful in sunny weather. Hopefully that comes through at least a little in the photo below… We also drove past Madfish Bay and other nearby features, for a look through the closed up windows!
We went straight through Denmark (not just rainy, but really windy and late in the arvo…), and stopped for the night at a free campsite at Cosy Corner (about 20km out of Albany). Right on the beach! Would be great in good weather. We certainly didn’t have that though – rained all night and even though we were in well protected spot the motorhome was shaken around. I see Perth copped it pretty bad – worse than us. It’s good to be back into the land of reasonable shires/councils (in this case the shire of Albany), where they cater for travellers who don’t want to spend a fortune on accommodation.
So as you can see lots to see and do on the way to Albany. We didn’t have the best weather, but still enjoyed the scenery, and from what we gather we saw it as it most commonly is anyway! There are some walking and cycling tracks we crossed multiple times, but this post is too long so I’ll mention them more in the next post on Albany.