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The Southwest corner of Western Australia

After a week in Perth fixing computers, completing chores and fitting in a bit of sightseeing we decided it was time to head off to tour the South West before returning to the Goldfields....which we hoped would be once again dry by then.

We had arranged to have the caravan wheel bearings repacked and some minor warranty work done on the caravan the day we left...but didn't expect to be held up for the whole day.

As it turned out the wheel bearings had to be replaced...after just 15,000km use.

Following several phone calls to the caravan manufacturer, the chassis manufacture and bearing suppliers in Perth...we finally secured the correct bearings and had them installed...leaving the caravan dealer's yard that evening at 5:45pm.

...So much for a couple of hours work.

As nightfall approached we made the run south, driving for a couple of hours until we found a rather secluded free campsite in the forest, about half a kilometre off the road behind a designated Parking Bay rest area.

Busselton

Bright and early the next morning, in drizzly rain, we set off...bound for Busselton, where we stopped briefly to restock the caravan's pantry and to take a look at one of the town's star attractions...its wharf...conplete with quaint buildings.Scottish Highland cattle

Picturesque...Busselton wharf

Armed with a few photos, we left Busselton and drove west for about 40km, through Dunsborough, to have a look at Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse.

En route we noticed some rather hairy bovine...presumably Scottish Highland cattle?

Reaching the Lighthouse, and after walking around the exposed coastline for five minutes or so...braving cold blustery winds...we jumped back into the Prado and left...satisfied we'd been there...done that!

Then, following the scenic coastal route, Caves Road, we proceeded south ...following the Leewin-Naturaliste National Park...pleased that the weather appeared to be lifting...well slightly anyway...the sun valiantly prizing its way through occasional breaks in Busselton wharf the clouds !

 

 

 

Towering forests of karri and marri line the road on the drive through Naturaliste-Leeuwin National Park

 

 

Big Tree Grove (Naturaliste-Leeuwin National Park) - near Pemberton

karri and marri Naturaliste-Leeuwin National Park

This Grove is home to some of the tallest Karri trees known.

Karri is recognised as the third tallest tree species in the world...these specimens are over 85 metres high and are estimated to weigh up to 150 tonnes apiece.

Karri has been extensively logged in the forests of the South West and is a highly prized furniture timber.

 

Big Tree Grove (Naturaliste-Leeuwin National Park) near Pemberton

 

Augusta

By mid afternoon we reached Augusta, on the edge of Flinders Bay, and the weather had improved to the point that sunshine now reigned supreme...perfect timing to visit nearby Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse.

Built on a small granite headland, about 15km west of Augusta, Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse is positioned at the most south westerly point in Australia...where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean. (Latitide 34.22 South and Longitude 115.08 East)

Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse

 

Built in 1895.The lighthouse flashes every 7.5 seconds for an interval of 0.02 seconds at an intensity of 1,000,000 Candella and has a geographical range of some 20 nautical miles

 

...trivia I know you've all been wetting yourselves...waiting to hear!

Mindful that the afternoon was late, we left Cape Leeuwin, where camping was not permitted, and headed off towards Walpole, searching for a spot to camp for the night.

A roadside rest area near the turn off to the Walpole - Nornalup National Park 'Tree Top Walk', which we planned to visit, provided an ideal free camp.

Walpole-Nornalup National Park

Walpole-Nornalup National ParkRed Tingle Trees...the only remaining stands occur in the Walpole - Nornalup National Park and surrounding area where it rains the equivalent of 185 days each year. Known to live up to 400 years, Tingle trees (Eucalyptus Jacksonii are one of the biggest trees in WA, measuring up to 16 metres around their base and growing up to 60 metres high

The Treetop Walk in Walpole

 

 

The Treetop Walk in Walpole - Normal National Park...in the canopy of the giant Red Tingle trees...40 metres above the ground.

Red Tingle tree

 

 

Anita standing (posing) in the hollow base of a large old Red Tingle tree

Denmark

Passing through Denmark on our way to Albany, we made a surprise visit to Joyce and Ron, the parents of Anita's friend Christine.

We spent a lovely afternoon in their company, warmed by their fire...drinking tea and having a good old chat.

Rod couldn't resist playing around with Ron's computer and spent an hour or so reinstalling a CD Rom on it before we left.

 

Cosy Corner, near Denmark

 

Stormy ocean at Cosy Corner, near Denmark, where we 'free camped' behind the dunes for two nights riding out foul weather...a front that dumped snow on the Stirling Ranges and surrounding farmland.

 

Albany

In the past an important whaling station, Albany is now a vibrant regional service centre, boosting its local economy by a steadily growing tourism industry.

Although it was raining steadily on the morning we drove into Albany, within a couple of hours it had cleared sufficiently for us to tour some of its spectacular coastline in nearby Torndirrup National Park

 

Dog Rock, Albany

 

Dog Rock, Albany...in the centre of town.

A case of its bite being worse than its bark... if you were unfortunate enough to miss the corner and hit it !

Old whaling ship

 

 

Old whaling ship, beached near former whaling station.

 

Gorgeous view of Granite formation and Southern Ocean from lookout in Torndirrup National ParkTorndirrup National Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wave Rock

 

 

 

 

 

Southern Cross

After leavingWave rock we spent the night at the Southern Cross gold fields, didn't find any gold but did dig up some great old bottles, glass stoppers and a very old porcelain Golden Eye Ointment pot lid left behind by the old miners

 

 

 

Coolgardie

 

1st house you come to in Coolgardie with a very elaborate display of just about everything (I wonder if all this stuff came from the old miners camp sites?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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