Great southern land!
08.11.2010 - 15.11.2010
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Have put a map of the area at the end of blog. Denmark and Walpole are in between Manjimup and Albany. This is the area we believe should be the winery areas instead of Margaret River. We arrived in the forest area. Trees of many shapes and sizes and had no idea what they were called. After a day or so, we got to recognise some of them. They also have wineries along these areas and cheese factory, meadery, chocolate 'lounge' etc. The drives through the forests were awesome. You can take a scenic loop of around 86 kms in the forests but we opted to do around half of that. In between the forests were scattered farms for cattle and sheep. Our caravan park at Walpole was beautiful. We stayed at a place called Coalmine Beach and it was surrounded by peppermint willows. Such a pretty tree. The park backed onto a beach with the dune to buffer the winds. It is pretty cold in this area and the winds didn't help. Of course I loved this climate. We got a huge area to ourselves in the park.
From Coalmine beach we could walk into town through the heathlands which were full of wildflowers and again the heathlands. Beautiful but not the flies that came with it. Have bought a 'magic cream' which apparently the flies hate. Tested it and it is not too bad. Now they only sniff our skin and fly away. Walpole is a very small town with beautiful gardens all around and surrounded by forest. They had a nice little bakery there which was good for lunch and meat pies!
In the forest they have these huge karri, jarrah and tuart trees. We climbed a karri tree which has a house halfway and another at the top. It was about 30 metres high and pretty scary. They use this tree when the forestry/fire people need to see where the fires are. You must not have a fear of heights. It looks not too bad from the ground.
Have a look how far Geoff got!
Along the way we met some really nice people from Mt Gambier. We met them in Margaret River and shared a few beers/wines and dinners. We thought they were a pair of 'wily old codgers' because they had planned their washing day on a sunny day and knew all the good spots to stay at and see. Useful for us young things that are novices at this camping life. Had lots of fun with them and definitely will be catching up with them in the future if not this time round. (They weren't really that old)!
On the way to Albany we stopped at a beautiful place called Denmark - it is the Byron Bay of this area. Lots of organics, yoga, hippies and ... you get the picture.
When we got to Albany the town didn't look too inviting. It is a 'large port' town and looks like a lot of heavy industry there.
Once we settled into our caravan park at Middleton beach we started to see how beautiful this area is. There are so many walking/cycling tracks around and really pretty following the coastline and heaths. We went for a scenic drive and what we saw was stunning. Verve energy also have a wind farm there supplying 80 percent of power to Albany. The walk around the wind farm area was stunning.
One of the shopping centres was called 'dog rock' and you can see why?
We also had a fantastic fish and chips at the jetty/marina of Emu Point. It was called the 'Squid Shack'. You can bring your own grog at no extra charge and eat in the shack or takeaway. It was really delicious. We enjoyed this meal with our 'old' friends David and Marie. It was a fun night and definitely recommend eating there.
Next stop was Esperance about 480 kms away still south and further along the coastline. Another fantastic location. You think that you would have enough of all those cliffs, heaths, farms etc but the colours are just so stunning. The southern area is much colder due to the wind chill factor. My camera doesn't do the colours of the ocean justice.
We are off to Kalgoorlie next and after that take the long crossing over the Nullarbor plain from Norseman to Ceduna. Will be out of range with phone and internet but may be pleasantly surprised if there was any Telstra connection.