Saturday, November 28, 2009

Coast around Esperance WA

The beaches around Esperance are some of the most beautiful in Australia, famous for the surfing and the blue, blue waters.

Look at this - how beautiful can it get? Beautiful and rugged at the same time.

And how about these divine rocks?

I am sure I have seen this scene painted many times.
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Point Ann and Point Charles Bays WA

These two bays and their beaches in the Fitzgerald National Park have the whitest sand of any beach I have ever seen. There is supposed to be a beach on the NSW coast that boasts of being “the whitest beach in Australia”. Rubbish. After Pt Ann, one can be in no doubt where this phenomenon occurs.

The south-west coast of WA is famed for its surfing beaches and pristine sand and blue waters and one is not disappointed. Bathing here is sublime.

Look at this expanse of sand.
and the azure water.

But what no tourist brochure tells you about is the FLIES. These are dreadful and the worst I have ever experienced. Andrew told me that the flies would get worse as we headed south but I did not believe him. They have been pretty bad in patches but here at Fitzgerald NP they are as bad as anywhere. My cork hat is in its element here as is the hat with the mosquito netting. The best thing to do is to pick up any branch with a bit of foliage on it and constantly fan yourself as you walk or sit outside, doing anything. They fly into any available orifice and can drive you insane.
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tame wildlife

Waychinicup campsite - look down at Andrew's foot at the quenda (bandicoot).

Quenda more clearly at his foot.

and front on.

The goanna is quite tame as well. We gave it a couple of eggs - they love them. Some goannas are big enough to swallow the egg whole but this one's jaw was too small , he had to crack the egg first. He kept hanging around for more.
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Southwest meanderings continued

An Albany house with the rock as a backdrop in the backyard. Mt Melville actually.

Waychinicup National Park.

Waychinicup inlet where we had a nice afternoon dip.
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Around Albany WA

The rugged coastal scenery typical of the southwest is prevalent around Albany. Torrndirrup NP is one of the most visited parks in the state. In season, wildflowers abound but other more memorable features for us are things such as the Gap, a chasm with a 24m sheer drop to the sea and the Natural Bridge, a span of granite, eroded by huge seas to form a giant arch. See photos following.

Another lovely view of granite.

The Gap mentioned above.

The Natural Bridge mentioned also. This is the third natural bridge we have seen around OZ. They are all awesome and impressive.
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Albany WA

Albany is a very picturesque city on the southwest coast of WA., the site of the first settlement in WA. It was also the embarkation point for Australian troops going to WW1. WA sent over 30,000 soldiers to WW1 18.8% of the state’s population. Anzac services are therefore held in high regard here and we are told the very first Anzac service in Australia was held here in Albany.

The whaling industry, begun in the 1940s defined the town until the closure of the industry in 1978. The Whale World is the only whaling museum in the world created from a working whaling station (The Cheynes Beach Whaling Company) with vivid photos of the hauntingly grizzly work that went on here.

Andrew was on the last whaling inquiry held in 1978 held under the Fraser Government and Albany has some poignant memories for him. He appears as the “bearded public servant” in Chris Pash’s book The Last Whale which was recently published.

This is another view of the inner harbour, twice the size of Sydney Harbour we are told.

We have been enjoying the hospitality of the Albany Bridge Club which owns its attractively built premises and the club allowed us to park in the spacious car park. We have stayed here close on a week and played bridge nearly every day. I am waiting for the famous Farmers Market on Saturday morning. The town of Albany provides free hot showers too, making this an idyllic spot where to linger.

(Photos of the rugged coastline follow.)

If only the weather was kinder. While we hear on the news of the rest of the country sizzling the temperature here is about 22C. But the people of the southwest enjoy their cooler climate, unlike the northern part of WA where temperatures near 40C are common.

The old post office, built in 1869. Local stone was used with a western brick extension completed in 1895. I think it ceased operating as a post office somethime in 1965. It is now being utilised by the University Of Western Australia.
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More Greens Pool and Elephant Rocks

I don't think the last lot of photos captured all of this beautiful spot.

To you it may look like just another beach...............................

And more elephants.

OK last of the elephants.
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Greens Pool and Elephant Rocks WA

This beach area between Walpole and Denmark in WA called Greens Pool which is a sheltered swimming bay is one of the loveliest areas we have come across. On a nice summer day it would be heaven. Everything was fine but the day was not sunny.

Futher along the bay towards waht is known as Elephant Rocks because they resemble elephants.

See the hefelunps?

Just loved this place.!!!!!!! I wanted to sit around and wait for a sunny day but down here in the southwest this could be a long wait.
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Valley of the Giants treetop walk WA

This is the original of the tree top walks. There is also one in the Daintree and elsewhere in Qld which we have already done.

The one near Walpole in WA is a 600 metre tree top walk over the canopy of the giant tingle trees. The walk is 40 metres up from the ground along the steel constructed walkways which sway as you walk.

Looking down on the canopy of the giant tingle trees.

The inside of the trunk of one of the trees.

It really looks like an elephant foot doesn't it?
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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Continuing along the south-west of WA

The ruggedness of northern WA have given way to the lush green countryside of the south-west of this marvellous state. This is a lavendar and berry farm with a cafe near the town of Pemberton where we had lovely scones and coffee.

Nikki trudging up to the summit of Mt Frankland near Walpole.

The view from the summit. Mt Frankland is a series of very bare rocks like the one in view. Walpole is the one part of WA where forest meets the ocean.

Swarbrick near Walpole is a strange mixture of native forest and artworks contained in a 500 metre loop walk which is intended to make the participant appreciate the introspective contemplation of the wilderness. Not sure it really works but it is a nice try. Andrew is busy reading every single word on the 39 metre long "Wilderness Wall of Perceptions".
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More animals

This is a shingleback lizard. They seem to be prolific here in WA.

A vert pretty llama.

And an not so pretty one.

A kokaburra.
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