Published: January 11th 2012December 21st 2011
6 - 19 December 2011
As we continued along the southern coast of WA, we fell more and more in love with the area.
We based ourselves at Parry Beach to indulge our senses around the Walpole-Nornalup area as well as the beautiful Denmark. Whilst at Parry Beach, we had light rain most of our time there but it didn't dampen our experience in the forests. We also met several other young families who were travelling and doing much the same as us. We've been on the road a year now and met one young travelling family up until now and at Parry's we met three in the one camp spot. It's great to chat with them and pick up some tips and ideas regarding travel spots and "kid stuff".
We spent a day in Denmark which is a gorgeous little town surrounded by waterways with a lovely river running through the centre of town. We checked out Elephant Rocks, Greens Pool and Madfish Bay - all of which were beautiful but not swimming weather unfortunately. We had a memorable lunch at the Tavern and wandered around the shops.
We spent a day at The
Valley of the Giants doing the Tree Top Walk and a guided tour (Ancient Empire Walk) through the tingle forest which was really interesting. The Tree Top Walk was great and takes you through the canopy of the forest on a boardwalk. The height of the boardwalk is a little concerning for some, particularly when it sways in the wind.. The view was amazing though and the boys loved it.
On the way back to camp from the Tree Top Walk, we went via the Giant Tingle Tree in the Walpole-Nornalup National Park. The kids were asleep so we took it in turns to do the short walk down to the tree, and we were so glad we did. What an amazing tree!! The girth is over 24 metres and is the largest girthed living eucalypt known in the world. I was lucky enough to be on my lonesome when I reached the tree and I really just wanted to sit and stay there for hours. It was such a wondrous sight and there was just this calm, peaceful aura surrounding the tree. It was drizzling ever so lightly with mist about and this beautiful tree soared up in
the thick of the forest. For me personally, being there with that tree was one of the highlights of the trip so far. It was a special place.
We drove through Peaceful Bay and did some four wheel driving to Point Irwin (where we had to drop the pressures again to get back up the soft sandy hill) and enjoyed toasting marshmellows again of a night time.
Heading further east we next bunked down at Albany, Emu Point to be precise, for a few nights. This was our first stop in nearly two weeks with running water and power so it was good to know our new solar panel had been doing it's job so far. During our time at Albany we took the scenic drive through Torndirrup National Park and saw The Gap (blowholes) and Natural Bridge. We spent a lazy day at the beach at Emu Point where it was more like a bay so the boys loved it. We did quite a bit of fishing, bike riding and fish n chips on Middleton Beach. Albany is a nice town surrounded by waterways - it was good to get back to civilisation but good to get
out again too.
We had on overnighter on our way to Esperance at Kundip Rest area south of Ravensthorpe. We drove via Bremer Bay which is a magical little unspoilt spot, although there was so much flood damage all over the roads we were limited to where we could go. Even over the main highway, we had at least six fairly minor river crossings where the banks could hold no more. All of the usually dry river beds were gushing with water and there was quite a bit of road damage with some roads closed. At this point of the drive, we were even wondering if we would get all the way through to Esperance. Kundip Rest Area was one of those places where you just don't feel fully safe and secure - a bit of an eerie atmosphere and some strange noises to accompany. Anyway, torches and some sort of weapon within arms reach and you can deal with it for the odd night here or there... It was here that I found Oscar playing with a very large huntsman - a lot bigger than his little fingers that were holding, poking and touching it...
stop before heading back towards Perth: Cape Le Grand National Park. One of our favourite places by far. We couldn't get into Le Grand Campground so headed for Lucky Bay Campground. We had our hearts set on Le Grand but it was a blessing in disguise to have landed at Lucky Bay. It was the week before Christmas and everyone seemed super friendly, happy and always ready for a chin wag. We met another young family from Cronulla and our boys had a ball with their boys. We met a lot of great people at Lucky Bay Campground and were even treated by a bag pipe session from a random unexpected camper one evening. All the campers gathered around him whilst he played christmas carols and other songs on his bag pipes and he finished to a roaring applause.
At Cape Le Grand National Park, we did a lot of swimming, surfing, fishing, bike riding, the walk from Thistle Cove over to Lucky Bay, star gazing on the beach at night and beach driving where we saw wild emus and brumbies on the beach and dunes. Kangaroos and joeys roamed the campground and we were super lucky with the
weather considering the area had just copped a lot of rain. It was a really good week and hard to leave and Alex stated that it had been the highlight for him of the trip so far.
The last three weeks have been unbelievable, we have seen the most beautiful landscape and met some awesome people. It's been a really memorable part of the trip and it's really fed our desire to continue on the road. We are so excited for what awaits us further ahead on our journey!
There are more photos below