Albany and SW Australia

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April 3rd 2013
Published: April 7th 2013
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16th-24th March 2013

The boys and I went on a road trip before our friend and flatmate Neil leaves to go over east. We hired a car and drove along the coast from Perth to just past Albany and back 9 days and over 2000km. This is what we got up to....

Day 1

We drove to Bussleton in our flash hire car. We were absolutely packed into the thing with barely room to breath. We drove slow and took the scenic route along the coast rather than the freeway and stopped of at a nice beach on route, the first of many.

We got some supplies from the town centre then went and set up at our first campsite, Peppermint Park. A really nice campsite but about 10km out of town so a little bit of a drive. We had a few bevvies here and went to check out Bussleton's nightlife. We stayed at a bar/restaurant called Laundry. A place where my friend Sol works which is really nice and the cocktails were spectacular but pricey and so it wasn't long till we were back at the campsite playing card games with a few beers.

Day 2

Bussleton Jetty is the longest in the Southern Hemisphere and we stopped to take a look the next morning. It was a bit moody weather wise and we were never going to pay out for all the touristy stuff but we took it in and had a good swim in the sea and a game of cricket on the beach before heading to Dunsborough. Neil and I had booked a trail ride at a local riding school that afternoon so we didn't have much time but we made it part way up Cape Naturaliste to Eagle Bay. The sea here is an amazing blue and we enjoyed wandering up the beach before Ian and Jordan dropped us for our ride.

Neil's horse was called Wookie and mine Ted. They were the senior horses so we got to ride up front! Trotting along through the National Park was pretty cool with the Kangaroos lying lazy across our path seeming very affronted when they had to move! We were picked up an hour later and of to Yallingup - Smiths Beach - another great one although I got stung by jellies whilst I was out snorkelling.

At our campsite we made friends with a couple of slightly kookie Aussie lads and as it was Paddy's day we wandered up to the pub with them for dinner and booze! There was a decent band on and it was warm so we sat out in the beer garden for quite a nice dinner before the boys stumbled home with a tired me trailing with them through the pitch black back to the campsite.

Day 3

On the road around 8am again. Not the best nights sleep for anyone although Yallingup Beach Campsite was nice enough. We made our way up the Cape to the lighthouse at its head and walked to a small lookout which is used to spot whales that migrate through here (wrong time of year for us though.) You cant even walk around the base of the lighthouse without paying for the privilege and seen as it was stinking hot and we were on a budget we decided against it and went to visit Bunker Bay.

Bunker Bay was probably my favourite spot throughout the trip, alongside Greens Pool further to the SE. It is a smaller beach linked onto Eagle Bay. Perfect for snorkeling fishing, relaxing. All of which we did. The boys managed to catch us some Herring for dinner so after a while we packed up picked up some supplies from town and headed to our next stop Augusta.

We had an amazing evening at the most South Westerly point in Australia. We set up on the beach in view of Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse and while the boys gutted the Herring, I prepared a broth then we sat and ate while the sun went down and camped for the night on a nearby hill with the sound of the sea keeping us company through the night.

Day 4

Our next destination took us further towards the Valley of the Giants. We headed East along the coastal roads to Pemberton where we had thankfully booked a cabin for the night. The landscape changes as you drive east and the scrub-land is replaced by impressive giant trees. We drove out of our way to visit Nannup and Balingup both small towns seeming heavily reliant on tourism with there boutique shops and cafes. Apart from this logging appears to be a dominant industry and the big trucks shake the small buildings as they speed up and down the otherwise quiet roads.

After the boys had smooshed a cream scone in Neil's face we made headway for Pemberton. We explored the local swimming pool. Not your average pool. It was a natural lake with a small jetty built into the middle in the middle of the forest. The signs warn of poisonous snakes and strong currents but we jumped in anyway. We also visited the local dam which was quite pretty but we were soon back at the cabin for a game of cricket before dinner and a good nights sleep in a proper bed.

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