Albany and SW Australia Part 2

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April 9th 2013
Published: April 15th 2013
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Part two of our road trip sees us heading further East along the coast through Denmark to just past Albany then back on ourselves up to Margaret River before returning home.

DAY 5 20/03/13

We were well rested after our night in the cabin and the next morning set of fresh faced to visit the Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree. There are a few similar tree in the region but this 60m tall Karri tree is the tallest in the region which has a lookout platform at the top. Originally used as fire look outs the trees are studded with metal pegs which create a sort of steep spiral staircase around the trunk. There is however quite large gaps between these pegs and nothing to stop you falling through and whilst no-one has died going up one of these trees its a formidable challenge. After a lot of umming and ahhing I made it halfway up but couldn't go any further. The boys made it to the top but even Jordan admitted to shaky leg syndrome. I don't think I'd have survived.

When we'd finished here we hit the road and head for Denmark through Walpole with it tree top walk. This 40m high walkway is nice but after that mornings adventure was a bit of an anticlimax plus it cost $12 each to walk it which is a bit steep but its a tick in the box non the less. Not far on from here is Denmark and our first stop was Green Pools.

I'd been looking forward to seeing Green Pools for a while but unfortunately the weather was pretty dull and so it was a quick stop with the intention of coming back on the way back through when the sun would hopefully be out. We made our way instead further into Denmark and to Ocean Beach where after a long scramble across the rock pools we set up for some fishing. It was a very nice spot and I had a little swim but we were all hungry and weren't catching anything so we packed up and went for a pub dinner before checking into the YHA for the night as the weather was still a bit miserable.

We had a good laugh at the Blue Wren YHA which was quite nice itself (free tea yayay!)We met an Irish couple (Chris and Sarah) who had worked up in Broome on an Oyster farm and the night was spent sharing their stories and oyster knowledge and playing scrabble.

DAY 6 21/03/13

Albany - We didn't explore much of Albany and aparently the whaling history and museum here are supposed to be pretty good so hopefully we'll get a chance to go again and we'll check it out properly. We did have a nice time at Emu Point. Fishing again. The boys caught a couple of baby sharks but its a no go on the edible front so we had to pick up some supplies from the town before heading to our next campsite Norman's Beach recommended by Chris and Sarah.

Norman's Beach is about 48km east along the coast from Albany and it is amazing! Apart from being a fair hike from the car park which we had to struggle down with all our gear it truly is beautiful and there was no-one else there. You are allowed to free camp here although there are no facilities and lots of mozis. It was an early night after the sun went down as there is not much comfort without camping chairs but we had a nice relaxed morning and there is nothing like waking up on a beach to the sound of the ocean. I could have stayed there all day soaking in the view but on we go....

Day 7 There and Back Again.

It was time to head back on ourselves. We did as agreed return to Green Pools. The sun was up, although it was still a bit a chilly, and we had a great time swimming/snorkeling and jumping of the rocks. It had been a late start as we'd taken our time at Normans Beach and so by the time we'd had enough of Green Pools there was just enough time to drive to Parry Beach, another campsite, and set up before nightfall. Parry Beach is in William Bay National park and part of the Bibbulmun Track runs through it - a long distance walk from Perth to Albany. Its only $7 to stay here under the shade of the Peppermint Trees and the facilities were lovely plus you can have camp fires!

DAY 8 23/3/13

The long drive back to Margaret River. It took us nearly 5 hours and we didn't do much stopping but we got there eventually and made straight for the Surf Comp - Drug Aware Margaret River Pro. We'd arrived pretty late in the day but you could tell it'd had a good atmosphere here and everything was winding up for the finals the next day. We caught a couple of the men's heats but without binoculars its quite hard to see how they're doing out there and you have to rely on the commentary and big screens anyway. After we left here we headed for the Pubs and met up with a friend Rohan from Perth who was setting us up in a caravan for the night. A couple of glasses of wine and I had the best nights sleep of the trip!

DAY 9 The end.

Despite a good nights sleep it was clear we were all knackered. We pulled the horrendous stunt of ditching the Winery tour we were supposed to be going on very last minute with the decision being made by a coin toss. It was just a bit too miserable for it so we drove to a winery instead, Vasse Felix. One of the founding 5 wineries it was a really nice place to visit and after a tasting session I indulged myself and bought a couple of bottles. Would like to go back and eat in one these places one day, the restaurant looked amazing. Our final treat before we headed home was then lunch with Rohan in a really nice cafe overlooking the beach in Gracetown after she tried her hardest to convince us to go surfing with her. We were just too pooped.

Either way it was a very nice way to end the trip.

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