Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 16 - Purposeful Meandering around Oz

Perth – Hyden (Wave Rock) – Bush camping – Albany
Kilometres          18531 – 20279 km

Our 2nd week in Perth started similar to our first week, busy busy and we were constantly on the go! We headed back into the city on Monday to check out a few more city sights. We’d heard so much about Kings Park that we spent much of the day there catching with an old Wollongong SES friend of ours. The park overlooks the CBD and offers great views of the Swan River and city skyline. With the park being split 50/50 between grassed recreational areas and bushland it’s a great place to unwind. The War Memorial and its scenic backdrop would have to be one of the best we have seen.
War Memorial and Perth Skyline
On Tuesday we were keen to see Wave Rock but since it wasn’t on our intended route and it was too far to do in one day we decided to do it as an overnight trip. Leaving the van behind we headed out through the Perth Hills and Avon Valley into the rich wheat belt region where as far as you can see there were paddocks after paddocks of different grain growing. By late afternoon we’d finally made it to Wave Rock, the long drive had taken its toll on us and we didn’t appreciate the attraction as much as we should have. Half an hour later we were driving away from the rock in search of a cheap nights’ accommodation. We soon had a cabin where we spent the night curled up in front of the TV watching movies with the kids.
Wave Rock
Wednesday had a real sense of “here we go again” as we undertook the return trip back to Perth. We took a slightly different route, one that took us along the “Tin Horse Hwy”. This novel stretch of road is where many farmers have built tin structures (predominantly horses) in the paddocks depicting various characters or themes. We spent a good hour laughing and photographing the zany horses that line the roadway. It certainly made the trip home a bit more exciting, but none less shorter. Our adventure to Wave Rock had been a 700km round trip for 110m of rock…. Once we were back in Perth I finished off the night with a few local geocachers as we did some night caching around Perth.
Tin Horse Hwy
Thursday was moving day for us, our time in Perth had come to an end and we were once again on the road. Our original plan to follow the coast down around the bottom of WA had to be changed as it clashed with a major upcoming event in Albany, so we decided to go straight to Albany and thus miss the 60000 people expected in Albany later this month…… The drive south to Albany is easily done in a day but we were keen for some more bush camping so we decided to split the trip and have a night in the bush, but with rain clouds threatening to spoil our camp fire we settled for a nice quite spot in a reserve just off the highway. A chilly afternoon ensured we spent the remainder of the day in the van cowering for our jumpers and long pants.
Castle Rock Skyway
Friday saw us wake to the pitter-patter of rain on the van but as luck would have it, it cleared by the time we were ready to pack up. We detoured off the highway to the newly opened Castle Rock Skyway. This spectacular high-rise platform is bolted directly to the side of a cliff with about 50m of nothing but free air underneath the see-through platform, reaching the platform requires climbing an exposed 7m high ladder. The kids loved the change and tackled the dizzy heights with ease. The views were well worth the 2.5km walk and climb up the mountain…. After arriving in a chilly windy Albany we spent the rest of the afternoon in the van park catching up on domestic chores.
The Brig Amity - Albany
A pre-arranged caching get-together on Saturday saw me head across to Denmark for the day. A few Perth geocachers had travelled south to do what some say are “Australia’s best geocaches” and after spending much of the day finding these unique caches I would say they are on par with the best I’ve found. While I cached, Leonie and the kids had a nice relaxing day back in Albany. Some friends we’d met in Perth arrived at the park allowing the kids and mums some catch-up time around the pool.
The Natural Bridge - Albany
We used Sunday to check out the many sights of Albany, the most notable being the rugged cliff line and endless bays that litter the area. The Granite coastline boasts some spectacular natural features like the blowholes, The Gap and the Natural Bridge. These were amazing to watch as the huge seas pounded the coastline. Another impressive sight was the ANZAC memorial on Mt Clarence, the views southward from here were postcard perfect. Meanwhile the nearby wind farm with its 18 towers makes for an impressive sight as they capture the winds directly off the Southern Ocean. To complete our beautiful day we had dinner with a lovely family we’d met from Adelaide who likewise are traveling this amazing country.
Wind Farm - Albany
The weather this week has been a real mixed. The further south we’ve ventured, the more the temperatures have reminded us of home. We’re actually at a latitude which is more southern than Wollongong now.

Until next, bye for now.

No comments: