Western Australia

Part 11 - From Albany to Perth

On the way down from Stirling Range Ntl Park to Albany, the next stop is
Porongurup National Park. This range has some of the oldest rock in the world.
There are easy walks which lead to most of the peaks of this 24 square mile park.
The hike to Balancing Rocks and Castle Rock, certainly the best known spot
of the park, takes about 2 hours. Unfortunately the weather wasn't at its best
and so the view from this rock was rather limited.

Waiting for the Postman     Balancing Rocks     Castle Rock     Up to Castle Rock     Castle Rock

From here, its just a short drive to Albany, the first European settlement in Western Australia.
Visits here should include Patrick Taylor Cottage, the Old Goal, the Albany Residency Museum
to name only a few. Driving towards Middleton Beach, you will pass Dog Rock, a granite rock
which got its name from its dog head look. A replica of the  Brig Amity, the ship on which
the first settlers arrived here, can be explored. Good views over Albany and environs are
given from Mt Melville and Mt Clarence. Torndirrup National Park offers some spectacular
coastal scenery. The most famous spots are The Gap and Natural Bridge.
At Frenchman Bay,  you will find Whaleworld Museum which used to be
Australia's last whaling station, and nowadays gives you impressions of whale slaughter.

Amity Replica       Albany       Dog Rock       The Gap

Torndirrup National Park View          Natural Bridge          Torndirrup National Park View

The journey continues passing Denmark, a place where the forest meets the sea,
which offers wine making and number of crafts. Continuing your way west
towards Nornalup, take the opportunity to follow the road through
the Valley of the Giants, and see some giant Karri and Tingle trees. A further
attraction is the Tree Top Walk, a 600 meters loop through different levels of this forest.
Unfortunately the weather turned bad after this visit, and most of the so called
Karri Country was missed due to pouring rain, which would not leave us until Busselton.
The journey continues following South Western Highway passing Walpole
heading towards Pemberton, location of the highest fire lookout tree in the world, Gloucester Tree.
It is a 60 meters climb to the top and it can be quite dangerous and slippery during rainfall.

Tree Top Walk   Tree Top Walk   Tree Top Walk   Tree Top Walk   Valley of the Giants   Gloucester Tree

The next stop is Augusta with nearby Cape Leeuwin, where the Southern and the
Indian Oceans meet. There is a lighthouse to visit as well as a waterwheel, once used
for fresh water and now encrusted in salt deposits.
There are number of caves between Augusta and Margaret River.
Jewel, Lake and Mammoth Caves are the best known.
Margaret River is best known for its award winning wines and its spectacular surf.

Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse    The Indian meets the Southern Ocean    Encrusted Waterwheel    Cave View    Cave View

Cave View     Lake Cave     Jewel Cave     Jewel Cave

The trip goes on visiting Cape Naturaliste and Sugarloaf Rock, Dunsborough and
Busselton, a nice seaside resort with the longest wooden jetty in the world.
 Bunbury, Mandurah and Rockingham among others are the last stops back on the way to Perth. All of them are pleasant holiday spots offering fine sandy beaches.

Busselton Jetty   Busselton Jetty   Bunbury   Rockingham   Rockingham

Kimberley     Broome and 80Mile Beach     Karijini       Millstream Chichester  and Cape Range     Shark Bay
Kalbarri and Nambung         Perth and York        Wave Rock and Goldfields        Esperance     Stirling Range
Rainbow- South Coast and Southwest Corner

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