I’ll try and not make this one so long.
We’ve travelled from Denmark down to Albany which is a short drive away. Jodie had suggested we spend the night at Shelly Beach in the National Park, although it was set in a stunning location right on the beach, it was far to windy and remote for us. The toilet was also a big issue for us, but enough said about that. Shelly Beach was down a long dusty track, far longer than we were supposed to be with our hired camper-vans, but it was a beautiful spot we’ll have to save this for another visit in the future. We headed back towards the town to find a campsite for the night. Jodie and Shaun were saying bye to the last of the family and were travelling down to meet us for the next few days.
We visited Albanys Historic Whaling Station at Discovery Bay which was absolutely fascinating. Whaling was a good source of employment in the area between 1947 and 1978 when a downturn in the industry and mounting pressure from the environment movement led to its closure. It looked like gruesome work and extremely hard work. The Station gives a good insight to the working conditions both for the men cutting and processing the whales and their families, very difficult times for them all. The whole exhibition is brilliant and very though provoking, I would definitely pay this another visit.
Next we visited the The Gap and the Natural Bridge, spectacular rock formations and crashing waves combine to make a truly unique experience. Newly renovated walkways and viewing platforms canter-leaving over the crashing sea. Beautiful views of the ocean.We walked 800 metres and 78 steps down to the Blow Holes, only to find the sea wasn’t rough enough to show us what a blow hole looks like, a steep climb back up to the top. On the way to the campsite we stopped at the Wind-farm, we got right up to view one of these huge structures, the noise they make is a little eerily.
We booked ourselves into a Big 4 campsite and later that evening Jodie and Shaun met up with us to spend the next 5 days showing us how to really camp. 🕷🐨🐜
We left Albany because the weather wasn’t so good and drove 2 hours east to Bremer Bay. We opted for a campsite just outside of town. Jodie and Shaun went off to do some 4 wheel driving whilst the 4 of us went for a walk. We came across a beautiful little fishing harbour, absolutely tranquil. We visited this bay again the next day and Bougs got out the fishing rod and we spent a few hours fishing whilst a huge stingray swam under the pier and close to the shore, it made for a fantastic day.
The beaches down here at Bremer Bay are absolutely beautiful the sand is so white I’m sure you could get snow blind, and it’s so fine it’s like talcum powder. Walking across the sand sounds like walking on crisp snow, it’s lovely.
The next day we went to Dillon Beach, we had to leave our vans down the track because the tarmac ran out and the track was too rough for 2 wheel driving. Shaun powering ahead leaving us in a cloud of dust. We had to walk about 2km to the beach, and it was well worth it, about 5 miles of white sand and turquoise water. Keith and Bougs braved the wind and got into the choppy water, not cold at all they said! Shaun then took us for a 4 wheel drive over the beach and sand dunes which was a little scary.
We moved campsite. There isn’t a fire an here so we decided we’d get a fire and have marshmallows toasted by the fire. Once we’d finally got the fire lit we could hear the rumbles of thunder in the distance. By the time we had cooked our tea the heavens came alive, a huge storm, extremely loud thunder and fork lightning. The lightening struck a main in the town and as a consequence there was no electricity. Our fire was rained on, no marshmallows so early night it was.
We moved on towards Porongurup National Park and hiked up to top of the suspended walkway which is built on a rock called Castle Rock. Unfortunately for us by the time we reached to top after a 2 hour hike the cloud had appeared and we couldn’t see the views we had hoped, although it was very cloudy the views were still fantastic.
We headed up to Mount Barker. it was along drive, over 3 hours. on the way we stopped for lunch, it was lovely weather and we ordered our food to eat outside. No sooner had the food been delivered to the table when the flies arrived, we soon retreated inside much to our disappointment. That’s the downside to this county, beautiful weather spoilt by the dam flies.
The next day we headed to Dwellingup. We are going to camp the Sawbridge way, in the National Park, no running water, no electricity and most of the time no Internet. We found a great spot at Nanga Mill, unfortunately a large group of kids have also decided to camp here, they win we’ll move off. We find another great spot by the river no-one else around, except for the dreaded flies. There are drop toilets, fire pits and a bbq area. We end up cooking dinner on the Bbq with our fly nets on and eating our dinner in Jodie and Shaun’s safari tent, again the flies win for a few hours. We have a great night, toasting marshmallows with chocolate, a couple of bottles of wine and silence, heaven.
The next day we move campsite which is further into the forest, again we have the place all to ourselves. Our second encounter with the Kookaburra. About 4pm we set out our chairs and table, open the beers and get out a few snacks out. A kookaburra fly’s in and settles on a tree nearby, over the next 30 minutes or so he makes his way. closer to where we are sitting. Fascinated by this bird we try and entice him with a pretzel, (I know we shouldn’t). Keith pops to the van to get something, the Kookaburra follows him and settles just outside the van, nothing interests him so he comes back and settles on the tree, this time he’s in touching distance. We decided we would use the camp fire as a bbq and set the griddle on the fire, place the beef and lamb steaks to cook. I’m interested to see where the kookaburra is and turn in my seat just on time to see it swoop down towards the bbq, my excitement startles him and he flies past to the branch opposite. We’re chatting and getting on with cooking our dinner, Bougs puts a fork in a lamb steak he hasn’t even stood up straight when the kookaburra swoops down and takes the lamb steak from his fork, the cheeky bugger, he’s waited and watched for nearly 2 hours. He takes the lamb steak and thrashes it against a tree (as if to kill it) before making the most amazing noises as it swallows our dinner (it was cooked and very hot). Amazing and incredibly patient bird to work out when was the time to strike lol.
Over the last few days we have camp the Sawbridge way. We went for long walks and 4 wheel driving, sat with our fly nets on because the fly’s became unbearable, swam in the river, toasted marshmallows on the campfire, had our tea stolen from the bbq by the Kookaburra, watched the stars and the moon whilst listening the the birds settling for the night and watched the kangaroos jumping around early in the morning. We haven’t showered for 2 days and stink of the campfire. Would we change anything, absolutely not, do we want to do again, absolutely.
Its time to hand back the campervans. I’m absolutely sure Denise and Bougs have had a fanastic time, I know we have. We’ve more stories and memories than I have written in this blog, these are our memories that we will look back on and smile “remember when….”
Denise and Bougs have a few days in Perth on their own before flying back home. We want to thank them for their great company as always giving us a great time being able to share fantastic memories and most of all for going with the flow, no plans, lets just go thank you 😘.
We’ve got a couple of days in Perth with Jodie and Shaun. We spend this together, eating, drinking, laughing, making memories that will last a lifetime. We went to Little Creatures Brewery and tasted all 10 of their ales, beers and ciders, I’m not sure Keith will say this was good value for money, he ended up favoring cider which incidentally is his least favorite drink lo
Our last night was spent at Perth Arena watching Circque D’Soliel showing of Avatar, absoutly fantastic. We were sat high up in the arena, for us we could see how the lighting paid an important part in the show. At half time we were given seats lower down, although they were good seats and we could clearly see the artists we couldn’t see the how the lights effected the show, a bit of both worlds.
After a month of eating and drinking far too much, it’s finally time to say bye to Australia. Having the last supper with Jodie and Shaun before we get to the airport for our long flight home. We’ve had an incredible time and wouldn’t change any of it, but there was so much that we didn’t do. We had planned on a sky dive but just didn’t have the time to fit it in, we’ll save that for next time.
When we see Jodie and Shaun again who knows, will they still be here in Fremantle or living somewhere else in the world they have plans to be on the road again in the next few years travelling around the world in a 4WD campervan and hopefully we might be in a position to join them on a leg of their world trip somewhere else in the world.
It’s with extremely heavy hearts that we leave Australia but with memories that will stay with us a life time. As parents leaving our youngest child on the other side of the world again is the one of the most difficult thing I think we’ve done in a long while. But having lived in their side of world, seeing that they can cope without us is reassuring. We are so proud of the way they both embrace life and have absolutely no worries leaving them here to continue their amazing adventures, we are extremely proud parents, thank you both for giving us the most fantastic holiday.
It’s not good bye Jodie and Shaun but ‘a la percboine’ xxx. love you millions to the moon and back.