Day 26: 19th Sept 2014

Not too much on the agenda again today.
This morning we took both vehicles, with everyone on board this time, for a run up the beach. We drove amongst all the other vehicle’s tyre tracks until they started thinning out and the sand got softer. Not wanting to get bogged, and not really enthusiastic about airing down our tyres, we turned around and headed back to where we started.

At this point you can head away from the beach and jump onto a 4wd track over to the Fitzgerald River National Park. One of the residents back at the Caravan Park had told us about some native orchids he’d spotted the previous day in this area so the ladies were keen to locate them.

In the mean time, we had to negotiate the track that had seen a lot of water in the recent past and was extremely rough in places, and heavily corrugated in others.

Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to find the orchids we were told about, but we did come across a healthy looking young goanna, countless other wildflowers to photograph, and a couple of nice bits of firewood that’d come in handy later that evening.


Day 25: 18th Sept 2014

Today we left Albany for Bremer Bay, a little village whose main reason for existing appears to be as a weekend location for amateur fisherman. The caravan park we stopped at was full of permanent “fishing shacks” of various sizes, shapes and elaborateness.

The staff here were very nice and helpful and even dropped off a fire pit for us to use, free of charge.
Sharon wandered across road to a walking track in search of more wildflowers to photograph. She wasn’t disappointed.
Later, Dave, Sharon and I drove around to look at possible fishing spots and to drive out onto the beach, mostly just because we could.
The rest of the day was spent just lounging around, relaxing  and doing generally very little.

Day 24: 17th Sept 2014

Sharon, Laura and I are doing our own thing for a bit today, and the others have gone off in their own direction, planning to all meet up later in the afternoon for coffee.
We decided to drive along the foreshore of Middleton beach and then on up to lookout atop Mt Clarence and the monument to the Desert Mounted Corps.

This is thought to be the site of the 1st ANZAC dawn service, held by
Reverend Arthur Earnest White, himself a veteran of The Western Front. There’s much work and construction going on getting things ready for the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC fleet leaving the shores of Albany.

After winding our way back down off Mt Clarence, we parked the car and strolled up Albany’s main street, bumping into Dave, propped up against a veranda post whilst Di and Wendy browsed a shop.
We also did a bit of browsing, with a few purchases made at a lolly shop, and then some souvenirs.
Time for lunch and we chose one of the many eateries that are all along the main commercial strip.

Late that afternoon we tried some more fishing off breakwater again, but unfortunately our activity was cut short when Laura’s iPhone slipped out of her pocket and down between the rocks. It came to rest several inches out of reach, and in a position where waves were occasionally washing in and giving it a good soaking. To cut a long story short, I eventually retrieved the phone, but by this time it was ruined.
It’s Sharon’s birthday today so Laura and I took her out for dinner.  Earlier in the day we’d spotted what looked like a nice venue at the end of Middleton Beach and it turned out to be a good choice.

Day 23: 16th Sept 2014

This morning we found ourselves once again drinking coffee whilst gazing out over King George Sound right across from our campsites.
After breakfast we all drove out to Two People’s Bay, 35kms east of Albany. The weather was a little overcast when we first arrived, but cleared up as the day progressed.
On the way, we detoured down a 4wd track out to the west side of the National Park that ended in a spectacular view out over the steep granite outcrops that sloped down to the Southern Ocean.
After many camera clicks, it was on to Little Beach, which was just breathtaking, almost picture-postcard perfect with brilliant white sand and beautiful turquoise water.

Lunch was enjoyed on the beach, and we strolled in the icy cold water and soaked up the sunshine. Dave and Laura were braver than the rest of us and donned their bathers to go in a bit deeper, but stopped short of getting fully wet.

The return drive was interrupted numerous times with stops to take shots of the many and varied wildflowers. 
Back at caravan park and in the late afternoon we decided to go fishing off the breakwater just a short walk down from the caravan park.  Almost straight away Laura caught a legal sized bream, and later on I managed to snag a squid.

Day 22: 15th Sept 2014

This morning, after breakfast, we wandered across the road and had a quiet coffee sitting on the rocks overlooking the sea. Very pleasant.

Our morning view
 Today’s plan was to visit “The Gap”, “The Natural Bridge”, and the “Blow holes” and when we arrived at the carpark, it was obvious by the number of cars that it’s a very popular spot. The Natural Bridge turned out to be exactly what its name suggests, a huge rock forming an arched bridge over the crashing sea. The Gap I’d describe as a canyon between two rock walls where the sea rolls in and creates a loud, resonating “boom” as it hits the end. There’s a viewing platform that actually steps out over the edge of the wall slightly, so you get a bird-eye view of the waves as they roll in.

A short hop down the road is the carpark where you gain access to the blow holes. There’s about a 15min walk to the actual blow holes and along the way there are plenty of wildflowers, plants and reptiles to photograph and admire. The blow holes themselves aren’t your typical blow hole in that they don’t eject spray as the swells crash in, rather, they blast an extremely high speed jet of air.

The 1st snake for the day.
We moved on a little further to the Discovery Centre at Frenchman’s Bay. This was once the base for the whaling fleet and a restored boat, complete with harpoon gun, sits there high and dry on blocks for everyone to look at and ponder the times when we were less enlightened. This is such a beautiful spot, it's a shame it has such a past.

Making our way back towards Albany, we detoured in to take in the view from the Stoney Hill lookout. Because of its strategic value, during WWI and WWII, the Port of Albany was protected by observation posts perched on top of the massive granite boulder at the peak of Stoney Hill. This was upgraded to a radar installation, complete with an Operations room that was shaped to mimic the surrounding rocks. The view from up there was fantastic and we sat for a while, taking in the sights and tranquillity.
So much serenity
Laura's sitting on what's left of the footings for the radar tower
Back down from Stoney Hill and a little closer to Albany is the Wind farm. A short walk up to the first observation point provides an excellent spot to view all of the wind turbines as they stand off into the distance.
"...a reminder of man's ability to generate electricity."
Yet a little further back towards town is the Great Southern Distilling Company. This local company have won awards for their small volume batches of Single Malt Whiskey. Even though I like Scotch, at 61 proof, and up to $350 per bottle, we all opted for coffee and a cake.
Coffee and cake at the distillery
Sharon had been snapping photos of wildflowers all day, here's a selection of what she took:


2nd snake

3rd snake

Day 21: 14th Sept 2014


Walpole's main street
We left Walpole today with the intention of stopping to sample some cider and toffee at “The Toffee Factory”, near Denmark. Yet another place that sells all sorts of tasty things to eat and drink. I bought a mixed 4 pack of apple and pear ciders and a packet of reasonably potent Chilli Cider  Peanuts, whilst Sharon and Laura grabbed several types of toffees.

A courteous young cow escorts us from the Toffee Factory
A bit further on we pulled up at “Bartholomews Meadery” who sell, and allow you to sample, all sorts of pure, unprocessed honeys, and a variety of Meads. We tried the warm, spicy Mead, which is supposed to be ideal for a cold Winter’s night, but found it wasn’t really something we liked. So it was back on the road and in to Denmark to find somewhere for morning coffee.

Even though we didn’t spend much time in Denmark, what we did see looked really nice and would definitely be a location we’d stop-over in next time we’re out this way.

Main street, Albany
With nothing else to divert our attention we pressed on and arrived in Albany in time to set up camp, have lunch, then sit back and admire the view looking out the front of our sites to Middleton Beach.
The view out the front of our campsite