Day 17: 10th Sept 2014

Today we left Augusta, heading away from the coast for Pemberton.

Along the way we stopped in at Beedelup Falls, a fairly small cascade in height, but with a good volume of water flowing down after the heavy rains we’d been suffering.

On arrival at the caravan park, we were welcomed by a family of ducks who waddled around the campsites as if they owned them.

Later that afternoon we drove a couple of kilometres out of town to the Gloucester Tree, a 72 metre tall Giant Karri tree that was once used as a fire spotting platform. 153 steel spikes have been driven into the trunk as rungs and, much to my amazement, the general public (for a small fee) may climb to the top, completely unsupervised.

The view looking back down from the top
Now if this was in Victoria, there’d be barriers keeping everyone a safe distance from the tree so that no-one was at risk of getting hurt by a falling leaf, perish the thought of  what might happen if you allowed anyone to actually climb the tree! Western Australia is certainly no “Nanny State”.
Laura and I were the only two of the group who were both game enough and able bodied enough to give it a go, so I strapped the GoPro to my forehead and headed on up. I must say it was quite a workout and I was huffing and puffing by the time I got to the top, but the view and the sense of accomplishment (I read that only 20% of visitors make the climb) were worth it. Laura made it too. The knees were a bit shaky by the time we got back down to the ground and I can’t say for certain whether that was completely from the effort.

Dave pretending to be one of the 20%

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