A Travellerspoint blog

Back to the South West

Busselton, Margaret River and Augusta


We headed down from Perth and stayed a couple of nights at Ironstone Gully. Just a roadside stop but off a quiet road and we had someone to look after the camp while we went exploring Busselton. Walked the very long Jetty (1.8klm). The longest wood framed jetty in the southern hemisphere. Another 'no' dog place so Megan waited for the rest of us to do the walk. Buddy might limit our access to some places but he is a real people magnet. Megan even had some Japanese tourists asking to pose with him for photos!! We packed up Thursday morning to look for a place further south to use as base camp to see Margaret River and beyond. We'd heard that free or cheap camping around this area was difficult to find so we were prepared to do some exploring. We found ourselves on Sue's road - (very appropriate), where we found Sue's Bridge camp area. A lovely little spot on the banks of the Blackwood River. It had drop dunnies but they wanted almost as much as the caravan park we'd come from in Perth as a nightly fee!! WikiCamps had a spot some way off this road a further 5 or so klms along. A 7.2 K 4WD road took us into a strip of ground further up the same river. The river here is less than half the width that it is at Sue's Bridge. It must meander around a bit before reaching there. When I say strip, I mean a 55m long, 5m wide piece of ground at the bottom of a steep embankment. The road entered it at about the 40m mark so if anyone else was camped down there you'd have a bugger of a time turning around!! Sue and I ummed and aahhed about staying but Megan and Rory announced that they loved the place so we thought - Stay a night and look around for other options tomorrow......

Posted by slamrs 20:28 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Pretty towns, beautiful properties and awesome tall trees!!

18 °C
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From our little camp Saturday we went looking for some big trees to climb😊 The first one we found was the Dave Evans bicentennial tree south of Pemberton. 65m this one! Probably not for those a little squeamish about heights. For those not familiar with these trees, they a Karri trees that were used as fire lookouts. To get to the top, a series of spikes have been driven into the tree which form a ladder going around the trunk? These are your rungs but there is nothing underneath you, only some ringlock mesh to the side so you don't fall side ways. Fall through the rungs and you're cactus!! Some gaps were wide enough to fit two of me through so it was a little disconcerting. The spikes you're climbing on are very solid and it's easy to have a good grip but you do have to overcome the reality that they are all you have between you and the ground. The climb is worth it though! As its a National park Sue was on dog duty while M, R and I climbed. After lunch in Pemberton we found the Gloucester tree just on the outskirts of town. I got 'Buddy duty' for this one. Sue said the kids were straight up this one without any hesitation. About half way was enough for her for this first experience. (Two thirds if I believe Sue and one third if I believe Rory!)

Driving around this area we found ourselves repeating often "What a pretty town" and "Look at that beautiful property." It sounds cliche but with each corner we turned there was another magnificent spread of green rolling pastures, a beautifully located homestead, often old and rustic. Then you drive into each town and see the pride with which they are presented. All with historic buildings and parks surrounded by the giant forrests. Sue will post some pictures (I'm yet to work that one out) but they, like my description don't do justice to what the eyes behold.

On Sunday we headed to Perth but not before finding one more tree. The Diamond Tree. This one isn't in a National park so we all got to climb it. Well, not Buddy! And yes, that was all of us, all the way to the top. All 53 metres this one. Another great view. With all the rain about we really lucked in getting to climb each of them without getting caught in showers.

Posted by slamrs 06:03 Comments (1)

Back to the Anzac centre then off towards the tall trees.

storm 14 °C
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We got up Friday (29/5) and it was the first morning since last Sunday that we hadn't woken to rain. The tent was relatively dry for the pack up which was nice. We ventured back in to Albany to visit the Anzac centre. We'd done the walk up Mt Clarence to the memorial but hadn't been into the centre. We took advantage of another free shower too. They are such a precious commodity on the road! This time there was no hot water so we had 'refreshing' cold ones 😬 The Anzac centre does a great job of depicting the history of WW1. Interactive audio with plenty of video, script and 'memorabilia' of the era. You get a card with a soldier or nurse's picture on it. There are stations on the way around into which you put the card and it lets you know your persons involvement at that point.
Back on the road in what was now driving rain we headed back through Denmark, on to Walpole - Oops can't go into the tree top walk it's a National Park. Not that we'd be going up in this weather anyway. We drove on up through the Shannon Stae forest on to Northcliffe. A little off the highway. Through wikicamps we found another little gem of a camping spot not far out of town. In amongst the bush on a private property where the people have installed flush toilets and showers! So peaceful and quiet, we could have stayed a week. We stayed 2 nights though so we could look around the area.

Posted by slamrs 19:34 Comments (0)

Moving on from Albany tomorrow

all seasons in one day
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We've had a great week here - nice to sit in one spot for a while. The weather has been amazing - and they say Melbourne has four seasons in one day. We've seen more rainbows here in the last few days than I've seen in Melbourne in the last 5 years!! We've had massive downpours, and came back to camp after a day out to find the stretcher tents turned up and annexe collapsed. Thank goodness for good ropes, strong tent pegs and our camp ethic to pack up most things before going out for the day!!! Lots of sunshine as well though!! Touch wood, we've managed to keep the inside of the tent pretty much dry.
Today we ventured west to Denmark, a honey farm, a cheese factory/winery and to Jassi - local leather works. Lots of adventures for our taste buds. Our wine purchases were complemented by Rory's Rocky Road 'slab'. We've crossed the line into tall tree territory again - Karri trees lining the roads around Denmark. Tree top climbing adventures back in range - heading that way tomorrow.
Have just uploaded a few photos from Torndirrup NP - The Gap and the natural bridge. Enjoy:-)

Posted by slamrs 04:43 Archived in Australia Comments (0)


all seasons in one day
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Hi there. We attended the dawn service here in Albany this morning - a special place to be on Anzac Day given the history of the first convoy of ships leaving here on November 1st 1914 - off to war. The last sight of Australia for many, many soldiers. We had a look around the Mt Clarence memorial yesterday - yet to visit the National ANZAC museum. Woke at 4:30 this morning after listening to the rain overnight expecting to be washed out but the weather was fairly kind as we stood in town watching the live simulcast from Mt Clarence. Luke was marching at Oakey QLD today, so would have loved to be there too.
We've been in Albany for a few days - yesterday we drove out to Frenchman's Bay dropping in at The Gap in the Torndirrup National Park. An amazing sight - massive natural rock bridge. Will upload some photos. Unfortunately, being a National Park, we couldn't take Buddy in so one of us stayed outside the Park to dog sit. The signage is very clear - if you have a dog in your car, turn back now.
Albany is a lovely city - lots of bays and picturesque outlook as you travel around. Will be here for another couple of days perhaps before moving on. Having a Distance Ed catch up day today - quiet day around camp with a beach walk or two......

Megan has started a photo website that has photos from our last outback trip in 2012 and she'll be adding photos from this trip- feel free to take a look....

Posted by slamrs 20:21 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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