Sunday 12 September
Driving from Pemberton we headed south towards Walpole and Denmark.17kms out of Walpole we stopped at The Valley of The Giants where we walked 600metres along the suspended bridge high in the treetops. The bridge was quite high and there was a bit of wind so it made the bridge sway a little.... especially when SOMEBODY bounces on it . lolol
Anyway it gave off lovely views of the surrounding forests and the boys enjoyed the walk. On the ground we did the Valley of the Giants boardwalk walk through the forest of the red tingle trees. These were huge and as you can see by the photos the opens bases of the trees are huge. Their root system is on the outside of the tree into the earth hence the big holds in them.
After the walk was the Discovery Centre displaying the past and present inhabitants of the forests. There was even a mock set up of a car inside the tree! As you can see in the photos we had heaps of fun with this!
Then it was onto Albany. The rain stayed away for us a little! We checked into Middleton Bay CP just 3ks out of Albany. Have to say it was the nicest park we have stayed in so far! We had a game of pool and table tennis in the rec room before tea then went after tea to watch a movie on their big screen cinema! Forgot to mention how lovely the bay is! ---- whales , mother and babies! Only 50 – 70 mtrs of the beach. Such a lovely sight.
Monday 13 September
This morning we took the scenic drive around the bay towards Torndirrup National Park. On the way many cliff stops and views of whales everywhere! In 1 spot we counted 7 that we could see! Never get sick of it really- looking at the whales!
We stopped for a look at The Gap and Natural Bridge. Gee that is one rough coastline! Then headed for Whale World
The displays here are fantastic! And , of course, being and ex whaling station makes it a unique tour/museum. There is the Cheyne IV whaling boat we could climb on board and see how they lived on the ships. We then, joined a 45 minute guided tour. The guide was so animated in his story telling and history of the place. It was very educational and interesting. After the tour we had a bit of lunch and went back in to do another hour or so of looking at displays etc including large whale skeletons. In the 3 big silo tanks that used to hold the whale oil before it was transported, there were 3 different cinemas. One was about whaling, another about sharks and the third a 3D movie of the underwater world of whales. Liam had fun trying to catch the bubbles and pat the seal! Was well worth going in. One of the best museums visited!
We headed into town for much needed groceries and a belt for Jack ( !! ) After dinner, Liam and I went to the ‘ family bathroom’ where theres a huge corner bathtub. ( We could have all fitted in it with room to spare! ), your own shower, toilet and basins. Anyway we were in there for an hour! Such a lovely soak! And it had heatlamps! Lolol
Tuesday 14 September
Headed out this morning with the rain clouds behind and sunny high cloud in front! Driving directly north to Hyden to visit Wave Rock.
The road was great! We travelled through the Stirling Ranges with beaut yellow canola fields in the foreground. The ranges, from a distance, looked like a painted picture! Must have been the way the sun was on it. Lovely little towns on the way up, many with just a roadhouse, a tractor shed and a public loo!
Once we arrived and set up at Wave Rock CP, we walked to the wave in the rock! Quite speckie! 15mtrs high and 100 metres long. Had fun pretending to surf the wave. Aldo did the rock clumb up to the dam and check out the catchment area. Also visited Hippos Yawn....A big rock that looks like a big hippos snout!
Had a lovely BBQ in the camp kitchen area, another movie and in bed around 930!
Wednesday 15 September
Up early this morning ( well 3 of us were – Jack still asleep in his cave! ) and on the road by 9am! We stopped at the Mulka Caves 19kms up the road. Apparantly Mulka was a cross eyed aborigine who couldn’t hunt because of his eyes so he preyed on and ate small children then hid in the cave! Lolol There were over 450 handprints in there.
After some advice from the roadhouse lady in Hyden, we travelled further north towards Kalgoorlie along a recently graded gravel road.... so was quite good until the last 25 kms where the grader hadn’t been. Also it was raining in Esperence the next couple of days so to be avoided!.
WE checked into a CP in Boulder and will be heading off for a lovely pub meal tonight!
We had a lovely pub meal at the Recreation Hotel last night... Jack tucked into his roast lamb! We had a night drive around town and visited Hay St where the ‘stables’ are with skimpy-clad ladies of the night posed for their customers! An eye opener for sure and not sure if the right education for our boys! Lololol The Super Pit was cool too at night time. Trucks working around the clock. Boys enjoyed it! Back tomorrow for a day look
Thursday 16 September
Up and about today reasonably early! We headed off firstly to the Super Pit for a good look in the daytime. The pit is 3.7kms long and 500m deep. When Dave was here in the 90s it was only just scraping the surface! Pity though, we missed the blasting yesterday by an hour and no blast today.Bummer! Think we will wait around tomorrow for it at 1pm...Off to the WA museum with replicas of how the town was in the 1890s- There was even a mobile police station as a train carriage! Different!
Went to the shops for a ‘toy’ as promised for Liam! Always was asking for a digger but came out with more Transformer figures! Lolol
Then we headed out of town to the 2 up ring , which of course was illegal back then to gamble . So this was literally in the middle of nowhere deep into the bush! Just a big round corrugated tin shed with a ring in the middle for the 2 up coins. They still do it today too.... once a week on pay days! Dave said it was so busy when he used to go here! The girls toilet was just a big rainwater tank cut out!
Stopped in at the Gold Museum where an original mine and ‘ town’ is set up. Was quite a good display actually, with the huge dump truck there being the modern way of mining and all the old equipment from the past.
We watched the gold being poured. Always interesting ! Jack was the first to hold the bar of gold! It apparently takes 6 full dump trucks to make about a golf ball size of gold! Seems like a lot of digging for little reward. Especially when you work out how much the trucks cost each and the tyres! They are just $ 35,000 each!!!
A highlight was a tour in the underground mine. Donned with our safety helmets we went down 36 metres in the elevator into the mining shaft. An old miner from the old days ( he started when he was 16 in 1950 ) was so informative in how he used to mine back then.....
Decided to take it easy tomorrow morning and wait around for the 1pm blast! Apparantly a sight to see!