With the wine cellar in tow (or the caravan to some, you could argue either way), we packed up and farewelled Margaret River and headed further south with the next stop being Albany, home of......not quite sure what, but it looked big on the map and the caravan park we booked into had a heated spa!, so we headed off regardless.
Albany is large town/port which directly faces the Great Southern Ocean, and you guest it, and was a bit windy whilst we were in town. History suggests it was once famous for whaling, although it now seems to service the grain industry with the export of grain grown throughout the area.
The town is also famous for its ruggedess, a direct result of facing the harsh elements generated from the Southern Ocean over many years. This ruggedness has shaped the local scenery and created a few spots of interest, being Natural Bridge, The Gap and the Blowholes.
Viewing the Natural Bridge, a granite bridge overlooking the ocean, (which you can walk over if you are crazy) was great to see and is a good example of just how rugged this part of Australia can get, and is. Additionally, the Blowholes are interesting as they are famous for their sound, rather than the normal water spurting (and was funny watching the boys wait, and wait and wait for water spurts which just do not come!).
Overall, Albany was a good place to visit, although due to its ruggedness, not to mention its remoteness, is probably not a place to put too high on the 'great place to live' list.
Other notible Albany events
- Went on a leisurely bush walk (if you call hiking up a mountain for two hours leisurely) to the Granite Skywalk in the Porongurup National Park, just north of town. The Granite Skywalk is a viewing platform wrapped around some massive granite boulders at the end of a 3kms, grade 5! walk. (at least it made the walk back to the car downhill. Bec was going to kill me until I pointed out this benefit). Getting to the final platform was a challenge though, as we had to climb over some massive rocks (we just dragged Hunter over as he was a bit small to make it himself), as well as climb up a steep ladder to the final platform (we just pushed Hunter up as he is not to good with heights at the moment), but it was worth it. The view was outstanding. We could see for miles, all the way to the edge of the world!
- Order has been restored with the family sporting challenge all square. Thanks to a clean sweep on the pool table (although some would say lucky wins, noting mum did sink the black twice...but thems the rules) as well as a compensive win of the table tennis challenge (although some would say unfair, noting mum and Hunter refused to play), the family challenge now sits at 2 all.
- Whilst in town, we took a leisurely drive just outside of town to have a look at what has been described as the prettiest beach in Australia. The beach, known as Little Beach sure looks great (and did remind Bec of the beach made famous in Leonardo Dicaprio's epic movie of the same name.......hmmm, maybe epic is to strong of word?), although with the waters being from the Southern Ocean and the wind just a bit stronger than a gentle breeze, swimming just didn't seem attractive option.
Ohhhh, and the spa, just got to get one of these when I we get home!
Next stop, Esperance.