GUEST ARTICLE:The south-west corner of Western Australia is a beautiful place in which you’ll find over a hundred lush vineyards that have established themselves in the Margaret River area since the 1960’s. They produce some of Australia’s finest wines (we can verify that!) and by the decadent landscaping you can tell there certainly is no shortage of money in the region.
The beaches were also pretty spectacular at a cooler +21C, oh yeah and with Great White Sharks! Needless to say we decided not to tempt fate and remained two snap happy tourists who enjoyed the ever famous Western Australian sunset.
Karri Forest credit: robertpaulyoung
After 2 days we were on the road again trying to fit in as many tourist attractions as possible on our way to Albany (south). First we went to see/attempt to climb a giant Karri tree called the “Bicentennial Tree.” It’s 75 meters tall and was used as a fire lookout tree. It has metal rungs making it’s way up to the top and if you got the guts you can give it a go. I was pretty brave and went up to the first landing, but step number 10 was enough for my wife as she didn’t exactly feel like it was the safest thing to do.
After changing my shorts we went to ‘Walk Among Giants,’ they’ve built a fantastic metal walkway in the treetops of the gigantic Karri and Tingle trees, the highest point on the bridge was about 40 meters high, freaky! And every time the wind blew through or someone else was on the walkway with you, you knew it!
The forest was also home to these cool and very beautifully coloured birds called Fairy Wrens – sweet and fat little buggers! Our next hit were the famous Green Pools near Denmark. A gorgeous beach with crystal clear blue green waters and sand with all the characteristics of talc. We would have loved to have jumped in if the water wasn’t soo freezing!
We’ve been in Albany for a few days now and so far we’ve had the chance to see one of Australia’s biggest Wind Farms. There are 12 of these massive structures that provide 75% of Albany’s power, I don’t see why they don’t use more of these around the world – very cool!!
The coastline here has to be the best we’ve probably seen in Australia so far. They have beautiful granite structures like the Natural Bridge (a massive structure that’s been sculpted by the torrential seas)and ‘The Gap’ ( a 24 metre drop to the seas where the ocean rushes into a huge cavern). Not to mention the numerous beautifully coloured, soft white sand beaches.
Today we went to explore the Porongurup Range – giant granite rocks that date back 1,000 million years ago. There are a few treks to choose from but we decided on the Castle Rock walk. After half an hour of hiking up a never ending path, we started to have second thoughts but of course by the time we had this brain fart we had gone too far and had to continue on.
One very important thing we should have brought with us on this walk should have been water…but no…guess we like to suffer in +34C heat!?! Oh yeah and maybe finding out how far we had to walk would’ve been the go as well….! Of course in the end it was worth every bead of sweat and tear.
Even though we were foaming at the mouth by this time we still had it in us to admire the massive granite boulders before us – incredible!! (what would’ve made it even more incredible would have been a coke machine!). There was this one particular boulder dubbed ‘Balancing Rock’ that had been eroded over time to find itself balanced perfectly somehow on a small space of only 1.2m! Didn’t want to lean to hard on that one eh!
There was also a ladder leading to the top of a massive boulder with a sheer cliff face called Castle Rock. I must admit I had moments of pure terror run through me as I attempted to climb up to the top. It’s very high and the gusts of wind and panoramic view on either side of you of tiny fields below didn’t exactly help the acrophobic, gulp!!
In the end the thought of climbing all that way for nothing got the best of me and I finally made it! Now all I had to do was go down….great. Nah, of course overall all of these experiences have been definitely worth it!!
This travel diary has been written by Rob Gower, a friend who enjoys taking the road less traveled!