6 Dec 2016

What A Week!

This past week has been amazing! Well, a little more than a week. We have been travelling with some friends from back home who we have met up with a couple times in the past few months. We met with them in Margaret River this time.

Our first day together was spent on a home made wine and cheese tour. It was amazing. We went to any and all wineries that caught our eyes. They all have free tastings which is awesome. That part of the country is a magical free sample land. In addition to probably 50 types of wine we tried many cheeses, chocolates, liqueurs preserves, olive oils, sausages, ect....It was a lovely day.

The next day we headed east into the big timber area surrounding Pemberton. We had already visited this area so we went back to some of our favorite spots and discovered some new ones. One of the highlights of that area is the fire lookout trees. They were used to spot fires for several decades, but now can be climbed to use as a lookout. 

We all headed our wheels further east the next day and passed by Walpole and the Giant Tingle Trees. That night we camped at a very lovely place called Peaceful Bay. In the morning we backtracked a little and went the Treetop Walk in the Valley of the Giants. It offers a really interesting look into the canopy of the beautiful karri and tingle forest.

Our next stop was Denmark and we checked out the coast there before heading on to Albany. It was a lot bigger than we expected! It was more like a city than the small towns we had been passing through occasionally. It is a lovely city of 30,000 though. We spent the night at a free camp near town after climbing (driving 95% of the way) to the top of a hill near town for an amazing view.

The next morning we checked out the rugged coast that lines the southern coast of the peninsula which protects the harbour. The Gap and Natural Bridge did not disappoint. It was north from there after a big restock of food and water. We went to Porongrup NP and climbed to the top of Castle Rock and the Granite Skywalk. It was a tough climb for our legs that were not used to climbing, but a good warm up for the next morning.

Waking up in the Stirling Ranges NP, we headed to the base of Bluff Knoll, the highest peak in SW Western Australia. It is just under 1100m It was a very steep hike. Only three km each way, but it took nearly two hours to get to the top. The view was absolutely spectacular. Just amazing and well worth the tough hike. We were down by 1PM and the rest of the day was spent driving east, ending up in Munglinup. 

The next morning was a quick drive the rest of the way to Esperance. Now Esperance is known for its beaches. It did not disappoint. We explored the beaches near town then headed just 45 mins out of town to Cape Le Grande NP where we camped for two nights. 

The first morning we spent just hanging out at the beach at Lucky Bay right near the campsite. It was a bit chilly, but lovely in the sun. The beaches are so white it is kind of unreal, also the sand is super squeaky. And when you combine the fact that the beaches are squeaky with the fact that kangaroos come on the beach, it is pretty funny to listen to them moving around.

That evening we went for a little bit of a hike up Frenchmans Peak. It turned out to be a highlight of this part of our trip. We got up about half an hour before sunset and stayed for a little bit after the sun went down to do a bit of light painting and take some - if I do say so myself - very pretty pictures.

And that is where we are. Our friends are heading back to Perth tomorrow, and we don't really know what we are doing yet. Hanging out inside the camp kitchen of a caravan park right now, avoiding the super windy and cold day.

I hope you enjoyed!

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