Hamelin Bay, Walpole and Albany
In preparation for our move to the USA’s Wild West (well, we’re going to New Mexico, it’s close enough) we’ve been holidaying in Busselton since Christmas. Life’s tough, huh.
Despite holidaying here several times over the last seven years, we never seem to make it past Margaret River’s wineries. I admit, this is more my influence than Adam’s – the long suffering man has been chauffeuring me around the region without complaint for a long time. When Mum came down for the long weekend, we decided to make a special effort to see what else Australia’s south west had on offer besides wine, cheese and venison chorizo.
First stop was Hamelin Bay to visit the local friendly stingrays. Mum had a close encounter when an unexpectedly large wave caught the stingray near her feet, which then caused it to turn around and head out, brushing Mum’s leg with its tail. Amazing creatures, but I think Mum was remembering Steve Irwin, hence her hurried retreat from the water…
From there, we headed to the Gloucester Tree, which you can climb if you’ve got the nerve (or necessary level of stupidity). The tree is around 60 metres high and offers a stunning view of the canopy. Apparently they’ve only inserted the extra rods for climbing recently – the ‘ladder’ Adam’s holding onto on the left is how it used to be, the right is how it is now.
Next stop was Walpole for the evening. We witnessed the most brilliant starlit sky the three of us had ever seen (it’s the background of this blog, actually). In the morning, we took a brief walking tour of the property on which we stayed, and Adam was lucky enough to see this cute little fella hanging around in the forest.
We headed to the Valley of the Giants next to view the magnificent Tinglewood trees from the tree top walk. It was an awe-inspiring experience: the sheer size of the trees is incredible. We spent a long time gaping, and though we didn’t have a chance of hugging a tree (Sorry Phill, the biggest had a circumference of 19m around the bottom) we did get to stand inside a couple.
We took off towards Albany, enjoying the sites along the way – Conspicuous Cliffs, Peaceful Bay, the Elephant Rock Cider Company – all of which were stunning. However, they were overwhelmed when we saw the beauty of Little Beach at Two Peoples Bay in Albany. I haven’t seen such a place since visiting Esperance six years ago, it was simply breathtaking. Unfortunately for Adam (who hadn’t brought any fishing gear) the experience was tainted by the group of ten or so decent-sized salmon that were swimming in the shallows for the entire hour we were there.
We dragged ourselves away to see the Gap, the Natural Bridge and then have a picnic at Frenchman’s Bay – all amazing, but still pale in comparison to Little Beach. Sure we couldn’t do any better, we headed back to good ol’ Busso.
Next time, we’re taking the fishing rods…