Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Perth to Albany: Via Busselton and Pemberton

Our first part of our journey was to travel from Perth to Pemberton, via Busselton and Augusta:

We stopped by Busselton for lunch and took some time to appreciate the view at the longest wooden jetty in the southern hemisphere. It also has a slow train that takes you from end to end.

Busselton Jetty
Train at the Busselton Jetty

We then headed off to Augusta to catch the last tour of Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. I actually was hoping to see the line waves clashing when two oceans meet since I missed the one at Cape Reinga in north of New Zealand.

Visitor information
The lighthouse!
The tour took us up the lighthouse with a bit of history thrown in.

Just to inject some history, there were over 200 shipwrecks in the area, all but one happened prior to the building of the lighthouse. The one that happened to sink after the lighthouse was built happened in 1910, a luxury cruise liner whose captain thought he could navigate closer to the shores on a calm day. Ironically, the ship was built in the same shipyard as the Titanic and it was also it's maiden trip. No one died, thankfully.

Also, the lights from this lighthouse blinks every 7 seconds, it's thumbprint for captains to know which lighthouse they're looking at. And the custom made crystals which reflect the light is worth a LOT of money now.

See where to waves are clashing? It's not where the official line of where the two oceans meet though. And it doesn't form a continuous line. Darn.

From Augusta, we rushed to Pemberton, racing against the darkening sky. The ride was one of our more interesting rides because we were going through the southern forests with immensely tall Karri trees with their straight trunks hugging the side of the roads. 

At one point, the most beautiful sight of my entire holiday came as we were navigating out of darkened roads due to the tall trees when the left side of the road continued with a line of trees while the setting sun cast it's last rays from the right. It was like coming out of a tunnel with a golden light at the end. Aiyah, I don't know how to describe it but I wished we could have stopped in the middle of the main road to take that photo.

We also passed by several kangaroo families hanging out on the middle of the road. So, quite an eventful ride. We arrived at our place of stay Lavender & Berry Farm at 7pm, in time to start a roaring fire, cook dinner and get plenty of rest.

The Lavender & Berry Farm, Pemberton
Their famous pancakes. We ordered 2 servings for 5 of us but they were so huge we had to feed the birds around us.
A bright blue bird grabbing our offered pancakes
KS looking past the lake to our cottage
View from the cottage on the other side. The lake was steaming in the cool of the morning at a very bright 5am on our first morning.
Beautiful rose bushes at the farm apart from the lavender bushes.
They also had sheep and an Alpaca which we fed. Didn't manage to see the horses/ponies/miniature horses (?) on the other side.
Some chicks trying to get into the feeding action.

First thing we did in Pemberton was to climb the Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree. The pins that are stuck to the trunk carry you up to 76m high (that's over 200 ft). These are fire trees where folks climb up to see which direction a fire is coming from. There are three of such trees in this area and this is the tallest.

Looking down from the 25m station
Climbing the tree

I stopped on the way down to take this video. See the gaps between the pins? There's nothing to stop you from falling through, well, except the pins below. So far no one has died. But KS and I still only made it to the 25m station. My hands were starting to sweat from fear, which created more fear of slipping! A cheeky sign at the station said "That was the easy bit".

For lunch, Jarrah Jack's Brewery was highly recommended by Yen's boss so we headed there. The view was simply stunning! We ended up sitting there longer than we anticipated enjoying the atmosphere that we missed our plan to go for the tram ride. If I were to go back there, the tram ride will be in my next itinerary.

We then went back and were going to spend the rest of the evening sleeping when the farm's owner Pete bumped into us and encouraged us to visit the Big Brook Dam. Pushing aside any tiredness, we gamely got our snacks packed and headed off.

It was a beautiful serene place. We were the only ones there for about an hour taking in the setting sun, enjoying the breeze, gazing at the tall trees... I could have sat there for ages!

That's my mum-in-law at the bottom right in white.
I didn't want to leave!

The next day, we decided to head off early on the next part of our journey to Denmark as we had much more to cover. This will be covered in Part 2.

Family picture in front of our cottage.

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