Saturday, December 01, 2012

Perth to Albany: Pemberton to Denmark

The next leg of our journey was to travel from Pemberton to Denmark where we based ourselves for the next two nights (point A to B), stopping by a couple of places along the way.  

First stop was at Walpole where we bought our tickets to the Valley of the Giants at the Visitor Centre, grabbed a sandwich and headed off to the Walpole Inlet at a picnic spot. It wasn't particularly pretty, just that it was secluded. It was also quite a challenge to eat and not chomp a fly! This is the first time I've experienced so many flies trying to park themselves on my face!

Right after that we took a drive along Tingle Drive, a dirt road which led us to view the Tingle tree with the largest gap at it's base. Basically, Tingle trees are very hardy. Despite fires and bacteria attacking the base of the trunk, as long as there's a little bit still stuck to the ground, the tree will continue to grow. The holes can be as large as allowing a vehicle to pass through. Sadly, that tree which allowed cars to pass through died after it's roots were too run over by the vehicles and thousands of visitors. So this one here is currently the one with the largest gap.

A short distance from Tingle Drive was the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk. This is a 400m walk on a suspension bridge as tall as 40m.

That's KS and Yen

The ticket also allows you to walk to another area beside the suspension bridge see more tingle trees.

From here, we then drove to Denmark where we stayed at this lovely cottage along Ocean Drive. This was our base for the next two nights. 

The next day, we took a drive to Albany for a day trip. First stop was The Gap and Natural Bridge. This is where Australia broke off from Antarctica. The rocks here are exactly the same as those found at the northern point in Antarctica. Of course, everything here is carved by the pounding waves.

See the humans at the top? That's how huge The Gap is.

As I approached the viewing area of The Gap, I could hear and feel a thunderous rumbling, very much like a huge trailer passing by but much louder. I was wondering what it was and when I looked over the railings, I was greeted by a frightening but majestic sight of huge waves charging into the narrow gap, slamming into the wall of rocks and spraying a fine mist into where I was standing, about 70 feet high?

We were free to walk around but I didn't dare stand close to the edge for fear of being blown off. KS and I were then told by Yen to walk on to this area which looked pretty easy to walk down to.

We slowly made our way and heard more pounding waves. Little did we know we were walking on The Natural Bridge then and the pounding waves were right beneath us! Later, we heard someone say that there was once the waves were so high that it splashed onto the bridge itself! Thankfully, nothing of that sort happened when we were there.

KS doing the star jump on The Natural Bridge

From here, we went into Albany town itself (a very pretty town) and had a quick lunch before we headed to the Sandalwood factory. We were just in time for their gong session, something about using the gong vibrations to relax. I think most of us fell asleep in that session! We also joined the free tour to learn more about sandalwood. Interestingly, the Indian Sandalwood originates from South East Asia especially Indonesia but illegal logging has deteriorated the trees so much so that there's not much of it left. It takes decades for the sandalwood to be ready for harvest, hence it's price.

After that, we headed off to Emu Point and had a snack at The Squid Shack which is right at the jetty.

Emu Point pier

When we got out of the car, I saw some large birds and thought they were statues. They turned out to be wild pelicans! One was astray from the flock so I hunted it down, going as near as I dared to. Luckily, it was a bit shy so it kept putting some distance from me.

KS as a point of reference to the pelican 
So that was our day trip to Albany.

Our final day, we headed off to Williams Bay to visit the Green pools and Elephant Rocks. My goodness! It's such a lovely beach! The rocks beyond the shore blocks the strong waves so that by the time the water reaches the shore, it is calm and clear. How I would have loved to swim in this peaceful bay!

The crystal clear blue waters. I don't know why it's called Green Pools. 
On the way to Elephant Cove
See the strong waves beyond hitting the rocks?

A little walk of about 5 minutes from the Green Pools and we came to the Elephant Cove. Here we saw rocks which looked like elephants and another peaceful bay.

Can you spot the elephant?

After that, we headed to a nearby honey farm and bought honey, wine made with honey and honey ice cream. Yumz!

Our final stop was to have lunch at a vineyard called The Lake House where we had the most unusual lunch of our entire trip, a platter of antipasti, cold cut ham, cheese and crackers, fresh bread amongst other stuff:

The lunch platter
Vineyard jump!

We reluctantly left this beautiful place at about 3pm to head back to Perth for a 6 hour drive.


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