WHERE ARE WE NOW
Mt Marshall, Bencubbin
We caught the train into Perth City from Edgewater, very easy to park Walkabout III here for the day at a cost of only $2 and very frequent trains. We got a pass that covered us for all trains, buses and ferries at just $5, seniors of course. It was a perfect day to wander the city exploring the various malls and arcades full of character. We took the free bus up to Kings Park where we wandered for ages taking in all the views, loving even more wildflowers and walking across the glass bridge on the tree tops path. Next was the ferry across to South Perth and back after some lunch, not really much on that side of the river but good to go for a ferry ride. After a walk across the city we then went to Northbridge totally different atmosphere some funky cafes and some not so funky pubs, an interesting place for people watching. Home exhausted but smiling.
On leaving Yanchep NP we decided this was an ideal National Park to stay in with plenty to do on site including the restaurant, tea rooms, walks & wildlife and the easy access to a huge local shopping centre and also the city. The campground was very roomy and even though the amenities were old there were clean flush toilets and a large hot shower which is a bonus when travelling and generally not staying in private campgrounds.
Time now to do an eastern loop as far as Kalgoorlie we are taking the scenic route and doing it slowly. Our first stop was at the Gravity Discovery Centre off Military Road. What an interesting well presented place there were many structures outside used to test the gravitational theory as well as informative signs about the gravitational wave. Also there were displays inside a multi storey building on the history of the world since the Big Bang, I loved that this was all in layman terms so even I could follow it. There was some art work and also some hands on gravity games which kept both children and adults occupied. To top it off there was even a bush walk for about 3km which we did, this had some interesting little signs about particular trees and their history.
We carried on and explored many small towns including Gingin, Chittering, Bindoon where we had lunch in the best bakery yet Rob was impressed with his donut and me well ginger crunch of course (and one for super), Toodyay was our last stop before camping on the Avon River at Katrine Bridge. What a wonderful relaxing day with rolling hills some with huge granite boulders, small towns with old stone buildings, a few winery’s, many different crops and lovely rivers to walk and drive next to.
Our second day heading east was similar but flatter and rather than seeing granite rocks we are seeing complete hills sort of like our granite belt in Queensland but on a smaller scale. Again many small towns largest being Northam and smallest Minnivale, in between there was Goomalling, Dowerin, Wyalkatchem, Koorda and we spent the night just out of Bencubbin. Aren’t these great sounding names? Plenty to see on the way, not sure just how many times I jumped in and out of the truck to get another photo or just take a closer look at something.
WHERE ARE WE NOW
Yanchep National Park
We started our day by visiting Cervantes, now isn’t that a cool name for a town? Rather liked this small seaside town not much there except small holiday homes, a supermarket and a pub or two but this is what a town in this location should have. Scenery wise there was some more stromatolites and a lake to see. Then like all travellers we just had to go visit the pinnacles, for those who haven’t travelled the west coast these are a collection of 1000’s limestone rocks all in an amazing sand trap. Yes we’ve seen limestone rocks before but seeing them all together like this is just unique. After a couple of hours of hopping in and out of Walkabout and visiting the discovery information centre we again headed inland.
Such lovely scenery huge green fields, lots of large pine trees and crops such as cabbage, strawberries, parsley as well as avocado, olives and grapes. Such a diverse area and of course some wheat, sheep and cows. Highlight was a small diversion up to Yandin Hill where we could look back to the ocean with many flowers around. We saw a few historic buildings made from stone and lovely rock walls too (sorry no pics). Our day ended at Yanchep National Park where we had booked for 3 nights just 50km north of Perth CBD.
Had a great day exploring this very old park it is like no other that we’ve ever visited in Australia. Wandering around we saw many old tudor style buildings still in use including an inn, tea rooms and information centre. There used to be a number of old trams here restyled for on site accommodation however over the years they all fell in to disrepair except for one that was rescued and restored. There are many varied walking trails, we did a few including round the lake and to a couple of different limestone caves one which is large enough to hold functions with over 30 guests. Highlight for us though was the koala enclosure where we counted 9 very healthy koalas, they aren’t native to WA however they have been here in captivity since 1938. We could visit the koalas at anytime so an absolute delight to see them slightly more active on our third visit early evening.
Tomorrow off to Perth CBD on the train.
WHERE ARE WE NOW
Yanchep National Park just north of Perth
Woke up to rain at Seven Mile Beach after a cold windy night goodness me this is a shock to the system. We had a quick look at Dongara and Port Denison, looked nice but nothing special so left to head inland.
We’ve plenty of time so under the suggestion of the info centre lady we drove through Mingenew, where we hiked up the hill for views, then south to Three Springs where we checked out the Talc Mine. And west to Lake Indoon which is just past the mineral sand mining town of Eneabba. This area is predominantly wheat but there are also sheep and cattle. We had expected there still to be an abundance of wildflowers and were initially disappointed but as we travelled south and back toward the coast our patience paid off and we were seeing similar flowers and vegetation to Kalbarri.
Lake Indoon is a free camping area plenty of room with good amenities, flushing toilets wow what a bonus. The area is clean white sand and the lake although large and clean has warning signs due to the risk of meningococcal meningitis so no swimming for us, not that it is warm enough we are in jackets and long pants by 3.30. This is such a nice spot that when we wake to a gorgeous day with no wind we decide to stay another night. I go kayaking round the lake for about an hour which was fun lots of water birds to see. Then in the afternoon we both walk round the lake figured it’s about 6km.
We tried a few different tracks to get to our next destination, Stockyard Gully NP, but came across locked gates or “No Through ” road signs so had to head back to Brand Highway then swung a right onto Coorow-Green Head Road. The road to this national park isn’t sign posted but is straight opposite the road to Lesueur NP. So glad we made the effort as not only was the walk through limestone cave impressive so too were the natural bee hives at the entrance. Also the track in although a sandy 4wd track was a pleasure to drive with only a couple of narrow rocky twisty parts.
Our second national park for the day was Lesueur NP which is a major place for flora with many plants only being in this small national park and others this being the most northern or southern location. We were delighted to see so many wildflowers as we drove then walked through the park. Surprised to see so few people here as it is less than 50km from both the Indian Coast Road and Brand Highway which are both busy with travellers.
We came out to the coast by Jurien Bay which had nothing of any interest so quickly headed south only stopping at Molah Hill for a fantastic view up and down the coast before turning onto Cervantes Road for another council approved overnighter at Tuart Reserve. There are actually 3 reserves on this road at either 72 or 24 hour duration. Our entertainment for the evening was watching the back packers arrive and set themselves up usually 4 to a vehicle with everything squeezed in. We caught up with a nice young German guy who we’d camped next to at Big Lagoon and chatted the evening away getting some good tips on buying vehicles in Europe.