After packing up for the day, we headed 3km out of town to see the Gloucester Tree, a 61m karri that was once used as a fire-lookout tree (the forest trees being too high for a tower to be built). After some internal debate, Himself climbed the tree (Herself never had any intention of doing so although she did pose for this photo a couple of metres above the ground!)
Himself looked happy enough to be going up! His digital SLR with a 12-60 lens went up too (after Herself took this photo)!
Looking up during the climb.
Looking out from the top — 60m above the ground!
Don’t look down (oops, too late!)
Prior to climbing the tree, we spent some time looking at and taking photos of two types of parrots – Western Rosella (shown in the photo below) and Ring-Necked (Port Lincoln) parrot. Herself was quite surprised when a Rosella landed on her hand and stayed there — these birds live in the wild, they are not pets.
We then drove out to Beedleup Falls, a pretty, quiet spot east of Pemberton. Well, it was quiet until families started arriving for their Sunday out! We walked the loop, down the easy access route to the falls then back up the stairs on the dirt track — it would have been more sensible to go the other way! The route included walking across a swing bridge which caused Herself no difficulty at all; once upon a time it would have induced terror. This one had a solid wooden floor and was not very high so that made it a lot easier to cross!
The view of the falls was pretty but we would call them cascades; falls in NSW tend to be vertical not a series of smallish steps.
We couldn’t resist a picture of this maidenhair fern growing in the wild!
From Beedleup Falls we drove through Karri forests and pastureland. We took Stewart Rd to Canebreak then followed the Brockman Highway to Karridale and turned left to Augusta. We bought some bread at the bakery then headed out to Cape Leeuwin. It was busier than we expected, perhaps the long weekend had something to do with it. We had a late lunch before heading into the lighthouse complex.
Although it was not yet 2:30, the first tour we could book was at 3pm. We wandered out to the point where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean.
The sea was quite calm and it was difficult to tell where the currents ran in different directions – nowhere near as obvious as the place where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean at Cape Reinga in New Zealand. Flinders Bay to the east looked quite placid in the late afternoon sunshine.
And Quarry Bay to the west (the Indian Ocean) looked like liquid silver.
We were very disappointed not to see the whale which had been sighted that morning cruising back and forward about 80m offshore. It had obviously moved on because, when we went on the lighthouse tour, we could see the whale watching boats some distance away in Flinders Bay.
The tour of the lighthouse was most interesting.
The lighthouse is now computer driven but it once needed three keepers to keep it running. Those poor men had to haul two sixteen litre buckets of kerosene from the store to the lighthouse and then up the stairs to the top every shift! Here are photos of the old workings and the glass lenses which are now valued at $AUS10 million!
We climbed all the way to the top and were even allowed outside which was good as many lighthouses we have visited in the past have not allowed us to go outside. Here are photos showing the light keepers’ houses from the lighthouse and from the ground. They were in use until
And here is Herself making her way back down those 176 stairs!
From Cape Leeuwin we drove back into Augusta where we put more fuel in the tank ($100+) and had an ice cream before beginning our journey north. We decided to stop at a small coastal town called Prevelly for the night. After watching the sunset over the Indian Ocean (a weird sensation for someone who lives on the east coast), we finally found the caravan park and booked in for the night.
We were obviously not too tired as we were able to organise and publish two blog posts before bed!