Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Long Awaited Holiday Post

Firstly, here's a map of the South-West of Western Australia. Manjimup is marked and this is where we made our base.

Here is a picture of our campsite:

We bought the camper trailer second-hand last March, but this was the first time we had taken it out for a trip. It worked well, although with temperatures in the mid-30s (that's degrees celcius, folks), it did get hot in there during the day.

Here's a picture of the Karri Forests I mentioned in a previous post - yes, that is our car in the picture.

This photo was taken at the Diamond Tree Lookout, about 10kms south of Manjimup. The lookout itself, which can be seen in the next picture, is at the top of a 51metre high Karri tree (the Gloucester Tree Lookout, which is also climbable is even higher - but there were too many people there to get a good photo).

Here's a photo looking up into the top of the tree:

And here is a photo of me thinking about whether or not it would be a good idea to climb the Diamond Tree ...

I decided it wouldn't be at this time :) ... but maybe in the future .... It was scary high though.

The girls also had a try of climbing the tree, not that I would let them go too high.

There is also a wonderful (short) walk in the surrounding forest with mini-climbable trees which the girls had great fun with.

(For this one by "mini", I'm talking 3metres) ...

Some people don't have a problem with heights:

Apart from the Karri Trees - which I think are the most wonderful trees in the world. BTW if you are looking for the BEST PLACE to see them (and camp amongst them) then head to the Warren National Park, just outside Pemberton. The "Heartbreak Trail" road is a magnificant drive. We did the drive, I just don't have any photos - for some reason!

Now, as I was saying, apart from the Karri Trees, we visited some wonderful places:

* Donnelly River Wines - they do a lovely light drinking Rose (called Cascade) and their port goes down well too ...

* A Mead winery outside of Denmark. They had honey ice-creams (I tried the Rose, Almond & Honey one) and fresh honey. I am not a honey eater, but at the instance of my youngest I tried their Karri honey and YUMMO ... yes, we bought some!

* Just prior to a visit to this Meadery we went to a Toffee Factory, again some lovely samples were had and various treats purchased.

* Denmark Farmhouse Cheese and Ducketts Mill Wines - had a lovely lunch there (and only a glass of wine, promise).

* Cidery in Bridgetown - an abosolutely wonderful "find" - not sure why I don't have any photos of it. They have a lovely porch area under grape vines for enjoying lunch at, and the cider is pretty yummy too.

* Bridgetown also has a Fruit Winery - their "Sloshed Apple" port is delicous.

* The Valley of the Giants Winery and Olives place (outside Walpole) was also a great find - beautiful wines, olive oil and olives ....

No ... we didn't just EAT all the time - but we were there for 10 days!!!

So apart from the food & wine ... we visited:

* Beedelup Falls

Which has a suspension bridge:

* The Cascades at Pemberton

Where, after a short walk the girls had a great time playing

Here's another view of the Cascades taken the next day from the Pemberton Train. This picture is looking back up onto where the girls were playing the day before.

* Pemberton Train ride, an absolutely "must" if you're in the area ... this is taken at one of the six bridges we went over.

On the train ride I got a wonderful photo of my eldest ....

* And in the interests of fairness here's one of my youngest .... taken at Donnelly River Dam. The colour of the water comes from the tanins in the trees.

* Fernhook Falls was another place we "discovered".

This was quite an amazing place. There was a short walk from a swimming / canoing landing spot to the falls themselves, where the above photo was taken. There was a lots of Kookaburras there. When we walked back to the landing we noticed little birds swooping onto the river to get insects. Here's a video:

The girls played on the bottom step of the landing and then we noticed some fish and marron. I tried to take photos of the marron but they were just too fast.

* We also went to three beaches - Peacheful Bay, Emu Beach (in Albany) and Windy Harbour. Here's a photo of me and girls playing in the water at Windy Harbour (okay, I cheated you can't see much of me :) ).

This was a great place, quite large waves came through the rocks here making a safe but fun swimming hole.

* We also visited Big Brook Dam in Pemberton one evening ...

I loved the light on the water and took this photo too ...

* In Manjimup itself we visited the Timber Park, extremely interesting. I would like to go back when the temperature is less than 35deg. They had lots of native and foreign trees planted, old steam engines used in the forestry industry

As well as an old Police Station, Doctor's Surgery, Mechanics workshops and other historical buildings, including this old school

Definitely planning a return visit.

* Northcliffe Pioneer Museum had another replica of an old school, an old shop and a room full of rocks ... I would loved to have spent more time in there but the girls wanted to play on the playground outside.

* Talking of playgrounds Donnybrook now has the BEST kid's playground that I have ever seen. We had a great couple of hours there.

We also visited relatives in Bunbury and Albany.

My youngest said that she reckoned this was the best holiday we've ever had. I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed everything about it, except maybe the heat :)

UPDATE: I forgot to mention Dinosaur World and Reptile Park outside of Denmark. I'm not into Dinosaurs BUT loved their reptile displays and the birds. They have a number of native and foreign birds on display. Some are out of cages and will sit on your shoulder / hat etc. I think I got bitten by at least three of them (mainly when they objected to me trying to get the off my shoulder) but it was fun!

And I forgot the Lavendar and Berry Farm - YUMMO pancakes - but warning - the LARGE is ... (i think two of us would have happily shared a small). Here's a view from their front door:


Jim said...

Excellent photos Julie.
I got a nosebleed just looking at that lookout. No way.
It sounds like beautiful country. One of these days...


shrinkingkatt said...

All I can say is I am insanely jealous. l love that region so much. I am glad you had a lovely time.

Berys said...

Julie ..Breath Takeing ..I can see why you would want to go back there Berys

Lyssa said...

And more lovely photos! Very nice Julie. You should get back into photography some more I think.


Anonymous said...

Looks like an amazing holiday. :o)

Gwennie said...

Looks and sounds fantastic. Trust you had a great time!? Luv Gwen

Old NFO said...

Nice pics and from the expressions and outstanding holiday! Good travelog too! :-)

Jigsaw said...

Nice pics jules
Looks like you and the family get out a bit which is great.
You seem to do so much as well.