Monthly Archives: October 2014

Carnamah, Eneabba and the Western Flora Caravan Park

The towns of Three Springs and Eneabba which we passed through on the way here are very modest but there are still a lot of wildflowers in the bush so it was a lovely drive. This is a bush caravan park, with a strong commitment to land care and preservation of local fauna and flora. We arrived in time to join the 2-hr guided walk by the resident amateur botanist who imparted a wealth of information about the various trees and flowers, particularly methods of pollination. It was a fascinating talk. Thimageis morning we walked out to the A

Pacific Heron?

Pacific Heron?

image

Almost-dead (appropriately) Wreath Flower.  The last one in WA with any flowers on it, we think!

Almost-dead (appropriately) Wreath Flower. The last one in WA with any flowers on it, we think!

Neighbours

Neighbours

Wetland at dusk

Wetland at dusk

Hot - but the flies obviously don't mind

Hot – but the flies obviously don’t mind

I think these are Cow-licks

I think these are Cow-licks

rrowsmith River and the Sand Stone Waterfall, 5 km return, and still within the property. This area was burnt (deliberately) a few years ago and the fire has generated a remarkable show of flowers. We also wandered down to the wetland at dusk and watched a heron fishing for his supper. We have really enjoyed our stay here and will be sorry to leave.

Geraldton tomorrow – back to the Big Smoke.

Lunar Eclipse Oct 8th

Lunar Eclipse Oct 8th

Fringe Lily

Fringe Lily

image

Parakeelya

Parakeelya

Perth to Carnamah

Perth City from Kings Park

Perth City from Kings Park

Geraldton Wax - I hope

Geraldton Wax – I hope

Verticordia Colombia?

Verticordia Colombia?

Blue Leschenaultia?

J Blue Leschenaultia?

Black Kangaroo Paw

Black Kangaroo Paw

Cranbrook Bell

Cranbrook Bell

 

We have spent most of the last week in and around Perth, catching up with friends and revisiting some of Geoff’s childhood haunts. Wayne & Helen took us to the Araluen Botanical Gardens in the Darling Range. The gardens are beautiful and peaceful
and, as we ate on the verandah of the tea house, we were showered with wisteria blossom. From there we went to Kalamunda and had a drink at the pub which was built by Wayne’s great-grandfather and which is, reputedly, haunted. Helen only had coffee so that she could safely navigate the zig-zag which is rather hairy road which should have afforded wide views of Perth but visibility wasn’t great.

After 5 nights in Fremantle we moved to a different caravan park in Karrinyup, which is NW of the city. On the way over we had lunch on Cottesloe Beach and visited 50 Kathleen St, Swanbourne, where the Ravenscrofts lived in the 50s. For Geoff and his brothers it was barefoot to school and lots of time at the beach. An idyllic WA childhood.

We made a second trip into the hills with Keith and Sue and stopped in Toodyay for lunch at a cafe which is decorated to the max with a 50-yr old collection of Coca Cola memorabilia. We had Coke spiders to honour the occasion and almost exploded! Had a lovely home-

cooked meal in the evening with Wayne and Helen. It was a treat because most of our eating-out experiences have been expensive disappointments.

We had a rained-in day when we went to the movies (‘Gone Girl’ – not great), and we spent our final day revisiting the Perth CBD and exploring Kings Park, which is just fabulous. John Forrest, who became premier of WA in1890, was the acknowledged driving force behind the development of the 175 ha of public park. His vision was that 1000 yrs hence, people would be able to see this area as it appeared to the first explorers. The views of Perth city and the Swan River are spectacular and the Botanical Gardens are gorgeous. We had such a lovely day.

We travelled from Karrinyup to Dallwallinu, via New Norcia, and we are overnighting at Carnamah. We have seen some lovely flowers today and crossed the line of the Rabbit-Proof Fence. An unexpected bonus has been the most amazing, absolutely clear and unobstructed, view of the lunnar eclipse in all its phases. We can’t believe how lucky we are to be here at the right time under such perfect conditions.

Busselton/Perth/Fremantle

From Busselton we did a beautiful coastal walk from the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and saw whales breaching far out to sea. They are now travelling South, returning to sub-Antarctic waters with their calves. No more frolicking in the coves – their summer holiday is over.

There is a marvellous jetty at Busselton, almost 2km long, but we didn’t walk it as we baulked at paying for the privilege. Some things should be free! We lunched in Bunbury on our way to Perth and we spent our first two days here with friends, who live just north of the city. We are very comfortable in our caravan but it was nice to be in a house, with space around us, and we were very well looked after. Sat, of course, was Grand Final day so we had pies for lunch and enjoyed the game. Geoff is, naturally, very happy with the result.

On Sunday we relocated to a caravan park in south Fremantle and Monday morning we caught the ferry to Rottnest Island. We only stayed one night, but it was really lovely. It is a fairly low-key holiday destination and it is easy to see why so many West Australians have fond memories of the island. They are attached to it in the same way that many Victorians are bonded to The Prom. The current atmosphere belies the sorry history of Rottnest. It was a prison for aborigines and, of about three and a half thousand prisoners, approx. 10% died, and are buried in the island. Some of the prisoners came from as far afield as the Pilbara and some were very young or very old and some were sentenced for very minor infringements of the law. It would have been a terrible life and many would surely have died of broken hearts, far away from their people and their country.

For those of us lucky enough to be on Rottnest by choice, there is lots to do. There are virtually no cars on the island so transport is via Shank’s Pony, push bike, the shuttle bus or the hop-on, hop-off bus which loops the island, taking in many of the beautiful beaches and coves. We ate our lunch, sitting on the rocks at Fays Bay and we did a walk from the Kingston Barracks, to see the Bickley gun emplacements and Bickley Bay. We also rode on the little, bone-shaking, railcar up to Oliver Hill to tour the WW11 gun emplacements, ammunition stores and tunnels which formed an important part of Australia’s wartime defences. There are quokkas everywhere and they are quite unconcerned about all the noise and activity which surrounds them. There is also a resident peacock who is as peacocky as you could wish. He actually slowly pirouettes to have his photo taken.

I find myself thinking often of ‘The Shark Net’, now that I am seeing The West for the first time, especially on Rottnest

We came back to Freo yesterday, enjoying a much smoother crossing than we experienced on the way over. Tomorrow, friends are taking us out for the day, up into the hills.