The South Coast WA

Trip Start Apr 05, 2011
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Trip End Nov 15, 2012


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Where I stayed
Rest Point Caravan Park

Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Monday, May 16, 2011

We were surprised at the number of road trains as we drove west from Esperance along the South Coast Highway. They were much longer and more frequent than those we had encountered across the Nullarbor. Each time a truck thundered by the driver's side mirror would blow in so Rod was constantly sticking his hand out the window to push the mirrors back into place.

We spent a couple of nights at Cheyne Beach.  Friends had recommended it and we were delighted when we arrived to find a rustic park set in bushland bordering the Waychinicup National Park. This was another little gem!

Cheyne Beach itself consisted of maybe 20 houses and the caravan park.  The bay was pristine, secluded and calm with stunning turquoise waters which made it so tempting to enter until we waded our feet through the water and felt the temperature! Oh how nice it would be in summer…!  The salmon were still running so there were fishermen scattered around the headland keen to take advantage of the late finishing season.

We enjoyed a drive and walk in Waychinicup National Park before admiring another brilliant sunset as the kangaroos migrated to the lush green lawns of the caravan park for their nightly sustenance.  It had been a relaxing stopover.

Eager to catch up with dear friends John and Robyn, we arranged to meet at a holiday house in Peaceful Bay and were delighted to find it looked much the same as it had 18 years ago when we were last there. The streets are still gravel, the shacks still humble fibro, owners here have resisted the urge to rebuild and modernize, therefore retaining the charm frequently now lost in these old seaside favourites. We just loved it.

With much to catch up on we spent many hours chatting away around the rustic timber table in the back yard with the fire blazing behind us.  Every now and again we were happily nudged by Jazz, Uno or Nippa; our three K9 co-hosts. We enjoyed great company, great food and a little beach fishing before saying our farewells and heading just up the road to Walpole.

We checked into the Rest Point Holiday Village a few kilometres outside of Walpole and were delighted with the location and surrounds. It was truly reminiscent of days of old.  The grand old weather board buildings would hold some amazing tales.  Set on the edge of the Nornalup Inlet and surrounded by the Walpole-Nornalup National Park we couldn’t help but feel relaxed. The Pelicans lined the quaint jetty which reached out into the inlet and occupied hopeful fishermen for hours.

After a night of rain the sun broke through in glorious fashion and we were able to enjoy a lovely walk through the Tingle and Karri trees from Rest Point to Sandy Beach. The scent of the forest was so fresh and alive from the recent rainfall.  The trail was rustic, with fallen trees left as they had fallen, merely a chunk cut away to walk through if they impeded the track.  The sword grass lay drooped across the track, weighed down from the night of rain.

We used Walpole as a base to visit fantastic national parks like Williams Bay, with its pristine coastline and unspoiled beaches, the smooth granite rocks just flow into the crystal clear water. At Conspicuous Cliff Rod enjoyed some beach fishing.  Whilst on this occasion it was to no avail we had the beach to ourselves and it was just magic!

We took walks in the gorgeous Karri forests and enjoyed a breathtaking scenic country drive up to Mt Frankland. The road meandered through picturesque farmland and in and out of the stunning Mt Frankland National Park. We found a great 4wd track which took us through some back roads which were exciting without being challenging, we are after all still 4wd novices and need to pace ourselves!

We enjoyed an ECO cruise which was more about the actual narrator than the environment itself.  Lucky to have the tide at a rare high we were able to enter areas of the inlet which were normally too shallow to cruise.  With the rich tannins in the water we were afforded the most spectacular reflections along the inlets edge. Our narrator Gary was amazing; a published author, historian (and as the cruise evolved marsupial biologist – you had to be there!) his level of knowledge was astounding and yet he was witty and entertaining.

Friends we had made in Coffin Bay joined us at Rest Point and we enjoyed sitting around the fire with them chatting the night away.  The next day we joined them for a few holes of golf at the well positioned Walpole Country Club.  This course is blessed with undulating lush green fairways, challenging roughs and scrape greens. To top it off we were joined by kangaroos loving the open space rather than the dense growth of the national park across the road.

We had had a couple of days of heavy rain whilst at Walpole and the morning of our departure was no different.  The rain was heavy, consistent and with no let up looking likely we had no choice but to brave the heavy rain and just get out in it to pack up… Not something I would like to be doing on a regular basis however we managed to get everything away and continued our journey west to the coast.

Highlights of South Coast WA

-          Cheyne Beach

-          Peaceful Bay – catching up with dear friends

-          Walpole – Rest Point and the resident pelicans

-          Forest Drives – Mt Frankland

-          Conspicuous Cliffs and Williams Bay National Park
Slideshow Report as Spam

Comments

Georgey on

Keep living it guys. Love hearing about the fish I can't wait to get there in summer when the water is warm.

Val S. on

stunning photo of the sunrise at Walpole... just what time would that have been? Keep living the dream whilst we keep dreaming!!!

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