Trip Start Jul 26, 2006
90Trip End May 25, 2009
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Where I stayed
Fonty's Pool Caravan Park
(25 - 28 November 2008)
We left Bridgetown and travelled 35kms to Manjimup (307kms from Perth). This enabled us to visit the surrounding National Parks, Pemberton, Northcliffe and Windy Harbour, rather than having to tow the caravan everywhere.
Manjimup is one of the biggest commercial areas in the south. With mostly timber related attractions. The newest wine producing areas, grapes also grown in the area, fetch a high demand.
We stayed at a great rural location, Fonty's Pool situated 10kms from Manjimup. Fonty's Pool is in fact a spring-fed swimming hole, rich in history dating back to 1925. It is a very pretty spot. If you had a dog, you could have brought it along.
On our first afternoon, our first stop is Glenoran Pool, a very pretty picnic spot. The rangers leave ready cut fire wood, so you can have a BBQ lunch. You can swim here, unfortunately it has been raining since we left Perth, so that's out of the question. Next is One Tree Bridge. This bridge was made from a single Karri Tree,which are everywhere here. It was felled to cross the Donnelly River in 1904 and it was replaced in 1966. Most of the original bridge is displayed on land near the original site, surrounded by walk trails and picnic spots.
We then visited the Four Aces, which is basically four Karri trees which are 230 years old and stand Indian file a short distance from the road about one kilometer from One Tree Bridge. There is a great information bay here which explains all about the forrest and evolution here.
We travelled along the Donnelly River meandering our way to get to Lake Jasper. We made it just over half way when we came across a hazardous area, where the sand was very soft and we did not think that we would make it through. We might have attempted it, if we were with another vehicle or had a winch.
So, we then ventured to Beedelup National Park, the road leading into the park was laidened with huge tall karri trees. This reminded us of home, seeing the forest. Beedelup Falls was our first destination in the park. A short walk took us to a great lookout platform, where you could see the falls drop into a huge rock pool below where the local Karri Forest Resort was. Along the walk was a timber swinging suspension bridge which was a novel thing for the kids.
Our last stop for the day was Big Brook Dam. We could have camped here in our caravan. Most places up to now you could camp in a tent, but not suitable for a caravan. The Dam was mostly set up for day picnics. The dam supplies water to the township of Pemberton. The natural flow of the landscape acts as a natural filter system.
We arrived back at Fonty's Pool at 6.45pm, thank you for daylight saving.
One thing I have to say about the National Parks down south, is that the amenities are clean, always have toilet paper, smell nice when you enter, have gas bbq's or wood bbq's with wood supplied. They are generally well maintained. Unlike in NSW where disgusting is the norm.
The next day we went to the King Jarrah Tree. This is a huge tree around 600 years old. Apparently in 1910 it narrowly missed being cut down for fence posts and sleepers. The tree was blazed with a broad arrow to signify it was on crown property. In 1921 the tree was officially set aside as a "unique tree". It was 47 metres tall and 2.69 metres wide.
We visited the Diamond Tree. This is a lookout tree 51metres tall and situated 10kms south of Manjimup. A Diamond Tree cabin was built on a six metre tower above the main tree fork, making the tree 54.5metres tall back in 1947. It is the only wooden tree top tower in the world. It was used as an integral part of fire management, with eight of these trees situated situated in the Karri Forest which were manned every day in fire season to detect fires. In 1974 fire surveillance stopped and was taken over by aeroplanes. Since this time it has been open to the public and you can climb the steel pegs vertically spirally around and up to the tower and get an amazing view for miles over the forest.
We also visited the Gloucester Tree which is 58 metres in height. It is also a lookout tree you can climb, at your own risk of course, as with the other lookout trees. We walked a 1km route through the forest checking out these monster trees and there is a walk through tree, the kids had fun playing in. We ate our picnic lunch in the undercover bbq and picnic area which was built all from the local Karri trees, complete with inbuilt high chairs in the tables. A very unique place.
Pemberton township contains a lot of old cottages which were built to accommodate the workers at the mill in town. The town has a few galleries displaying the woodwork of local artisans.
From here to went to the Cascades, which has small flowing water falls and a pretty nature walk.
The third lookout tree was next located in the Warren National Park. It was called the Bicentennial Tree, because of the local royalty which visited and had lunch here whilst the lookout was being built.
We then drove onto Northcliffe and Windy Harbour. Windy Harbour is the furthest point south on the coast. It is basically a fishing village without power. There are no shops or service stations. Residents here live in fishing huts on the coastline. It was raining on and off, but it was not windy, which we thought it might be because of its name. The kids played in the playground and the rock pools along the coastline. We talked to a retired couple who had been living there for 12 years, who gave us a rundown on the place. We visited the Lighthouse and Salmon Beach and took a few snapshots of the rugged cliffs and coastline.
On the way back to Manjimup just out of Windy Harbour we took a look at Mount Chudalup, which is basically a huge mountain built of rock. We arrived at Monty's Pool again at 6.45pm.
On the third day, we needed a day of rest, catch up with the washing, upload the photo's and journal, plan out our travels ahead.....