Cape Leeuwin: Australia’s (Most) Southwest

Cape Leeuwin lighthouse is mainland Australia’s tallest lighthouse (39m high, 56m above sea level). Where two oceans meet- Southern and Indian- it is also situated in Australia’s most southwesterly point. It was 100% manually operated till 1982 by a clockwork mechanism & kero burner, one of the last in the world. Its beam can shine over the landscape for 48kms.

For a fee of 8AUD, one can gain access to the grounds. Marvel at the restored keeper’s cottages and the great history of the lighthouse which was built in 1895. For 20AUD, one can have a guided climb of the tower.PEMBERTON 620PEMBERTON 628PEMBERTON 640PEMBERTON 673

 

We also had a quick stopover at the Old Waterwheel (turn off just 100m north of the lighthouse carpark). This was constructed in 1895 to supply water for the builders of the lighthouse.

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And we had a quick photo op! Amazing structures along the coast, geological marvels! Lots of wind and water action I saw there. Also see the foliations on the rocks and some bedding planes? Makes you wonder the geological events that shaped them!

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Beauty and Seclusion: Point D’ Entrecastreaux

About 30mins from Pemberton is the town of Northcliffe, gateway to D’ Entrecastreaux National Park which stretches 130kms along the south coast (from Augusta to the west of Walpole) covering 114,000ha . The French Admiral Bruni D’Entrecasteaux lent his name to the Park; he was the first European who saw the area in 1792.
 

We visited Point D’ Entrecastreaux which boasts of spectacular high limestone cliffs fronting the wild Southern ocean. We didn’t have time to visit the lighthouse though . Nearby places to visit are Salmon Beach and Tookalup which have tables for picnics and offer great views. One can also go whale-watching in winter and spring.

 

There were only 5 people on the beach yesterday morning including 3 lads who were spearfishing. Now that is a getaway!
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How to get there:
30kms south of Northcliffe. Turn off Windy Harbour Road onto D’ Entrecasteaux Drive and then follow the signs to the point.

Rocky Cascades: Beedelup National Park

Beedelup National Park is just a short drive away (18km) from Pemberton city center. A highlight of the park is the Beedelup Falls which is a small series of rocky cascades. It would have been a prettier sight had it been winter. From the waterfalls we followed the Beedelup Loop Walk, a walking trail which took us to the 75m-high walk-through tree (trunk hollowed out!) and through to the Karri Valley Resort (magnificent views of the Beedelup lake) for a total of 4.7kms full circuit. It was an enjoyable, albeit challenging, trail- full of steep ascents and winding paths! Good thing there were no snakes which are a common sight this season.

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This walking trail actually spans 1000kms- from Kalamunda in Perth to Albany! Now that's a challenge!

This walking trail actually spans 1000kms- from Kalamunda in Perth to Albany! Now that’s a challenge!

In the Company of Giants: Gloucester National Park

Pemberton is nestled in a valley surrounded by magnificent Karri forests of the Gloucester National Park, with its green pastures and vast vineyards. It also hold pride in being a tall timber country, still producing beautiful hand-crafted works.

About 327kms from perth, it may be quite a long drive but I assure you folks, it will be well worth the almost 4 hours of backbreaking but definitely scenic drive. There are a lot of recreational activities to do while at Pemberton- canoeing, fishing, biking, swimming, and bushwalking!

Pemberton is home to Gloucester National Park, with its towering Karri trees and beautiful rivers. We have embarked on a walking trail from the Gloucester look-out tree (61m high and can be climbed by the visitors) passing through the magnificent Karri forest in the guts of Pemberton. The karri trees are actually one of the tallest flowering trees in the world and their hardwood is prized for its fine woodcraft qualities. With no elevated vantage points within the Karri forest to build towers,foresters came up with a smart solution to build fire lookouts on the tallest trees- the Gloucester tree (picture below) being one of them.

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Secrets of the Afterlife: Magic, Mummies and Immortality

20 May 2013 |  Western Australian Museum

I’ve always loved museums and I’ve always wanted to be an Egyptologist! So this exhibit was a treat for me. Most interesting pieces were the Shabtis- little figurines, supposed servants for the afterlife, which can be activated by a spell written on the person’s tomb (for even in the Field of Reeds there is work to be done!). What is more fascinating is that the tools that the servants would need in the afterlife tasks (plowing, harvesting crops,etc) also come with the Shabtis in miniature proportions. Reminded me of Polly Pocket!

“Secrets of the Afterlife: Magic, Mummies and Immortality in Ancient Egypt”

Exhibition dates: 17 May 2013 – 22 September 2013

Don’t miss it, book your tickets now! (costs $20 per person, totally worth it!)

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North WA: Geology Fieldwork-cum-Roadtrip

I have been feeling so uninspired lately that even a simple blog post (90% content of which will be photos for obvious reasons) seems like a freaking workout. My muse has eluded me and my journal now looks like a planner with just phrases and tasks accomplished for the day. Nevertheless, i have mustered all my energy to update this blog so please (my extinct readership) bear with me.

3 May 2013| Lancelin Dunes, The Pinnacles Desert, Stromatolites, Lake Thetis, Cervantes, and Jurien Bay

STROMATOLITES. Living fossils. Now seeing modern versions of earth’s oldest life forms. Tagging geol friends! — at Lake Thetis.

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Seagull-spotting seems like a good hobby although less productive as knitting or growing mushrooms or making dead mice dioramas. But hey, aren’t all hobbies supposed to be that way – at Lancelin

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Another seagull shot (Jurien Bay)

We have fed the seagulls in Cervantes with chips to have this shot taken. Manipulative humans for the sake of a quality photograph. Now this is totally unethical. haha

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Great migrations- creepy crawlies edition. I got goosebumps when I saw this at Lancelin… then I imagined the caterpillars doing the conga line.Tata Tata Ta Ta!

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“I go to seek a Great Perhaps.” –Francois Rabelais

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Sorrento Quay. Hillarys boat harbour. Such a scenic spot the time of day this shot was taken, with the reflections of the beautiful seaside apartments enough to justify the high rent and cost of living. Great place to catch the sunset!

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Lancelin dunes- perfect for a scifi movie action scene shoot!

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The pinnacles at Nambung National Park are actually limestone pillars weathered through thousands of years of wind action. Wonderful sight to behold, like thousands of tombstones jutting out from the yellow sands!

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Exploring the great outdoors and the scorching heat of the desert sun.

Swan Valley, Western Australia: Food and Wine Trail

This is how we recently celebrated a friend’s birthday; we drove to Swan Valley (around 30mins from Perth CBD), a famous wine and food destination in WA. It is, in fact, the oldest wine growing region in Western Australia. We sampled free chocolates, tasted different varieties of wine, munched on cheese, and sipped several coffee brews. It was a DIY food and wine trail and the best part is that everything was free! (except for the Chenin Blanc that we couldn’t get enough of so we bought a bottle.)