As we approach the end of our first week on the road we were upping the intensity today to make up for the relatively lazy day yesterday.
First stop was the Gloucester Tree a giant karri tree in the Gloucester National Park in Pemberton. At 72 metres, it is the world’s second tallest fire-lookout tree second only to the nearby Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree (oh and yes you got that right, a fire lookout tree made out of…. err… wood (not sure they really thought that one through). The Tree has been adorned with meter long spikes which allow visitors to climb up to a platform in its upper branches. Of course I duly obliged although I will confess that the climb was more tiring than I’d expected. Interestingly they say that historically it would take 5-6 hours for the fire spotter to scale the tree.
Second stop around 125 km away on the coast was Augusta or more specifically the headland region and location of Cape Leeuwin, the most south-westerly point on the mainland of the Australian Continent and the joining point of the Indian and Southern Oceans. As might be expected the sea is pretty rough and it’s certainly well worth a visit.
Heading off up the highway in the direction of Busselton we took the scenic coast road rather than the main highway. We stopped off along the way at Prevelly Beach home of the Telstra Drug Aware Pro surf competition (formerly The Masters), Prevelly is internationally recognized for its spectacular surfing conditions. It is also a spectacularly dangerous place and we picked up a newspaper which headlined that a tourist had been killed in the last week when he was bitten on the leg by a shark and bled to death. In addition, there were a couple of plaques indicating those brave surfers who had come a cropper on the rocks. However, although I’m not a surfer, it’s easy to see the attraction of the fantastic surf on offer. Amazing.
Back in the car and on up the coast again to Yallingup, another surfers paradise although in our view not a patch on Prevelly.
Final stop of the day was Busselton, a sprawling not entirely attractive settlement on the edge of the Margaret River region. We headed straight to the Busselton Jetty, famous for being the longest (at 1.8km) wood piled (whatever that means) Jetty (note: “Jetty” not “Pier” – call it a Pier and you will upset the locals) in the Southern Hemisphere. The longest Pier in the world is in Mexico and stretches to 6,5 km. We took a walk out along the Jetty which is quite impressive and takes about 20-25 minutes in each direction (there’s a train for the less energetic which costs around $3, which is $3 too much for me).
Overall a very busy day!