Daily Archives: March 25, 2015

Heading to Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park

Still in the forests a damp night was spent at Big Brook Arboretum campsite. Venturing into the Arboretum the following morning unveiled luxuriant colours in the bark patterns, vibrant orange bracket fungi, water droplets hanging patiently from the underside of the fungus, and abundant birdlife all around. Unfortunately for us the birds could be heard, but not seen, as most of them appeared to be high in the tree canopies.

Still in Warren National Park a trip to Beedelup Falls was required, but the relative lack of waterfall in the area meant it didn’t offer much to photograph. The kids had fun on the suspension bridge, then Xavier slipped into the river and we decided to press on again.

Turning west towards the coast again we had the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park in our sights, and Conto campground. One of the features of this region is the abundance of Grass Trees, with their fire-blackened stems and almost spherical arrays of leaves sprouting from the top.

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Conto was such a peaceful spot, one or two nights ended up being a five-night stopover. Despite the presence of many caves in the area, with nearby Lake, Mammoth, and Jewel caves being the tourist showpieces, we felt we had seen enough caves recently and saved this for next time. Instead we used Conto as a base to explore nearby Margaret River (next blog), do some more geocaching, and a bit of fishing. With our Camprite trailer next to a water tap we could sit and watch all the wildlife come for a drink, from swarms of bees, to western rosellas, splendid fairy wrens, and silver eyes. Golden Whistlers and scarlet robins danced around the branches overhead.

More importantly it was time to get some schoolwork done so the distance education packs were brought out to get ahead of the curriculum before Easter break.

Categories: 4WD, Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Camper Trailer, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Mitsubishi, National Park, Natural World, Photography, Photos, Travel, Travel Adventure, West Australia | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Further adventures in the SW forests of WA

The next day we witnessed the devastation of recent fires in the region, particularly in the D’Entrecasteaux National Park. At first our road leaving camp was green on one side whilst the other side was charred and devastated. Amazingly, it was not barren though, and typical of much of the bush here, fire plays a huge part in the natural cycles. Though the fires had torn through huge areas of forests in recent weeks, and we even witnessed many trunks still smouldering and smoking, with the rains of recent days the grass trees were all flowering, and new growth was already appearing from the trunks of many eucalypt trees.

We took time to visit two local icons, the Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree and the Gloucester Tree, two of three giants in the forests that you can climb in the Warren National Park. Not for the faint hearted, the Bicentennial Tree was “pegged” in 1988 and has 165 steel spikes hammered into the trunk in a spiral up the tree to a height of 75 metres. With no safety harness, climbing is not recommended in wet or windy conditions, or for those who fear heights. With combination of all three how could I refuse? Firstly though, we had to beckon the kids down, who were already fearlessly climbing up towards the first platform. Despite the rain the views above the canopy were fabulous, with the exception of the vertical one down. Descent was interesting as with each step backwards you get a good view to the ground between each spike! Happy to have survived the challenge I then watched as a man calmly ascended in bare feet. The Gloucester Tree was very similar, not quite as tall, but a single climb to the viewing platform, and an easier climb due to less of a spiral making it more ladder-like.

Halfway up the first tree, much to Xavier’s delight I found a stick insect that obligingly took the fall to the ground where Xavier pounced on it for close examination. Another great day in these majestic rainforests of the south western region of West Australia.

Categories: Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, National Park, Natural World, Photography, Travel, Travel Adventure, West Australia | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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