Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Perth and Fremantle, WA.

We have reached the city lifestyle now. We have the caravan booked into Perth Jayco for the 10,000 km Service on the 28th January. In the meantime we will stay in various Caravan Parks around the Greater Metro Area of Perth and Fremantle. Some of our stays are limited in time because the Sites have been Pre-Booked for the School Holidays and the Australia Day Long Weekend.

In the beginning we stayed in the City of Armidale. Here we had to relearn the art of city driving. We were also able to meet up with James and Lee once more. We first met them in Apollo Bay, Victoria several years before. We had a great afternoon relating our respective travel yarns with each other.

Next was a move down to South Fremantle. Here we were able to meet up with my Cousin, Janet, after something like 20 years. As you can imagine we had much to catch up on following such a long gap in our meetings. From our caravan park we could walk into Fremantle or catch one of the free bus services. Fremantle is a wonderful old time City to stroll around. It reeks of history around every turn. We also spent a day in Perth using the Rail Service from Fremantle to Perth. While in South Fremantle we also used the opportunity to make the 30 minute road trip to Rockingham for a day. Rockingham is a Port City that also has beautiful sandy beaches fronting the brilliant blue Indian Ocean.

Next we moved North of Central Perth to Gwelup. From our base here we were able to explore all the Northern Coastal Suburbs of Perth. From City Beach through the very popular Hillary's Beach all the way North to Two Rocks. This is 59 km out from the Central Perth and there is continuous housing or New Estates being established all along the coast. It looks as if they are building on Sand Dunes because that is all there is along the coastal strip.

We weren't the first visitors to Two Rocks. The early Dutch explorers had been mapping the coast line along here in the 1650's. Wreckage from some of their boats has been found along the beaches.

For the Australia Day Weekend we relocated to Kingsway Tourist Park on Wanneroo Road. From this location we were able to catch a bus into Perth City for the Princely Sum of $1.70 ea. We made a day trip into the City to take in all aspects of Kings Park alongside The Swan River in Perth.

We have moved camp again, this time to Discovery Holiday Park, Forrestfield. This is very near to the Jayco Dealer with whom we have the van booked into at 7:30 AM tomorrow morning. We anticipate the van being in the service bay for most of the day so We will return to this CP for another night. The following morning we will be leaving Perth and travelling South to take in the South West Coast and Albany.

Only a short walk from our Caravan Park at South Fremantle and we are on the beach and taking in this view towards the Fremantle Port Area.

Found this elaborate Sand Castle during our walk along the beach into Fremantle.

This Monument in The Esplanade Reserve is dedicated to the Early Explorers of the Western Australia Coast.

Fishermans Wharf, Fremantle Port.

The Time Ball and Round House at the Old Fremantle Port.

This tunnel leads from the Old Fremantle Port directly into Fremantle City.

There is stunning Architecture in Fremantle City.

High Street, Fremantle looking back towards The Round House and The Time Ball.

Unusual sculpted feature outside The Italian Club in Fremantle.

Forrest Place, Perth.

The Supreme Court, Perth.

The Bell Tower, Perth. Sadly, completely surrounded by massive Earth Works.

The extensive Earth Works surrounding The Bell Tower and Barrack Square.

South Perth Skyline from Barrack Square, Perth.

The WACA viewed across Queens Gardens, Perth.

Memorial to Victims of The Bali Car Bomb in Kings Park, Perth.

A further aspect of the Bali Memorial in Kings Park, Perth.

Memorial to Service Personel from all Theatres of War behind a Mirror Pool surrounding an Eternal Flame, Kings Park, Perth.

Looking over the Swan River towards the entry point of The Canning River with The Kwinana Freeway to the left of photograph. Viewed from Kings Park, Perth.

Fountains and Lakes in The Botanical Gardens located in Kings Park, Perth

This Boab Tree is claimed to be 750 years old. It was moved from it's original location in The Kimberley to this location in Kings Park, Perth in 2008.

Rockingham Beach overlooking the waters of The Indian Ocean.

The Anchor from the Dato built in Finland 1872 and sunk here in Rockingham in the 1890's.

This Green Granite Sphere was mined at Wanneroo and installed at Rockingham. It is 1 m diam and weighs in at 1200 kg. The sphere is supported on a film of water at 90 kpa pressure and is easily rotated by children.

Hillary's Beach is a very popular location for young families over the school holidays.

Hillary's Boat Harbour and Marina Complex overlooks the beach swimming area.

There was a very long queue of children lined up to enter the Hillary's Beach Water Park at $25 for the day.

Rotary Club Dolphin feature at Hillary's Beach.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Southern and Central Wheat Belt WA.

The thought crossed our minds of taking up semi - permanent residence at Stokes Inlet NP. We had ourselves a cosy retreat in amongst the Natural Flora with birds and reptiles paying us daily visits. We had many more places and sights to visit therefore we needed to move on. Many of the Road Side Rest Areas here in WA are very large, winding through open spaced trees. Overshot Hill Nature Reserve is one of those areas and was our first free stop-over. The following day saw us slowly touring through the towns of Lake King, Lake Grace and finally Kulin. Here we decided to camp in their new 48 hour RV Camping Area for self contained RV's. This is in the centre of town and also boasts Hot Showers. We were planning on staying two nights and having dinner at the Hotel across the road, but alas, "NO MEALS ON MONDAYS". Kulin is the venue for an Annual Bush Horse Race Meeting each October. The Race Course is accessed via another unique attraction, The Tin Horse Highway.

We drove on to Gorge Rock Nature Reserve for that night where we met Walter and had a very enjoyable Happy Hour or Two, during which we solved all the Worlds Problems. There once was a community of Gorge Rock and traces of it's existence are still visible today.

As the following day was forecast to be 42 C, we drove the 30 km to Kondinin and booked into their CP so that we would have power to the Aircon. The following day was to be New Years Eve so we stayed for two nights.

Following an enjoyable NY at Kondinin it was time to move along.  Hyden and Wave Rock were beckoning. Although the town and the rock were worth visiting we didn't stay in the area but made a fleeting Day Visit only moving on to another free camp at Roe Dam which is just North of Narembeen. We didn't see the dam or spend much time out of the caravan as the mosquitos were numerous and blood thirsty. We did have a peaceful night as the sole campers. There is a massive Granite Outcrop alongside the Roe Dam Camp Area, we presume the dam is another of those instances of retained water on a granite outcrop.

The following morning saw us back track to Narembeen for lunch and then a short drive to Bruce Rock. Another Heat Wave is on the way through WA very soon therefore we will stay several days here until it has passed us. While in Bruce Rock we had a reunion with Will and Tina whom we had met several years ago at Kingaroy in Queensland. We also had to collect our forwarded mail package at the Post Office here.

We are only planning one or two more stop-overs in the Wheat Belt area then drive through to or close to Fremantle. After all we are only 260 km out of Perth here at Bruce Rock.

The turn off to The Kulin Bush Races from The Tin Horse Highway.

There maybe a hundred or more Tin Horses along the highway.

I'll show you but a few of them.

The imagination of the land holders is varied.

All Terrain horse here!

Horse drawn crop spraying.

Horse bowling.

More sport.

Aerial crop spraying.

The largest of the Tin Horses.

Gorge Rock Swimming Pool.

The swimming pool was used right up until the early 1990's. In the foreground you will notice the remnants of a Flying Fox once used to launch yourself into the pool and on the far side of the pool is a drum that once was the foundation for a Diving Board.

I should have had Yabby Nets with me as I could see them scuttling around in the shallow water.

Ta Ta Dragons were in large numbers racing around on their hind legs.

At a far slower pace several Bob Tails were at Gorge Rock. These reptiles are tame enough to be hand fed. They seem to eat almost anything!

Judy at Wave Rock.

Judy on top of Wave Rock with the ubiquitous Salt Lakes in the background. Notice the rock wall in the background, this diverts water run off into a Dam. We've seen this feature prior to now.

Rock formations of a Natural Nature.

Rock Formations of Human Influence.

Hyden Town Water Supply is atop Wave Rock.
Noel, under Hippopotamus Rock. Part of The Wave Rock formation.

The History of Hyden is portrayed with, I suppose you might say, Scrap Metal.
The Early Settlers arrived and opened up the country.

Followed by Surveyors, defining property and town boundaries and road routes.

Early Sheep Shearing by Hand Methods.

Eventually replaced by Machine Shearing.

Early Power Generation in Hyden. I think you might realise that this could be joke.

The early Bus Transportation.

The bus driver.

The History of Bruce Rock in the Mural.

Main Street Gardens in Bruce Rock.

The biggest Red Back Spider I've ever seen.

The gardens also feature an Emu and, I think, a Pterodactyl.

The Bruce Rock Amphitheatre Stage.

The Amphitheatre seats about 850 people and was constructed by the local townsfolk.

I guess you would call this a "Super Modified Sedan" This Commodore on display outside The Bruce Rock Police Station. The rear tyres are completely bald.

The smallest Bank Office in Western Australia. This Bank Office was first used by The Bank of New South Wales then finally by Bank West up until 1997.

Another of the many Granite Rock outcrops in this area of Western Australia. This is actually the second largest Monolith alongside Ayre's Rock.

The aerial view as displayed on the information board.

Large slabs of the surface rock are gradually sliding down the outcrop face.

There is also a Wave Rock type feature, alas the view is obstructed by the growth of scrub.

On the road towards Perth we passed through Quairading. This is the Shire Hall.

The Pub, of course.

This old bank building id now used as a personal residence. Note the sign on the window, "The Brass Razoo Bank".

Corrigin Main Shopping Centre, another of the Wheat Belt towns we passed through. Corrigin is noted for it's Annual "Dog in a Ute Festival". This usually attracts more utes and more dogs than people who make Corrigin their home.

On the outskirts of Corrigin is their Dog Cemetery. There are many graves here alongside the Brookton Highway.

All the usual pet names are displayed on the graves. I've chosen a few of the more unusual names and graves.