Freemantle on the coast down from Perth was a lot quieter - with a giant prison, plus the Round House prison - the oldest building in WA. An interesting market with loads of fruit testers - but I really visited the town for the fish and chips which were delicious!
Headed south west to check out the country - surprisingly quite green! Jarrah forests and sheep farming country and managed a short stagger in the Stirling Ranges (a little like The Lakes - again with flies)
. At The Porongurups we climbed through the forest and granite steps up to the Castle Rock - they've recently finished a floating platform with a ladder so you can access it even when windy - the view went on for miles! Down to Albany where our tour dorm was painted in mermaids and demons - a fabulous scene - but maybe a locker would have been a little bit more useful? Headed towards the coast for a top-up on rocks with natural bridges and blowholes. My favourite was William Bay NP with the Greens Pool and Elephant Rocks - stunning views along the white sand beaches with the blue and turquise waters. We did a bouncy tree top boardwalk through the canopy of the Red Tingle Trees - the trees have their own unique internal sprinkler system when forest fires attack! Just when the group were tiring we hit Pemberton and the Gloucester Tree - an original fire lookout tree with a platform at 62m - which we climbed using the metal prongs 'stapled' in a spiral up the tree! We hit Cape Leeuwin early with the tallest mainland lighthouse in Oz where the Indian and Southern oceans meet. Checked out a cave from a dry creek and moved up to Margaret River where we were forced to drink alcohol! Delicious, and I could have stayed there for alot longer! Watched the kite and wind surfers at Prevely Beach & Surfers Point before tackling a chocolate factory (I know someone has to do it..) and finally going for a splash at Busselton Jetty - the town exists literally for this super-long jetty!
Headed north and checked out The Maze Wildlife Park - some rather friendly koalas which felt like sheep to stroke, kangaroos socialising and emus doing their drumming calls. Stopped at a rather smelly Indian Ocean Lobster Factory which is one of WA's largest industries - not that we got a taster - it all gets exported! The Pinnacles Desert of about 1500 limestone pillars was worth the journey - an exposed area but amazing scenery with sand footprints from the odd creature that survives there. The white dune sands along the coast at Lancelin were spectacular - so clean looking - until our group galloped through them!
Heading to Adelaide now - hopefully a slightly cheaper place to exist in!
Checked out Perth - the business area is quite small but the districts stretch out for miles. The place is very hot (it did reach over 40 degrees for a while - but thankfully that was just before I flew in!) and very expensive! Bizarrely the first night the only food I could find was Korean, Chinese or Indian - just when you think there maybe a change from the old noodles! I will hunt out a steak!