EXPLORING THE SOUTH COAST
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
325Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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Where I stayed
stokes inlet camp ground
BREMER BAY HOLIDAY PARK
ROSE GARDENS HOLIDAY PARK, ALBANY
As we drove from Esperance to Stokes Inlet NP, the temperature reached 45 degrees. We met the camp hosts at the camp ground and found ourselves a sheltered site by the inlet. The clouds rolled in and the wind picked up and by 5pm the cool change moved in with a heavy shower of rain; we were very grateful!!!!
Dinner was a BBQ on the gas stove in the very sleek camp kitchen and we enjoyed the company of some French travellers.
After a cool and still night we decided to move on, as we had some further exploring of this coast ahead of us.
It was a quiet and peaceful camping area, well looked after and with good facilities.
We were happy that the temperature was milder as we set off at 7am and made Ravensthorpe by 9am for breakfast.
Kath, the navigator thought we should head down to the little town of Hopetoun, where we might access the Fitzgerald Np, gazzeted as a World Biosphere Reserve; unfortunately yesterday's rainfall had closed the road in, so we had a look at 4 Mile Beach and made coffee and retraced our tyre tracks to Ravensthorpe.
We had intended camping at Miller's Point but the exciting radio broadcast of the cricket match distracted us, and we ended up in Bremer Bay, population 350, sitting at the far Western end of the Great Australian Bite. It is not much more than a holiday village where we camped with many families in the caravan park by the bay; the receptionist was surprised that we would arrive here without a reservation but found us a spot nonetheless. She offered Kath a job helping out in the busy office but "no deal".
The bay was impressive with the usual white sand and crystal clear ocean that was calm and blue.
FRIDAY JANUARY 7 2011
JOURNEY: Bremer Bay to Albany- 180kms
WEATHER: Sunny 26 degrees at 10am.
The South Coast Highway to Albany was less interesting than anticipated and we had some challenges in finding a caravan park as the summer season was in full swing! Two of the parks we tried were selling sites at $50pn and were full but we did find the Rose Garden at Emu Beach where we paid $42pn for a cramped spot beside a permanent resident; fortunately these folk were extremely friendly and informative and we appreciated hearing their story.
Emu Beach was a pleasant front view and we enjoyed many a stroll and power walk along the shore line path.
Albany has a population of 33,000 and is the oldest European settlement in WA, established in 1826. It has a sheltered harbour and was initially a big whaling port; these days people come to see the huge right whales linger in the bay where baby whales are born around mid year.
We have heard many reports of Albany people living in this cool place during the mild summers and heading north as far as Broome for winter- sounds like a good lifestyle.
The city has some well maintained old buildings and some interesting shops and galleries.
The Torddirrup NP is nearby, just 10kms south of Albany, and the Southern Ocean has created interesting rock formations along the windswept and stunningly beautiful coast. The excellent Frenchman Bay Road hugs the coast with well signposted scenic stops and we took our time to appreciate the beauty of this area. Frequent warnings about killer waves and huge surf advise visitors that there have been many accidental deaths on the coast.
At Frenchman Bay the remnants of a whaling station can be seen along the shore and we stopped here to have lunch under a big shady tree.
Albany was a busy but relaxed destination and we noticed that most holiday makers were Western Australians, enjoying their Xmas/New Year break. The grey nomads are few and far between, probably waiting out the peak summer season with family and friends.
We appreciated the mild sunny weather and were able to spend a lot of time outdoors!!
Our next destination was Moingup Springs Camp in the Stirling Ranges National Park about 100kms north/east of Albany