CYCLONE/FIRE ALERT; BACK TO PERTH
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
325Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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WEATHER: Hot and sunny. 36+ degrees
JOURNEY: Perth, Dwellingup, Lane Poole Reserve, Wannaro, Harvey, Bunbury, Perth
ACCOMMODATION: Baden Powell Campground @ Lane Poole Reserve - FREE
Glades Holiday Park Bunbury - $28 no power
Leaving Perth, it was a hot day and we had a late start because Sheila is researching the availabilty of a Keen shoe that she wants urgently - her rubber thongs are a poor walking shoe!!!!! Mountain Design said they had a pair in their Bunbury store and this was great news because heading south, this was only a short detour for us.
By now the temperature had climbed to 40+ and we appreciated the cool air at Cockburn Gateway Shopping Plaza via Kwinnana Highway where we did the grocery shopping.
We entered the destination cordinates into our GPS TomTom and followed intructions until we ended up on a very rough dirt road in the middle of nowhere! Oh dear and turning the van around on the tight bushy track required all Sheila's driving skills and so it was back to the good old map and "Free Camping in WA". The Lane Poole Reserve was only 8kms from Dwellingup so we entered this destination into TomTom and discovered we were still 50 kms from the campground.
We finally found our way to Dwellingup!
The little town of Dwellingup was first settled in 1910 as a jarrah timber milling town until a huge fire in 1961 severely devastated the area, surrounding towns and infrastructure. It has a lovely historic feel to it. We finally made it to our campground at 5pm and discovered a large pine forested camping area by the deep and flowing Murray River.
Lane Poole Reserve is in the midst of tall jarrah trees, sloping valleys and contains the 40km Murray River, which in winter hosts white water rafting on the raging current; now in mid summer quite deep but very slow. Lovely rocky pools are safe swimming spots.
We sat by the cooling river watching families canoeing, swimming and floating to avoid the extremely hot air temperature.
Unfortunately a group of loud, very drunk blokes partied until early hours of the morniing and lucky for us we were far enough away to only hear the loudest cries, but that made for broken sleep. There was supposed to be a caretaker on site but we did not find him and could not pay our camping fees! So it was a free night.
We took a morning walk further along the gravel road which followed the river and showcased a very old jarrah tree. There were so many birds and their songs were a loud morning chorus through the forest.
This would be a lovely camping experience out of school holidays and weekends.
We followed the very scenic Nanga Road for 40 kms to the South Western Highway and made a happy stop at Harvey, the centre for dairy, beef, citrus and other agricultural industries.
The information centre had a commemorative display of Mary Gibbs story books written in Harvey in 1885; most older Australians would know the Snugglepot and Cuddlepie illustrated bush stories.
Nearby a rebuilt Stirling Cottage sits beside the river in a beautiful heritage style garden with lots of Monarch butterflies. It is very rare to come across such a water hungry English garden but it was indeed beautiful despite the drought and scarcity of water.
Onto Bunbury, only to discover that Mountain Design did not have the correct shoes!!!! We decided because it was so hot we would have lunch and iced coffee by the beach and then go to the movies. We watched the Coen brothers production of "True Grit" and it was good.
We found a site at the Galdes Caravan Park on the grassy unpowered area but were awakened by a group of 20+ young adults setting up camp around 11.30pm so that meant 2 nights with broken sleep.
The South West coast was on cyclone watch and a very high fire alert so we were keeping an ear to the local radio updates.
To cut a long story short, on Saturday we returned to Perth via Binningup where we stacked Sally's outdoor furniture out of harm's way. We thought a store in Joondalup, 33kms north of Perth stocked the elusive shoes but it was another wild goose chase and we arrived back at Sally's place around 5pm to chill, keep informed about the cyclone and watch the Australian Open women's final- great match. Very hot night!
Finally located the shoes in Subiaco on Sunday, had a good lunch at Jus-Burgers and then cooled down at the movies again; this time it was "Black Swan" and it was a dark, clever and dramatic movie.
With the cyclone fizzling we are planning to go south tomorrow
My Review Of The Place I Stayed