Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
Trip End Oct 31, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Saturday, February 19, 2011


JOURNEY: Conto's, Margaret River, Brockman & Vasse Hgwy to Warren NP

Weather: Sunny, clear sky and hot.

ACCOMMODATION: Drafty’s Camp- Warren NP 140 kms $0

Just a quick plug for a gorgeous classy Xmas/jewellry shop in the small town of Karradale on the Brockman Highway; the proprietor is a jewellry maker and was friendly and vibrant and the Xmas trinkets were artistic and lovely. We examined the items with interest and admiration and felt glad that we stopped.

After a fair amount of research we were still not sure whether we would be able to access "Heartbreak Trail" and “Drafty’s” in our van but Sheila said let's give it a go, so we headed onto the fabulous, mighty 86km “Karri Forest Explorer” road through magnificent forests and farms, towards “Heartbreak Trail”, so named because of the hardship of hacking this fire trail down to the river. It’s a one way gravel track, very steep in places and caravans and trailers are not allowed.

The road was in pretty good condition and when we arrived at the campground we were ecstatic- this was a camp deep in the old growth karri forest, beside the Warren River. Some of the trees are 400+ years old and we were camped beneath them!

We met the camp hosts Margaret and Richard who have been camping here for four months every year for the past 7 years. Their only responsibility is to meet and greet the campers!

Site 5 looked good for us with dappled sun reaching our solar panels and with a fireplace and solid table and bench. The camp kitchen was massive and boasted large gas rings and very effective BBQ plates with washing water on tap.

The camp was quiet with only 4 other campers bunked down. A trip to the swimming deck over the Warren River and a stroll along the river trail was our first adventure and as the day was almost over, we prepared our meal of Wiltshire lamb spicy sausages and a salad with M River goodies bought at M River and tucked into a great meal beneath the amazing karri giants.

Lying on the bench after dark looking up through the canopy it seemed that the stars were attached to the foliage and resembled huge glittering Xmas trees- simply breathtaking.

Even though we easily could have hung around camp the next day, we decided to tackle the 11km Warren River Circuit and after a leisurely morning we packed a rucksack and set off initially along the edge of the pretty Warren River.

The trail was steep up and down in places but generally it was a comfortable walk with interesting stops along the way. The Bi Centenial Tree was amazing, 68metres into the sky and it was a climbing tree but the climb was only for the fit and fearless.
Two young women removed their thongs and started the ascent squeeling and laughing but only made it to the second platform before nerves got the better of them.

This old growth karri forest was inspiring and you give a quiet "thank you" to the people who had the inspiration to save the forest from further logging. After 3 and a bit hours we were back at camp, happily weary and ready for a coffee and sandwich.

The air was pure and clean, the night was starry and absolutely silent- what a privelege to spend time here amongst these ancient and glorious karris (they are now our favourite tree)

This is a place not to be missed!
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