Mike on the bike

Mike on the bike
Mike! on ya bike

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Albany not Orl-bany....... (Follow link to next blog-Bremer bay)

Albany... yes a very nice place (why do I feel like im always saying that!) We came here for a 2-3 night stop but have stayed 6 days. We are at Middleton beach which is lovely when the sun is out and the wind drops off, none of which have seen much since we arrived. We have had quite bad weather considering the time of year. Saying that though we have managed to get out for a walk on the beaches and take in the views and sights. The skies have been clear and the days much warmer for the last 3 days. Albany should be called Boulder city with all its huge rocky boulders appearing out of no where. It looks quiet cool in some instances. The locals have painted a colar on one rock in the town center and called it Dog Rock. Pip and i have enjoyed howling at it each time we pass which is quiet frequently. We also took a look at the old Whaling station, very well done and even a bit gory! We drove out to the Gap, natural bridge and the blow holes. The colour of the water here is just like turquoise bay almost looks artificial but very welcoming for a swim. (So Trudi I said a big hello to the beautiful beaches for you at your old stomping ground). There are heaps of families with kids travelling about at the moment, more than usual so pip is enjoying that. She has also learnt to play Ping Pong (rainy days in the better parks gets you a games room with snooker table, ping pong, and a very nice -well used by us- heated spa). Anyway here are some pics of the beautiful ORLBANY hahahaha. OMG i just tried to down load pics for u guys BUT apparently Ive down loaded my quota?????? so no pic anymore!!!!! ughhhh I will endeavour to find away around this very disturbing discovery, stay tuned....
Ok ok ok what a nightmare.. it has taken me hours to do what should have been seconds i'm sure. I had to start a new site so please follow this link to http://caravanastanpart2.blogspot.com/  hope to see you there, let me know if you have problems!

Saturday, 19 November 2011


After Walpole we set off for Denmark just a few kilometers down the track. They have enteren this town in WA tidy town contest for 2011 and "i recon" they have a good chance of taling the trophy. This is a beautifully manicured town with a mix of alternative x artisan x retiree. Has quite a few wineries and artist galleries to browse. Its right on the mouth of the river and minutes from amazing beach scape. We had a day checking the wine, gallery and cheese trail and exploring the beaches such as Green pools and elephant cove. It is bloody cold here though for this time of year. The locals tell us you have to come on the correct two days of the year to witness a summer in Denmark. So now swimming for us but others were keen and braved the ice arctic waters of the south.
Pip made friends with a little girl named Taija (travelling around oz with her brother and grandparents) from Bundaberg. Yet another friend she has to say good bye to but probably will be able to keep in touch with back in QLD. We made friends with the grandparents who actually weren't much older than Mike and myself. What a small world, we also met a couple of ladies from Melbourne and Sydney holidaying for a couple of weeks in a borrowed van. This is for my friend Nic from Darwin..... the one woman (Robyn) was talking and telling us about her brother, Richard when I realised that her Richard was your uncle Dick from QLD, how about that eh Nic? As soon as I told her she agreed, she remembered your mum too.
Denmark river

Town centre Denmark

Elephant cove

green polls on a cold windy day

Pip and Taija find time to play

At the caravan park

scenic drive
Any way we bid farewell to them and headed to Albany for more rain and cold weather although it is beautiful blue clear skies today its still cool enough for a jumper. We are here now until Monday so will fill you all in later with our exploration and pics of the area but so far a very good impression.... take care xxx

Friday, 11 November 2011

Margaret River to Walpole

We packed down the tardis at Margaret River with little to no rain, yaahhhoooo. All dry… We arrive at Pemberton and it is bucketing down and what a beautiful place. So different to the last few months of flat straight roads and coast line. We are now deep in the forest and the cold (and it is! we have the heater on in the van) only adds to the milieu of this giant forest area. As I speak Pip is feeding the ducks and parrots from the caravan door (too cold to go out) the parrots being some ring neck variety somewhat bigger than a lorikeet, just stunning. We took a tram ride into the Karri and Marri forest the largest hard wood trees in Australia growing up to 90 m tall and then we headed to the Pemberton Pub for an ale by the open fire, and we watched the hale storm pass over.   Weather permitting we are heading out to try our hand at a bit of tree climbing, apparently they have  a set up, if you’re game,  to climb these monster trees in the national forest (during daylight hours).
Next day was a mix of looming heavy rain clouds and warm sun, then cool winds. Kind of like Melbourne, I didn’t know whether to have a jumper on or not. We took a scenic drive through the wineries and giant forests visiting a lavender and berry farm for the best lavender scones this side of the boarder. We also visited the 61 meter tall Glouster (fire lookout) tree. Apparently certain Karri trees were picked for use as a fire look. These Karri and Marri trees are very flammable and a fire is absolutely devastating if it hits these parts. So in earlier days some one was paid to sit at the top of these trees and watch for smoke. Apparently somewhat boring so the diary of the lookout depicts. Any road up, you can climb the 61 meters up this particular tree to the look out platform, if you are game. Mike got about 3 quarters of the way up before deciding that the sway of the tree was getting a bit much in the average weather we had on this day. Honestly it was quite scary even going up the 20 or so rungs I climbed. There is nothing to save you if you slip off of the reo bar that is used as the steps up this almost vertical incline.
We set of the next day for Walpole, where we stay at rest point a beautiful little spot on an inlet from the ocean. Rest point is a kayakers and fisherman’s delight. Close to the treetop walk which meanders through the Valley of the Giants and the giant Tingle trees. Amazingly now we can see how high it was to climb the Glouster tree and I’m glad I didn’t. We took a drive to Peaceful Bay and the Knoll. All of these places are just beautiful and it’ hard really to say which are the nicest. You could easily camp for a summer here and fish and swim and enjoy good food and good wine and be very happy doing … not much at all. We will set off tomorrow for Denmark which is a very long (hahahaha) 65 kilometres away. The weather appears to be improving too, which is good so we can get outside a bit more. Its much nicer in the sun and warmth when you are tripping around the country however no amount of bad weather could spoil spending so much time with your partner and child. Icckkk that was a bit soft! But really quite true. I am now going to attempt to post you all some photos which has seriously been doing my head in the last few times but I have changed the interface and am in hope of a better result. Wish us all luck or the photos will be sparse once again!!!!

this is why Mike loves me so much haha
 Yahooo it worked

sorry mum but this one is called Grandma due to its apparent motherly look!!!!!!

tree top walk
Rest point caravan park
pelicans at rest point van park
Pip and Lisa in the middle of a Tingle Giant
view down 40 meters from the tree walk

Monday, 7 November 2011

Trying to leave Margaret River

The weather has taken a turn for the worst so we decided to drive down to the caves, Augusta town and Cape Leeuwin yesterday for a ½ day trip as its again only 45 klm  down the road. We spent the afternoon lying around reading, well I did the other 2 watched cartoons and played on the ipad. Anyway we headed down the cape to the lighthouse so we could show Pip the 2 oceans as they meet. We had the Southern Ocean to our left that was fairly calm and then juxtaposed on our right was the treacherous Indian Ocean, which was beefing up the hugest waves and winds. I got out to take a photo both here and at Hamelin Bay (slightly further around the cape) and seriously was nearly swept of my feet. The water was so fierce and angry we were glad we had decided not to camp here after all; we will head off to Pemberton for a few nights instead. The caves were brilliant as caves are, this one being quiet young in its discovery (1957).
It is absolutely heaving down rain here, and the wind is ridiculous. You can hear it as it starts rolling through the trees, it sounds like the ocean is behind the van (the Indian Ocean, the scary looking one, is actually way over at Prevelly  a 10 min drive away). Thank god we are a bit protected in the site we have or I “recon” we could have toppled the van!!!! We are supposed to be leaving here this morning but unless the rain lets up (which has been on since last night) I don’t like our chances of getting the tardis down in this weather. The rain is one obstacle but the wind! That will be a problem. It was similar weather yesterday night and morning, which fined up about 9am so fingers crossed eh. NEWS BULLITIN Weather report says rain, gale force winds and Temp top18, ohh joy! Photos below for your enjoyment just took OVER 1 hr to down load....... so no more photos today. I will back date and post other photos when i find out a solution to this absurd down load time prob x bye for now L
Hamelin Bay

Down 43m into the bowels of Jewel Cave

Westerly rough sea

Cape Leeuwin's windy west

Cape Leeuwin's calmer southern ocean view

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Busselton to Margaret River

Our last few days in Busselton were spent at Busselton’s Agriculture show and what a ball we had. Pip loved the horses and the dressage events. The young girls and boys (there were two boys only) in these events were spectacular in their ability to handle these animals. Of course we took Pip into sideshow ally both on the Friday night, with fire works display and again for another spend on the Saturday morning. She got offered a few free rides from our ol’ mates the “carnies” but she declined as they were TERRIFYING (see pics), she much preferred the monster balls, dodgems and acrobats trampoline. 

pip nurses a rescued joey
the choices!!!!

a funny face you say? this little Ferret just bit me on the chin! 

Sunday morning we packed up and moved 40klm south to Margaret river. This is the centre of the wine growing region. Very beautiful to drive through and fab if you are into buying wines. Its ten minutes drive from Prevelly which is the main surf beach here. We took a drive to Prevelly, didn’t stay too long though as its blowing a gale. This western coast is very dramatic when the winds are on and it appears that the winds are on a lot. It reminds me a little of the rough west of Tassi. The town of Margaret river is full of things to spend your hard earned cash on a bit like a cross between Bangalow, Montville etc, with its independent stores selling cool and quirky books and gifts. A nice place to wander around… stop for a coffee and watch the world pass by… We will spend a couple of night here and then take a drive down to Augusta, and check out he caves at Jewel caves.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011


Busselton is some- what similar in lay and size out as Bunbury with its main street near the fore shore and its industrial and larger shopping requirements on a strip behind. Busselton is a pretty town with quite a bit of history in some of its old buildings, which are currently being beautifully restored. Busselton like Bunbury sits in the Geographe Bay but it doesn’t have the surf beaches as it’s a bit more protected by Cape Naturaliste. The Busselton jetty being one of the longest in the southern hemisphere has also just finished refurbishment and it’s now a popular tourist attraction. We walked out to the end… 1.7 klm each way. Pip wasn’t that impressed with walking she wanted to catch the train but we thought the exercise would do us all good……..”I wish we caught the train too!”

We had a drive to Dunsborough, Cape Naturaliste and Yallingup (beautiful surf beach) checking out the brewery and olive farm. Also took a ride out to a cheese factory for a taste of the vintage cheddars and bought about 1.8kilos of the stuff. We now have s@*t loads of cheese and olives.

We are enjoying the weather while it lasts, as there is a forecast for rain at the end of the week. The weather seems a bit up and down the last few weeks going from quite cold at night, needing sleeping bags and doonas, to 4 nights later and we are under only a sheet and every window open trying to catch a breeze.

We are staying here now until Sunday as there is an agricultural shows here over Friday and Saturday. Mike though Pip would enjoy the show and the rides. The carnival crowd is camped up all around us in this park, literally, we have dodgems, super ball, hotdog stands and fairy floss vans, in fact I wake up each morning thinking “I’m at the show”. They’re all waiting until they can get into the show grounds to set up. Pip has had offers of free rides and games from at least half a dozen of the “carnies”. Mike had an offer of a job for a few days (manual labour setting up the big rides) he said uhh let me think for a half a sec..NO! Thanks.

The caravan park we are in here is more like a national park camp ground, its really lovely green grassy sites with Peppermint trees over hanging through out the grounds. We have spent quite a bit of time here just hanging out reading and relaxing then taking the short walk to the town to spend money. They have a great art store so Pips craft supplies have built up enormously.

How old is this Pip asks?

referb of the old buildings

Kookaburra park

We still love the gypsy life but I must admit I have had some caravan envy lately, as we are really short of storage space in this van. We have actually looked at vans for sale just in case we were to find something that would suit us (all great for couples not families) with more storage BUT… if we find something that has great storage and is small enough for our little jeep to tow we have to compromise living space which to us is more important……so we continue on in our van that at times looks like a backpackers hostel.
These photos are taking a seriously long time to download and although I have all the time in the world it is testing my patience so I'm sorry but I might have to add more photos from a different destination. 

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Lancelin to Bunbury

Its been a bit of a rainy time on this side of the globe, we’ve had bouts of intermittent rain for the last few weeks now but luckily with some nice weather in between. We left Jurien and headed to Lancelin to take our last look at the beautiful turquoise sea before going on to Perth City.

Lancelin Beach and jetty
Having a stop at Lancelin Pub


 We had 2 nights at a place called Karrinyup that is a northern suburb of Perth. We really scored with the caravan park there, being in the city pretty well, we thought it would be a bit average. However we had a fantastic site which, as you will see from the photos was right on the lake. Pippa got to feed all the wild birds including a HUGE pair of black swans, which frightened the living daylights out of her (at first). 
can you see us through the trees? nice spot

Pip escapes the swan
View from our site Karrinyup

We took the bus and train into the city and checked out a few of the sights. Pip was very impressed with the Perth Mint. She saw them pouring gold bullion which she thought was pretty cool and weighed herself on the $ scales converting her weight to value in gold. Apparently she is worth 1.143 million.
the Perth Mint

We stayed over with Haydn and Teresa for the remaining 4 days we were in Perth. They took us to the races, good shopping, and fed and wined us. We had a couple of days by ourselves to navigate the wine, chocolate and microbrewery trail, and the art galleries, museums and fore shores such as Fremantle. Perth is a really pretty and we’d imagine quite a nice city to live in.  
testing the chocolate at Swan Valley confectionary

Perth Museum
Pip n Heath at  Ascot Races

We left Perth yesterday for Bunbury. Now this is actually a beautiful spot! I could live here. Bunbury has great beaches, all the infrastructure of a large town, and great coffee and fine dinning precinct. Sadly we didn’t pre book a caravan park and due to the long weekend for CHOGM (the reason we left Perth) EVERYONE is booked out. We managed to get 2 nights at a park on the highway, which is very noisy. So a dinner out at Bianco gourmet Pizzas, a quick look around the town a few groceries and we are off tomorrow morning to Busselton, a whole 30 min down the road. I think we were actually lucky to get a site there too with everyone flooding away from CHOGM and the street closure chaos.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Jurien Bay

We have been at Jurien Bay now for nine nights and intend on departing here on Thursday, which will mean we have spent a day short of two weeks here.  This is the 43rd time we have stopped on our journey since leaving on the 13th of May and hence our 43 post. It is Sunday after noon; Teresa and Haydn (friends we made in Point Samson) have left us once again post a weekend of fun. We have not been staying in the van on this stop as Teresa and Haydn have very generously offered up their holiday house for our use. I still can’t quite get over how fantastic they have been to offer this to us. We have met so many genuinely generous people on this trip its actually quite humbling. They have driven up from Perth (two and a half hours) for the last two weekends to catch up with us here. 
More generous people, drinks with Roz and Pete

It’s been nice to sit on a lounge (with foxtel) and sleep in a bed for a change but its back into our little van Thursday night as we head to Lancelin for a night or two before arriving in Perth on Saturday, where Teresa and I will go SHOPPING and Pip can once again catch up with Heath whom she got on with like a bomb.

Also we fortunately caught up with another family (Barb Rog Jack and Lily) we have been playing tag with on our way down the coast. We managed to catch up and do a bit of fishing, Jack very pleased with his first REAL catch (his other first catch was a puffer fish caught at Kalbarri, this one a whiting) good on ya Jacko! We won’t catch up with them again for some time as they head a little faster on their journey to get home to Victoria for Xmas. Pip sadly said her good byes to 8-year-old Lily who has been her best “friend” since they met at Coral Bay.
Jack's catch

The weather has been pretty good to us here with only a few odd showers earlier in the week. Pip has tried out every playground in Jurien including the skate park. The council has really put some money into the fore shores here with playgrounds galore, and all very new looking at that. It’s a really clean little town ( no ciggy buts )that pretty much has everything you need including some things you don’t need like FLIES! FLIES! FLIES! We have never seen so many flies as we have seen coming down the lower west coast. I think they started becoming a major pain in the butt at about Denham and have slowly gotten worse. They are annoying as they try with all their might to fly themselves UP your nose and in your mouth. Eeaakkkkk!!!! 

We took a short drive on Wednesday out to the Cervantes Pinnacles, which were quite amazing to see. Unfortunately we weren’t there at sunset but it was a grand sight all the same.
Catch you later in Lancelin XXXX

Oh and I almost forgot..... We all decided to head off to the beach this morning to do a spot of fishing. We took the cars to carry the drinks and fishing gear and headed to a beach the other side of the Jurien Marina.  As we entered the beach and  hit the very soft fine white sand I said to Mike, "should we let the pressure out of our tyres?" Nahh Haydn hasn't was the reply.. Seriously 20 meters later we were bogged. I hate to say I told you so, so I didn't knowing full well Haydn would make fun of us. Haydn and Teresa did a u bolt to see what was going on.. "I thought you said your car goes alright in the sand" says Mr J? Ha ha and on that he buried himself in the soft sand to the dif too. What a sight... Teresa, Pip and I got out of the cars in embarrassment and left them to sort it out. All in all it was funny and it amused a few people passing by in their NOT BOGGED cars.. I was so annoyed with myself as I forgot to take a picture of the two of them. hahahahahahahahah Hey Haydn! YOU GO ALRIGHT DON"T YAH!!!!!!!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Dongara Pt Denison

Well we didn't find Okabella, the haunted house until we were about 50 klm south of Northampton and on our way in the pouring rain to Dongara. It was a dirt road or should I say mud road due to the rain they have had over the previous couple of weeks so we gave it the big miss. Its our last night in Dongara which is quite a historic town, a great surf beach, a small marina and friendly little shopping precinct. Dongara Denison as its named sits alongside the Irwin river and port Irwin no longer used as a port mainly due to the treacherous reef that lies close to the shore line. There have been many a ship wreck and mariner mishaps along these shores. An old local tells us of how dangerous these waters can be even to the most experienced mariners, as this area is known for its rogue waves that can tip a lobster trawler on its side in the blink of an eye. He then points out a memorial of 3 men whom where his friends, all drowned in a boating mishap. Mother nature is definitely in charge around here. The winds here are also bound and fierce. There are trees permanently flexed or growing north facing due to the prevailing southerly s. Any hoo! enough of all that we have had a nice time here an are of to Jurien Bay tomorrow to catch up with our friends Haydn, Teresa and their son Heath. We are looking forward to having their company a few drinks and some good feeds. (Lobster season officially starts here on this coast line from Juiren up... on the  15 November, they say, imported internationally! must be good eh). Well guys here are a few pics of Dongara Denison. Catch you in Jurien Bay.

Denison Marina

Denison Dongara sunset

Sunset at Grannys Beach where we are staying

talk about a windy day!!

Saturday, 1 October 2011


Yet another move to another beautiful spot on the coast, water is of course so blue and clear. We will stop here for 2 nights on our way to Dongara. On the way here we called in at Port Gregory, which is home to the Pink Lake. Yes it is actually PINK!!!!! It’s pink hue is created by bacteria (Dunaljella salina), which becomes trapped in the salt granules. We are going to have a day trip around the area tomorrow. Hopefully I will get a chance to capture the beautiful wild flower images. (We are alos going to sus out, Oakabella Homestead if possible!! WA most haunted house............. Pics to follow in next blog ohhhaaaaarrrrrr).  

This last picture is of Mikes big breakfast.. Check out the SLAB of egg he made us eat hahahaa

So sorry about the previous blogs pictures we were having a major problem with down loading. I think we were just on the brink of being in a NO SERVICE area. So here are the remaining photos of the lovely Horracks.