Smithsdownunder
Our journeys around Australia

Western Australia at the start of our journey

22-Oct-2004
   
Just another short journey this time 60km down the coast into another National Park bush campsite. Our friends in Aus, Di & Dave, suggested we called in to the Palandri vineyard near Margaret River. Ali had 4 glasses and I had to sober her up with a coffee and cake before we could move on. (And it was only just after 10am!!). The wine was very good and they sell it in Tescos in the UK. Look for the bottle with the gecko on the label. Ali recommends the Merlot Cabernay. (The navigator says she needs to have a few drinks before she climbs into the car with the driver she has got. We have taken the advice if our friends Jane & Graham in the UK and have a glass with our meal in the evening. I wonder how far around Aus we will get before the crate runs out?).

The campsite is set on the edge of a karri forest and is close to the coastal cliffs. It's a nice roomy site with lots of space between the pitches, loads of fireplaces and benches to sit on. The long-drop loos are clean (not too many spiders in them either!) but it's back to our solar showers. Some kangaroos have visited us and there are lots different parrots including some black cockatoos flying around. The ranger has left a great pile of firewood for use in the fireplaces and there is a very clean cooking area with free gas bbq's in the camp kitchens. All for $6 per head per night.

Camp Kitchen

The camp kitchen at Contos
Contos Spring

The coastline here is not unlike Dorset with its high cliffs but the beaches are sandy. The rocks in the area are limestone and there are caves everywhere.

This is Conto's Beach that is within walking distance of the campsite. The picture was taken from the cliff top, which is quite high, there are some surfers riding the waves if you look close enough!

The rocks at Cape Freycinet. We can hear the surf breaking over the rocks from the campsite. Cape Freycinet
Karri Forest

The forest here is different to the last one we stopped in, as the trees are mostly Karri. These are true gum trees with shiny smooth white trunks and those in the picture below were growing up to 40mtrs high and they were planted just 100 years ago. Unlike the Jarrah though, these trees are often destroyed if fire sweeps through the forest.

Karri Forest

We drove down to Augusta to visit the museum and the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. This is the most southwesterly point of Australia and also where the Indian Ocean joins the Southern Ocean.

Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse

Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse