Stirling Range Retreat - a lovely spot nestled at the foot of the mountain range. The rammed earth cabins where we stayed certainly needed a cosmetic upgrade. I didn't appreciate the inch long crawly things on the floor (we spent some time stomping these) and I still don't know what they were. But I guess that was part of the eco-retreat experience.
The entrance to our rammed earth cabin. This was one of the few attractive features of our accommodation.
Did we mention it was fly season?? They look for moisture wherever they can find it and Andrew was a little sweaty after our trek. They go for the eyes and nose and we have both spat them out of our mouths.
A windy perch in Albany overlooking the King George Sound, part of the Southern Ocean. Not feeling like climbing up many stairs, we drove up and parked in the handicapped spot.
Albany War Memorial.
The Lone Pine Memorial; a pine grown from seeds brought back by returning soldiers from a solitary pine in Gallipoli at the site of the famous WWI battle.
This lizard was basking in the sun in the garden at the memorial. It was about 35 cm long. We saw some monitor lizards in the Stirling Range, the largest being about a metre long. Yikes!
Albany is the oldest town in WA. This is a replica of the brig Amity. The Amity arrived carrying a military party and convicts on Christmas day in 1826 to establish the first colony in Western Australia. Quite young compared to NS. The Minang people had been there for thousands of years.
Leaving Albany, we drove west and stopped at an absolutely stunning beach called Green's Pool and Elephant Rocks.
Our pictures don't really capture the colour and beauty of this place.
The water was cool but definitely swimmable.
Andrew enjoying a walk in the Southern Ocean - the weather was beautiful.
The colours here were indescribable - I really didn't want to leave this place. Looking south towards Antarctica about 3500 km away.
Elephant rocks; can you see them?
A slow and painful walk down the stairs to the beach by the "elephants".
The narrow approach to the beach. Don't go at high tide!
Another view of the "elephants".
Some tourists waiting for the swell to come though the rocks. A perfect place to swim. Surely sharks wouldn't swim in here.
Wild cineraria (Senecio elegans) was one of the dune flowers in full bloom. Turns out it is a garden escapee (i.e. weed), native to South Africa.
We then drove to the Nornalup National Park near Walpole to enjoy the Ancient Empire Trail, home to giant tingle trees. Can you spot Andrew looking way up??
This tree is known as 'Grandma Tingle' who looks after the forest around her. She measures 12 m in circumference and they estimate her to be around 400 years old.
In a tingle tree - they were pretty impressive.
The trail goes right through this red tingle tree.
It's amazing these trees are still living with these large gaping holes in the trunks.
After surviving many fires, this tree continues to grow. Amazing durability and resilience.
After a beautiful day of exploring the south coast we headed to the Tinglewood Cabins for the night, looking forward to a good night's sleep and resting our weary bones.