Sunday, May 30, 2010


We stopped briefly at the town of Carnarvon, mainly to go grocery shopping. We visited the Heritage Precinct with it’s historic trains and lighthouse memorabilia.

We walked the length of the One Mile Jetty said to be the longest jetty in WA. It was used to load sheep, cattle and produce to ship to Perth. Now it’s a tourist (and fishing) attraction with a tram running it’s length. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


We chose to walk for the exercise.

Shark Bay

Shark Bay is a World Heritage listed area with several National Parks. It is the site of the first recorded European visit to Australia - the Dutchman Dirk Hartog. It also hosts perhaps 10% of the world population of dugongs. This is due to the huge areas of seagrass in its shallow bays. It also presumably has some sharks.

They are trying to promote native wildlife on the peninsula by fencing it off and ridding it of foxes and feral cats. The peninsula is very narrow where it joins the mainland so it’s feasible to construct and maintain an electric fence. This is Project Eden.

This picture shows one end of the electric fence where it goes into the ocean (!) at Shell Beach.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Hamelin Pool

On our way to Shark Bay, we spent the night at a caravan park at Hamelin Pool. The caravan park is at the site of a former telegraph relay station that was on the line from Perth to the north.

Hamelin Pool is part of Shark Bay that is almost closed in by a hard bar. This causes the water to be more salty than the open oceans which favors two life forms:

- More stromatolites. The stromatolites at Hamelin Pool were more extensive than we had seen before and there was a boardwalk for easy viewing.

- Shell beaches. The waters are home to a gazillion small bivalves. These wash onto the beach in storms and build up into dune-like ridges composed of nothing but shells. In some places the shells cement together and form a soft block material that can be cut with saws and used for construction. There was a shell block quarry near the old telegraph station.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Thursday, May 27, 2010


We spent two nights in Kalbarri and spent a day touring the area. In the morning we visited several overlooks and scenic spots on the coast. The coastline here is rocky cliffs with natural bridges and small island outcrops.

Coastal Cliffs near Kalbarri.

In the afternoon we drove around 30km inland, over gravel roads, to where the river has formed a system of gorges. There were overlooks and hiking trails and another natural arch called ‘Nature’s Window’.
Nature’s Window natural arch.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

We meet Prince Leonard

As we left Hutt River on Wednesday, we finally met HRH Prince Leonard, ruler of the Principality. More information on the Principality may be found here.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

We briefly leave Australia

We are staying tonight in the Principality of Hutt River. This very small country seceded from the Australian Commonwealth in 1970 in a dispute over grain quotas and this year is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
The Principality is ruled by HRH Prince Leonard. We have not met him but we were shown around the souvenir shop by HRH Princess Shirley. They print postage stamps and money, and will stamp ones passport.
There is a Hutt River Defence Force, including a navy, and they have diplomatic representation in several countries around the world. They have a Consulate in Las Vegas apparently. Their Defence Force and Diplomatic Corps seem to contain many knights and other titled personages.

We briefly become heroes!

On our way down a gravel road to stay at the Hutt River Principality - more about that shortly - we came across some stranded motorists. They had attempted to turn around and had become bogged down in the soft sandy area beside the road.
We unhitched the caravan and dug out our so far unused off-road snatch strap. This strap is stretchy so that the pull comes on gradually as the tower (me in this case) drives his vehicle forward. It worked remarkably well and the stranded vehicle was back on the road in a couple of minutes.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Just outside Cervantes is a salty lake that is one of many up the coast that were formed behind the dunes when sea levels fell. Those gray lumps are stromatolites, calcite mounds grown (slowly) by cyanobacteria. Fossil stromatolites have been found dating over 3.4 billion years old, making them the oldest living thing found in the fossil record.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Our first touristing stop north of Perth was Cervantes, a small town on the coast. The coast in this area is mainly sand dunes stretching back miles and some limestone outcrops. Some interesting outcrops in a National Park just south of Cervantes take the form of thousands of small pinnacles. The park has a 15km drive through fields of these things.
They don’t seem to be fully understood - there are several theories about them. Somehow, limestone surrounding these pinnacles has eroded away, and these remain. One theory is that the roots of ancient trees somehow kept them from eroding. They certainly have the diameter and distribution typical of trees in a forest.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Art cows

Cow.yqX2w6ZCiiOC.jpgCow2.G1IZ8iMgrgzT.jpgCow3.fu4mskOXDNmS.jpgThrough most of the southwest capes area - the Margaret River Wine Region - they have a distributed exhibition of art cows. There are hundreds of them, several in each town, and each painted by a different artist to a theme. Here are a few we photographed.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

We chat to a local

We were driving along and stopped to chat with this Australian.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Wind Farm

Wind Farm on the coastal hills overlooking Albany, WA.

Whale World, Albany

Albany is the site of the last Whaling station in Australia - it closed in 1978. They had three whale chasers that caught Sperm whales offshore near the edge of the continental shelf and brought them into the whaling station where they were chopped up and rendered down into whale oil and other products.

Now the former whaling station has been converted into Whaleworld. They have one of the whale chasers on display as well as the flensing decks, processing boilers and oil storage tanks. The storage tanks have been converted into small audio-visual theaters with historical displays. It was worth a visit.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

The Big Ram

I stopped near Perth for a few days to pick up Ginger from the airport, and then returned to York. We’ve decided to check out the southern coast of Western Australia so we set off towards Albany. We stopped for the night at a small town called Wagin whose claim to fame is a giant statue of a ram.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Smallest Bank

Just for a change from big things, this is claimed to be the smallest bank in Australia - a minor branch I assume. It’s in the small town of Shackleton, WA. It seems to be still in use, but it was closed when I passed on a Sunday.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Wave Rock

Australians appear to like big rocks! The western part of the country is relatively flat, particularly in the wheatbelt area I am traveling through right now, except for scattered monolithic rocks that are the remains of ancient granite intrusions deep under ground. The surrounding softer rocks have eroded away.
Many, if not most, of these rocks have picnic areas and are used for leisure. I have camped at several of them.
This picture is of Wave Rock, part of a large rock near Hyden (called Hyden Rock). I have seen other rocks with smooth eroded edges, but none as spectacular as this.
Tonight, I am staying in a caravan park at the town of Bruce Rock, in the Shire of Bruce Rock. Bruce Rock is reportedly nearby, but I have not seen it. Yet.