Journey Down South-Esperance, around the south west coast and back to Perth
Location: A small town called Denmark, 530km west of Esperance.
Duration: 3 weeks
Next on our recommendation list was a little campsite called Parry’s beach just outside the town of Denmark, WA. This beach was located on the western end of William Bay NP. The well known Bibbulmun Track winds along this beach, which is well worth the wander. The beach was fully accessible to 4wd’s and amazing for fishing (although we were absolutely useless at fishing, and I managed to read plenty of books!).We camped here for a couple of nights at the tiny sum of $15 a night and it included very clean facilities and warm showers which were hard to come by in most of the cheaper campsites. This place was entirely volunteer run, and for an hour or so of your time in cleaning you were able to stay for a few nights at a reduced price.
When we had our fill of relaxing and fishing (with no fish biting) we decided to continue on down the road. Just 20kms down the road was the very touristy spot of Elephant Rocks, which is situated in William Bay National Park. There is a car park at the beach, and a short walk down the steps brings you to see the tall rounded boulders. The name Elephant Rocks comes from the fact that the boulders are supposed to look like a large herd of elephants, however I think you need quiet a bit of imagination to see any elephants!! We (mainly James) had lots of fun climbing on the rocks and paddling in the calm and shallow waters of the sheltered beach. The water was pretty cool so we didn’t actually swim but it was crystal clear from where we were standing.
Once we had finished playing around in the shallow water’s of Elephant Rocks Bay, we took our journey towards ‘The Valley of the Giants’, another major tourist attraction in the area which is mainly known for the tree top walk positioned around 40 metres above ground. Sounds lovely? I’m sure it is. We didn’t pay the extortionate fee for the 600 metre walk, instead we had a wander around the interpretive trail instead with our feet firmly on the ground, allowing us to really see the sheer height and size of some of these mahoosive red Tingle Trees.
This area was best known for its Karri Trees of Glouchester National Park. This included the Glouchester tree itself, which I will show you later. Apparently Karri forests are only found in the South-West of WA and the Pemberton Area is home to some of the tallest trees in the world. We spent plenty of time driving some hidden tracks in the park and taking in the sheer size of these giants.
As well as finding some little off road tracks, we also drove the Karri Forest Explorer Drive which is an 85km circuit that starts just outside the town of Pemberton. We stopped for a picnic en-route and enjoyed the scenery. We also detoured to do the Lane-Poole Falls walk trail, which is a 5km easy walk from the Boorara Tree car park to the falls. Unfortunately we were there at the wrong time of year and it was more of a gentle piddle than an impressive falls. The Boorara tree (where we parked) was once a network of 18 fire lookout towers that were situated throughout the forests. During the fire season these towers were manned in order to spot any sign of smoke. There was also a replica cabin built there, in which the ‘towerperson’ resided during the season.
Next, we travelled to see the Glouchester Tree, the parks most popular resident. This tree was yet another fire lookout used in the 1940’s which has now been retired from its duties but is used as a tourist attraction. The tree is a massive 58 metres in height and it is pegged with very strong metal poles, to allow you to climb the tree. I roughly made about 10 metres before completely chickening out, bare in mind this activity is at your own risk, there are no nets to catch you if you slip. James chickened out twice before, third time lucky, he managed to climb right to the top and see the views from the lookout.
If you can see in the pictures, I am on the left, about 5 metres up and James has just about made it all the may to the top!
30 minutes drive from here was our next stop which was the King Jarrah Tree which is estimated to be 300 to 500 years old and stands at approx 36 metres tall (and yes I did have to do a google to check that little detail!) The area around the tree is beautiful, it has a little boardwalk which just about stretches your legs, ready for another long journey!
So yes.. this was a very tree-y post… I’m sure you found it in-tree-guing.