Sunday, May 22, 2011

Big Elephant Rocks to Big Gloucester Tree

Elephants Rocks & Greens Pool near Denmark, Western Australia. 
On  calmer days the beach is full of people, but the swells were up and the surf was rough.  It is still a magical place.  We came to this spot via a wooden staircase leading to a narrow (arm span width) gap between two rock walls.  The boys and I had to time the water coming in and out in order not to get wet.  Unfortunatley, nobody told Becky or Pa this and they got soaked up to their knees.  (Note:  We are posting the last half of our Easter Vacation pictures a little late.)

Denmark tours included a petting zoo - complete with animals not native to Western Australia!?
Like, koalas (native to Eastern states), foxes (Europe), bison (North American) , alpacas (South America), llamas, camels (Africa/ Asia), Scottish Highland cattle, guinea pigs, chickens, pigs, and the list goes on.  After all, Australia is a multi-cultural country and accepts all sorts animals (and people) of many origins into their cultural mosaic.
Grandpa Walker gets his wish - to pet a Victoria/New South Wales/ Queensland Koala.
Other Denmark tours include a meadery (honey wines) and scenic highway. 

A little further down the road - a scenic viewpoint.  Up the hillside looking out towards Walpole Bay.  We stayed one night in a cabin along the shores of Walpole Bay.

Giant Tingle Trees.  A type of eucalyptus tree native to the forests of the southern coast.  These trees are giants!  Up to 100 metres tall, tingles are the third tallest trees in the world playing in the same field as the redwoods and sequioas.  They live for hundreds of years surviving droughts and forest fires.  Often hollowed out by fire/ growths/ decays/ and damage - as long as tingle trees have some root system left they will continue to grow to great heights.

TREE TOP WALK  - Between Denmark and Walpole
One of WA's top tourist attractions.  The Tree Top Walk was built so visiters could come upclose to nature without the damage that constant fooprints/ tire tracks cause.  The gently climbing catwalk takes you up to the canopy of the forest.  Fantastic views, a little freaky when it began to sway and swing in the wind and bounce with walkers behind us, but so worth it.  Wonderful forest board walk explaining the difference between Karri, Marri, and Tingle trees.  All are tall eucalyptus trees sought for their beautiful hardwood.                                                  
                                                        Grandma Hughes ponders the amazing view as the grandkids run on.

Historic Pemberton Hotel and Pub
What unites us?  Is it sitting in a pub in another Commonwealth country, with my children and my parents, drinking Aussie ale, whilst watching the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate with a bar full of loyal royal spectators cheering on Sir Elton, Becks and Victoria, the Queen and laughing at the cousins  'hats'?   Had to laugh, because when will it ever happen to us again?

Click on the picture to see the Queen arriving on the TV.

Pemberton steam trains of old.  But, today we'll travel on a diesel tram.

Trestle bridge crossing.

Pemberton Tramway Tour.

Gloucester Tree Climb.  As series of fire lookouts were constructed in the top of Karri trees mainly during the 1930s and 40s.  Today you can still climb some of these fire look out trees to take in the view.  Not for the afraid of heights.  It took 15 minutes to steady climbing to get to the top.  Caleb and Jackson were allowed to climb 15 and 5 rungs respectively.  Though they were gung-ho to climb up higher if we would of let them. 

  Ken and Collin Walker are new members
of the mile high club :) 

View from the top.  On a clear day you can see 70 some km to the sea.

Yes.  That is my feet and I still have 1/4 of the way to go. 
Our trip to Albany and  the Southwest with our parents was a wonderful experience and we are glad to have been able to share it with them.

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