We moved onto Pemberton today, taking a short detour to the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse en route. This is where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet (although they didn’t make much of a splash in the process today) . It is the most southerly point in Australia – it is 5435 kms to the South Pole from here. Standing on the shore, Africa lies to the West (right) and Antarctica to the East (left) – such a big world out there still to explore …. There are venomous snakes in these grounds and signs to make sure you are aware of that – probably a lot more effective than the signs we have back home “Kindly keep off the grass – Thank You”! You can buy a combo ticket to include Jewel Cave, which has the longest straw stalactite seen in a tourist cave at 5.9m, but we were all caved out so gave it a miss.
Tim Tams – a bit like Penguin biscuits, but way nicer and more satisfying. A Tim Tam Slam involves drinking your tea through the Tim Tam like it was a straw then eating it seconds before it melts. Just suck quickly or watch the biscuit dissolve into your tea!
After checking in at the Karri Valley Resort, we still had plenty of time to explore Pemberton and its famous Gloucester Tree. This 53m high Karrie tree was once used as a bush fire lookout – you can walk all the way to the top on a steel ladder if you so wish (no thanks – I got vertigo just looking up to the top of it! The notice at the base of the tree tells you it is forbidden to climb it wearing a thong. As if – imagine – no trousers and all that flesh exposed???? There is a very pleasant loop walk through the forest where we saw clematis pubescens, hover eliptica and many other pretty shade loving plants.
PS: Thongs are flip flops, I later discover – it makes a bit more sense now!
We bought a month’s holiday pass to the National Parks here for $60 – great value when you consider that entry to an individual park is $15. We haven’t needed it to access any of the National Parks we have visited so far, but now was the right time to invest.
Learning the lingo:
Stubbies – bottles of beer.
Bill Bryson dubbed this area “the pleasant peninsula” and I can really see why. There is just so much to like here:
- Great climate (Winter temperatures usually not below 5 and the hottest Summer days not usually above 35).
- English Breakfast Tea available everywhere (take note USA!)
- Free parking everywhere outside Perth.
- They drive on the” right” side of the road (i.e. the left).
- The fish and chips is great
- The beer is as good as at home
- There is no-one on the beaches (at least in WA!)
I could easily spend a great deal of time here – maybe even a “sell-up-my-car-buy-a-campavan-and-travel-around-for-a-year” sort of time …