Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Quick Trip Down To Busselton

I swore after the last time I stayed at Busselton that I would never return. This time we planned to stay in Dunsborough, about 19kms down the road, and the place I finally chose, The Geographe Bayview Resort, seemed to be far enough down the Bussel Highway to be out of Busselton.

Sunday, our departure day, was Yu-Jin's birthday. He was up at a reasonable hour and told me that he was very pleased with myself and Miky for the presents that he received. That sort of statement sent me into shock but I soon recovered. Interesting way to say that he was thankful.

Drove down to Dwellingup for the first stop to visit the Hotham Valley Tourist Railway. We arrived an hour before the ride was due so were able to have a bit of a wander around. Took a nice little trip to Etmilyn Station which is an old platform from the days of the tree-fellers. I don't think it was used for anything else and the rail is just over 100 years old. We were a little bit early in the season for the steam train, worried about bushfires, and so had a diesel engine to do the work. Quite enjoyable.

Miky and Yu-Jin outside the Dwellingup pub.

Yu-Jin and our diesel engine at Hotham Valley Tourist Railway.

Scenery at the Hotham Valley Tourist Railway - there's quite a lot of trees about.

Grass trees near Etmilyn Station.

Some very tall grass trees near Etmilyn Station.

Is that a leprechaun or a frog?

Had lunch in the pub at Dwellingup and boy they do nice burgers. Not like that fast food rubbish that you get in the city. And it was nice to be seated next to the wood fire. There's even a PoW camp for Italians and Germans nearby but we didn't get to see it.

We stopped at Bunbury for a drink and a check of the map. Made a quick detour to see the Ludlow Tuart Forest National Park. We almost missed it, it was that small.

Disappointing amount of large trees in the Ludlow Tuart Forest National Park.

Large fungus on a huge tree.

Once we arrived at Busselton I inadvertantly took the bypass and came around the back way to find our accommodation. The Geographe Bayview Resort is right on the beach. Bloody lovely to go out through the back gate and find yourself on the beach, let me tell you. Not that it was the sort of weather to go for a swim. Drove something like 290 kms on day one.

The beach was right at the rear of Geographe Bayview Resort.

Crabs on the beach at Busselton.

We took the "Cape Escape" package which included a dinner for two adults, a picnic hamper and four continental buffet breakfasts. The dinner meant that we could choose whatever we liked from the menu (woohoo!) and the breakfasts were very sizeable with a large range. Dinner was certainly enjoyed.

Birthday cake for a special 6 year-old.

Breakfast the next day was heartily partaken. After we had gone for a walk along the beach, mind you. Then we played mini golf. Miky beat me on the first nine holes. How on earth could I lose to someone who doesn't even like watching sport? I won the 2nd nine and Yu-Jin knocked one in in two shots - wish I had it on video as it was an awesome shot. Played the 3rd nine left-handed and won but it was fiercely competitive. We let Yu-Jin have a go on the bouncy castle after mini golf.

Yu-Jin and Miky playing mini golf.

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse was our first stop for the day. Leon was our guide and he filled us in on the history of the 103 year old lighthouse. The glass is worth $5m at the moment and they didn't get electricity until 1976! There used to be a keeper and two assistants who worked in four hour shifts, had no holidays and were stuck there for a few years. One guy did 24 years. The four hour stint was because the light ran on kerosene and the fumes would overcome you if you worked for longer. Not pleasant work. Leon informed us that the day before the anonometer (wind guage) had stopped and that was only the third time in four years - it's a very windy place. He also said that we should go for a walk to the cliff face and drive to Sugarloaf Rock.

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse - built in 1903.

Original lighthouse keeper's house.

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse tour guide Leon Chidlow and assistant.

And these tiny motors running the light at Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse.

We took our 20 minute walk to the cliff face and were rewarded with lots of seals on the rocks below. Drove to Sugarloaf Rock and had our picnic hamper for lunch. Just off the coast were a pod of dolphins jumping out of the water and generally mucking around. The contents of the hamper went down very well. Yu-Jin and I did some rock climbing and it was three o'clock before we finished.

The coastline at Cape Naturaliste was quite striking.

Sugarloaf Rock.

Beautiful scenery, whichever way you look.

Trees grow in some funny places.

Did I mention that trees grow in some funny places.

I'm sure I mentioned before that trees grow in funny places.

We went home and we boys had a shower before heading off to the pool. I don't feel that the pool was suitable for kids as there wasn't a real safety ledge. Shower again, mainly to get warm following the walk back, then I went off to buy something for tea. Yu-Jin and I played cards and watched music videos on the telly, drew in his Doodle Book and partook in some play-fighting. Miky finished off her Da Vinci Code book, in Korean, even though I warned her that she would be bored the next day if she finished it. Spoke with an old friend, James, who now lives in the area and it was great to catch up. Our new next door neighbours were very loud. Thankfully I was very tired and they didn't bother me too much.

She's all go along the Busselton foreshore. Stand aside young 'ans.

Tuesday morning and Yu-Jin and I went for a walk along the beach collecting a few shells and spotting some crabs just off the shore. Another great breakfast, they never made us pay for Yu-Jin's breakfast as well, followed by some time on the bouncy castle. Yu-Jin, not me. Checked out.

Our accommodation at Geographe Bayview Resort.

Drove down Caves Road to the Lake Cave near Margaret River. The speed limit of 90 km/h was a bit fast in places even for me. But I did put the cruise control on so just had to grit the teeth on a few bends. I wouldn't like to be driving at that speed at night time however. Yu-Jin and I went down the cave whilst Miky stayed in the cafe. I had warned her about not finishing her book. Wonderful sight.

Been a fire near Margaret River.

Lake Cave guide Benson.

Some trees from 250-500 years old growing in the cave.

Pretty spooky looking decorations outside the moist part of the cave.

Going down to Lake Cave.

Watch your head whilst entering, Jnr.

It's only a tiny entrance to the cave following a rock fall.

Joined columns in Lake Cave.

We weren't going to be cold in the cave.

Looks like Superman's house of crystals.

Joined columns that dangle 50cm above the water.

Dig those columns.

Like a thousand daggers waiting to drop.

The stalactites look like something out of a Hollywood movie.

Then for the drive home. Spotted some emus on the road. Margaret River is a small town but I would give up on trying to park in the main street - it is busier than central Perth. We had lunch at the Ship Resort in Busselton, including Indian (tikka bikari - lovely) before heading out to the jetty. We walked all two kilometres of, perhaps, the world's longest wooden jetty. Then we walked all two kilometres back to shore. James had warned me that it would be cold and windy on the jetty and he was right. Spotted some Korean tourists on the jetty so I said hello in Korean which caught them off-guard. Love doing that sort of thing. Interestingly, the last time we were on a jetty, which was at Glenelg in Adelaide, we stumbled across some Koreans as well. Yu-Jin and I made a sand castle before continuing the drive home.

The start of the Busselton Jetty, all 2km of it.

They paint pictures like this of Busselton Jetty.

The Busselton Jetty sticks a long way out to sea.

Last chance to build a sand castle whilst on holiday.

Filled up my car in Bunbury and was stunned to find out that even though I had driven at 90-110 km/h most of the way my fuel economy was great - 30.4 mpg. I only get 23 mpg around town. All up I did close to 400 kms driving on our last day.

Great little getaway. And now the missus can't wait to go back.

1 comment:

Hammysmum said...

Lovely! You can have the caving on your own. They look beautiful, but, no thank you. It is a pity we are in the throes of political correctness. We always called them Black Boys. The Aborigines don't mind.