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We started the morning with a jaunt down to the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse to climb its 186 steps to the top.
This is the most south-westerly point of mainland Australia and is where the Southern Ocean meets meets the Indian Ocean.
A few interesting notes about this lighthouse:
– Itâ€™s Australiaâ€™s tallest lighthouse (about sea level)
– It wasnâ€™t electrified until 1982 and wasnâ€™t automated until 1992
– Itâ€™s light can be seen up to 25 Nautical Miles away
– The stone walls are 2m thick at its base and 1m thick at the top
Back on the road, Stephen had a morning nap in the car as we headed along Caves Road to the Mammoth Cave where we did a self-guided tour of the cave (mp3 playing units). Mammoth Cave is one of many caves in the region that are open to visitors to wander down and see the spectacular formations.
It was good to go through another cave to refresh my memory as the next show Iâ€™m doing, Floyd Collins, is about the American caver Floyd Collins.
Moving on, we dropped past the Leeuwin Estate & Flying Fish Cove wineries and squeezed in lunch overlooking the sea.
Next planned stop was the Cap Naturaliste lighthouse but we were disappointed to find it was closed and we couldnâ€™t get anywhere near the lighthouse. It seemed to be a very small lighthouse as the bluff / cliff is very high above the ocean already.
Sugarloaf rock near Cap Naturaliste lighthouse (look for the three people on top)
Final destination for the day was Busselton, to catch the sunset at the jetty and stay the night.
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Today was a reasonably leisurely day.
We left Albany via the scenic road, stopping by the coast a few times before arriving at the Denmark Chocolate Company.
A man on a horse heading to the beach near Torbay Inlet.
Next stop was the Elephant Rocks Brewery and Toffee factory and onto the Valley of the Giants Treetop walk.
This walk goes through the the forest and at itâ€™s highest point 40m above the forest floor. Itâ€™s always fun going to such heights but I’ve been on other walks in Victoria and Queensland which I found a little more interesting.
Next stop was Pemberton to visit the Gloucester Tree. This is a 61m tall fire-lookout tree and one of three in the area that still exist. You climb the tree on a series of steel pegs sticking out from the tree trunk. (Iâ€™m sure this canâ€™t be OHS compliant)
Itâ€™s a little worrying at first, but you get used to it and soon youâ€™re at the top.
Look carefully for the tower at the top and the steel pegged â€˜ladderâ€™ circling the tree.
Looking down the â€˜ladderâ€™.
In the carpark, we did a little bit of bird spotting with numerous playful birds.
On the way back through town we stumbled upon the Pemberton Tramway Co. The track seems to run all the way to Northcliffe but was largely overgrown when we saw it earlier in the drive. I guess itâ€™s another scenic railway that operates as a not-for-profit and needs generous financial support to get the line fully reopened.
Finally in Augusta for the night. The Thai food didnâ€™t totally agree with me.