Day 8 / 9 – Stirling’s Bluff


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Todays primary mission was to climb Bluff Knoll in the Stirling Ranges National Park.
After paying the entry fee, we drove up to the base of the climb only to see the top of Bluff Knoll in cloud. We decided to move on to Albany and return the following day for the climb and the scenic Stirling Range drive.

As per normal, instead of going direct to destination, we went to destination via everywhere else but we did make it for lunch at a hotel on the main street of Albany.

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Nanarup Beach.

Having got to Albany earlier than expected, we shuffled the trip to Whale World onto the days schedule.

I was very impressed with the old whaling station, not what happened there whilst it was operating, but with it as a historical place. The guide who showed us around and told us about the place for about 30 minutes seemed very knowledgeable, not just reciting a script. Various pieces of machinery had been restored and, although not powered by steam or fuel, were electrically powered to show how they worked. There were also some very good audio / visual displays and, during the tour, a well designed audio track (cleverly hidden systems).

Too often you go to a museum / historic attraction / tourist attraction and it’s all very static / boring / poorly maintained and it doesn’t allow you to immerse yourself in experience.

Whale World is great and I’d love to come back in whale season when there are actually whales in the sound right near the station and to see new things they do with it.

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The Cheynes IV whale chaser.

On the way back to town, we explored the rest of the Flinders Peninsula including the gap and the natural bridge rock formations on the coast.

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We saw signs to a wind farm on the way to Whale World and so also stopped to look at this. We’ve seen so many of these wind farms around regional WA and SA, from as small as 3 turbines to as large as 12 here in Albany.
I think it’s really fantastic to see towns embracing this modern clean technology.

What we found was a dedicated viewing area and walking paths around the turbines. This is about the closet you’ll ever get to a wind farm to see these incredible pieces of engineering technology and see how big they are. Normally you can’t get anywhere near them. I was amazed to find you could barely hear them operating (I don’t even know why I thought they would be noisy).

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Day 9 started with a lazy breakfast and then the drive back to Stirling Ranges.
The climb up Bluff Knoll took about an hour and forty five minutes and the climb down about an hour and fifteen. It’s a decent climb and we probably should have started it earlier so it was slightly cooler, but nevertheless it was a beautiful day to climb it.

Bluff Knoll - Stirling Ranges
Panorama from the top.

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Where you start.

After the climb, we did the scenic drive through the park and then headed back to town through Mount Baker.
We grabbed Chicken Treat for dinner (poor mans Red Rooster? but now one and the same company?) and headed up Mount Melville to eat it.

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The view of Albany from the lookout tower.

After dinner we drove around the docks area and then up to Mount Clarence. The view from the top is pretty non existent but there is a a memorial to soldiers from the first world war.

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Albany seems like a nice town. Maybe I’m a little biased as I’ve seen three theatres in the town.

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