The beach at Cozy Corner

Robbiebago in the campsite at Cozy Corner. The beach is just behind that hedge you can see behind the van

The beautiful coastline of Albany and surrounds started for us with a couple of days at a wonderful beach side free camp spot called Cozy Corner just about 15 km east of Shelly Beach and 30 km west of Albany. It is a very popular place for camping and we were lucky to get such a spot.

Looking down on Shelly Beach

We enjoyed some quiet walks and time out in general and of course a swim and as mentioned in the previous blog entry it included the drive to Shelly Beach with its clear blue waters in 2 distinct colours, azure blue and turquoise. Of course the young hunks hang gliding off the top didn’t detract from the scenery at all.

The Robbibago surrounded by roos at Kalgan River, Albany

Bob petting the 2 White faced Kangaroos

After a few days in a semi paradise we moved onto Albany to the Kalgan River Campsite which boasts a 9 hole golf course, direct river access for boats and dozens of kangaroos including some unusual white faced kangaroos. We came here to meet up with friends, Helen & Tony whom we had met back in Bunbury. Lo and behold their next door neighbour at the park are Sandra and Laurie whom we had met back at the Big Brook Arboretum near Pemberton. Tony offered to teach Bob how to fish. So when the guys went off for a day of fishing in Tony’s boat, us girls went shopping as most of us needing warmer clothes for the approaching winter. Well Bob caught the first fish and then the last one , which was a poisonous blow fish, and nothing in between. He is very good at feeding the bait to the fish rather than hooking them. Still Tony & Laurie shared their spoils with us at dinner at night that Helen and Sandra cooked up for us all.

We attended the Church of Living Water in nearby Oyster Bay with another couple from the caravan park whom we had befriended. It was a very friendly contemporary Anglican Church though they still follow a modern Prayer Book service and the minister dressed up in the robes. We were made to feel very welcome there and were invited to stay for coffee afterwards. They have a very healthy attendance though there is still a bit of a gap of youth age kids but not completely absent. They have a very talented worship leader who led on acoustic guitar and a keyboard and a bass player too! (There is a drum kit in the background but no player this morning!)

The waves pounding at The Gap

Almost next door to The Gap is the Natural Bridge

We also did some sightseeing trips around Albany including the Gap and the Natural Bridge and some beaches in the vicinity. The blowhole was a disappointment; it was a lot of noise but no spray. Tthe rocks surrounding it were not even damp. I kindly called it Puff, however Bob had a more impolite name for it that I can’t mention here. The Dog Rock is visible anytime you go into town. We finished with a visit to the War Memorial on top of a hill which is also a great place as a lookout over the town.

One of the many beaches around Albany

Another one of the many beaches around Albany

Sandra taught me how to crochet. I am starting a lap rug for my first project. I can’t make any more explosion boxes as I have no more room to store them in the Robbiebago. So this is what I will be doing whilst Bob does the driving from now on.

View from the Albany War Memorial over Albany's Port
View from the Albany War Memorial over Albany's beach

This is the life

Hang Glider over Shelly Beach
I am so fortunate. I am sitting out on a sand dune top lookout, about 20 km from Albany, while I catch up on the internet. (There is no internet reception at our campsite on the beach.) It is amazing here. Bob is watching the hang gliders who are about 15m away while I type away. There are 5 guys hang gliding down to the lovely azure blue waters and sandy beach below called Shelly Beach. The sun is nice & warm but it is not hot as there is a lovely gentle breeze and we are both healthy, relaxed and as happy as Larry!

One of the hang gliders at Shelly Beach near Albany
The days are getting cooler now about 24-26 (The perfect temperature in my opinion!) and nights actually starting to get cooler. It was just 7 degrees the other morning but usually it is about 18 in the mornings...

I like to get up early to sit and read or do crafts. Sometimes I even go for a walk and take my sunrise photos. When it is a bit too cool  then I rug up and sit in my track suit with Bob's quilted flannel shirt over it. On the  really cold mornings I even have Bob's big wool coat over all that too. I might even have soxs on my feet tucked inside ugg boots and a hat on to keep my head warm. I know I look ridiculous but no one can see me hidden away in my Robbiebago and anyway who cares. At least I am warm and happy! I hope you are all warm, happy and healthy too! Do drop a comment to let me know someone at least is reading my blog!

The morning mist rising over Cozy Beach near Albany

The Valley of the Giants

This place is so wonderful that it deserves a blog entry all of its own. It is certainly the biggest highlight of our time here. It is the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk. It would rate in my top 10 places of interest on this trip so far! The walk is not for those scared of heights, but it is oh so exciting and it is absolutely fantastic to be up at tree top height. Don't be alarmed as the whole bridge sways as you walk, it is meant to help you be aware that you are at tree top height!

 If you or your partner want to take the walk but the other can’t handle it, then go for a lovely stroll through the Tingle Forest walk at the same place. It is great too! The Tingle Trees are a type of Eucalypt that are indigenous to this very small area where they are susceptible to having a hollow interior mainly through bush fires but still growing healthily to extreme heights.

 Go there. I promise it is well worth the visit.

Big Brook Arboretum, Pemberton & the tall Karri & Tingle trees

The view from the front of the car as we drive through the forest trails - just gorgeous
The Gloucester Tree
We stayed at the camp grounds at Big Brook Arboretum just outside Pemberton in amongst many trees. From here we were able to visit the tall Karri trees. A drive through the forest trails is a beaut way to see the beauty of the area. We also visited the Gloucester Tree and the Bicentennial Tree, both of which one can climb. I did climb a bit of the Gloucester Tree just enough to get a photo. At least with the Gloucester Tree you climb almost upright. I didn't get far with the Bicentennial Tree – the gaps between the rungs are too wide and forward so you have to climb leaning forward and using your hands. It leaves you in a position where you are looking down constantly and it feels like you are going to fall through the rungs, and I don't generally get too scared of heights, so imagine how it would be for some people who do!
the lovely gentle Cascades
The mouth of a sucking lamprey fish - the middle is like a borer - urgh!

We also visited the Circular Pools, the Warren River and the Cascades which were still running even though it is quite low at present. This is one of the breeding places for the lamprey fish which is a sucking fish that bores and devours the flesh of other bigger fish... is this Australia’s answer to the piranhas??? We could see the baby lamprey fish but no way am I going in these waters....Scary!

The quiet reflections in the Warren River - can you see the dinosaur head?

The Western Rosella

A trip down memory lane

All of us have times occassionlly when we get the opportunity to revisit something from the past. For us it happened on a day trip whilst we were still based at Gracetown. We went on longer drive to down the the south eastern most point of Australia to the quaint little town of Augusta. Here we took in a visit to a few places that we had visited shortly after we were married with our good friends, Henry & Liz, when we all came to Perth for a youth camp. Yes kids, we were young once and did spur of the moment things too! After camp we hired a campervan together with Henry & Liz and took a week or so to visit some places together. The Augusta Lighthouse and the water wheel were 2 such places.

Something new we did on this day trip was that we took a tour of the Lakes Caves nearby. We had visited a cave or 2 with Henry & Liz all those years ago but I doubt it was the Lakes Caves. We chose the Lakes Cave today as it was the only one with water in the caves at this time of the year. It was a lovely day all up and Bob and I thoroughly enjoyed rehashing our youth days. Oh to be young again!...but then I would have to start all over again... nah... this is a good time of life to be living... I just wish my body was as young as my mind!

Just a early taste of the tall Karri tree forests

Food and wine heaven: the Margaret River Area

We headed towards Margaret River region via the lighthouse at Dunsborough, where we also took a short trail walk. We stayed at Gracetown Caravan Park which is only 12km from Margaret River itself and just 4km from the beach. Being the long weekend coming up, we took it when we found it was available. The areas is so dry, even though there is water in the river, it is not flowing into the ocean as we discovered in one of our drives.

Another day was spent touring the food places such as the cheese factory, the chocolate factory and a nut factory and checking out various local beaches such as the one at Yallingup as pictured above. On yet another day we did a tour of 3 wineries that specialize in fortified wines since both Bob and I prefer Port to regular wines.

On our way out of the Margaret River region we just had to stop at Blackwood Meadery. We had tasted Mead some 25 years ago and loved it. It is so hard to come across a bottle. Of course at these places we just had to buy some of the produce... we just couldn’t resist it. All through our holiday I love to note different birds and flowers that I may not have seen before. Sometimes one of us is lucky enough to get a decent photo. Above is a photo of a  beautiful White eyed Honeyeater feeding on a colourful & I guess yummy grevillea.


We stayed at Amblin Caravan Park, which is right on the beach. It is a small park, about 8km from town. We went into town for groceries and some sightseeing. The weather is hot here too and far too hot to walk the famous 1.8 long jetty at this time. We came back another day.

On day 2 we went for a drive via Donnybrook, which has this amazing public playground for kids. It is the biggest and best one I have seen full stop. We stop here for lunch under a lovely shady tree, sitting on the grass as it was much cooler there. We had planned to stop at a waterfall (which was dry) but there was no shade and the heat reflected back off the exposed rocks so we moved on. We had a marvellous couple of hours catching up with fellow caravaners, Kathy & John at a delightful cafe/quilting shop that was thankfully fully air conditioned, where surpruse, surprise I didn't buy anything, though I was sorely tempted!. On the Sunday I tried my luck at the local markets, but unfortunately did not sell much stuff this time. I think it was too ot for casual strolling and being tempted by all the marvellous crafts and items available for sale. Other regular market stall holders report it being a very slow day.

We had a lazy afternoon finishing off with a sunset walk along the wharf/jetty where we took some marvellous photos.


We spent 4 days at Bunbury in a caravan park just across the road from a beautiful sandy Koombana Beach. We took a day trip around the place, but other than beaches there is not a lot around here. We had a BBQ by the beach one evening and invited the caravan neighbours to join us and then went swimming in the bay.

I was hoping to see and swim with the dolphins we saw in the same bay the evening before whilst walking but it was not to be. Still it was lovely to cap the day with a night swim and with new friends.

By the way the camp ground is just behind the big tall building in this photo, right between the 2 bodies of water. You can just see the beach on the left. The next photo below shows it more close up with the water channel in the foreground. In the background you can see the mounds of sand that has been mined ready for shipping out. The  beach photo above is the Koombana Beach at sunset where we swam