A Travellerspoint blog

June 2012

Day 36 - Sunday 10 June 2012

Albany

We woke this morning to a temperature of 13 degrees, heavy overcast skies, an expected top temperature of 18 degrees, and a forecast of 2 days of rain and stormy weather. We started the day with a visit to the Albany Boat Shed Market, thinking that it might be a sea-food market. Not so - it was quite a small market with only a handful of stalls selling mixed produce and hand crafts. There was one seafood stall, however at the best the could do was mullet, leatherjackets, and squid - we gave it a miss. There were almost more stallholders than customers, perhaps both were affected by the rain.

Given the bad weather we decided to visit Whaleworld thinking that the Museum guided tour might be inside - a big mistake! Whaleworld is a museum developed at the Albany Whaling Station that was closed down in 1978, and uses the old buildings and oil storage tanks to house the exhibits. It was still raining so we had to dash through the rain from one exhibit to the next with our tour guide. The Albany Whaling Station operated 4 whalers, Cheynes I, II, III and IV, the first 3 were converted mine-sweepers, while Cheynes IV was purpose built in Norway and is now a museum exhibit.

Whale World

Whale World

Di looking a bit windblown with Cheynes IV

Di looking a bit windblown with Cheynes IV

Harpoon gun on the bow of Cheynes IV

Harpoon gun on the bow of Cheynes IV

Triple expansion steam engine from the scuttled Cheynes III

Triple expansion steam engine from the scuttled Cheynes III

The Flensing Deck

The Flensing Deck

Winches to hawl whales onto the flensing deck

Winches to hawl whales onto the flensing deck

Sperm Whale skeleton

Sperm Whale skeleton

Blue Whale skeleton

Blue Whale skeleton

At the finish of the tour we shared a seafood platter for lunch in the restaurant. On the 50 km drive back to Albany we stopped at the Blowholes, The Natural Bridge and The Gap, and as the rain had eased we managed a few photos.

No action at the Blowholes - wind from the wrong direction

No action at the Blowholes - wind from the wrong direction

The Natural Bridge

The Natural Bridge

Coastline near the Gap

Coastline near the Gap

The Gap

The Gap

Stormy Weather

Stormy Weather

About 5:30 pm Di got a message from her brother Geoff asking how we were with the wild weather in WA - Di replied that it had just been wet in Albany. Within half an hour we were outside strugging to roll up our awning in a 40 knot wind storm that came out of nowhere. The caravan park is nested between Albany's hills and the sand dunes and is really very sheltered.

Posted by TwoAces 18:33 Comments (1)

Day 35 - Saturday 9 June 2012

Albany

Temperature this morning was 10at about 8:00 am, with a clear blue sky - the shorts were out again. While Di did 4 loads of washing, David went to the Dog Rock Shopping Centre for the weekend papers. If you think that's a strange name for a shopping centre have a look at these photos, there are a lot of granite rocky outcrops in Albany, and they just build around them.

Dog Rock

Dog Rock

Another rocky outcrop

Another rocky outcrop

After finishing the washing and reading the papers we went into town to the farmers market, where we bought some crusty bread and some honey. On the way back to the park for lunch we went up to the Anzac Memorial at the Mount Clarence Lookout, then over to the Princess Royal Battery on Mount Adelaide.

At both sites there are memorials to the first 2 ANZAC expeditions that assembled in Albany in October 1914 and December 1914 prior to sailing for Gallipoli. Both expeditions were composed mainly of the Australian Light Horse and the NZ Mounted rifles. The first convoy comprised 36 Australian and NZ ships, while the second convoy comprised 16 ships. Di has a special interest as her great uncle Leslie James Corrigan sailed with the Australian Light Horse in the second contingent. He survived many battles at Gallipoli and in Palestine only to die from malaria a couple of weeks before the Armistice in 1918. As their last sight of Australia before they left, Albany is a beautiful place.

ANZAC Memorial to the Desert Mounted Corp

ANZAC Memorial to the Desert Mounted Corp

Di with the Gallipoli Pine at the ANZAC Memorial

Di with the Gallipoli Pine at the ANZAC Memorial

King George Sound where the ANZAC fleets assembled

King George Sound where the ANZAC fleets assembled

Di at the Australian Light Horse exhibit

Di at the Australian Light Horse exhibit

Ataturk Entrance Princess Royal Harbour at Albany

Ataturk Entrance Princess Royal Harbour at Albany

Woodchips as well as grain are Albany's major exports

Woodchips as well as grain are Albany's major exports

A 6 inch gun at the Fortress

A 6 inch gun at the Fortress

Baracks Building at the Fortress

Baracks Building at the Fortress

Naval Exhibits at the Fortress

Naval Exhibits at the Fortress

At the Fortress there is a Memorial to the US Navy Submariners that were lost at sea during the Second World War - a total of 374 Officers, 3,131 men on board 52 submarines are still on "Patrol".

US Navy Submariners Memorial at Albany

US Navy Submariners Memorial at Albany

Posted by TwoAces 04:23 Comments (0)

Day 34 - Friday 8 June 2012

Wagin to Albany

We had some heavy rain overnight, but it was clearing as we got up this morning. Went to the newsagent for a paper before we left, however they only get 2 Australians and they were both sold before we got there. We were hitched up and ready to go at about 9:30 am.

Ready to leave Wagin Travellers Rest Area at the Showgrounds

Ready to leave Wagin Travellers Rest Area at the Showgrounds

We stopped for a coffee at Katanning. The sign as we entered the town proclaimed 50 specialty shops, but we think that more than half were closed and empty. No doubt this will become the fate of many rural towns in WA as the mining boom continues. The country-side on the way to Albany was very green as they have had plenty of recent rain.

Our trip today was about 230 Kms and we arrived at the Middleton Beach Beach Caravan Park at about 2:30 pm and were allocated a tent site with no water, no sullage and only an extension lead for power. After a trip to the office to complain we were offered a free upgrade to an on-suite site. Eat your heart out Frosty! We initially booked for 4 nights but after a visit to the local Information Centre we decided that as there was so much to see we booked for an extra night. Our site is virtual waterfront as we just have to walk over the sand dunes to be on the beach.

Middleton Beach Caravan Park, Albany

Middleton Beach Caravan Park, Albany

En-suite site at Middleton Beach C.P.

En-suite site at Middleton Beach C.P.

Middleton Beach

Middleton Beach

Looking out to sea from Middleton Beach

Looking out to sea from Middleton Beach

We spent an enjoyable night watching Geelong beat Carlton, albeit on a 2 hour delay - Di really enjoyed watching after she found out that the Cats had won. She always did read the last chapter of a book first to make sure that it had a happy ending!

Posted by TwoAces 05:54 Comments (0)

Day 33 - Thursday 7 June 2012

Wagin

We had lots of rain overnight, however the rain eventually cleared to a cool fine but cloudy day. After breakfast we drove into town for papers, then roamed around the town taking photos of the prominent buildings. We had to do this in the ute because the Blue Heeler would not get out of the kennel as she said it was too cold. It was 13 degrees and David thinks that she is getting soft. The buildings of Wagin are the result of its early years as a prosperous wool and wheat farming area.The name Wagin has aboriginal origins Wait Jin, meaning umu, which also provides a clue to pronunciation.

Mitchell Hall Hotel at Wagin

Mitchell Hall Hotel at Wagin

The Palace Hotel at Wagin

The Palace Hotel at Wagin

Moran's Wagin Hotel

Moran's Wagin Hotel

Wait Jen, aboriginal for Emu

Wait Jen, aboriginal for Emu

After checking out the town we headed out to the local cemetery to look for graves of some of David's relatives who came to Wagin more than a hundred years ago - we were successful in finding their graves.

We also checked out the major tourist attractions around Wagin, although we were not helped by very poor signage and a general lack of good tourist informationbut we had visited the Big Ram and the Wagin Well.

Wagin's Giant Ram

Wagin's Giant Ram

The Old Wagin Well - the town's first water supply

The Old Wagin Well - the town's first water supply

We were back in the Town Centre trying to find directions to the next destination when Bugger Bugger! A parked car pulled out into our path without looking and we cleaned them up.

Bugger!!

Bugger!!

The other driver was young mother with two small children in the car. No injuries and no serious damage (both vehicles could be driven away), however 2 police vehicles attended as they had seen us on a Police surveilance camera. No dramas and we were told to make an on-line accident report on the WA Police website. While the Police were talking to the other driver, the 4 year old girl asked her 5 year old brother whether mummy would have to go to gaol. David assured them that would not happen - it just shows how young kids see the world.

We drove the car around to the local panelbeater to get him to check us out and make sure that we could safely drive the Nissan. Wagin Panels and Paint made some minor adjustments to the bullbar so that we could safely drive the vehicle and did so for no charge. We are due to drive on to Albany tomorrow, then start heading for Margaret River and eventually Perth in a week or so. We will have to go staight to Perth and see what can be done to effect repairs while we are in Perth before we back-track and move on. If repairs cannot be done in a reasonable time frame we may have to continue on and get the repairs done when we get home - time will tell.

Assured that the Navara was OK to drive we returned to the van for lunch and to complete the Police accident report on-line and notify our insurers. They only want one quote from a repairer of our choice, so we will wait and see.

After lunch we went back to our touring activities taking in Norring Lake, Puntapin Rock and Dumbleyung Lake. Norring Lake is the local water skiing venue, while Puntapin Rock has some stone fences around it to chanel fresh water into a nearby reservoir for Wagin's water supply - very similar to Wave Rock. On the way to Lake Dumbleyung we thought that we had caught sight of Milo - but not so! Dumbleyung lake was the site of Donald Campbell's 1964 world water speed record in his boat "Bluebird". We did not have time to climb to the Donald Campbell Memorial at the Pussycat Hill Lookout as the light was fading fast.

Lake Norring near Wagin

Lake Norring near Wagin

Rock walls on Pintapin Rock

Rock walls on Pintapin Rock

Milo - No Hope?

Milo - No Hope?

The view across Lake Dumbleyung

The view across Lake Dumbleyung

Sunset from Lake Dumleyung

Sunset from Lake Dumleyung

Posted by TwoAces 05:20 Comments (1)

Day 32 - Wednesday 6 June 2012

Hyden to Wagin

A shorter trip today - only 245 kms. We travelled via Kondinin, Kulin, where we stopped for a coffee and a snack before moving on to Jitarning, Wickepin and Narrogin (don't you just love the names) finally ariving at Wagin about 1:30 pm. Kulin is preparing for the bush races, but I don't think that the local nag will beat Black Caviar!

Kulin's Bush Races

Kulin's Bush Races

Kulin's local nag

Kulin's local nag

Our first stop in Wagin was the local Council Office to get some information on the Travellers Rest Area at the local Showgrounds. The cost was $8.00 per night with power for self-contained vehcles only - so we paid up for 2 nights which will give us time to look around. We are the only van at the showgrounds so we had the pick of the grassy sites and after plugging in to power we made our way up the road to the nearby Wagin Historical Village - a complex of 25 buildings from the region's past.

An example of a Wagin wattle and daub cottage

An example of a Wagin wattle and daub cottage

A Bag Tent of the type used late last century near Wagin

A Bag Tent of the type used late last century near Wagin

A Stump Jump Plough used near Wagin

A Stump Jump Plough used near Wagin

The Dairy at the Wagin historical village

The Dairy at the Wagin historical village

Di on the Dunny re-living past memories

Di on the Dunny re-living past memories

One of the reasons for coming to Wagin was the fact that David's Grandmother's brother, William, and one of his sisters, Margaret came to Wagin in about 1900 to settle. At the Historical Village we found an old photo of the Wagin Road Board taken in 1906 with William Edward Clarke as Chairman. The Road Board was later to become the Wagin Municpal Council. We found out later in the day from a local that W E Clarke and Co were the Stock and Station Agents in Wagin.

Wagin Road Board building (now the Library)

Wagin Road Board building (now the Library)

Posted by TwoAces 05:18 Comments (0)

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