South-east Western Australia  2021  

 

Photographs and commentary: copyright Jonathan C Nevill,  2021, unless otherwise credited. Camera: Samsung Galaxy S7.

This photo-essay records a brief trip to the south-east of Western Australia in September 2021.

There is much of interest and beauty in this part of Australia.

 

I would often leave my campsite before sunrise (and before breakfast) and start driving. I love the warm light of the rising sun. I am a morning person. 

There are wonderful tall forests in this part of Australia (although, of course, many forests have been heavily logged).

 

 

I enjoy the 'intimate' feeling of small forest tracks (on foot, of course, is even better).

 

 

 

Old machinery is sometimes on display in small parks managed by shire councils. The sign here reads "Bob Tail, used for hauling logs".

 

 

 

I was the only visitor that morning to Fernhook Falls.

The water was full of foam, and stained a deep red-brown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The beautiful reflections in the bottom left hand corner are the result of a very small standing wave.

 

 

Looking south, towards the Southern Ocean. There are quiet estuaries here as well as ocean beaches and rocky headlands.

 

 

 

 

A small boat jetty at one estuary. I was pleased to see the local aboriginal names used here. There should be much more recognition of Australia's aboriginal heritage. The name of this fish reads "buijan". It's also great to see artistic work like this.

 

 

 

'Tingle' are eucalypts of restricted distribution. Note that the map marks the position of "the giant Tingle tree".

 

 

 

Typical Red Tingle forest.

 

 

Below: the 'Giant Tingle Tree'.

The largest recorded Tingle, now gone, had a space like this one at its base, large enough to accommodate a small car.

 

 

 

Below: Waychinup National Park Estuary

In the early morning.

 

 

 

East of Esperance lies Frenchmans Cap.

An ancient granite intrusion, with an amazing 'shelter' at the peak.

On this day there were many hikers on the path to the summit. I was unable to walk due to knee pain.

If I return in better health, I would like to explore the summit shelter, which is huge. I imagine this place was of special significance to indigenous people.

 

 

Cape Le Grand National Park lies east of Esperance.

 

 

 

A small abandoned wooden cottage. It seems to me a shame that these buildings aren't maintained for the sake of local history. 

Once they are gone, they're gone for ever.

 

 

Further east lies Cape Arid National Park.

Lucky Bay. The islands off-shore from Esperance and the Cape Le Grand / Cape Arid parks would be wonderful to explore in a yacht. 

 

 

 

Driving in to Cape Arid National Park, one section of road was slippery clay. Although the van did not sink into the road (so it was not soft) the clay was sticky and slippery, and the van slid all over the place.

 

 

Many of the wattles were in full bloom.

 

 

 

Walking tracks wind through dense stands of banksia.

 

 

 

Emu poo. About the size of a human hand.  I was surprised the birds could walk through such dense scrub.

 

 

 

The banksias looked amazing by day and by night.

 

 

 

The landscape at Cape Arid National Park.  
Key attractions here are beach-walking, birds and flowers. The rocky granite headlands are, of course, spectacular.

 

 

 

Once I passed this group of rocks, the only footprints on the sandy beach were that of an adult Emu and his two chicks.

 

 

 

Above: Dolphin Bay. Apparently Southern Right Whales shelter here regularly at this time of year, but I saw none during my visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would like to know how these unusual patters formed in the sedimentary rock... the bedding here appears to be horizontal.

 

 

 

I left Cape Arid and drove east.  The longest perfectly-straight stretch of road is 148km.

As you can see, there's not much traffic. Traffic counts are probably lower than the A1 on the NSW coast by a factor of 100.

 

 

 

I avoided driving at night, but I did drive just before sunrise and after sunset.

I did not see any animals at these times.

 

 

The Great Australian Bight is largely known for its amazing vertical cliffs, but there are long empty beaches as well.

If I ever return to this part of Australia, I would like to spend a day or more just walking these long lonely beaches...  Almost always devoid of humans....

 

 

 

To the south of the southern arid lands of Western Australia and South Australia, grains are grown thanks to regular winter rains.

 

 

The small township of Poochera seems aware of the importance of local history.

 

 

 

Peter's Humpy.

 

 

 

 

 

Next to Peter's Humpy there's an old tool shed.

 

 

From days long ago....

 

 

 

 

 

 

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