Western Australia: Esperance, Bremer Bay and Albany

(29/4/2018 – 9/5/2018)

Esperance – what a beautiful coastline to drive!!!!    And we also enjoyed a walk along the town foreshore where we stopped to look at the Whale Tail sculpture.   This stunning sculpture represents the tail of the Southern Right whales, which are local to the Esperance area (May-Dec). 

This sculpture was created by artists Jason Wooldridge and Cindy Poole and was finished a few years ago as part of  Esperance’s foreshore redevelopment.   We also walked up to the Rotary Lookout which had expansive views of town and the remote islands of the Recherche Archipelago.   There are so many lovely beaches and bays around Esperance.

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Whale Tail sculpture on Esperance Foreshore

Esperance Foreshore, Rotary Lookout and fishing on Salmon Beach

We enjoyed a great day out to Cape Le Grand National Park with a 22km drive along the beach.    We stopped at Lucky Bay which was gorgeous.  There was a campground there too, if we ever came back here again, we would definitely stay here!!!!   We had a walk around the bay.   Lucky Bay is famous for its white sand and for the kangaroos lazing around on the sand but we didn’t see any that day we were there!!   The bay stretches for 5 kms and is at the top of Australia’s best beach list.

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Lucky Bay

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On the way back to the caravan park we stopped to look at Frenchman’s Peak.   Frenchman’s Peak is a mountain located within the Cape Le Grand National Park.  You can walk up the east side of the mountain and it has a grade 5 difficulty and its about 262 metres to the summit.   I read it can take around 1-3 hours depending on your fitness  but it was too late in the afternoon so we decided not to climb.

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Frenchman’s Peak

On 30 April, we walked down to the local pub for dinner and drinks to celebrate Stacey’s birthday.   Well, we were completely gobsmacked when Daniel organised an impromptu wedding!!!!!     He completely surprised all of us with a wedding celebrant and rings, etc.  OMG!!!   How wonderful to be a part of this special ‘surprise’ occasion!!!!!   Poor Stacey was in absolute shock so was Kerry, Stacey’s mum!!!    Andrew and I had to sign the paperwork as their witnesses!!!  Such an honour for us!!!  Many drinks flowed that night in celebration!!!

Surprise Wedding!!

On another day we set off in the morning on the Great Ocean Drive which was about a 40 km circular loop.   Our first stop was the Pink Lake which isn’t actually pink anymore.  It hasn’t been pink for over 10 years.     Pink Lake was once known as Lake Spencer.   However in 1966 the name was changed to Pink Lake to try and make it a local tourism attraction.   Unfortunately over the years Pink Lake has lost its colour due to a combination of environmental factors.

The Great Ocean Drive captures some of Australia’s most spectacular coastal views.   This drive follows the coastline and then loops back into town.

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‘Pink Lake’ but not pink anymore

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Blue Haven Beach

On Thursday (3rd May) we packed up and continued west along the South Coast Highway to Bremer Bay (about 4 hours drive).   Well, what a beautiful little area this was and the Bremer Bay Caravan Park was just lovely.   We set up on shady, grassed sites opposite the kids playground, tennis courts and park facilities – perfect!!!!    Kids had a ball in the playground and we even managed to play a few games of tennis too.

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Silo Art at Ravensthorpe on the way to Bremer Bay

Bremer Bay is a quiet holiday and fishing town on the southern edge of the Fitzgerald River National Park.   Apparently Bremer Bay is a perfect spot for whale watching when they come through (Jan-April).

We had a couple of days here exploring the area with visits to Short Beach, Native Dog Beach, Little Boat Harbour and Fishery Beach.   We also called into Gnorbup Winery for some wine tasting!!!

On Sunday we packed up and drove to Albany.   It was such a very windy crappy day so good to be in the car, we actually had to drive through a small dust storm.     We checked into the Big 4 at Middleton Beach which was a great caravan park opposite the water.   We managed to get a couple of sites together near a  pirate themed children playground which was great for the kids!!

On Monday we spent the afternoon at the National ANZAC Centre.    This was opened on 1 November 2014 by the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand.   The centre overlooks the actual location from which the first convoy of around 41,000 Australians and New Zealanders left Australia on 1 November 1914 bound for Gallipoli in the First World War.   For many of these soldiers Albany was the last sight of Australia soil.

Albany is known as the birthplace of the ANZAC Story and lays claim to the first Australian Dawn Service on 25 April 1930.     As well as a traditional museum display there was a lot of interactive multimedia, artefacts, rare images and films along with audio commentary.    This whole centre was such a moving tribute to all the men and women involved in war.   Outside there was a naval discovery trail showing old bunkers, naval guns, torpedoes and missiles.

In exchange for the Turkish Government’s agreement to name the beach at Gallipoli where the Australian and New Zealand troops landed “Anzac Cove”, the channel leading into Princess Royal Harbour was officially named “Ataturk Channel”.  Mustafa Ataturk was leader of the Turkish forces at Gallipoli and the President of Turkey from 1923-1938.

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On Tuesday we took a drive around the area stopping at Little Beach in 2 People’s Bay National Park which was about 35 kms east of Albany.   The coastline here is just stunning, with beautiful turquoise water, white sandy beaches and many rock formations.

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Little Beach – shots from the Drone

 

On Wednesday we packed up and said our goodbyes to Daniel and Stacey as they had to drive up to Perth to take Kerry to the airport.     We continued our travels to Denmark.

 

(29/4/2018 – 9/5/2018)

 

 

 

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