South: Ongerup to Ravensthorpe

The featured image is of one of the signs on the walk at the memorial near Ravensthorpe.

Today we’ve been driving just north of the Fitzgerald National Park, sometimes seeing the unique plant life of this region. We set off a bit earlier than usual, about 9.30 a.m. and made good time to a little place called Fitzgerald where we had lunch. We tried to shop in Jerramungup on the way, but their IGA was closed. We bought a few things at the roadhouse where we filled up with fuel.

About 15 kms before Ravenshorpe is a memorial to Aboriginals who were killed by local farmers about 135 years ago. A very sad story indeed, but the setting up of the memorial in 2015 has allowed some reconcilation to take place. The site is very beautiful.

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Entrance to the memorial walk trail

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Stephen thinks the mountain is Mt East Baron, there is a Mt West Baron that we passed earlier in the day.
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Vegetation near the memorial. This is a bit different to what is in the Fitzgerald National Park
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Winnie hiding berhind bendy tree

We took a video of some painted silos coming into the town, but the video doesn’t really show how impressive they are.

As it is New Year’s Eve, we are going to check out the pub meals here on our walk around the town. We are parked in town opposite a service station in a free RV site for self contained vans. We are not sure if we will have a quiet night, or be kept awake by local celebrations. There are no other vans here at the moment. This town offers free drinking water and there are public toilets across the road at a little park.

Ravenshorpe is where my grandparents came to live after being in Parkerville for a long time. They had a caravan and would travel to Hopetown to enjoy the ocean and fishing. I visited twice that I can remember, once with Robyne and once when I caught the bus here and stayed with them for a few days. They took me on a quest to find the Qualyup Bell, a local flowering plant. When Kings Park have their wildflower festival I have seen it as part of the display. The website gives some information  about it.

South: Dumbleyung to Ongerup

The featured image is a view of the Stirling Ranges from Chester Pass Road.

Yesterday in the evening we went for a walk around the block. There is a replica of the Bluebird and memorial to Donald Campbell.

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Bluebird Replica

It was quite a lovely evening with no clouds.

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The Grand Old Dumbleyung Pub, with a truck going somewhere in a hurry!

For some reason I was awake in the night for quite a while, not worrying, just awake. I went back to sleep and was woken up by Stephen doing our morning cups of tea, very nice.

We took a while to get going, with Stephen working on his Mandarin and me doing some hand washing. It had a chance to get past the dripping stage in the warm sun. Our nights have been quite cool enough for the doona, which means we have cool mornings and evenings even though the day temperatures get up to about 30. There is usually a cool breeze, but it’s hot walking in the sun.

The most enjoyable part of today was that we were travelling towards the Stirling Ranges for part of the journey. As you can see, we are still putting the little dashboard camera up to take video of travelling along.

We passed through a couple of small villages on the way here. We had a choice for tonight of a free camp with no facilities (not even drop toilets) or at the caravan park, and decided on the caravan park. We have privacy on one side with a view of bushes and trees, which we are assured will give us shad in the morning.

We sat outside when we first arrived, getting gradually very chilly, but waiting for the van to cool down a bit as it was still very warm inside. We had a small amount of shade at the roadside stop at lunchtime. We had quite a long rest after eating, me making up for missed sleep last night.

I am cooking tea and writing this blog, feeling smug at being able to multi-task. I’m regretting not bringing our electric pressure cooker. It’s quite large, but means I can brown the meat and onions, then add everything to the pot and let it finish off. The little electric frying pan doesn’t allow for this type of cooking, so have done the vegetables in the microwave.

Time to eat!


South: Popanyinning to Dumbleyung

The featured photo is of Lake Dumbleyung. It is the largest lake in WA. (It has an area of 52 square kilometres.) I found it difficult to actually show in photos or video just how large it is. I wanted to take photos in the evening, but we are tired and it is quite a long drive back there from town.

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Our campsite at Popanyinning

I braved the shower this morning. The water wasn’t super hot, but about the ideal temperature for me. There was power to blow dry my hair. I went across to the General Store to buy a $3.50 coffee. We didn’t have power or water on our site, but everything else and we felt grateful to this little town for providing it.

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Narrogin Town Hall

We were told about a camping area out of town near a dam. When we got there, it said it was day use only. We weren’t sure we would have been brave enough to camp there overnight.

We passed through a couple of small villages, plus Narrogin and Wagin, on our way to Dumbleyung. We took time in both towns to look at the buildings and get a feel for the towns. In Wagin we had a cooked breakfast for lunch at one of the cafes. I was looking for a good coffee, and it wasn’t too bad.

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Wagin Ram

We spent time at Lake Dumbleyung at the lookout and memorial to Donald Campbell breaking the World Speed record in 1964.

We have two camping options here in Dumbleyung, but after our day of exploring we opted for the most comfortable choice of the council run caravan park. It is $25 per night with power, water and toilets and showers, versus free at the showgrounds with toilets only. I feel as though I’ve had far too much sun exposure today even though I enjoyed walking around and exploring each place where we stopped.

We will go for a short walk before our evening meal of Christmas ham and salad. Below is a short video of us driving along Lake Dumbleyung.


South: Perth to Popanyinning

We took our time getting ready to leave this morning. I still forgot a couple of things, but nothing too important. I can get G, our housesitter, to follow up. We left shortly before 11.00 a.m. We stopped after about 45 kms to have lunch, then on to Brookton where we had afternoon tea. We enjoyed walking around the park near the station.

We arrrived here at around 4.00 p.m. With the longer days we could have kept driving, but were feeling tired. We used Wikicamps to find out about this overnight place. We are in the town (very small), in a parking area that is probably used as a day use area as well. There is a shower in the disabled toilet. The toilets are clean and well maintained.

Stephen had a shower, the water is solar heated and probably hottest at the end of a sunny day. There is what appears to be drinking water available, but given the quantities, we think it may be more for trucks than caravans and motorhomes. There is a payment system, but it seems very reasonable.

On the way down we experimented with having a little camera attached to the windscreen to film short clips when we saw something interesting. The co pilot was in charge of this part, of course.

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Brookton established in 1899