South: Denmark to Cranbrook

It was an overcast day yesterday, and we were happy to leave Denmark and be on our way. Our first stop was Mt Barker at the IGA to stock up on food and beer.

Apart from the grammar, well, we can’t ignore it, i quite liked the sign.

We then went to check out the famous bakery where we had pies and shared an iced donut. There were so many lovely options it was hard to choose. We also bought some bread.

We then traveled up Albany Highway, which was very busy, and onto the Great Southern Highway, which was quiet. At Cranbrook we took a bit of a break, and ended up deciding to stay for the night.

We had a little sunshine breaking through around sunset, then this incredible red sky after sunset.

These photos are straight from my iPhone, not enhanced by me.

We woke up to gentle rain and left the hatches up for a while. The rain got heavier and heavier, eventually we closed the hatches and windows. We had our cups of tea and washes, then moved the van over to a gravel road, just in case there was any risk of getting bogged where we were. We are now relaxing over breakfast with heavy rain on the roof. Lovely.

South: Denmark reboot

So, yesterday we decided to stay in Denmark another day, but to move to the Rivermouth caravan park. By evening we were packed in cheek by jowl with caravans and tents. It was warm in the van, we had air conditioning on for a while, then once the van provided some shade we moved out onto our ‘porch’. At that stage the bay next to us was free, so we had plenty of room and a cool breeze.

It was Sunday, so we contacted Matt about 4:14 to have our FaceTime session. We know when he’s had enough because he tries to hit the stop button! He usually needs help, but we know our conversation is a getting bit boring for him, though he likes to see us and is all smiles at first, especially if Stephen puts on his robot persona.

We walked ‘around the bridges’ as our evening walk. I consider it a good test of my fitness. I have found it quite easy, then very hard at different times in the past. Last night was easy.

We are moving on today, planning to do a little shopping at the best supermarket in the West at Mt Barker on our way. We set an alarm for this morning to make sure I was up and ready to order our Fairbridge Festival tickets. All done by 7:30.

South: Denmark Day 2

Yesterday morning (Saturday) we drove into Denmark to buy the Weekend Australian and have a coffee and share a custard tart. We then drove up the hill, eventually finding our little spot with some shade and a view. We parked there on a previous visit. We had our lunch, read our books and had a short walk.

It became very windy, so we had afternoon tea and packed up, arriving back at about 4:00. I put our dinner on and when it was cooked and in the fridge we went for a walk down to the Inlet. It was lovely without the heavy cloud cover of the day before. On the way back we came across a mob of kangaroos, which lead to a clacking of people taking photos. Including me😀

Ducks also.

South: Mt Barker to Denmark

We left Mt Barker at about 10.00 a.m. We had a peaceful night, despite one or two trains in the night. We woke up to a partly cloudy and windy day. Stephen wanted to stay near the ocean at Denmark and when we rang up we were able to get a site at the Ocean Beach Caravan Park.

We had a short break in Denmark and contemplated going to the bakery, but decided that it wasn’t too tempting because we weren’t hungry, so drove out and booked into our park. We had lunch and a rest.

At about 5.00 we walked down to the foreshore and along the inlet to the ocean, probably covering about 5 kms altogether. It had been sunny when we arrived, but clouded over in the late afternoon and seemed quite cold. Once we went out, we found it seemed warmer and the wind, which had been blowing hard, gradually dropped.

Despite the dull light the water was a beautiful colour. There were lots of kids actually swimming in the shallow inlet waters. On the ocean side there were surfers, mostly just coasting waiting for waves, rather than actually riding them.


Denmark Ocean Beach Red Capped Wanderer - 1.jpg
Red Capped Wanderer
Denmark Ocean Beach surfing2 - 1
Denmark Ocean Beach edge of ocean - 1
where the inlet meets the ocean
Denmark Ocean Beach - 1
walking down to the inlet
Denmark Ocean Beach vegetation - 1.jpg
interesting plants
Denmark Ocean Beach seagull - 1
gull and pontoon bridge

The internet is painfully slow, but allows me to upload images by being very patient. I’m waiting for things to quieten down in the showers, up to now they have been full of kids, very noisy.

The weather forecast keeps changing, but at the moment it looks like there will be some sunshine here tomorrow. It is forecast to be 37 in Perth, and we will be much cooler here at about 28.

Denmark Ocean Beach Pied Cormorant - 1
Stephen says this is a Pied Cormorant


South: Stirling Ranges to Mt Barker via Porongurups

We woke up to rain, and rushed out to bring in our chairs and mat. After we had them stowed the rain stopped. It was cloudy and windy, which made it easier to leave. When we got out of the van we were putting on our warmest gear. Interesting that we thought to bring it, though Stephen is using layers as he hasn’t brought his winter jacket.

We drove down to the Porongurups and visited the Castle Rock car park.

We decided the walk would be too much for today. It began to rain again, and continued off and on until we got to Mt Barker.

We then drove to the Tree in the Rock picnic area and had our lunch and a rest there. We were amongst Kari trees, beautiful!

The Tree in the Rock.

We went to the IGA in Mt Barker for our shopping. It is the most wonderful supermarket, I wish we had it at home. Stephen said the fruit and vegetables were really good, I appreciated the range of goods and the spacious layout, usually a new supermarket can be confusing, but it was easy to find things. We had a list, but got a few extras.

We then went to the free RV parking, just part of a council car park. There is a dump point and water available at the information centre. We even have TV reception, very unusual for us.

There is one other van parked here with a young couple that we have spoken with briefly.

We’ve had dinner at the local Chinese restaurant, it was OK, not great, but nice to not have to cook. I’ve got a sore should and neck at the moment, Stephen did some massage which has helped, it’s much better now.

Some more photos from the Porongurups.

We really enjoyed our time at the Stirling Ranges National Park and I hope we go back there soon. We are thinking of coming back to the Ravensthorpe area for wildflowers this year, rather than going north.

South: Stirling Ranges Day 4

As you can see from the featured image we had a swim at about 6.00 p.m., a lovely way to round off  the day. Stephen wants you to read the sign behind him “Please don’t pee in our pool”. I got a shock when I went in as I was expecting chlorine and instead it was a salt water pool. My eyes were stinging because it was so strong, but settled down after a little while.

This morning we got up early again to do another walk that is marked on our map. We started by walking down the road to Bluff Knoll and finished by walking into the caravan park from another direction. This walk was a little longer and less flat than the previous one, but still quite easy. It was mostly cloudy which made it very pleasant despite high humidity.

Stirling Ranges Day four (1 of 6).jpg

Stirling Ranges Day four (4 of 6).jpg

We left at 7.10 a.m. and were home by about 9.10. Having breakfast was our first priority!

Apart from the walk and the swim we’ve had a restful day, reading, working on Mandarin, and processing photos. It was fairly hot by midday and we had the air conditioning on for about an hour. The caravan park office had their air conditioner going until about 6.00 p.m., so we don’t feel bad about using the electricity. We have a fan which helps when we don’t have a breeze.

We did another load of washing today, and the heat, plus a strong wind, which came in the middle of afternoon, ensured that everything got dry, if rather dusty. There is a layer of fine dust over everything it seems.

We are running a little low on food. Fortunately the office sells a few staples and we were able to get meat for our evening meal and some bread. Shopping tomorrow!

As the internet is particularly slow I won’t try to post any more photos from today.


South: Stirling Ranges Day 3

Today we went up to Bluff Knoll and had lunch in the car park. It was a very steep drive in parts, but the Winnie handled it well, of course. I was quite anxious about driving down again, but it was easier than I expected. We have done quite steep driving before.

There were quite wonderful views all around. We didn’t feel tempted to climb the rest of the way, although the car park has been upgraded and is pretty swish, photos we saw of the climb suggest that there are still lots of places where you can slip and slide on gravel.

When we came down from BK we went to the cafe for ice creams and coffee. We went for a walk around the caravan park this evening. It’s quite large with accomodation spread out through the bush and unexpected BBQs and picnic settings. We had a look at the swimming pool and tested the water, not too cold. It will be warm tomorrow and we may go for a swim.

We’ve just finished watching the second season the The Crown and are looking forward to the next season, though I think it may be several months away.