We headed south-west down the coast straight to Albany from Fitzgerald River National Park, our lack of gas and hence refrigeration, denying us the pleasure of some nice coastal free camping. We were going to spend the next few nights on power at the Big4 at Middleton Beach which came highly recommended by Julian’s brother – at least until we got our gas sorted. The boys eyes lit up as we entered past the rock fountain complete with seals and sea birds, and the large heated pool and spa! “wow – this place is fancy”. It certainly takes the cake for being the most resort-like of our stays so far – the family bathroom even had a huge triangular spa bath!
We ended up staying five nights in Albany – we were all impressed with how beautiful it was (despite the clouds and daily rain showers) and there was plenty to do. It felt rushed trying to fit everything in but we’re on a deadline to get to Perth now, so time is limited. The beauty in and around Albany comes from the granite mountains which are all along the amazing coast line. Lots of national parks and nature reserves border spectacular beaches with clear blue water. Beautiful. I have already told Julian we are coming back here for at least 2 months for a holiday once the kids leave home!
Dog Rock and the Dog Squad
Once Julian had sorted the gas leak out and got replacement parts our days were filled up with day trips to Two Peoples Bay (which includes Little Beach and Waterfall Beach), the Porongurup NP to climb a wild and windy but amazing Castle Rock, and Discovery Bay (formally known as Whale World).
Two Peoples Bay
View across Two Peoples Bay
Balancing Rock – Porongurup NP
Even higher up – the 7m climb to the top lookout, a steel walkway around the outside of the rock made it feel as though you were walking on “thin-air” (unfortunately too rainy and windy at the top for any good pics) – Porongurup NP
The boys loved, loved, loved the Cheyne IV at Discovery Bay – the last whaling ship to work out of Albany, indeed out of Australia.
We also spent time in Albany itself at the National Anzac Centre and surrounds, the Boat Shed markets (spectacular sorbet and yummy sourdough), the Museum (of course) and the replica of the Brig Amity – which brought first settlers to WA (at Sam’s request – how could we possibly miss anything boat related).
Viewing platform at the National Anzac Centre.
Below deck on the Brig Amity.
Julian still managed to find time to take lots of lovely photos and fit in a quick loop of the downhill mountain bike course on Mount Clarence.
We have just clicked over 65 days of travel which means still 300 days to go! Packing and unpacking has finally become almost automatic – still tedious but not requiring as much thinking. Some nights I wake up and have to think hard to figure out what’s outside the van – call me strange but I like to have a mental picture of my surrounds at night. With so much traveling it’s easy to lose track! For all those feeling wistful at home traveling is not a relaxing holiday or like camping at all. It is amazing to see so many things but it is rather tiring at the same time (excluding our very relaxed week at Lucky Bay). Still, I can’t deny that it beats work 😉 !!