Fonty’s Pool

DSC02415We clicked over 8000 km as we arrived on the outskirts of Manjimup. I took my chances and climbed 52m up the Diamond tree. At the 23m halfway platform is a sign that clearly states ‘that was the easy bit, part of the top section is near vertical, reassess your situation now. If in doubt do not climb’.

In this age of nanny OH&S, I was chuffed to see that there was something that you could still do that has all the risks clearly outlined, that represents a physical challenge, and is a managed risk that you need to assess to determine yourself to ensure you feel competent to actually climb. Basically, mess up, and you run a real risk of death.

All this, without entrance fees, waivers, harnesses, and grubby litigious lawyers rubbing their hands together when someone gets hurt. Anyway, up and down I went, with great views to boot from the top.


DCIM108GOPROThe boys, super keen to climb – denied by their safety conscious parents.

Next stop was our camp for the next two nights – Fonty’s Pool. This was originally agricultural land dammed by the owner, Archimedes Fontanini, in 1907. He opened it as a public pool in 1925, and although it’s had a turbulent history, it now boasts the original pool and spectacular gardens, and a beautiful caravan park on lush green grass.



The next day was my birthday (which is an extremely low-key event when you’re on the road), and Kris and the boys gave me some pressies, as well as yummy treats for morning and afternoon tea. The boys enjoyed floating around the pool on giant inner tubes whilst I pottered around taking photos.



The afternoon was less peaceful, spent on the tools changing a shredded tyre on a car (not ours) and servicing the boy’s bikes.  Kris cooked a scrummy roast dinner to top the day off. The only mishap of the day was a cut on Sam’s ankle, courtesy of a 14 ft tinny, complete with outboard, that had been partly submerged in the kids play area – luckily not deep enough to require glue or stitches.


4 thoughts on “Fonty’s Pool

  1. Hi JKSJ,
    That tree you climbed is (or looks a lot like the one at Pemperton) I climbed in 1983 > right up to the top Fire Tower Platform. For someone who does not like heights it was a challenge. Sam and James will be able to climb it when they ‘grow a bit taller’ and can safely move from rung to rung with one hand/foot ON while the the other hand/foot MOVES to the next higher/lower rung. The rungs on the Pemperton Tree when I climbed it were ‘farm machinery wheel spokes’ which I guess were very available and cheep in the early part of last century when these towers were created. Looking at the pictures coming through Sam and James look taller than when we saw them last at Christmas!
    Fonty’s Pool and Caravan Park looks like a great place to take it easy.
    Love Grandpa

    • Geoff, I actually remember saying in a short video clip at the top that I thought you would’ve hated it – so well done! My dad wisely didn’t let me climb the Gloucester Tree as a keen 9 year old, now I can see why. Fonty’s was relaxing, even with the tyre repair for a passing tourist (got to road test the new compressor). Cheers, Julian

  2. WOW!! What fun to read all your blogs of your trip around the south of WA and a trip for us down memory lane. You have found all the favourites of ours without our input so you have done serious study work. I have picked this one as les and I were disappointed not to have tubes on board. We thought it was a lovely spot. Sorry you didn’t get to see all the tree drive but i guess it was much the same all the way. That was a big disappointment for me not to be able to swim with the dolphins – can’t remember why we were unable to do it. May have been too cold. We loved that area around Pemberton and jealous that you climbed THE TREE Julian. I guess we felt we were a tad old to be climbing trees and wished we had done lots of things on our two trips to WA at a much younger age. Anyway at least we saw everything that you have talked about. AS I said a trip down memory lane for us. We didn’t go any further north than Monkey Mia so will be interested to see how you tackle that road north. I remember your father telling us about his bus route down the coast to Perth on his way back from Craig’s wedding in Bali. Enjoyed Sam and James’ blogs and thrilled that you did the tram trip as well. Did you go all the way down to the coast boys? We are both well and gathering the medicines etc for our trip. Just over two weeks to go. best love to all.

    • We decided on the inland route, so missed out on Margaret River and Augusta. I lived at Augusta and then Margs for 6 months in 1997, and have fond memories of it (as does my liver). I’ll definitely let you know how the north of WA goes. We are off to drive some sand dunes tomorrow – probably our last chance to show the boys some Big Sand – near Lancelin. Lots of love, Julian