Elephant Cove, Denmark, Western Australia.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Penguin Island.

Penguin Island is south of Perth and just a short ferry ride off the coast of Rockingham.  

I remember going there many many year ago.  I remember walking around the island and looking for, and seeing, fairy penguins in their natural habitat.  I remember walking across to the island.   

Of course, like a lot of things, things change.  The penguins are now called Little Penguins instead of Fairy Penguins.  According to one of the rangers on the island it is the preferred title.    To me they will always be fairy penguins,   The authorities no longer like you walking across to the island.  Maybe they never did but since there have been a few drownings they now try and discourage it.

A year or so ago Husband and I were in Rockingham and called in to get some information about the island and while there we bought a coffee from the cafe.  I remember that coffee for all the wrong reasons...it was warm, weak, in a disposable cup...I like my coffee hot, strong, real crockery..
Anyway I lost that information and *forgot* about Penguin Island but recently read a review about the island and as we had the grandkid that loves penguins for a weekend I thought we could take her over for a look.

So, last Saturday was The Day.
I researched so knew the first ferry to the island left at 9am.  I knew how far Rockingham was from us, about how long it would take...I was sure that we'd be there in plenty of time to get a ticket.  We were driving down the road to where the ferry leaves from and the car clock was saying we wouldn't make it in time.  Bummer, that would mean we would have to wait until the next ferry at 10.
Pulling into the carpark we saw a couple of other people rushing towards the ticket place so I left husband to deal with the stuff from the car and went to see if we would make the first ferry.  She sold me our tickets and rang through to the ferry to say the last lot were on their way...made it!  It was close though, another minute and we would of had to wait.  I have no idea why it took us so long to get there, I must have had the times wrong or maybe the stop to buy bananas, the loo stop, both took longer than I calculated.

The first ferry wasn't very busy so it was easy to get a seat near the window so we could look out  the water and watch the walkers making their way across the sandbar to the island. 
 We went from back there
                                     To here in under way 10min.

 Our plan was to find a nice spot under a tree where we could leave our esky and bag while we went off and explored.

There is a lovely shaded and grassed area with tables and seats so we picked a spot and plonked down our stuff,  Grandkid was getting impatient and wanted to be off.

Years ago people could walk all over the island but nowadays there are wooden boardwalks that take you from one end to the other, lots of steps too!  We headed North first.  Walked down to the beach to look at the caves there.  People used to live in these caves and they did look dry but I'm not sure how warm and cosy it would have been.  Great ocean views though.

This one had a neat doorway cut into it and was quite big on the inside.

 Up the steps to the boardwalk, down some more steps to a different beach, back up those steps...

 Eventually we came to the end of the walk, not allowed to go further because it is a Pelican breeding area.

Both ends of the island had breeding colonies of Pelicans but they were too far away to see clearly.  At the northern end there are binocular things where you put in $2 coin.  We didn't have any $2 coins but thought they should have been free anyway as we'd already payed out $55.  If we had $2 we probably would have used it to have a better look.

After exploring the Northern end we went back to have something to eat.
There are no shops on PI so you need to take food and water over with you.  There is a cafe where the ferry leaves from but buying from there could add a lot to an already expensive day out.  We take food and drinks when we go out and always have enough for snacks throughtout the day, all kept cold with frozen drinks and icepacks.

Different areas of the island have different rock formations, I thought they were really cool and would go back just for another look at them all.

The beaches were clean, calm, shallow...except on the western side of the island.  That beach was rocky, not smooth, rough...it didn't look safe at all so the grandkid was not allowed in that side.  Lovely views from wherever you were.  This is a beautiful area 

Penguin Island is a bird sanctuary and there are thousands of birds.  When we were there a lot were nesting and a lot of seagulls were quite close to the boardwalks.  It was interesting to see the eggs they have.  Some nests had 1 egg others 2.

  On the way to the toilets there is an old rusty car.  There isn't much left of it but it was interesting to see.

 We would go explore a bit, come back for a snack, a drink and a rest, go off again...

There were a couple of groups that came over in kayaks, it was a bit of a treat seeing them coming across and onto the beach.  

The trees in the grassed area were a popular thing for kids to climb and after a bit the grandaughter thought she's have a go too.

The main reason for going over to the island was to see some Fairy Penguins so to make sure we did we paid the entry fee to the Discovery Centre.  This ensured that we did see some of the cute little creatures and we also listened to the talk about them and watched them get fed.  The birds in here live in here all the time, it is thought that they will not be able to look after themselves out in the natural way as they were either raised in there or had been sick or injured.  They have a pretty nifty area with a swimming pool, nesting areas and feeding on a regular basis.  Why would they want to leave, that's sounds like a good life!

We had promised the child that she could go swimming before we left and as she kept looking longingly at the water here I took her down to it.  This is the eastern side of the Island, the mainland can be easily seen and it is a sheltered area so was quite safe. 

                 The water was clear, calm, shallow, cold!  Safe enough for the young and not so young. 

We caught the 2 oclock ferry back to the mainland, it was full but not uncomfortably crowded.  And!  We found our beach towel that I thought I'd lost on the island.  Oops, looks like I left in on the boat but we were lucky enough that it was still there 5 hours and hundreds of passengers later.

The ferry costs $12 per person, even 3 year olds need to pay that much...well, their parents do! so for a family it could work out to be quite a bit.  You pay again to get into the Discovery Centre...for us, 2 adults and a 5 year old it cost $55 for the ferry and DC entrant fee.
Do I think it is worth it.  I liked the island and would like to go again, spend more time looking around.   I don't think it is worth the money that we paid but in saying that I would like to go back.  If I went again I don't think I would go into the DC again, been there done that type thing but if it was just me I could have a lovely day out for $12 plus petrol money.  

$12 for 1 person is maybe not too much but start adding in other members of your family...it adds up.  As a nice day out though it would probably be worth going without takeaway or other bought treats a few times and putting the money towards this. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Nanga Mill Camping...Review.

I've been thinking of the last  camping trip and what worked best with it and what could be improved.  One major improvement would be making sure that everything that belongs in the van was put back in each time I take it out to clean...That way husband wouldn't have been without a pillow. haha.  He made do with a bit of foam so it wasn't too big a problem but shouldn't have happened.   Of course my not having a small tent in the van that we could have set up with the other tents could have been avoided.  We like going to bed early though so us having to go back to the van in the carpark did ensure that we didn't have noise around us like we would if we had a tent around everyone else.

Food wise we were boring but good.  I take my oatmix in serving size bags and I just need to put that in a mug and pour on hot water and let it sit for a bit.  That is my usual breakfasts.  Husband doesn't have breakfast so even I that doesn't camp cook gets that right.
Before we left home I made up half a dozen chicken rolls and had them in the esky.  We had one each for lunch and tea was the same except we heated them on the side of the campfire.  We were also served up some of the vegan stew that the other campers were having.   I could have taken a jaffle iron and put the rolls in that then in the coals but a rock on top of the roll squished it enough to hold together and get hot.

I like things to be simple and don't mind having the same thing for a few days in a row so don't take a range of different ingredients anywhere.  

There wasn't much that needed changing but we were only away 1 night and things may have been different if we went for thre or 4.  But we don't do that and I wpuld hope that I had enough sense to prepare properly for it if e planned to.  For the unplanned for nights there are a few tins of food under the be.

It would be nice to be able to say that she was all cleaned and repacked and ready to go...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Nanga Mill Camping.

We had a lovely time up at Nanga Mill in the Lane Poole Reserve though not as good as it could have been due to my *not understanding* what I am told.

Daughter said to me a couple of times that the area that they were going to was for tents and that they walked in from a car parking area and that I needed to put a tent into the van...I heard her say all this but for some reason still thought that we'd be camping out of the van...Idiot!

It wasn't too big of a problem though as we hung around their camp area, sat around their fire...but at 7.30pm when it was our time for bed we went back to the van and slept in that in the carpark.  No big deal.  I am going to put a small tent into the van though just in case there is a next time.  In this area most of the really nice camping spots close to the water were only tent sites.  Looking at some of them and going by the one that we were at, it all looked like a massive undertaking to get tents and all the gear from the car to the site though...a lot more of an effort than we want.  My little van is little, smaller than the tent that these people had,  but when used in the right area everything is with us and there isn't much carrying and setting up needed and that's what we like.

This morning I walked along the road running along Nanga Mill camping area, it was early, I only saw one other person but there were more than a dozen kangaroos around the camps.  It was great to see them all so close to the vehicles and I wondered why people wouldn't get up early so they could sit and watch these animals while they, the people! had their morning coffee.  It does always amaze me though how people can sleep for so long when they are out in the bush when there are so many birds and animals to see and walks to do...

Husband went fishing this morning.  We walked up towards Stringers which isn't far from where we were camped, we followed the path along the river, and picked a likely looking spot to try, no luck there though so we moved further along to a set of wooden steps going into the river.  He had a few bites, we were after Redfin, he managed to catch a cobbler.  Still good eating. 

 I decided that I'd do the right Chuditch Trail this time so after breakfast Husband and I set off.   As I was sitting around the fire pit with 6 other adults this morning I issued them all an invitation to join me in this walk.  Told them that it was only 4km, took, according to the sign that couldn't possibly be right, a couple of hours...No-one was interested.  Now I'd already walked a couple of k's earlier while waiting for husband to wake up and a bit more with the grandkid after that and I am fat and unfit but was ready for more so I was disappointed that no-one else thought it was a good idea.  Husband was kind enough to come with me so I thank him for that.  He is not a walker but the lovely man came because he knew I'd rather not go alone.

There are many nice walks in this reserve and I know I say it every time after I go up to Lane Poole but I am going to make an effort to get a few more in before the end of the year.   It's so close to home there is no reason that I couldn't go up every month at least and get some decent walks in.

Nanga Town camping area was deserted on the Friday when we left.  I was actually surprised that there were not more campers in any of the areas that we passed.  There were a couple of tents there on Thursday morning when we passed by though. Because we went in through the bottom gate on Nanga Road I don't know if other areas were busy or not.

Camping fees apply in Lane Poole but we didn't see anyone collecting them yesterday.  We didn't go through the main gate, instead used the bottom gate off Nanga Road but thought there would be rangers going around to collect payment.  According to others this doesn't happen very often though. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Camping Trip...Finally!

I am going on a camping trip, taking the van, meeting up with others though so not completely solo and I may have the husband with me so not solo at all if that happens.  But never mind all those technicalities...I am going camping.  And that is what counts.

The daughter said she was going with these people that I know quite well so I invited myself along knowing full well that I would be more than welcome to join them all.   At the time I thought Husband would be away but it turns out he will be home late tonight but maybe only for a day or 2 so I was umming and ahhing about still going but in the end decided that he would probably only be sleeping so I may as well go and I'd catch up with him next week.  He may decide to come as he could sleep just as well in the van for a bit when we are there.  Either way...I'm agoing.

Sad thing is I was out looking at the van after I decided to go and it is not at all ready like it is supposed to be.  Way back when I first got it the plan was to keep it clean and packed so I could just jump in and go whenever I wanted to...well that hasn't happened.  Not sure if it has ever been like that really...
I know, I'm a bad wannabe solo camper person.

Anyway, I went to move her closer to the shed to give her a cleanout and ...nothing, wouldn't start so that was a BIG bummer seeing as I'd spend a bit of money so that wouldn't happen. It had been driven the week before too so it was a surprise that it didn't start.  I think the son has moved it and not turned the key off properly, Can't see why else it wouldn't start.  The daughter and I tried to give it a jumpstart with her car but no go so I took the (very heavy for me to lift) battery out and put it on the charger for a bit.  This morning put it back it and we're ready to go.  Well it starts, I still need to give her a clean and repack but will do that this afternoon.  Then get some water and food sorted...then it'll be ready to go. Camping!!  How cool is that going to be.  Actually, it will probably be quite cool, literary, as we are going up to Lane Poole and Dwellingup is usually very cold.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Nannup Markets.

Granddaughter was going to have a holiday at her aunties down in Nannup and the plan was for her to go down on Friday but I decided I'd take her down Saturday instead as the markets were on and I had been wanting to check them out for ages.  This was a good excuse to make sure I was there...on the day!!

As usual I was later leaving home than I planned and had to pick up a passenger on the way but we with no more stops we were in Nannup before 10.  Daughter L wasn't where we were supposed to meet her and when going to ring her I couldn't find my mobile...which I had plugged into the car charger but it wasn't there.  Looked all over the car for it then used Mum's phone to ring another daughter to ring my phone so I could follow the sound and find it...in my bag!!  Oops, that's right, I put it there when I got out of the car when I had stopped somewhere at the beginning of the trip.    Made the call, left a message and drove closer to the markets where the daughter L pulled up behind us.  She was running late and just happened to see us as she was driving to the original meeting spot!

The market area was busy, lots of stalls for the small area.  Fruit and veg, soaps and luffas, a couple of preserves stalls, a few handmade item stalls.  Others that I don't remember...

There were people there that had birds with them, sitting on their shoulder or just hanging about in trees.  These birds must be well loved because they were close to a road and heaps of people wandering around but the birds were not fussed at all and were quite happy to just sit and move around the trees and bushes there.

I love licorice!  I know, who doesn't, right.  So it was interesting to see a large range of assorted straps of all different flavours.  Not made locally which was a shame but still nice.

For the last couple of years I have tried to grow Luffas with no success but I am going to try again this year.  This stall was selling them and she grows them so there is no reason that they won't grow here so it is obviously something that I am doing wrong.  Some of  their soaps smelled lovely and I was tempted.  If she had of had one that smelled like chocolate then I would have bought a few bars of assorted but alas, no go.  I did ask and she says she used to make it but it wasn't a good seller so she doesn't anymore.  Shame.
But I have decided that I want to support them as a small business and so next time I am at these markets, if they are there, I will buy some of her soaps and maybe a luffa or two.  L did buy a few luffas and there were other buyers too but I wonder sometimes why I am so tight. Sometimes being tight and not wanting to spend has disadvantages too.  If we the people don't support crafters like these then it is likely they wont be around when we want a lovely homemade gift for someone.  And if we ever decide to do it ourselves how can we expect people to buy from us.  So I'm sorry I was too tight yesterday but wont be next time.

We taste tested some sauces and chutneys and bought a couple of bottles of the one we liked best.  Sweet Chilli Tomato Garlic Marinade it is called.  So nice!!  I will use it as a sauce and have it on everthing!  It was $6.00 which I think is a lot for probably 250ml of sauce but cheaper then the smaller bottle of sauce Husband bought in Denmark a while back. OK, daughter L bought this for me so big thanks to her but next time I will pay for my own.  Truly!

And there were lots of dogs.  It looked like it was a meeting place for people and their dogs but they, the dogs, were all on leads and none were barking so it wasn't anything to be concerned about.  When I had a (small) dog there was no way that I could have taken him to a place like this so I respect dog owners that have well behaved animals that are a joy to have in public places.

Op- Shop.
Nannup has a small op-shop, turn right after the bridge as you enter the town from the north...I have been in it a couple of times now.  When we had finished at the markets we walked down to the op-shop.  Lucky it wasn't this far or we'd still be on our way!
We bought quite a bit then had to carry it all back up to the shire office where the car was parked.  We bought books, of course!, a very pretty bone china mug, pillowslips, flannelette sheets, clothes, a recorder, jigsaw puzzle, a small pot for my van so I can pour the hot water a bit safer, camping magazines...I haven't read all the last lot from here yet but will do one day and now have more for when needed.  Grandaughter had her own money so bought herself a couple of things.  Op-shops are great places for children to spend their money, much better than the lolly shop.

Not far now...
A very preny entrance to Nannup Op-Shop.

Mum, there's a chicken cow in my garden, eating all my watermelons flowers.
 And these beautiful flowers are as you walk through the archway.

 These ones are in the main street, passed as we were going back with all our spoils.

 A great day and worth doing again.  If you are ever in the area when the markets are on stop and support the local people.  I know that next time I will.

The markets are fortnightly.  Yesterday was the 29th of September so the next ones should be on the 13th October then the 27th October.   I was wrong, I was corrected...Thanks Tiffany.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Donnybrook Date Day.

A long time ago, back in July so really, is a month a long time...Anyway waaayyyy back in July, the end of so not that far back not even a month, we, Husband and I, had a *date day*  Every now and then I decide we really need to "do something, go somewhere" and I pick a place.   July's pick was a fantastic shop that I had visited for the first time a few weeks before.  That time though I was with other people and didn't feel that I should spend too much time looking around.  But it appealed to me so that was my choice as a *DDD.

 The shop sells a range of secondhand stuff, furniture, bits and bobs...some really old so could be classed as antiques and some really old and could be classed as junk.  My kind of shop.  On my first visit, the quick passing through one, I had seen some security doors for sale and as we were looking for one I was pleased with the different styles and price and decided then that I would be back.   There is a lot of stuff that I want at this shop but only a few things that I needed and so planned on coming back for.

Unfortunately I cannot emember the name of this great shop but will have a look next time I am down that way and make a note of it.  For anyone passing through Donnybrook though it is at the Northern end of town, East side of the highway.  Easily found because it is next to a fruit shop that has these great characters hanging around outside.

Mr Applehead.
Mr Orangehead.

There are these great big wooden boxes that I really like and think are quite reasonably priced but had no room and no real use for them so they stayed there.  I think they were being sold by the fruitshop and not by the fantastic DDD shop.

 And check out these toilets in the carpark of the FruitBarn.  
Aren't these one of the more fun loos that you have ever seen.
 "Hers" is Lady Williams and "His" is Jonathons.  Really, you can't say that is not cool.  
For those that don't know, Donnybrook is an apple growing area and Jonathon and Lady Williams are types of apple.

 And because this DD was taken during a no spend month and so we couldn't buy coffee and cake while out daughter T. made us one.  

We ate this down alongside the river, 'twas nice, both the cake and the setting.

How cool are Date Days.  Do you have date days?  What sorts of things to you do, what places do you visit?


DDD = Date Day Destination.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Nannup, Some Photos.

Nannup is a quaint little town in the Southwest of WA.  It is a quiet area so if you are looking for some peace and quiet in a lovely place this could be for you.  It is a longish drive, maybe 4-5 hours south of Perth, an hour or so from Busselton but of course this all depends on how you drive, weather, traffic...

I didnt stay at the caravan park but did walk passed it and it looks real nice.  Alongside the Blackwood river it looked clean, tidy and restful.   Keep walking along that road and you come to a park area. This looked like it would be great for picnics, walking, bikeriding.

Below is an old railway bridge going over the Blackwood.  There wasn't a lot of water when I took this but there has been a bit of rain since and I have seen this river with lots more water in it.  This spot is the halfway point for the Munda Biddi Bike Trail.  

 This is actually not that bad to sit on though a bit cool on the butt even through trousers.  It looks like it is made from bits of old machine parts and tools.  I like it.

Part of a path.  People were working in this area the couple of times that I was here.  Painting and planting, making things nice...

 There is a row of these shelters, they are pretty impressive looking.

There is a mini golf course (putt putt) near the entrance to this park and though I never went in it did look like it would be a cool way to spend some time.
There is a Lolly Shop.  This is where I bought a different version of my long ago favorite, the Choo Choo Bar.  Nowhere near as good as they used to be though still nice enough to buy a couple whenever I went in.
There is a small library, a Community Resource Centre, Tourist Information Centre, anything that you would expect to be in a small country town.
 I bought a *pink * jacket from the op-shop.  That is situated near the Info Centre and when I was there they had a good selection and most of their prices seemed very reasonable.  

It depends on what you like doing but there really seems to be something for everyone.

It is a nice enough place to use as a base and be able to go off on day trips and explore all the towns within  a couple of hours.  At this time of the year (June) it is cold and wet but in saying that there were some lovely sunny and warmish days while I was there.  COLD mornings though.

I will be back in the warmer months to spend more time looking around.