Friday, March 12, 2010

Day 5 - Denmark and Pemberton, Western Australia (March 2006)

Checked out early morning (again) to continue our journey westward. We were on our way to to Denmark (53.4kms away) to visit William's Bay National Park which features Green's Pool and Elephant Rocks. 

William's Bay National Park. Famous for its windswept rocky shores and sheltered pools. Protects the coastline and forest between Walpole and Denmark on the south coast.

369 km southeast of Perth
Williams Bay Road
Denmark, Western Australia 6333

The weather was nice upon arriving at Green's Pool. Clear blue skies, crystal clear (but freezing cold) water. There were also other people in the area. Some were taking a quick dip. 

Green's Pool is well known for its turquoise water and white sandy beaches edged by granite boulders which create ideal swimming, snorkelling and diving conditions.That is if you can swim in cold waters!

Some were climbing up the big rocks

Green's Pool is surrounded by big boulders, sheltering if from the waves of water coming from the sea. This is why the water in the area is calm.

family photo

The kids didn't waste time trying to enjoy the water. They played around while hubby and I were setting up our make-shift tent (stroller covered with some cloth and towels). We desperately needed shelter from the scorching heat.

Snack time! Ira just finished crawling along the shoreline. 

Once the kids were done having fun, we dressed them up and we walked to nearby Elephant Rocks. It was a short, 5-minute walk from the carpark.

ELEPHANT ROCKS. Huge cracked oval boulders. 
They don't really look like elephants but they are  as HUGE as elephants.

We found this place wherein two bodies are separated only by a small strip of sand path.

it's worth another photo op before we leave William's Bay Park

After visiting William's Bay National Park, we drove to Australia's south west Walpole Wilderness area. The visitor centre has lots of brochure, a souvenir shop, the ticketing area, and very convenient and clean toilets. 

This area, the VALLEY OF THE GIANTS, is home to the tall Karri and Tingle Trees.

We bought tickets (AUD12) that enabled us to climb up the TREE TOP WALK - a walkway that rises up to 38m above the forest to get a view the canopy of the magnificent tingle forest. If you are afraid of heights, this might not be a good idea to try.

on our way up to the top of the treetop walk

there's a viewing deck (protruding platform) every few meters 
which can also be used as waiting area to give way to other visitors using the bridge 

a little bit scared at first. Holding on for dear life and making baby steps along the bridge

we still had a long way up to go to get to the highest section of the bridge 

another photo op stop 

finally, we reached the highest point
46 metres at the top
upon reaching the highest point of the treetop walk, 
the bridge now goes on a descending track
close to the end of the treetop walk

last few steps before leaving the treetop walk 
and entering the Ancient Empire walk

a final look at the tall tingle trees from the treetop walk

paving the way to the Ancient Empire

A boardwalk winds around, and sometimes, through a grove of veteran tingle trees known as the Ancient Empire.
ice cream break. Badly needed during a hot day.

The Valley of the Giants was a good way to experience seeing the majesty of the tingle trees in 2 different ways. The treetop walk allowed us to see them from the top.While the Ancient Empire walk gave us the chance to see the trees up close, from below.
Some of the tingle and karri trees measure up to 16 metres in diameter, 60 metres in height and live up to 400 years. Most of them have hollow bases, more often created by forest fires.

another "through and through" tree

resting at one of the fallen tingle/karri trees

As if we didn't have enough of seeing tall, majestic trees at the Valley of the Giants, we headed to the Gloucester National Park which houses the GLOUCESTER TREE- a giant karri tree at 61 metres (201 feet) in height. It is the world's tallest fire-lookout tree, and visitors can climb up to a platform in its upper branches for a spectacular view of the surrounding karri forest. That is if you have the courage to do so.

We arrived at the carpark, and we were the only visitors there at that time. The tree itself was a short walk from there. You wouldn't miss it due to its size. 

a few meters up the trunk of the Gloucester Tree.

There were 153 spikes that spiral the tree which people use to climb up to the viewing gallery at the top of the tree (if you can reach that high). The spikes' were pegged closer to each other as it gets higher. On the upper part of the tree, they set up wire meshes/screens, which I would assume was a security feature just in case your feet slip.

Kelvin trying to climb as high as he could.

There was nothing much to do at the park after seeing the Gloucester Tree. Other visitors started arriving while we were on our way to our see the last place on our itinerary for today.

Just a few minutes drive was the cascades. Unfortunately, during our visit, it was not a good sight to behold. There was not enough water flow. A part of it even had stagnant water. So much for walking into the mosquito-laden forest trail.

no visit was complete without a family photo

After a long day, and seeing hundreds of trees and what nature has to offer, it's time to retire to our accommodation for the night - PEMBERTON HOTEL. It was a nice and cozy hotel located in town where you can just walk or drive a few minutes to the nearest eating places.

The room had a king bed, tables, chairs, tv. They also provide a cot for free. It is better to choose rooms in the ground floor so you can easily access and park your car in front so you could comfortably carry your luggage in and out of the room.

For dinner, we had Pemberton Chicken and some garlic bread. 

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