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The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Friday, 11 January 2013

Beautiful coastline, blueberry-picking, sandcastles (Albany and Denmark, Western Australia)

During our road trip to the Great Southern Region of Western Australia, we followed a rough itinerary suggested by my older brother who has frequently travelled down south with his friends since his university days. The south-west of WA is beautiful, and it's such a great place to bring city kids to for exposure to nature and country life. We stayed in the area for only two nights, and the 4-year-old had such a fun time being in a surrounding so different to the noisy, crowded and polluted city life in Hong Kong. I enjoyed the country driving and just being away from my hectic life. The following shots are what we saw and did on our second day, both in Albany and Denmark and in between.

The Natural Bridge and The Gap, Albany

The Natural Bridge and the Gap are probably the most famous natural tourist sites in Albany. It was worth making the trip just for the breathtaking views of the rugged coastlines and the brightest blue ocean water I have ever seen. Photos really don't do any justice to how beautiful it is in real life. Apparently this coastline is known as the "edge of Antarctica", where the two continents parted ways many years ago. Australia is still drifting northwards, at a rate of 5cm/year.

A panoramic view that greets visitors making their way to the Natural Bridge (click image for larger size):

It's obvious why this is called the Natural Bridge:

The Gap, where waves rush in and out ferociously. This photo doesn't show much, so check out the short video clip below:

A short 10-second clip showing the Gap:

At the viewing platform to watch the waves go in and out of the Gap (my mum was rather nervous when I stepped onto the rocks to take photos). The boy was seeking comfort and protection away from the flies (and the huge sandfly do bite!):

Wind Farm, Albany

We visited the Wind Farm whose wind turbines we could spot from town 12km away. These turbines are huge, and the Wind Farm is a great place to teach kids about renewable energy from nature.

18 turbines in all:

I can't get over how beautiful the coastline is:

A panoramic view from one of the viewing platforms at the Wind Farm (click for larger image):

The Blueberry Farm, Denmark

After visiting the Wind Farm, we made our way to Denmark and dropped by the Eden Gate Blueberry Farm for some hands-on blueberry picking experience. Hubby and I had picked blueberries a few years ago when we were living in rural Japan, and I thought it would be a good experience for a city kid like our boy. The kid had so much fun, and got really good at picking the ripe berries. This is another must-do for families with children.

Blueberry harvesting:

The boy picking out the ripest blueberries:

Looking very pleased with the bucket of blueberries he helped to pick:

We shared a delicious homemade blueberry muffin too (and bought a yummy blueberry port to bring home to HK):

Greens Pool, Denmark

In the afternoon, after we'd had lunch and checked into our accommodation in Denmark, we went out again to the beach. We made a quick pitstop at a honey meadery that was along the way to Williams Bay and picked up some delicious honey mead and healthful honey cappings. Then we drove to Greens Pool, which is truly gorgeous with crystal clear waters. This is a great sheltered beach for little ones to play in, and the boy had fun building (and demolishing) sandcastles with his grandfather.

Panoramic shot of the pristine Greens Pool with the late afternoon sun shining directly into the camera:

The highlight of the afternoon for me was discovering a birds nest and watching the two parent birds go in and out in search for food to feed to three little chicks:

Caught on video too:

2 comments:

  1. Wow, what beautiful clear photos of the Torndirrup National Park! My grandparents lived in Denmark for most of my childhood, and the South Coast is still one of my favourite places in the world. Was back there again at the end of last year and now I regret not making it to the berry farm. Oh well, maybe next summer.

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  2. Hi Bronwyn,

    Thanks for your comment. The Great Southern Region of WA is indeed beautiful, and my pictures do not do it justice.

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