Wednesday, November 8, 2017


A break from photos today, as we are pretty much are just staying put at the Camping grounds.  Lots of jobs to do,  heaps of washing including all our sheets, towels, and a whole basket full of clothes.  Steve has also got a little maintenance around the van that he wants to do, and he also wants to fit in one last fishing trip before we leave.
It also gave me a chance to catch up on editing some of my photos and the blog which is seriously getting behind.

In the afternoon, Steve went into Busselton to try his hand at fishing on the rock wall where we had afternoon tea on Sunday.  Whilst he did this,  the rest of us went and did a grocery shop, dropped into the Info Centre in Busselton to pick up the Nullabor map.   All in all, it was a nice relaxed end to our stay in Busselton. 

Thursday morning we headed off early on our way to Augusta.  The weather wasn’t the best today, but we are not complaining as so far this trip we have had great weather in terms of sunshine, even if it has been pretty windy at times, it still hasn’t stopped us from doing too much.  

It was cold, cloudy and drizzling with rain as we left.  It was not good weather to be outside exploring so we decided our first stop today would be the Margaret River Chocolate Factory just before Margaret River.  We headed down the Bussel Highway  and then headed in along one of the connecting roads to Cave Road. 

It was raining when we arrived so we had to find umbrellas even to be able to get from the car to the Factory.  It was the perfect place to send a rainy morning.   

The Chocolate Factory is huge and they have a lovely little café there, which drew us like magnets.  Who doesn’t want a nice hot cuppa on a cold wet day?  Ian and Kathy enjoyed a cappuccino, whilst Steve and I had a salted caramel hot chocolate.  It was divine having been made of real chocolate from the factory.  We also enjoyed a heated savoury muffin and caramel slice, which we shared.  

We had a wander around the factory and sampled some of the different chocolate.  They have huge sample bowls filled with chocolate buttons that you can spoon out on your hand.    There was also a viewing window into the actually factory where you could watch the workers working with the chocolate.  We stood and watched a couple of workers making chocolate santas with moulds for Christmas.  Another one of the workers was cutting up huge slabs of white chocolate ready for it to be bagged and put in the shop for sale.
We probably spent a good hour and a half in the chocolate factory, and left when the rain had eased off so we could walk back to the car without having to use our umbrella.

From here we headed across to Caves Road and continued along the scenic route to Augusta.  We had wanted to do the Boranup Scenic Drive through the Kari forest but by the time we got to the turnoff, we discovered that it was a dirt road and as it had been raining all morning, we really didn’t want to drive the vans through there so continued on to Hamlin Bay. 

This area was stunning…. Just a pity it was so windy and overcast and showery.  We would have loved to have seen this area in perfect weather conditions.
Hamelin Bay is one of the best places in Australia to spot wild sting rays up close. The gentle and friendly, yet completely wild sting ray population that live in the bay are unafraid of people wading in the water and swimming with them.

 Throughout the day these sting rays make regular visits to the beach around the boat ramp and Old Jetty, patrolling past in groups of up to 10 or more in hope of being fed some fish scraps.

Unfortunately the conditions for spotting these creatures was totally against us the day we were there, as one the clarity of the water was not good, and no one was going out fishing in this weather, so there would be no fisher men coming in with a catch.  Still it is a beautiful area and one we would love to come back and visit again especially in better weather conditions.  

From Hamlin Bay it was onto Augusta.  We had booked into the Westbay Retreat Caravan Park on the banks Bloodwood River.  It was an older park with a very rustic amenities block which would be great in warm weather, but it was so open and with the wind howling, it wasn’t too pleasant in the cold.  

We set up our vans and then headed out for a drive.  We thought we might go and explore the Boranup Forest now without the van, and I had read somewhere that the best time to see it was in the late afternoon when the sun was streaming down through the trees.
Tall pale-barked karri trees, reaching heights of 50 m or more, dominate the hilly slopes and valleys of the lush, green and majestic Boranup Karri Forest and creates a powerful contrast with the rest of the coastline. 

We also drove up to the Boranup Lookout, which gives sweeping views over the forest and the coast west to Hamelin Bay.  I can only imagine how beautiful that would be on a clear sunny day, as although we could see Hamelin Bay, due to the clouds the water did not really stand out enough to take photos.

It was back into town then for a look around.  Augusta is such a pretty place, not terribly large but nestled in and around water, whether it be the river or the ocean.  We actually took a drive out to the Lighthouse, although we didn’t hop out of the car due to the cold winds that were howling around the lighthouse precinct. 

Just around from the lighthouse is an antiquated Augusta Water Wheel to see how water was pumped to the nearby Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse and the lighthouse keeper’s cottage back in the 1890s.

Cape Leeuwin Waterwheel comprises a timber waterwheel, supported on a limestone base together with a timber flume that carries water from a nearby spring. The waterwheel was used up until 1925 to supply water to the lighthouse after which time the wheel was bypassed by a pipe leading to the hydraulic dam directly.  Having turned to stone over the years it is now one of Augusta’s favourite attractions

 It was then home for dinner.  Too cold to be outdoors, and so cold that we even drove down to the showers tonight.  Much too cold to walk back to our vans in the howling cold winds after a nice warm shower..

Here’s hoping for better weather tomorrow…


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