Thursday, November 16, 2017


One of the guys that worked with Steve spent nine months in Western Australia a couple of years ago, and he was telling us that one of his favourite places was Windy Harbour.  We hadn’t heard too much about it from others, but Kev spoke so passionately about it that we thought it was worth taking a look. 

We have had so much wind since being in WA, that we were a little reluctant to actually stay there in case it lived up to it’s name and was blowing a gale.  Not nice when caravaning.  Instead, we booked into Syd’s camping ground, which was just out of Northcliffe, and about 20 kms from the D’Entrecasteaux National Park and Windy Harbour. 

Reception Area at Syd's Camping Grounds.
Beautiful Spot right in the bush.
Syd's Camping Ground
 Syd pretty much had all of that there for us in his camping ground.  We borrowed a table and found a few chairs laying around, so that made it easy.  We had an early lunch and then set off for Windy Harbour.   It was a gorgeous day, perfect blue sky with not a cloud in it.  Perfect weather to see the coastline. 
One of the showers at Syd's  - at least it had nice hot water.
The shower we used.
Lovely wildflowers in there..
Loo with a view
Back of the Loo with the view - it looks right out into the bush.
There were wildflowers in there too...
He's in the process of building a camp kitchen with style...
Set up for our overnight stay
Lunch in the bush

Northcliffe was less than 70kms from Manjimup, so with an early start we were able to arrive at Syd’s by 10.30am.  It didn’t take us long to set up, as we were only staying overnight, we didn’t bother putting out the awning or getting too much in the way of furniture out.  
  Kev was right, Windy Harbour was stunning.  The colours the rocks and the lack of people around made it a little piece of paradise.     It is a small settlement situated on Crown reserve, surrounded by D’Entrecasteaux National Park which is one of the wildest and most rugged places you will find on the southern coast.   Think jagged cliffs, lonely beaches and sand dunes that move on their own.
No town here,  just a kiosk and a lot of fishing shacks
Windy Harbour is a popular holiday retreat, which thanks to its relative remoteness retains a laid back easy going atmosphere. 219 cottages have been built there since the 1900’s, most after the Great Depression when inexpensive camping holidays on the south coast were favoured by many local timber workers who enjoyed a good fish.  The relatively sheltered aspect of the harbour means it is still popular with fishermen today.
Wildflowers grow right to the beach...

From the cliffs at Windy Harbour, you get a good view of Sandy Island which is an important nesting site for flesh-footed shearwaters (Puffinus carneipes). Up to 300,000 breeding pairs of these birds descend on Sandy Island each year, a large proportion of the global population.
Setting up the drone on the beach
The weather was so good that Steve even managed to drag out his drone and take some footage of the beach there. 
Footage from the Drone
Drone footage
The wildflowers are prolific here
From here, we drove around to the Cathedral Rock, another stunning area of Windy Harbour.  Whilst Steve got the drone out again for a fly, Ian and Kathy decided to do the Coastal Walk up to Point D’Entrecasteaux.  This whole area is  a mass of wildflowers at the moment which makes it a delightful and pretty place to be. 
Catedral Rock - at Windy Harbour
Prolific wildflowers in this area.  The blue flowers just dot the hills everywhere

We managed to get some good drone footage of Catherdal Rock along with all the blue wildflowers covering the hill.  
Drone footage around Cathedral Rock
Drone footage around Cathedral Rock
Drone footage around Cathedral Rock

Drone footage around Cathedral Rock

We then drove up to Point D’Entrecasteaus.  The Point was named after the French navigator Antoine de Bruni D’Entrecasteaux who sighted the point on his way to Cape Leeuwin in 1792. The scenic drive into the site shows off the impressive coastline and surrounding Karri forest.  From up here you also get a  spectacular view of the rugged southern coastline.  

 We did the Pupalong Loop Walk which offered fantasic cliff views whilst also being 100% wheelchair accessible.   This walk is well sign posted with interactive information about how important country is to the Noongar custodians of the South West.

  Perhaps the highlight for us was a walk down to “The Window” - a hole in one of the cliffs that gives you a slightly frightening yet very photogenic view of the steep drop to the ocean below.  Unlike “Natures Window” at Kalbari, this beautiful spot was minus all the tourists, which kind of made it more spectacular in a way.
Stunning coastal views
As we ventured further around the coast we came to Tookalup  and from the lookout here, you get a good reminder that you’re just one tiny person in a giant world.  Tookalup Lookout gives you sweeping views across the cliffs of Salmon Beach to Point D’Entrecasteaux, and outward to an endless expanse of deep blue ocean. 

 On a good day if you are lucky you might even spot humpback and right whales as they make their way along the coast.  We were pretty sure we spotted one of the humpbacks but it was a fair way out.
Ablaze with colour with all the wildflowers
 Our final stop on the coast for the afternoon was Salmon Beach.  Edged by huge, ominous looking cliffs,  this white sand beach looks like it could be the set of a fantasy film, or at least inspire some poetry. It was just stunning.    We pretty much had this spot to ourselves.  Whilst this isn’t a spot for swimming, it does make a great place for a walk, dramatic selfie or just a moment of complete peace and quiet.  We stopped and had afternoon tea in a little rest area built a little higher so you could look over the dunes and see the wind blown beach.  

By now it was well after 5pm, and as we didn’t want to drive home on sunset with all the roos on the road we left to head back to Syd’s.  On the way home, we pasted Mount Chudalup, a giant granite outcrop that stands out along the highway.  We took the short drive in to check it out, but found that it was a 1km walk to the top, so as it was nearly sunset, we didn’t have time to take the walk. 
Mt Chudalup

Back at Syd’s campground, it was time to think about dinner.  As there was a large fire pit across from where we were camping, we decided to have a BBQ dinner out around the fire, and then toast some marshmallows for desert.

It was a lovely way to end another perfect day in a beautiful part of our country.  We felt so blessed to be able to enjoy this gorgeous spot with such good weather.  The forecast for tomorrow again is more cloud, wind and some rain.    Good thing we are moving on….


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