Thursday, November 30, 2017


“On the evening 21st November 1978, the Cheynes II, Cheynes III and Cheynes IV berthed at the Albany Town Jetty after their last whale hunt.  The last shore based whaling station in Australia closed and 178 years of whaling in Albany waters came to an end.
Cheynes IV permanently berthed now...
This morning we headed out to check out this Historic Albany Whaling Station in Frenchman Bay in King George Sound.  

Communications room
The Mess area where the meals are had
It is the only complete whaling station tourism attraction in the world and it is very easy to find yourselves  immersed in the stories of the workers, the whales and their place in the economic and social history of Albany.  It is not a particularly pleasant story but it did play an important part in the history of Albany from the time the town was discovered.  
Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and also added a touch of humour to an otherwise gruesome tale of whale hunting in the southern seas as she took us through the restored whaling processing factory.

They have done a great job in converting the station into a first class tourist attraction with lots on audio’s and short movies which help to immerse you in the sights and sounds of the past whaling industry.  The Old Whale oil tanks have been aptly converted into movie theatres and displays depicting the history and whaling accounts of the Cheynes Beach Whaling Station which was initially built in the 1950s, and operated here until its closure in 1978.

The Cheynes IV is now permanently berthed there and part of the museum and we spent some time before the tour wandering over and through the ship.  It is well detailed with plenty of signs depicting what life was like on a whaling vessel.  We enjoyed our morning there as there was so much to see but I am so thankful that whale killing has now stopped. 

 We had lunch in the little café in the information centre there and then proceeded to go for a walk through the Botanical gardens and wildlife park attached to the Whaling Station.  
Mr. Wombat

They had quite a good range of animals in their mini zoo there with some animals I had never heard of never lone sighting before.  We also quite to see a few albino kangaroos, one being a huge male kangaroo….

As there was a picnic table outside of the gardens, we enjoyed a quick cuppa before going off to explore some of the natural wonders at the Torndirrup National Park.
Salmon Holes
 Our first stop off was at Salmon Holes.  Picturesque is one of the best words for Salmon Holes. The curving white, wide sandy beach. The shallow reef just offshore. Rocky outcroppings. Turquoise waters... it's gorgeous.  

Salmon Holes is named after the salmon that come to rest in the bays and has a reputation as an excellent fishing beach in season, and one of the best beach fishing locations along the coast. Steve would have loved to try his hand fishing here… pity it wasn’t the right season.  We stopped up at the lookout, and is was stunning, well worth the stop to see the gorgeous coast from this elevation.
From the Salmon Holes we headed into Jimmy Newhills Harbour.  There is some controversy about the name of the harbour. There are two thoughts to how it was named: one claiming that the name is Jimmy Newell's Harbour (referring to a lime burner who worked in the area), the other claims it is Jimmy Newells Harbour named after a seaman who took shelter in the harbour after a storm.  Either way, it’s was a really  pretty spot to visit.
The Blowholes were the next stop for us.  The boys took off at a pace to walk the rather long distance from the car to the blowhole.  To reach them them you need to walk a few hundred metres to the top of a long flight of stairs, and then there is still quite a walk when you get to the bottom.   Kathy had spoken to someone coming up who told her that the blowholes weren’t blowing today, so we opted to sit in the car, rather than walk a long way downhill in the cold to see nothing…. 
The Gap
The Gap
 We left the best till last, the Gap and Natural Bridge.  The Gap is an impressive rugged granite channel carved by the waves of the Great Southern Ocean crashing against the granite coastline forming a spectacular sheer drop of almost twenty five metres.  Around 12 months ago, they built this amazing steel boardwalk that takes you right out over the gap.  It was amazing.  So good in fact that Steve walked back there a second time just to take it all in again….

Wide swept tree is almost horizontal to the ground
 Right next to the Gap is the Natural Bridge.  It too  is a granite formation that looks just like a giant rock bridge! This 'bridge' is caused by the gradual wearing away of the granite rock by the Ocean.  

Obviously it is very windy around here.. The trees are growing almost horizontally around here...
The natural bridge formation is a reminder of the power of the ocean. It is incredible to watch the waves roll across the ocean, crashing into the granite cliffside and rushing under the bridge.  It was all quite spectacular and I am pleased that we were able to visit here.  Unfortunately it was getting later in the afternoon, and quite a few clouds had come over so the ocean was not quite as vibrant as it had been this morning when we set out.  
 The Gap was so impressive to Steve that he had to go back and have another final look before we left....

Our last stop was another Cable Beach.  Initially we set out in search of a walk to the lighthouse, as my parents had been here back in the 70’s and seen the Deputy PM of Australia protesting about whaling, so I thought it would be nice to go and check it out.  Unfortunately the road was closed so we could not drive up there.
Instead, Steve walked out on the ledge to get a nice photo for me and that is when he discovered the beautiful Cable Beach below.  There was some quite impressive granite boulders on the beach.   Of course he scooted down to the beach to take some photos.  It was way too cold for me so I opted to look from above and then shelter in the car until he came back up.  
It was almost sunset by the time he got back to the car, so it was time to head home.   We did stop on the side of the road driving home to take a few photos of this letterbox and garden that was quite fancily decorated.

We were tired by the time we got home, but what a great day we have had and what a great way to end our stay in Albany…

Time to move on again tomorrow. 


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