Pemberton 2016

Our annual Australia Day weekend away ‘down south’ was once again at Pemberton.

It has a beautiful caravan park.

On Saturday we headed out to Warren Beach via Yeagarup Track, over  dunes and down Yeagarup Hill.

The Yeagarup Dunes are said to be the largest mobile sand dunes in the southern hemisphere. They are about 40 metres above the surrounding forest and the forward march of about four metres per year is approaching Little Yeagarup Lake,  forcing the water further to the north and doubling the surface area of the lake over recent times.

The first challenge is to get on top of the dunes. The north face of the dunes is now about eight kilometres from the ocean. It is a spectacular drive to Warren Beach.

Warren Beach is a wide expanse of beautiful white sand. Wind is a constant on this beach, direct from Antartica, and the ocean is never calm.

The beach derives its name from the river that empties into the ocean here, the Warren River.

Once we drove across the ‘bar’ we continued south-east along the beach, crossing the Meerup River.

The name of the Meerup River is of unknown origin, although it is of aboriginal derivation.

Time flies when you’re having fun and it was time to return to camp. We decided to take the scenic route along the Callcup Track.

We determined to head to the Tree Top Walk at Walpole on Sunday. But not the usual way. I worked out a more interesting route through the back tracks of the farming country.

Additionally, I declared that today would be ‘LOUD SHIRT DAY’. Everybody got into the spirit of the day including Dee who made an innovative offering. See below.

On the way we stopped at Camfield, a holiday squatters’ settlement on the edge of Broke Inlet.

The Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk is a stunning 600 metre walkway elevated 40 metres above the ground amid the tingle forest canopy. Some of the group had been there before and for others it was a totally new experience.

Equally worthwhile is the ‘Ancient Empire’.

A walk trail links the Tree Top Walk to the Ancient Empire, where an interpretative trail meanders across the forest floor in between 400 year old red tingle trees.

Much of the plant life in this forest is unique to the south-west of Western Australia. Trees such as the tingle occur only in this small area. Some of the plants have origins that can be traced back 65 million years to the super continent Gondwana when Australia was joined with what are now Africa, India, Antarctic and South America.

 

Leaving Walpole we decided to check out the nearby National Park.

The shortcut to the eastern side of Broke Inlet looked inviting, there was sufficient time left in the day, and we hadn’t taken a shortcut for a while.

At the rear of the field Dan, Dee and Kim were changing a wheel on Dan’s Prado.

We reached the Inlet after negotiating three bog holes.

Broke Inlet is a large a shallow estuary that opens to the Southern Ocean. It is brackish and receives most of its inflow from the Shannon River. It is the only inlet left in the South West that has not been significantly altered by development within its catchment area or along its shores. The name is derived from Captain Philip van Broke of the HMS Shannon. The aboriginal name is ‘mainbechup’.

We were running out of daylight and it seemed as if we would have to postpone the cocktail party till tomorrow night. We got out of Broke asap and took the bitumen back to Pemberton, arriving after dark.

Next morning we decided to go to Meerup Beach via Callcup Hill.

The Meerup Dunes extend inland for about 15 kilometres.

Once on the beach we checked out the MaxTrax.

Heading south-east along the beach we found the exit to the Summertime Track. The last vestiges of the recent rains remained close to the eastern end of the track.

On the way back to camp we stopped in at The Cascades.

Then in was time for the long awaited, once delayed Cocktail Party. Mike put a huge effort into this event, with a view to making it a ritual part of our ritual trip to our ritual location. We’ll see!

The calm atmosphere of the Pemberton Caravan Park was spiced up by a low speed pursuit of an errant motorist direct to the dead end at our campsite. The Police breathalysed him and took no further action.

The extra long weekend was at end and all that remained was the long drive home. After last year’s return, I was particularly careful exiting the Freeway at Jandakot.

Text by Kim Epton
1100 words
86 photographs

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