Wednesday, 30 September 2009

From Wheat Plains to Pinnacles

Leaving Mingenew we continue inland through vast grain paddocks and reach the town of Morewa and then on to Perenjori for our lunch stop. However it is Saturday and Perenjori with its Folk Museum is closed by the time we arrive. Like virtually all towns in Australia Perenjori has a picnic site, excellent loos and interesting murals.

It also has another Mgr. Hawes church. From the outside this is a far more simple design and sadly we cannot view inside.

On through the wheat country to Carnamah fast asleep in the Saturday afternoon sunshine and with another Mgr. Hawes church, more murals..

...and the statue of the Grain Man lifting the grain sacks in the old fashioned way.

The scarlet verticordia is the shire emblem.

Enroute are the Yarra yarra salt lakes glowing pink and red in the afternoon sunlight and illustrating how easily the land turns from fertile to hostile.

Three Springs was next with its giant grain silos,...
...more murals and shops which are open. We make the wrong descision and by the time we have taken our pictures and turned the car around the garage has closed. Aaargh! Still the little shop nearby is still open so we can at least have an icecream before we really do have to stop dawdling and cover the miles to tonight's camp site at Jurien Bay.

Oh well, just one last diversion to the nearby talc mines - the largest in Australia - and their multi coloured spoil heaps. As a recommended visitor attraction we think RTZ could make a viewing platform.

In this shot, we liked the pastoral tranquility as the sheep huddle under the only shade for miles around.

Well OK we have to make time but we could not run this skink over and he certainly did not want to move out of our way. When Graham tried to 'encourage' him he shot out his deep purple tongue and looked quite menacing though actually he has to be one of the few creatures in Australia that does not want to bite, scratch or poison you. Usually they are in pairs and look like a couple of pensioners out for a walk together strolling slowly across the road until you stop the car for a photo when they disappear into the undergrowth.

We arrive at Jurien Bay camp site just before 6pm and manage to secure the last camp site. Back on the coast the wind is still blowing but we are in a corner with tall fencing on two sides and very sheltered. Phew thats a relief. One night sleeping in the car was quite enough.

Next morning we drive to the little town of Cervantes, just too far for us to reach yesterday and the gateway to the Pinnacles. First though we have more stromatolites. We thought the creatures were only at Hamelin Pool but some live here too in Lake Thetis. The car is not as old geologically but in car terms is definitely elderly.

The local authority has created a easy walkway to view the stromatolites and the lake contains lots of bird life too but we must not forget that our first objective was the Pinnacles or Nambung National Park.

'Spectacular' is the only way to describe the sight of these pillars covering the ground as far as the eye can see in all directions. Putting to back of our minds visions of Billy Connelly skipping naked between the same pillars (though you cannot loose it completely) we explore - fully clothed. You can drive round the park and we are assured that the sandy road is fit for all vehicles. Lets hope so as it is a one way circuit. There are plenty of stopping places and a couple raised viewing points. In fact we do the circuit twice as the late afternoon light makes for interesting shadows. Once again the size of the area takes us by surprise though we should be used to it by now. Australia is a very big country.

Ok... perhaps just a little tom-foolery

North of Jurien Bay are the little fishing and holiday towns Leeman, known as 'Screamin Leeman' which is a a popular surfing bay and Green Head.
The nearby Grigson Lookout is named after the family who first farmed here and the fourth generation are still living and working here. At nearly 30m above sea level the limestone cairn here was built in 1875 as a marker for a coastal land survey between Perth and Geraldton. The nearby farmland was surveyed according to its relation to the cairn or 'big station'.

The sand dunes seen in the following picture are termed 'Dynamic Dunes' and with the action of the prevailing winds they 'walk' about 20 metres per year stabilising the undergrowth as they go.

1 comment:

Nellie from Beyond My Garden said...

I have been following your blog since last fall. This past weekend I showed it to my sister who promply exclaimed, "We know them." Somehow I had missed that you were a boat. ( I was probably too busy admiring the photos) She and her (English) husband are from Algoma a sail boat which has crossed your path. Small world.