Staying overnight in Pemberton was a great idea, with the chance to see Gloucester tree for the first time – and I would’ve climbed if not so busy with other visitors – while the winding drive further east took me through the familiar Shannon National Park and Walpole’s beautifully scented forests.
Despite being tight on time, I made sure to take a few detours, one was Snake Gully Lookout which as a lookout wasn’t too spectacular, but the soundtrack of insects and birds going about their business was bliss. The other detour was a ‘maybe’ due to time constraints: Mandalay Beach. Only 8km off the main highway, it was a great opportunity to understand my car better on the loose gravel, rewarded with a gigantic open coastline and some nice waves, reminiscent of Castle Cove along Great Ocean Road in Victoria.
Very tempting to get the bodyboard out, but it was a little too nippy and looked like there were a few rips in the water.
Being a huge fan of Honey, it was a must-visit waypoint to Bartholomew’s Meadery where I sampled and surrendered to a couple of honey varietals and some of their drinks, since I knew I was unlikely to make it to the wineries on the way!
Next was the picturesque – and windy – Elephants Rock and Greens Pool, where I bumped into a group of Polish speaking visitors, to which I cheekily replied in Polish to their surprise. Even more surprising is they’re parents to two of my friends from Perth, what a small world! Today was rather gloomy but the waters were still calm, relatively warm and have that great light blue-green colour that’s iconic for these two gems.
15:30 and having eaten my snacks on the walk around Greens Pool, it was a quick stop in Albany for some essentials and straight to Bremer Bay just before sunset. Unfortunately there were two birdstrikes on the Borden-Bremer Bay Rd, with one of them being a vibrant and rather large lorikeet that we both couldn’t avoid each-other 🙁
Reaching Bremer Bay was a great relief and dinner went down nicely in the bustling pub/restaurant popular with local residents and guests alike.
Hopefully the weather forecast of storms doesn’t turn into reality, will work out a Plan A and Plan B depending on the weather, likely to be hiking/wineries or wineries only, good thing tasting wines is an indoor activity! Ooh and we’ve already traveled over 1000km since yesterday’s start!
- bremer bay
- gloucester tree
- journey 20
- mandalay beach
- shannon np