J18.35 Hopetoun, Fitzgerald River NP & Perth

By ruzamada
This post is part of a series called Journey 18 ● PolArt 2015
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The final day of the roadtrip. But before heading home, as always along this roadtrip, ‘I’ll make the most of my time here’ so with an early rise & brekkie I headed straight for East Mount Barren in the Fitzgerald River National Park. This quartzite peak only stands at 450m but with a challenging climb taking about 1-1.5 hours each way, the rewarding 360 degree views of the Culham Inlet, Whoogarup Range carpeted in trees, Mid Mount Barren & Thumb Peak, the nearby white and cyan blue beaches plus Hopetoun in the distance as viewed from the rugged and raw mountain is breathtaking.
Myself, along with two grey nomads from Queensland very much enjoyed the climb and I honestly didn’t feel like coming down from the peak for ages, blessed with clear weather, warm sun and a cool breeze, there’s a little nook in a boulder up there where you can comfortably place your legs in there and as it’s near the edge of the cliff, it’s an experience you don’t get often 🙂

Knowing today was a long day on the road back home, unfortunately I had to drop Bremer Bay from the plan but made sure to visit the nearby beaches of East Mylies and West Beach.
On East Mylies Beach around 1pm, I picked a boulder that was dry on top and had the last edges of the Southern Ocean lapping against the front face of the rock and chose to enjoy Brie and Crackers there, very relaxing and soothing after the climb. Then from serenity to catastrophe, a large wave arrived in the distance and I knew what this meant, so I quickly zipped up the phone in a pocket and immediately a wall of water wrecked the lovely scene, crackers floating, Brie upturned on the boulder, camera bag wet, ginger beer unaccounted for and the Leatherman pocket knife still in my left hand from cutting the cheese. What a sad sight it was, I made sure to quickly clean up and pickup the pieces then move to higher ground haha – the unopened ginger beer luckily bobbing in the shallow water not too far away, but it was a sad farewell to the now salty and crunchy Brie and Crackers. All I could do is laugh at the whole situation, off to Hopetoun for lunch with a chicken caesar salad and head back home with an estimated 7 hour drive.

I took the slightly longer route via Katanning, though I haven’t been through this area so why not see a portion of WA I haven’t been to before. Much of the journey from Ravensthorpe to the very familiar Albany Highway is farming land and one highlight that stands out is the distant view of Stirling Range which features Bluff Knoll and the Porongorups, making an impression from Jerramungup through to Gnowangerup as the road passes well north of the mountainous range, a view which brought back great memories of my time climbing Bluff Knoll and driving through the range in August of 2014.

From Albany Highway to home, it was all familiar territory joining the major road just south of Arthur River, with just a single rest stop to grab a bite from the esky and empty a jerry can into the car.

Today was a bitter-sweet day, marking the end of this journey, the return back to the normal grind, the usual hectic pace of life. But as with every long drive from Melbourne, there was ample time to reflect upon the many highlights and experiences gained along the way. Travel might make your bank account a little poorer, but it’s the adventure and these experiences that make us a richer person.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks as I add more photos and looking to put together a summary of highlights and tips!

This entry was posted in Journey 18 ● PolArt 2015, Journeys
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