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Weekend Getaway 1: South West WA - Busselton Jetty

Saturday - Monday: Harvey... Gnomesville... Donnybrook... Busselton Jetty... Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse... Ngilgi Cave

sunny
View Wkend Getaway 1 - South West WA (Mar 2013) on Goannaray's travel map.

Looking back to shore

Looking back to shore

We arrived into a very busy Busselton just before lunch time on Sunday, and were rather unsure how far we'd end up having to walk to get to the Busselton Jetty due to parking issues. We were pleasantly surprised and found a fairly well shaded spot really close to the jetty and information centre. Zipped into the information centre to pick up whatever information we could find (specifically a list of available campgrounds in the area, and what there was to do surrounding the jetty), then onto the jetty itself to purchase tickets to the Underwater Observatory (UWO) and have a quick look through the museum.

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The first available tickets were for in 3hrs time and also included a return trip on the Jetty Train. This worked out really well, allowing us to enjoy a relaxed lunch and swim. We got a few interesting looks over lunch, having a picnic around the back of our dual cab hilux. We'd parked reversed up to a carpark island with pine trees in it providing plenty of shade, so laying the tailgate down for a table, Clancy sitting on one end of it, Sonia clambering all over the baggage in the tray, Kaden in his pram, and me on a camp chair... we enjoyed a quick, cheap, make as much mess as you want (within reason!), picnic lunch! Only thing we forgot was to take a photo!

Window 2

Window 2

Fish!

Fish!

Going for a swim, we found the water rather cold at first, but soon got used to it and rather enjoyed it. It was nice and calm while we were there, so mixing that with the gentle slope of the beach, it made for a rather fun and enjoyable, kid friendly experience. Clancy wasn't too enthused on getting wet, so Sonia and Kaden took turns begging Mum for 'spin/swing' out in the deeper water. Some older folk enjoying a relaxing swim nearby pointed out a decent sized crab slowly scuttling away in the water, not far from where I was spinning/swinging the kids. I'm glad they did, as not only did I not want to get nipped, but it was interesting to watch as it slowly continued on it's way.

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To get to the end of the 1.8km jetty, you can walk, take the train, or possibly even ride a bike. We decided to take the train considering it was included with the UWO ticket, and would let us get away faster to head to our camp for the night. As it was a long weekend with rather warm weather, there were plenty of people enjoying the jetty. Fishing, walking, swimming, jumping/diving off the jetty... people everywhere! The train was well and truly at full capacity as well. One group of people who arrived a bit later during the boarding time ended up having to find individual seats scattered throughout the length of the train, rather than being able to sit together which they weren't too happy with. But yes, it was an enjoyable ride for all, and made the trip to the end of the jetty a fair bit faster and less strenuous than walking.

End of Busselton Jetty

End of Busselton Jetty

Busselton Under Water Observatory

Busselton Under Water Observatory

Window 1

Window 1

The Underwater Observatory was great! It's basically a huge 9.5m diameter pipe or chamber with stairs slowly spiralling down around the inside of the walls. Windows at various levels allow you to look out at the fish and coral of the artificial reef growing underneath the jetty. Sonia and Kaden enjoyed looking out at all the fish and coral, but I think the stairs were a bit more enticing to them. Constantly wanting to run up and down. It's about 8m down to the ocean floor, and after listening to the guide's explanations on the way down the stairs, you're able to stay down there nearly as long as you want. Bearing in mind, if you miss the return train trip, you'll have to walk!

Window 3

Window 3

More Stairs!

More Stairs!


Posted by Goannaray 20:33 Archived in Australia Tagged bridges ocean wildlife beach walk western_australia busselton weekend_toddler_adventures_wa south_west_wa wkend_adventures_swregion other_sw_wa_areas Comments (0)

Wkend Getaway 1: South West WA - Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse

Saturday - Monday: Harvey... Gnomesville... Donnybrook... Busselton Jetty... Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse... Ngilgi Cave

sunny
View Wkend Getaway 1 - South West WA (Mar 2013) on Goannaray's travel map.

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From where we camped at the Four Seasons Holiday Park between Busselton and Dunsborough, it didn't take long to get out to the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse. Meaning we got there not long before they opened, and were able to go on the first tour for the day. The lighthouse grounds and cottages seemed really well maintained, with a bouncy castle and large connect four game available for kids. These caught the immediate attention of both Sonia and Kaden, and most of the other kids who later arrived as well.

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As we were also planning on visiting Ngilgi Cave that day, we got a cheaper ticket covering both attractions. However, as they said, we could've used the Ngilgi Cave ticket any time over the next few months. It didn't have to get used that day.

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The tour around and through the lighthouse was really interesting. For both adults and children alike. Having no real previous knowledge about lighthouses, being able to see inside and climb up the internal stairs to see it working, as well as hearing the history of how it was built, how it was previously operated, and the maintenance involved, was great. Some of the main things that caught my attention were the weight and size of the turning lead crystal (original still in place and working) sitting on mercury, it's special flash sequence, what the duties of the lighthouse keepers previously entailed (tireing work!), and how the surrounding landscape had changed. I also found that having looked through the small museum of lighthouse paraphernalia before going on the actual tour, rather helped my understanding of what I saw and what was explained on the tour.

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If we'd had more time, some of the surrounding walks would've been really good to do as well. Definately somewhere to return to. Hopefully sometime around September/October to try and see some migrating whales from the lookouts off the coast.

Posted by Goannaray 20:39 Archived in Australia Tagged history lighthouse western_australia toddlers cape_naturaliste weekend_toddler_adventures_wa south_west_wa wkend_adventures_swregion other_sw_wa_areas Comments (0)

Wkend Getaway 1: South West WA - Ngilgi Cave (Yallingup)

Saturday - Monday: Harvey... Gnomesville... Donnybrook... Busselton Jetty... Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse... Ngilgi Cave

sunny
View Wkend Getaway 1 - South West WA (Mar 2013) on Goannaray's travel map.

See any fairies?

See any fairies?

Ngilgi Cave, formally known as Yallingup Cave, is located not far from... you guessed it, Yallingup! After visiting the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse (where we'd picked up a cheaper dual ticket for both lighthouse and cave), we continued straight on to see the cave. And lucky for us, timed it just right to get onto the next tour before lunchtime.

Stalectite window

Stalectite window

Stalectite

Stalectite

One rather wise thing that the staff recommended to us at the main desk, was to ensure that the kids (and us too if we needed) utilised the toilets before going on the tour. As it'd be about an hour or so before we got back and had access to facilities again. I'm guessing they'd had some misfortunate experiences! So yes, after a prompt visit to the toilets, and a quick play on the playground, it was time to start the tour.

The tour started with the explanation of an Aboriginal legend, a battle between a good spirit (Ngilgi) and an evil spirit (Wolgine), that gives the cave it's current name. This was also portrayed rather well in some eye catching (to kids atleast anyway!) artwork located around the start of the tour waiting area. Then it was on and down in to the cave itself via some rather steep steps.

Ngilgi Cave Formations

Ngilgi Cave Formations

Ngilgi Cave Curtain

Ngilgi Cave Curtain

The guides provided a basic rundown of the cave at the base of the entry/exit steps, then let you wander through at your own pace. Letting you take as long as you wanted, with a guide located partway through to provide extra information and answer questions if required. At that point, they also had quite a few pieces of stalectites etc, that you could hold, and touch, and see what colours they made when light was shone through them, not just on them. Unfortunately for us, my attempts at photography did not turn out anywhere near as good as I'd hoped. These are the better few.

Ngilgi Cave Formations

Ngilgi Cave Formations

Amphitheatre Roof

Amphitheatre Roof

The formations themselves seemed fairly similar to those I'd seen in numerous other caves around Australia and the world, but it was still really interesting. Especially with all the different coloured lights they had set up to highlight the formations. What caught Sonia's attention, was a tunnel that had been made which allowed kids (and kids at heart!), to travel from the base of the entry/exit steps, down to a lower level of the cave. I followed her down, and had to keep reminding her to slow down so she didn't run into the person in front of her! Lots of fun for both of us. After that however, the main attraction for both Sonia and Kaden was trying to climb the hand railings, and once again... running up and down the many steps and walkways!

Ngilgi cave tunnel

Ngilgi cave tunnel

Echidna carving

Echidna carving

Kaden ended up falling asleep in my arms by the end of our slow cave journey, providing me with an impromptu workout climbing all the paths and steps to get out of the cave. Then while he continued to sleep, the rest of us started on a picnic lunch. To be ended with the promised ice creams and a look at all the interesting artwork in the nearby studio. Some really amazing pieces available if you have enough money.



Posted by Goannaray 23:11 Archived in Australia Tagged art paintings history walk cave western_australia yallingup toddlers ngilgi_cave weekend_toddler_adventures_wa south_west_wa wkend_adventures_swregion other_sw_wa_areas Comments (0)

Wkend Getaway 1: South West WA - Planning, Camping, Travel

Saturday - Monday: Harvey... Gnomesville... Donnybrook... Busselton Jetty... Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse... Ngilgi Cave

sunny
View Wkend Getaway 1 - South West WA (Mar 2013) on Goannaray's travel map.

What worked... or didn't! ... for us.

Planning

Considering this was going to be our first weekend camping trip for the year, and first one as a family of four... the planning felt like it took quite a while, was more involved, and generally bigger than what it hopefully will be for future weekends.

  • Where to go - I did a lot of online research. Finding things and places that looked interesting, and placing them onto a My Custom Google Map so we could get an idea of where abouts things were located. I showed Clancy the map and let him choose where he'd like to go/see... and that was it. A few destinations, and general direction chosen!
  • Where to stay - Considering the whole idea was to camp... we obviously needed somewhere that allowed camping. I would've been quite happy to set up a very basic camp anywhere in some bush, but Clancy wasn't too enthused with that idea. So a compromise was met and it was decided whatever campground had availability in the area that we were in at the time, would be the place to camp.
  • What to take

Tents
Bedding
Food & Water
Cooking/eating equipment
Maps
Clothing
Toys
First Aid
Toiletries

Camping

Looking back through all the weekends photo's. The only one we could find related to the actual camping side of things was this one taken by Miss 3yr old Sonia whilst setting up the tents :)

Hm... what's this?

Hm... what's this?

  • Campsites - Considering it was a long weekend, we weren't expecting many of the bigger, more common campgrounds to have any sites available. Harvey information centre confirmed this, stating most people who wanted to camp were being redirected to Logue Brook Dam. We preferred to keep heading further south, so after a bit of ringing around, found space available at the Kirup Tavern Camping and Caravan Park for Saturday night. This was a small but friendly campground beside the Kirup Tavern. Decent showers (Even had a baby bath and change table!! Still found the wash tub more practical though), basic kitchen and laundry facilities, grassed area for tents, and small playground across the road.

For Sunday night around the Busselton/Dunsborough area it was very similar. Needing to ring around a bit before finding somewhere that had a site avaliable. We ended up camping at the Four Seasons Holiday Park Busselton. This was a rather large, well established, older campground. The site we were given was a vacant site, located in a permanent van section of the park. Relatively close to the amenities and playground. This campground had a bigger outdoor kitchen with picnic style gas BBQ near the playground and amenities. So while Clancy got tea organised, I watched the kids, watch the hoards of other kids play! I could have given them their baths at that time, but considering the numbers of other parents doing just that, and the fact that they were yet to get rather messy eating... decided we'd wait till things had settled down a bit after tea.

  • Tents and Bedding - Figured we'd trial using the two small old dome tents we currently have. 4 person tent for us, 2 person tent for the kids. Set them up with openings facing each other, and worked rather well. The only real downside we found was that both tents were low, so constant bending over, resulting in sore backs. And having to open numerous zips, then climb through numerous small openings to check on the kids. So we're now planning to seriously start looking at maybe a taller, larger tent that will accommodate us all.

Bedding had been one of Clancy's main sticking points with not looking forward to camping. Not being able to sleep on a comfortable mattress. So prior to this trip, we decided to upgrade our single swag mats, and splurge on a 4WD Mat as it's commonly called. Self inflating, 10cm thick foam mattress. Definately not for hiking or backpacking! Deciding between 2 singles or 1 double, Clancy decided we'd go for the 1 double to share it's rolling up. He wasn't too impressed when I stated that if we got 2 singles, I was quite happy to roll mine, but he'd have to do his own!

  • Food etc... - To save on buying every meal, we took enough for each meal that we'd have while we were away. The 'fridge stuff' (ie, salad, cheese etc that normally requires a fridge (No meat though!)) I packed in a box that went behind the drivers seat, under Sonia's feet (covered with towel and pillow). With us slowly reducing it's volume, all the 'fridge stuff' survived the trip rather well. Despite the warm weather. Everything else, went into a cardboard fruit box with lid, that got packed on the tray of the ute (easily accessible, under a folded silver tarp for some insulation) with all the other baggage.

We took a small foldable camp table and stools, a bucket, and my old Trangia cookstove incase we stayed somewhere without kitchen facilities. The table, stools and bucket got used, but the Trangia ended up staying in it's bag on the back of the ute. Both places we stayed at had microwaves, which turned out being the easiest and fastest way for us to cook what we'd brought for the evening meals (thankfully some of the containers we had food in were microwave safe).

  • Miscellaneous - Once again... my trusty set of multifit plugs came in very handy! Some basic familiar toys for the kids were also appreciated. Along with a book or 2 each to maintain their regular tea, bath, story, bed routine.

Travel

Putting the question to Clancy (didn't worry me for this sort of trip), he decided we'd take my old dual cab hilux for easier packing, and access to all our equipment and baggage. This worked fine for this trip without any rain... however we're going to have to rethink our options once rain starts to threaten as we currently don't have a cover for the tray!

Kids and driving... they were both pretty good. But then again, they've both been brought up with fairly regular long driving trips, allowing them to get accustomed to it from a very young age. One thing Sonia enjoyed, was having a map of her own to look at.

Posted by Goannaray 21:49 Archived in Australia Tagged camping tents miscellaneous western_australia planning campground toddlers weekend_toddler_adventures_wa south_west_wa wkend_adventures_swregion Comments (0)

Overnight Getaway 1: Avon Valley National Park

Fri - Sat: Overnight day trip to the Avon Valley National Park

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View Overnight Toddler Getaways from Perth on Goannaray's travel map.

Enjoying Some Spontaneity!

Quite a few events and several months after our first family camping trip through part of South West WA in March, I suddenly got the urge to get away from everything again and go exploring for a bit. Even if it was for just an overnight trip.

Clancy had prior commitments for the weekend, so considering it was likely to just be me and the two 'Monkeys' as Clancy fondly calls our rather energetic toddler duo, I promptly decided it would be a very lazy trip (no grand ideas for any big strenuous hikes!), and preferably somewhere close. A quick check of My Custom Google Map, a msg to interested younger sisters, and the planning began.

One of my sisters Sharelle loved the idea and figured she had the time available, so original planning for 3 became planning for 4. Not to mention a hint of relief felt by me for the added toddler wrangling assistance I'd recieve! So with about 6 workable daylight hours till departure, things were organised and packed on the go.

Where to go?
Choosing the Avon Valley National Park as the place to go for this trip was an easy choice to make. Both Sharelle and I had grown up about 20 minutes away from the park, and had enjoyed quite a few camps and day trips there over the years.

Avon Descent Panorama 2012

Avon Descent Panorama 2012

Avon Descent 2014

Avon Descent 2014

Avon Descent 2014

Avon Descent 2014

Plus only two weeks earlier, we'd enjoyed an early cool morning visit to the park to see some of the Avon Descent action at Emu Falls. The Avon Descent is an annual 124km, 2 day, white water race for power dinghies and paddle craft (eg. kayaks) on the Avon and Swan River. A lot of fun for both competitors and spectators alike! So yes, for a quick spontaneous camping trip, being able to go somewhere close (45mins - 1hr away from where we live now) and familiar was rather helpful.

Which campsite?
As to which campsite to use... neither Sharelle or I really had any preference as all sites had similar basic facilites (toilets, picnic tables, fire rings, maybe water at some).

  • Valley Campsite - the closest readily accessible park camping site to the river. However there is a major rail line (East-West line from Perth - Sydney) between the campsite and the Avon River. So train noise may be an issue for some. And for those who obey signs, your conscience may prevent you from reaching the river, as WestNetRail (May be Brookfield Rail now, as this is an older photo) have erected a sign near the line stating "No Access to River via Railway Line". To find Emu Falls, cross the tracks and turn right to follow the road/river upstream.
Emu Falls

Emu Falls

No Access?!

No Access?!

  • Homestead Campsite - located on a flat nearby a creek that flows well after recent winter rains. Not so well if no rain for a while during winter. And not at all really during summer.
  • Cec Barrow Campsite - is a group only campsite requiring the Ranger or Mundaring Parks and Wildlife information centre to be contacted for bookings.
  • Drummonds Campsite - tucked away behind a hill/ridge on the way to Bald Hill Campsite. The road into this campsite is a bit steeper, but not too bad. There are some nice views across the valley to the hills on the other side of the river.
  • Bald Hill Campsite - as it's name suggests, is near the top of Bald Hill. Plenty of rocks for climbing and playing on, and once again some nice views up, down and across the valley.

We ended up departing later than what we'd hoped for. Arriving at the park well and truly in darkness. Several 4WD vehicles arrived behind us whilst we were filling out the self registration and payment forms at the park entrance. It was my hope that they would complete their forms and continue on in front of us, as we yet had to choose which site we wanted to camp at. I didn't really want them following us in wondering what we were doing while we drove around each site trying to make our minds up! It ended up working out ok despite us going first, as I didn't see their lights in my rear vision mirror till heading up past the group campsite towards Bald Hill. When they didn't follow us into the Bald Hill campsite (empty at that stage), that made our decision for us and we ended up choosing a rather good spot there.

On the drive in, I remembered that I'd forgotten to pack matches or a lighter! So the first thing we did before setting up the tent was to check all possible hiding spots in the vehicle and bags. No luck. Cold food and no campfire for us. Untill..... another car drove in while we were setting up the tent, and when asked, offered us a spare lighter! Thanks again, and apologies to you on forgetting to return it the following morning! We then started the arduous and illegal task of gathering firewood, as that was something else I had forgotten to bring/do. Trekking back and forth carrying both a clingy 2yr old and an armful of firewood provides a rather good workout! Particularly in darkness, and also as it looked like many others had previously undertaken this same task, resulting in no dead wood to be found anywhere close by.

After a well earned hot meal and quick wash, it was definitely time for story and bed!

What to do?
Some of the things that I've experienced and enjoyed during previous visits to the park have been Emu Falls (Here's Sshaunaa's blog on their fun adventure to find Emu Falls!), Emu Springs Falls, exploring the river in general (in all seasons), and clambering around the numerous hills, rocks, ridges and gullies that can be found everywhere just enjoying being out in the bush. For this trip however, the plan was to be 'lazy' and 'take it as it comes'.

Looking down at camp

Looking down at camp

Jumping, climbing...

Jumping, climbing...

Breakfast

Breakfast

Follow the leader...

Follow the leader...

Saturday morning brought light to an amazing rocky playground for two slightly grumpy kids (late nights do not result in happy toddlers!). Moods improved after breakfast was begrudgingly consumed, and the rocks finally received their due attention. Mum and Aunty dutifully completed the clean up and tidy away duties, then joined in the fun of rock and bush exploration toddler style!

Enjoying the rocks

Enjoying the rocks

It wasn't long before a longer walk was suggested to see what else we could find. There were several unmarked tracks leading away from the campsite, of which we chose one that started in the general direction towards Drummonds Campsite. It wasn't long before the track petered out to nothing and Kaden decided he didn't want to walk anymore. Thankfully I'd thought of this, and had started the walk wearing our empty Kathmandu child carrier, along with a few snacks hidden in Sharelle's bag. After a bit of discussion, we decided we'd continue to follow the ridge we were on untill we'd either had enough, or found Drummonds Campsite.

Where to next?

Where to next?

This way...

This way...

I can carry him!

I can carry him!

Interesting things (sticks, leaves, flowers, rocks etc) were constantly catching Sonia's attention, so it was a rather leisurely walk for Sharelle and I. I do have to say though, that there were quite a few different flowers out including some orchids (I think they were anyway!) which were really nice to see. Before long, Sharelle spotted the road leading down to Drummonds Campsite, so down we went. Meeting the same group of 4WD's who'd followed us in the night before.

Snack time!

Snack time!

One of the many flowers

One of the many flowers

A Geocache was located not far from this campsite, however there were several people preparing for a hike not far from where our GPS was indicating it to be. We continued on through the campsite to find an opening in the bush with a large flat area of rock to sit on and look out across to the hills on the other side of the valley. Very peaceful and picturesque. Snacks were very quickly devoured after some ingenuity of using a SmartRider card (public transport pass card) as a knife to cut and divide an apple! Then back to succesfully finding the Geocache. Both kids were rather worn out by then, so a unanimous decision was made to follow the road back around to our tent and lunch.

A fire was utilised for making lunch much to Sonia's enjoyment. Then again afterwards for some toasted marshmallow treats. Both Sharelle and I were rather surprised to find ourselves being practically force fed the majority of the toasted marshmallows! Sonia and Kaden seemed to prefer them untoasted, but thoroughly enjoyed feeding us. Making us bite the toasted marshmallows off the end of their green sticks! So yes, we all had fun getting totally covered in pink and white sticky goo!!

Things to be aware of?
Another interesting event to occur over lunch was meeting a group of Scouts who were on a one day overnight orientation training exercise throughout the area. They'd been informed to keep to main tracks and roads due to 'Unexploded Ordnances (UXO's)' from when the park had been used as a Department of Defence Artillery Training Area in 1958 - 1966. I had previously heard this during a group hiking expedition I participated in many years ago, but we had never worried about sticking to tracks. Frequently finding our own way through the bush to get from A - B!

After lunch, it was time to pack up fire, pack up tent and head down to the creek at the Homestead Campsite for a quick paddle before heading home. We found a slightly deeper pool that would've just come up to Sonia's thighs if she'd wanted to go fully in. However she was more content to watch tadpoles and jump on/off the log (with assistance!) that Kaden and I were standing on above the pool. Mosquitoes were also out in full force despite the general coolness, so it wasn't too long before dry clothes were found and the trip home continued.

Watch out I don't fall too!

Watch out I don't fall too!

Balance...

Balance...

Up... climb... up...

Up... climb... up...

Worth it?
Totally!! Sonia and Kaden saw it as one big adventure. While both Sharelle and I agreed that yes, we still needed to expend a fair amount of energy watching out for and looking after the kids, but the overall rejuvenation obtained from just being in the bush, and being able to take our time with no real deadlines well and truly made it worth it.

Things to remember for next trip?

  • Try to arrive before dark
  • Flannel for hands/face/feet washes
  • Matches/Lighter
  • Spare camera battery
  • Spare torch batteries
  • Wood for campfires

Posted by Goannaray 21:17 Archived in Australia Tagged flowers creek western_australia toddlers weekend_toddler_adventures_wa avon_valley_national_park avon_descent perth_surrounds wkend_adventures_perth_region Comments (0)

Lesmurdie Falls

Nature's Day Trips from Perth with Toddlers

all seasons in one day
View Nature's Day Trips from Perth with Toddlers on Goannaray's travel map.

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Lesmurdie falls are located in Lesmurdie Falls National Park, within Mundy Regional Park. The falls themselves are rather spectacular after recent rains, but expect to enjoy more rock climbing activities than water flowing activities during summer, or when there hasn't been rain for a while. The variety of wildflowers in late winter and throughout spring are also rather impressive to see.

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There are two main access points to the falls. One at the top, and one at the bottom of the falls:

  • Top of the falls

Falls Rd, Lesmurdie - This access point has a carpark, picnic tables, toilets, trail and park information sign.

  • Bottom of the falls

Palm Tce, Forrestfield - This access point has a carpark, picnic tables, trail information sign.









Top of the Falls
Following the path down past the shaded picnic tables, you'll find a sign showing you the options of following the brook upstream to the cascades (150m), or downstream to the lookouts over Lesmurdie Falls (320m). These lookouts provide great views over both the falls and out through the valley to Perth. If you have toddlers that like to explore and climb like ours do, you may want to keep a close eye on them near the lookouts as there's plenty of toddler enticing things to see/do not far from the path, right beside the sharp drop.

View over Perth from top side of Lesmurdie Falls

View over Perth from top side of Lesmurdie Falls

Cascades above Lesmurdie Falls

Cascades above Lesmurdie Falls

Top of Lesmurdie Falls

Top of Lesmurdie Falls

Top section of Lesmurdie Falls

Top section of Lesmurdie Falls

For those wanting to use a pram, the main concrete path leading down past the picnic tables does have several sections of steps. At present, there is the availability of going on the gravel beside the steps, but I'm not sure how long it will be before this gets eroded too much. Diverting off the concrete path near the first picnic table to follow a vehicle access track down to the track beside Lesmurdie Brook is another alternative. Whichever way you choose, you'll be able to get to the top of the first lookout, but that'll be it before more difficult and lengthier steps will require pram abandonment.

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There are also some other trails leading off from this track above the falls, which will take you through the bush on the surrounding hillsides. Providing further great views of Perth and it's surrounds. Continuing further down the track from the lookouts at the top of the falls, you're able to walk down to the bottom of the falls. Bearing in mind that unless you have someone to pick you up from the entrance point down there, you'll need to make the return trip up the hill!

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The first time I explored this area, I was about 6months pregnant, and had a rather energetic (except for going up hills!) 1.5yr old tagging along who wanted to jump off every rock she could find! I think I made it about a third of the way down before deciding to head back and see if there was a different access point to reach the base of the falls.

Bottom of the Falls
Whenever we're wanting a quick bush getaway for a few hours, this is one of the sites we most frequently visit. One, because its very close to where we currently live, and two, because it's a nice easy place to let the kids pretty much run free and explore as much as they want (bit more cautious of snakes during the warmer months though!).

Gumnut discovery

Gumnut discovery

Running down rocks

Running down rocks

This track mum!

This track mum!

Splash!

Splash!

Trying to pick some flowers

Trying to pick some flowers

Finding smooth rocks

Finding smooth rocks

The track to the base of Lesmurdie Falls from the Palm Tce car park follows along beside Lesmurdie Brook (480m). Prams can make it nearly halfway along the track, up to the second bench seat. After that there's quite a few rocks to navigate. Once you reach what looks like the end of the track, it is quite easy to walk/climb beside the rock wall of the hill beside you to get right to the base of the falling water.

Lesmurdie Falls

Lesmurdie Falls

Climbing with Grandad

Climbing with Grandad

If you don't want to hike to the top of the falls, yet still want to get a different perspective of them, Lion's Lookout is not far up the side of the hill. The start of both the track up to Lion's Lookout, and up to the top of the falls are signposted along the main Lesmurdie Brook track. Once on the Lion's Lookout Track, you will need to take the left fork when it branches to get to the lookout. At the moment this track is being slowly overgrown in places, otherwise not too bad.

Here's the sign...

Here's the sign...

Lesmurdie Falls from Lion's Lookout

Lesmurdie Falls from Lion's Lookout

Too much bush mum!

Too much bush mum!

So whichever access point you want to use, enjoy the falls, the views, and all that nature has to offer :)

Posted by Goannaray 14:16 Archived in Australia Tagged waterfalls walk creek western_australia perth toddlers lesmurdie_falls nature's_day_trips_from_perth perth_surrounds Comments (0)

John Forrest National Park

Nature's day trips from Perth with Toddlers

all seasons in one day
View Nature's Day Trips from Perth with Toddlers on Goannaray's travel map.

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We’d previously driven past this national park numerous times a year when heading into or out of Perth, but had never gone in to have a look. So this year we decided to change that and check it out. Finding that several trips were in order to fully appreciate each of the main attractions. Making for some very enjoyable days out in nature.

History

The park is enveloped by the cultural history of the Nyoongar people who lived nearby or traveled through the area, and also further colonised history, as the original eastern rail line ran through there from 1896 – 1966. During the Great Depression of the 1930’s, sustenance workers also did a lot of work in and around the parks headquarters, helping to make it the wonderful place it is today.

National Park Station

National Park Station

Train Crash

Train Crash

Swan View Tunnel

Swan View Tunnel

As one of the parks’ information brochures explains, the area was originally declared as a conservation reserve in 1898. Making it the oldest national park in WA. It later become John Forrest National Park in 1947 in honour of the famous explorer and statesman, Sir John Forrest (Premier of WA 1890-1901).

Access

As this is a National Park, there is an entrance fee (currently $12/vehicle without annual pass), and depending on what you’re wanting to do, there are several access points to the John Forrest National Park. The three main entrances that access the national park headquarters and developed area are located off the Great Eastern Highway between Midland and Mundaring.

Lookout over Perth

Lookout over Perth

The first signed entrance when heading east away from Perth is opposite the Bilgoman Aquatic Centre, which takes you on a scenic drive through part of the park before reaching the entrance toll booth. Near the beginning of this road is a lookout point allowing you to look west over Perth towards the coast. Take note that the gates on this road are shut by 4pm daily, so it’s recommended that all visitors should exit this area by 3:45pm to avoid being locked in!

Gate deadline...

Gate deadline...

The second entrance isn’t as well sign posted, but is the shortest route into the main park area. And the final entrance road is opposite the Glen Forrest Shopping Centre.

For parking and walk in access to various walks and sites, without having to pay to go through the main entrance, Pechey Rd in Swan View, Toodyay Rd between Red Hill and the Red Hill Auditorium entrance, and Victoria Rd in Hovea are other possibilities.

Things to see and do

There are quite a few tracks available to explore including the John Forrest Heritage Trail, which is a section of the Railway Reserve Heritage Trail (RRHT). Some tracks are wheelchair accessible, some are for walkers only, others allow bicycles, and some that pass through the park boundary also allow horses and dogs for the sections located outside of the national park. All of these tracks allow you to enjoy the natural bush and wildlife of the area.

John Forest Heritage Trail

John Forest Heritage Trail

With regards to prams, we found both the RRHT and narrower trails between the main attractions that we visited were quite suitable and relatively flat. There were also informative signs located along the RRHT explaining various interesting points, but not along the narrower walk trails.

Waiting for mum!

Waiting for mum!

Riding... riding...

Riding... riding...

Train, arrow, waterfall, tunnel... I choose... waterfall!

Train, arrow, waterfall, tunnel... I choose... waterfall!

As explained further below, the gardens and picnic areas are also rather nice for young and old to be able to enjoy.

Some of the main highlights or sights to see include:

Swan View Tunnel

Swan View Tunnel

Swan View Tunnel

Swan View Tunnel

Inside Swan View Tunnel

Inside Swan View Tunnel

This is a 340m long inactive railway tunnel built in 1894-95 for the Eastern Railway. The jointed granite, and clay seams in the area caused difficulty with the construction, requiring a masonry-lined face to prevent rock falls. This however reduced the inner diameter of the tunnel, which along with the steep gradient, caused smoke accumulation. This resulted in near-asphyxiation of train crews, with the first serious incident occurring in 1903. The worst accident in the tunnel was in 1942 when several train crew workers were asphyxiated, causing one death. A new line was built around the tunnel for trains going up (east), which was completed in 1945. This Eastern Railway line route was finally closed in February 1966, coinciding with the opening of the new eastern rail route through the Avon Valley. (References and further information: ...1... ...2... ...3...).

Light at the end of the tunnel!

Light at the end of the tunnel!

Hint: Remember to take a torch! It is doable in the dark, but some form of light source is definitely appreciated. Especially if you’re riding a bike and there’s still puddles around. We forgot a torch, but managed to get through the tunnel ok using an assistive light app I had on my phone.

Shall we go through?

Shall we go through?

The bike stayed upright!

The bike stayed upright!

From the main picnic area of the national park, it’s about a 5km return trip along the RRHT. Going this way, you’ll pass the National Park Falls along the way. Or for free access and a shorter walk, you can park near the Pechey Rd, Morrison Rd, Swan View Rd intersection and walk or ride in to the tunnel from there.

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  • National Park Falls

Jane Brook drops sharply over about a 20m rock face before continuing to flow through further boulders, creating a rather picturesque scene. Late winter and spring (especially after recent rains) are the best times to view these and Hovea Falls as the brook generally dries up over summer.

Hold on... Look...

Hold on... Look...

Don't go too far!

Don't go too far!

Exploring around National Park Falls

Exploring around National Park Falls

Exploring the rocks and bush around these falls with toddlers can be both a lot of fun, yet also slightly stressful. Requiring the need for you to constantly know where they are and what they’re doing, as there are both water and cliff hazards that they may not necessarily recognise.

National Park Falls Lookout

National Park Falls Lookout

In the water, out the water, in, out, in, out ...

In the water, out the water, in, out, in, out ...

National Park Falls

National Park Falls

It’s about a 2km return trip from the picnic area along the RRHT. An alternative route is following a section of the Eagle View Walk Trail which follows along the northern side of the Jane Brook (RRHT is on the southern side). Being a narrower trail and closer to the brook, this track provides a slightly different perspective of the brook and surrounding bush compared to the RRHT. The variety of flowers available to see along this track during spring is also rather spectacular.

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Or, if you’re prepared for a slightly longer walk, you can park near the Pechey Rd, Morrison Rd, Swan View Rd intersection and walk or ride in past the tunnel.

  • The national park main picnic and entrance area

As mentioned above, a lot of work was completed during the Great Depression of the 1930’s as part of relief employment, including gardens, paths, picnic shelters, and other infrastructure. It may appear more run down now than what it did then, but it is still a really nice place to enjoy a picnic and relaxing time out in nature (barbecues are also located throughout the picnic areas).

Picnic shelter

Picnic shelter

Hello!

Hello!

Sit here mum

Sit here mum

The kids (myself included!) really enjoyed exploring the numerous paths and interesting picnic shelters scattered throughout the extensive native gardens. Being able to set up lunch while the kids played nearby in the creek was also nice. Something to note however… Watch out for the magpies and twenty eight parrots who like to steal food from your plate/hands before (or even as), it enters your mouth! Miss 3yr old Sonia was none too happy when the cheese on the sandwich she was about to devour disappeared in a whoosh of wind and feathers brushing her head from a rather pleased and successful magpie!!

Picnic lunch time!

Picnic lunch time!

Twenty Eight

Twenty Eight

Paddling

Paddling

Magpie

Magpie

The John Forest Tavern is also located here, with some rather yummy food available. The tavern staff put feed out for the kangaroos as well, so about mid-afternoon, you’re pretty well guaranteed to see a good sized mob of kangaroos up nice and close if you wish to. From bigger older ones, right down to small joey’s.

Kangaroos

Kangaroos

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  • Hovea Falls

These falls occur where the Jane Brook cascades down a large granite sheet, occasionally weaving amongst bigger boulders sitting on top of the massive rock face. Not as spectacular as the National Park Falls if you prefer typical falling style waterfalls, but still very impressive in its own way.

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Once again, constant monitoring of toddlers is required for water and fall hazards. Another thing we found to watch out for leading up to and around this area was meat ants. After quite a few unhappy encounters, followed by repetitive education and instruction (with frequent reminders!), Sonia finally realised that they weren’t too bad if you kept moving and stayed away from where their nests and trails were located.

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From the main picnic area, it’s about a 2km return trip along the RRHT. If you’d prefer to walk down amongst the bush closer to the Jane Brook, there is also a nice track available to do that. Or, for free access, you can park at the end of Victoria Rd and walk in from there.

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  • Glen Brook Dam

You see and pass this dam upon entry into the national park through the main entrance point. There is a walk trail leading around the dam’s perimeter (Approx 2.2km), but unfortunately there are signs up to say ‘Swimming not allowed’ due to the disturbance this would cause to the animals who use the dam as a refuge and feeding area. According to one of the signs there, the water is also neither treated or quality monitored, and is mainly used for watering the gardens and fire fighting.

No swimming <img class='img' src='https://tp.daa.ms/img/emoticons/icon_sad.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':(' title='' />

No swimming :(

Glen Brook Dam

Glen Brook Dam

Glen Brook Dam sign

Glen Brook Dam sign

  • Rocky Pool

As the name suggests, it’s a rocky pool in the Jane Brook, not far from where the brook exits the national park. So far I’ve only seen this area with very little water present in the lead up to summer. Lots of fun clambering around and over the abundance of rocks that make up the stream bed, and exploring the few remaining pools of water. From this, I could imagine that during winter with a better water level, it would be rather nice, with quite a few small rapids along this section of the brook.

Bridge near Rocky Pool

Bridge near Rocky Pool

Flower

Flower

Parking is located on Pechey Rd near where the brook goes under a bridge in the road. Tracks lead off in different directions from here, heading to different locations within the national park. So you could access this area from within the national park if you wished.

I have not completed this trail, but as the trail brochure states ...

The Eagle View Walk Trail is a 15-kilometre bushwalking circuit that leads you to several of John forrest national park’s less explored destinations. The trail is a bushwalker’s delight, covering a variety of relatively pristine habitats. It’s also more challenging than other trails in the park, but your efforts are well rewarded. Be sensible and allow plenty of time for the walk which, depending on your level of fitness, will take from about four and half to seven hours. This also depends on your interest in your surroundings as you go along.

Another good source of information about the trail can be found on the Inspiration Outdoors website.

So there you go, another excellent, not too far away place that’s just waiting to be explored and enjoyed :)

(References: Historical and other detailed information (not attained from personal experience) was obtained from the associated links inserted into the blog.)



Posted by Goannaray 21:16 Archived in Australia Tagged waterfalls walk tunnel picnic western_australia toddlers nature's_day_trips_from_perth john_forrest_national_park perth_surrounds Comments (0)

Whistlepipe Gully

Natures day trips from Perth with toddlers

all seasons in one day
View Nature's Day Trips from Perth with Toddlers on Goannaray's travel map.

Whistlepipe Gully

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  • Location / Access points

- Whistlepipe Gully is located in Mundy Regional Park between Kalamunda and Forrestfield.
- Top of gully - the end of Orange Valley Rd, Kalamunda.
- Download Map...
- Bottom of gully - the end of Lewis Rd, Forrestfield.

PB081672.jpgWaiting in the shade...

Waiting in the shade...

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  • Pram access

- From top of gully - I wouldn't recommend it. It doesn't take long before rocks and erosion on the track make it far too difficult.
- From bottom of gully - Perfectly fine up to the house remains. The walk from the Lewis Rd parking area up to the remnants of Wallace Greenham's house is on an old road. Some sections semi sealed, some gravel.

Wait for me!  Boots... Off!

Wait for me! Boots... Off!

Splash!

Splash!

Paddling fun

Paddling fun

Wallace Greenham's house remnants

Wallace Greenham's house remnants

How deep can I go?

How deep can I go?

Whistlepipe Gully Creek

Whistlepipe Gully Creek

Righto, this way, lets go...

Righto, this way, lets go...

  • What we liked...

- The walk and whole area is much nicer when water's flowing and flowers are out. Summer can get rather hot and dry.
- Not far into the walk from the bottom of the gully at the Lewis Rd end is a short, slightly overgrown track that leads in to a large rock near the creek. We found it to be a nice spot for the kids to paddle, or be able to just sit, relax and enjoy the atmosphere.
- Wallace Greenham's house remains. Lots of fun clambering around, trying to imagine what it would've looked like... how it all would've worked... wondering why it's now gone. You do have to watch out for kids slipping and falling down the rock water slide though!
- Numerous nice spots along the creek. Rather picturesque, and fun to play in. Especially for toddlers, and those who're kids at heart!

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  • What we did not like...

- Meat ants!! They're nearly everywhere, and come out with a vengeance in hot weather.

270_PB081664.jpgPicnic lunch

Picnic lunch

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  • Other miscellaneous points...

- Dogs are allowed.
- I would love to see the plans for the house, or photo's if any exist. If they're available to see anywhere, let me know!
- Otherwise... I hope you enjoy this bush escape as much as we do.
- Edit 04/11/2016: Here's a great link for further information for those who're interested. Many thanks to 'mgglasby' for commenting and pointing me in the direction of this site.



Posted by Goannaray 05:13 Archived in Australia Tagged waterfalls history walk creek western_australia toddlers nature's_day_trips_from_perth whistlepipe_gully perth_surrounds Comments (2)

Lane Poole Reserve (1)

Baden Powell, Island Pool, Marrinup Falls

sunny
View Wkend Getaway 2 - Lane Poole Reserve (May/June 2015); (Oct 2016) on Goannaray's travel map.

With a long weekend approaching... Nil other commitments for myself and kids... (No such luck for Hubby unfortunately. He had to work the Monday public holiday)... And no real rain predicted... the constant, slowly smoldering thought took hold and burst into flames. Lets go camping!!

Where to? - No real preference. Maybe try and avoid crowds. Good luck with that on a public holiday!
Just us or others to? - Definitely others too! Shared experiences are often enjoyed a whole lot more. Not to mention the much appreciated assistance with young kids!

Throw the idea around and.... The kids and I can head off early for 4 nights. Clancy will be able to join us for one night. Two of my sisters will be able to join us for 3 nights. And one other sister may be able to do a day trip out to see us and join in the fun for that day.

The consensus on where to go? - Still not solved! Until... Clancy decides he doesn't want to travel too far, and would like green and trees. Not 'boring old wheatbelt bush!'

So... Lane Poole Reserve... lets see if you live up to the reviews and expectations!

Baden Powell Water Spout

Baden Powell Water Spout

I had previously done an overnight school canoe trip through this area many years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Ayla (my youngest sister), had also been on a school camp to this area previously... but neither of us could really remember exact details. We all knew that there were plenty of things advertised to do in the area (far too many to complete in one weekend). So, despite knowing that it'd be fairly full of people, we decided to just have fun and make this an exploratory trip. Scouting out what extra there was to see and do, ready for the next trip.

Track to Marrinup Falls

Track to Marrinup Falls

Finding the Main Entrance

- I found the signage to be a bit lacking in Dwellingup township itself. Especially for night arrivals who've never been there (or can't remember) and are coming through Dwellingup from North Dandalup on the Southwestern Highway.
- GPS navigation systems are not always accurate either!
- So... Check direction details before leaving.
- If arriving during business hours, the Dwellingup Information Centre's definitely worth a visit. Very helpful in providing information on things to see and do. The informative displays covering the 1961 bushfires were also really interesting. The kids especially loved the old fire truck!

Campsite Arrival

- Once again... all good intentions failed. Resulting in an after dark setup :(
- Plus side to that... I now know that I can successfully erect our new BIG tent by myself in the dark and freezing cold.
- Well, bigger than our previous tents anyway. And not 100% dark, I did have a much appreciated head torch! Oh, and it wasn't really 'freezing'... it just felt that way to me at the time!
- Biggest thing I was thankful for during the whole experience... both kids stayed asleep in their car seats till I had the tent up!
- When they did wake, it was time to roll out sleeping mats and bags, cuddle into pillows, and sleep.
- Well... that's what I'd hoped! Unfortunately, I'd grabbed the wrong sleeping bags out of the back of the ute, meaning I kept waking up to the cold.
- And with both kids wanting to sleep in their individual sleeping bags (also not very suitable to cold), this required constant checking to ensure the extra blankets I'd thrown over them both, actually stayed over them!
- Note to self... take the time to grab the correct bags next time!
- Major re-organisation and explanations regarding sleeping arrangements to kids come morning!

Warm Sleeping Hints

- The following ideas are some that I've come across in my travels thus far that I've found to work for me.
- Put a silver car windscreen sun visor/ sun shield thing under your mat to help reflect the heat back up to your body and stop the cold seeping up through from the ground.
- Place a wool blanket on top of your mat/mattress to act like an under-blanket. And another one between yourself and sleeping bag (inside your bag if you're actually sleeping inside a zipped up sleeping bag).
- Try and keep your sleeping bag puffed up. I've found wherever it gets thin, gets cold!
- So... the kids new sleeping arrangements became...
1. Windscreen visor
2. Sleeping mat (like yoga/exercise mat)
3. Crocheted wool blanket
4. Flannelette sheet
5. Sleeping space
6. Flannelette sheet
7. Crocheted wool blanket
8. Regular wool blanket
9. Opened sleeping bags
- And, instead of sleeping them in individual 'beds', I put them together so they could huddle together and help keep each other warm.
- Success! Nil further waking in the night from cold.

Breakfast   Sun = Warmth... Hopefully!

Breakfast + Sun = Warmth... Hopefully!

Kids and Cold

- Not good!!! Major grisle, whinge, whine, cry time.
- I thought I'd packed enough warm gear for them. Obviously not so!
- During the day and evening was ok. Morning was the horror.
- Every morning was the same routine... wake up, toilet, PJ's off and into layer upon layer of day clothes, start breakfast... and as the cold slowly seeped in... so the issues started.
- With what we had available at the time, I think we may have finally figured it out by our last morning.
- Which was to... continue the same routine... but let them sit in their chairs all rugged up with extra jackets or blankets to keep warm. With one of us feeding them if need be. Then getting them up and about, actively preoccupied with something else as soon as possible.
- Remember for next time... gloves, extra warm jackets, sneakers as well as gumboots, scarves for faces, leggings/thermals.

How to keep warm

How to keep warm

Which Campsite

- Many of the possible Lane Poole Reserve campsites require pre-booking on the DPAW website.
- Others are available on a first come, first served basis.
- Some allow campfires out of fire ban time frames, others don't.
- If thinking about going over a long weekend or during school holidays, book well in advance if you want a booked site as they get booked out pretty quick.
- We were lucky despite booking relatively late for a long weekend and managed to get 2 sites next to each other at Baden Powell camping area (Everything else was already booked).
- No campfires allowed there. However... due to the cold over that particular weekend, the rangers informed us that we could have a fire if we had something to contain it in, and keep it off the ground (See 'For Future Trip/s' at the end of this blog for examples).
- Unfortunately we didn't have access to anything like that, so we put up with the cold and thought about planning for next time.
- We also used this trip as a scouting exercise to help decide where we'd like to camp next time. Thinking possibly the non-booking area of Nanga Mill or Nanga Brook if not canoeing. Otherwise, maybe Tony's Bend, which isn't too far from Island Pool.

Baden Powell Camping area according to kids... :)

Fungi

Fungi

Stove operation

Stove operation

Water warning

Water warning

BBQ warning

BBQ warning

Gas stove

Gas stove

Collecting water

Collecting water

Our site number

Our site number

No Exit

No Exit

Kaden

Kaden

Small tree

Small tree

Crochet...

Crochet...

Aunty's

Aunty's

Black boy / Grass tree

Black boy / Grass tree

Pine cone

Pine cone

Baden Powell Camping Area

- Book online
- No fires
- Free gas BBQ's (sheltered)
- Water available
- Designated camping sites
- Site sizes available for small tents up to campervans/caravans
- Long drop toilets
- Short distance down to the river and Baden Powell Day Use area and waterspout (swimming, canoeing, fishing).

Picnic table in trees

Picnic table in trees

Fun on Mum's ute whilst waiting for decisions to be made!

Fun on Mum's ute whilst waiting for decisions to be made!

- Apart from not being able to have a fire, we found it to be a really nice camping area.
- Considering the crowding we saw at Nanga Mill and Nanga Brook over the long weekend, we were rather glad to have booked a site guaranteeing a bit of space (even if small) between us and the neighbours.
- Being able to easily walk down to the Baden Powell Day Use area was also great. The kids loved exploring the rocks and water as much as we'd let them!

Baden Powell Water Spout

Baden Powell Water Spout

Fishing...

Fishing...

Catch me!

Catch me!

Up high!

Up high!

What's in there?

What's in there?

Another photo?

Another photo?

Leaches!

Leaches!

River play

River play

What the...  free rides ?!?

What the... free rides ?!?

Back to camp

Back to camp

Island Pool

- Nice big pool in the Murray River (canoeing, swimming, fishing)
- Wooden steps down to the river
- Rapids/rocks at the up-river end of the pool
- Picnic tables
- Toilets

Cold water

Cold water

Where's the ducks?

Where's the ducks?

Island Pool

Island Pool

Island Pool

Island Pool

Rocky river entry to Island Pool

Rocky river entry to Island Pool

Above Island Pool

Above Island Pool

Island Pool Walk Trail

- Click heading above for mud map. Click here for walk details.
- Starts from the upper car park.
- Nice walk through jarrah forest up, across, and down the side of a hill.
- Some steps at the beginning and end of the track.
- We managed with a pram/stroller, but definitely wouldn't recommend it!

Island Pool walk

Island Pool walk

Blackboys and trees...

Blackboys and trees...

Island Pool walk

Island Pool walk

Rougher terrain... righto, backwards pram...

Rougher terrain... righto, backwards pram...

Views from Island Pool walk

Views from Island Pool walk

Backwards again...

Backwards again...

- Kaden had fallen into a deep sleep on the drive there. I noticed that the steps were only mapped at the beginning and end of the track so thought we'd try the pram and see how we went. Kaden amazingly stayed asleep for two thirds of the walk despite a rather bumpy ride over rocks and sticks! It provided quite a workout pushing/towing the pram. The log seat at the half way mark at the top of the walk was much appreciated!
- Pram/Stroller hints... For difficult sections - towing the pram's often easier. For really difficult sections - a second assist for lifting/carrying the pram is definitely recommended!

Keep going Mum

Keep going Mum

Still asleep despite bumps!

Still asleep despite bumps!

Half way rest stop.  All downhill from here! Yay!

Half way rest stop. All downhill from here! Yay!

Marrinup Falls

- Thanks to Dwellingup Information Centre for the heads up about this one.
- Located not far from the Marrinup Camping Area, the Marrinup Cycle Trail, and the historical Marrinup POW site
- The access road into the falls walk car park is apparently meant to be one way. However we found that a fallen tree just past the car park nicely converted it to a two way road.
- The walk trail is fairly short and nice over varying terrain.
- There were only pools of water to be seen while we were there. Would be great to see it in full flow!
- The kids enjoyed the walk down, clambering around the rocks, and finding various interesting things for Sharelle to photograph.

Marrinup Falls walk trail

Marrinup Falls walk trail

Marrinup Falls walk trail views

Marrinup Falls walk trail views

Marrinup Falls walk trail

Marrinup Falls walk trail

Fungi

Fungi

Sticky plant

Sticky plant

Flowers

Flowers

Exploring...

Exploring...

Fungi

Fungi

More steps...

More steps...

Hold on!

Hold on!

Sitting on the road block

Sitting on the road block

For Future Trip/s...

- Portable campfire thing
See if we can maybe make something like this ??... Other examples (...1...), (...2...). Otherwise... for a lot more money, a Snowpeak cary fire pit from Drifta (Currently on my wishlist!).
- Larger quantity of appropriate kids cold/wet weather gear
- Check and print out maps/directions prior to leaving
- Map and record possible geocache coordinates
- Canoes
- Mountain bikes
- Marrinup POW site
- Captain Fawcett 4WD Track
- Hotham Valley Railway
- Scarp Lookout and Pool

Any other recommendations... let me know!



Posted by Goannaray 19:25 Archived in Australia Tagged trees winter river rocks camping western_australia campground toddlers weekend_toddler_adventures_wa lane_poole_reserve perth_surrounds wkend_adventures_perth_region Comments (0)

Wave Rock

semi-overcast
View Wkend Getaway 3 - Wave Rock (Sep 2015) on Goannaray's travel map.

With some time available and decent weather predicted, the destination of Wave Rock was chosen. We effectively had 2 days, 2 nights there, which was just about perfect for us and the kids to enjoy a nice relaxed getaway.

Doing some research before heading out, I found there to be quite a decent amount of information readily available. So with all of that, here are some of the useful links that I found, and a story line of pictures from our trip. Enjoy :)

Rest stop at Corrigin on the way to Hyden...

Corrigin dog in a ute monument

Corrigin dog in a ute monument


Corrigin helicopter

Corrigin helicopter


Totally freaked out both kids when I discovered that the rotors actually do spin!! Didn't help that in the process of figuring that out, I also accidentally bumped the car alarm/horn button on the key ring in my pocket. So with loud spinning helicoptor rotors, blaring car horn, and terrified screaming kids... took a while to calm everyone down (including parents!) ready to keep driving again!


Hyden Rock / Wave Rock...

Kangaroo fence near caravan park at Wave Rock

Kangaroo fence near caravan park at Wave Rock

Kangaroo towed caravan

Kangaroo towed caravan

Wave Rock

Wave Rock

Sliding!

Sliding!

More sliding!

More sliding!


View from Hyden Rock

View from Hyden Rock

Runoff point atop Hyden Rock

Runoff point atop Hyden Rock

Old quarry atop hyden Rock

Old quarry atop hyden Rock

Rock pool on Hyden rock

Rock pool on Hyden rock

Hyden Dam

Hyden Dam

Swan on Hyden Dam

Swan on Hyden Dam

Hippo's Yawn...

Walk trail beside Hyden Rock

Walk trail beside Hyden Rock

Blue flowers

Blue flowers

White flowers

White flowers

Red sticky plant

Red sticky plant

Pink flowers

Pink flowers

Hippo's Yawn

Hippo's Yawn


It is possible to climb up and out through the back of Hippo's Yawn with young kids. Coming back down around to the front on the left side. Both Sonia and Kaden would've quite happily done that circuit over and over all day if we'd let them!

Rocks near Hippo's Yawn

Rocks near Hippo's Yawn



The Humps...

Climbing The Humps

Climbing The Humps

The Humps

The Humps

Enjoying the rock pool

Enjoying the rock pool

Yellow flowers

Yellow flowers

White flowers

White flowers

Red flowers

Red flowers

Sticky carnivorous plants atop the Humps

Sticky carnivorous plants atop the Humps

Plants atop the Humps

Plants atop the Humps


Rock pool atop the Humps

Rock pool atop the Humps

View from atop The Humps

View from atop The Humps


Walking back...

Walking back...



Mulka's Cave...

Entry to Mulka's Cave

Entry to Mulka's Cave

Aboriginal hand prints in Mulka's Cave

Aboriginal hand prints in Mulka's Cave

Mulka's Cave

Mulka's Cave



Lake Magic...

Modified Valentine Tank

Modified Valentine Tank

Lake Magic

Lake Magic

Sand for a.... sandcastle?

Sand for a.... sandcastle?

Trying to build a sandcastle

Trying to build a sandcastle

Lake Magic

Lake Magic

Looking back towards Wave Rock from Lake Magic

Looking back towards Wave Rock from Lake Magic

Emu fence near Lake Magic

Emu fence near Lake Magic



Other things we saw / did...

Breakers

Breakers

?? Orchid

?? Orchid

Spider Orchid

Spider Orchid

Riding the tortoise in the Wildlife Park

Riding the tortoise in the Wildlife Park


We purchased entry to the Wildlife Park, the Lace Place, the Pioneer Town Museum, and the Miniature Soldier Museum and spent several hours exploring each of these. The kids were quite happy to zoom through, just glancing at everything. While Clancy and I preferred to spend more time looking at the displays and reading all the associated information. We were too busy trying to see and read everything, plus monitor kids, and unfortunately forgot to get photos in these places. Note to remember... the Pioneer Town Museum is located over the road at the caravan park entrance!

Things I want to do next time...

Posted by Goannaray 09:41 Archived in Australia Tagged lakes flowers history rocks camping western_australia wave_rock hyden toddlers weekend_toddler_adventures_wa golden_outback_wa wkend_adventures_golden_outback Comments (0)

Walyunga National Park

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View Nature's Day Trips from Perth with Toddlers & Overnight Toddler Getaways from Perth on Goannaray's travel map.

Falls near Syds Rapids

Falls near Syds Rapids

Location / Access

  • Walyunga National Park is located about one hour north of Perth at the end of Walyunga Road off the Great Northern Highway.
  • National Park access fees apply.
  • Note to remember - Try to bring notes for honesty self pay envelopes. We struggled trying to get a fairly large number of coins spread between several envelopes to fit through the posting slot!
  • Being this close to Perth, it makes for a great day trip, or a relaxed overnight, or weekend stay.
Canoeing

Canoeing

Kookaburra

Kookaburra

Kayaking

Kayaking

Facilities

  • There are two main parking and picnic areas with toilets, gas barbecues, and picnic tables.
  • Walyunga Pool - I consider this the bigger and better of the two picnic areas. Wheelchair accessible facilities and nice views over the river.
  • Boongerup Pool - Not as easily accessed facilities.

Walyunga Pool

Walyunga Pool

Syds rapids

Syds rapids

Avon River Slalom Course

Avon River Slalom Course

Walks

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Canoeing / Kayaking

  • The Avon Descent runs through here over the first weekend of August, with Syds Rapids being a good spot for spectators.
  • Boongerup Pool is fairly long, with steeper access banks, so we found not quite as good for young kids.
  • A slalom section is located between Boongerup Pool and Walyunga Pool.
  • Walyunga Pool is a smaller pool than Boongerup, but has a more beach like entry which we found great for younger kids.
  • Water levels can vary greatly between summer and winter depending on rains.
  • Watch out for kids when water levels are higher.
Hammock camping

Hammock camping

Breakfast...

Breakfast...

Camping

  • Bookings need to be pre-arranged with the ranger, who will provide access codes to get through the gate to the camping area.
  • The camping area is located off the main road along an unsealed track.
  • Facilities include fire pits, picnic tables and a pit toilet.

Posted by Goannaray 20:21 Archived in Australia Tagged river walk kayaking camping canoeing western_australia avon_river toddlers weekend_toddler_adventures_wa avon_descent nature's_day_trips_from_perth walyunga_national_park perth_surrounds wkend_adventures_perth_region Comments (0)

Adventures... Stories... Experiences...

Adventures, stories, experiences... who else enjoys hearing or reading about these sorts of things? I certainly do, and so thought I'd start a new section to this slightly disjointed blog. Covering our miscellaneous escapades.

Credit is owed to one of my new friends for this idea though, as the idea came to me after explaining the day's happenings to her in response to the question "How was today's mission?"

So if you're reading this, thank you for sparking the inspiration :)

Posted by Goannaray 23:09 Archived in Australia Tagged kids western_australia miscellaneous_escapades Comments (0)

Failure and success...

Exploring around Collie, WA

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View Wkend Getaway 2 - Lane Poole Reserve (May/June 2015); (Oct 2016) & Miscellaneous Escapades on Goannaray's travel map.

"How was today's mission?"

Well... in short, both a failure and a success. If that's at all possible!

(That was basically the gist of the answer to my new friends inquiring question. We'd not long moved into the area and we'd slowly been trying to explore and find a lot of the recommended things to see and do for the region. My 'mission' for that particular day had been to try and find Gibraltar Rock. However as the following story shows, plans soon changed.)

We headed out to find the large rock formations, and found newer looking signs up declaring Dieback disease risk area, requiring a permit to enter the area... so decided to play it safe and leave that one alone.

With that let down, we decided we'd go exploring around Potters Gorge instead. With a detour to see an old weir (looks like it may have once had an old walk bridge along the top of it) down river from the Mungalup Rd bridge. Kids loved it, despite me being the overprotective mum not letting them get too close without holding my hands!

Old weir

Old weir

Then onto a constantly interrupted lunch at Potters Gorge to chase magpies and twenty eight's away! Kaden threw a tantrum and they stole half his sandwich while I was dealing with him, much to Sonia's disgust!! We also managed a small smoky campfire (damp wood) to boil water for a nice hot milo (forgot the spoons and milk though!). Kids loved running around playing on the beach after lunch.

Tree stump fun

Tree stump fun

Heading the long way home, we stopped at the Munda Biddi trail crossing on Pile Rd to see if we could walk in and find the Nglang Boodja hut (approx 1.6km from Pile Rd according to internet research I'd previously done). Gentle down hill the whole way in, to find a nice little hut, and creek not far from the hut. Coming back out was the not so fun part, as my knee decided to play up and both kids (especially Kaden) were really tired by then and definitely ready for home!

Get home though, and they were both still asking to be able to go camping. At either site... Potters Gorge, or Nglang Boodja much to my surprise!!
So yes, failure and success! And an early bed time for us all!



Posted by Goannaray 23:11 Archived in Australia Tagged kids western_australia collie south_west_wa miscellaneous_escapades bike_trails collie_area rivers_other_bodies_water wellington_national_park Comments (0)

Lake Leschenaultia

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View Nature's Day Trips from Perth with Toddlers on Goannaray's travel map.

We've found Lake Leschenaultia to be a great spot for either a day trip, or a camping trip from Perth.

Lake Leschenaultia

Lake Leschenaultia

It's an old railway dam, that is now a recreational lake near Chidlow.

Some of the many things available there are:
- Swimming
- Canoeing
- Camping
- Bush walking
- Bike riding
- Picnicking
- Cafe

Getting warm and enjoying a snack

Getting warm and enjoying a snack

Snack time!

Snack time!

Sandcastles with excavator

Sandcastles with excavator

Buggybuddies Jennie has written a great blog about Lake Leschenaultia, so if you're wanting further information, I recommend you look up or contact the Mundaring Visitor Centre, or read the linked blog.

The kids and I spent an enjoyable, relaxed weekend camping there in October 2015, with one of my sisters joining us for the final day.

Yes, I've got the paddle

Yes, I've got the paddle

Here's the paddle

Here's the paddle

Interesting tree stump

Interesting tree stump

  • The kids highlights of the trip were:

- Kayaking
(Especially being able to paddle the kayak by themselves, thanks to the nice gentle slope of the beach into the lake allowing me to tag along and assist where required)

- Paddling
(Their idea of swimming. My sister and I did take them out to the pontoon once, swimming and carrying/supporting them in their life jackets. It was fun, but considering all of us are hopeless swimmers, we found it rather tiring!)

- Building sandcastles by the water

- Camping

- The toy excavator one of the lake staff gave them to play with

Which way Kaden?

Which way Kaden?

Sonia's turn

Sonia's turn

Back to shore

Back to shore

We didn't walk around the lake on this particular trip, but have done it previously, and found it rather enjoyable. With plenty of interesting things to see and find along the way.

Blue flowers

Blue flowers

Bobtails

Bobtails

Pink/purple flowers

Pink/purple flowers

Dead tree

Dead tree

White flowers

White flowers




Posted by Goannaray 20:40 Archived in Australia Tagged lakes walk kayaking camping canoeing western_australia weekend_toddler_adventures_wa nature's_day_trips_from_perth lake_leschenaultia perth_surrounds wkend_adventures_perth_region Comments (0)

Some further discoveries so far...

Exploring around Collie

all seasons in one day

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  • Survey reference tree

Found whilst stopping to look for a geocache en route to Lane Poole Reserve from Collie, via a gravel road we hadn't previously explored. This is an interesting blog about survey reference trees by Eric Smith for Doherty Smith & Associates Consulting Surveyors in NSW.

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  • Blackboys after a bush fire

I've seen plenty of blackboys with single spike flowers before, but never with flowers like in these pictures. We saw plenty of these driving through an area of Lane Poole Reserve that had the bush fires go through in January 2016.

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  • Old Stockton Mine entrance

Near Stockton Lake, and once again, found whilst looking for a geocache.

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  • Mungalup fire tower

Went exploring and found this with some friends. Kids loved exploring around it, but weren't too impressed with not being allowed to climb it at that particular time!

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  • Gibraltar Rock (Collie)

Not far from Cardiff, are some rocks known as Gibraltar Rock that are rather interesting to see and fun to climb. Made for a very pleasant day out in the sun after being cooped up sick for a week in a cold house. Please note, this is not the same as the Gibraltar Rock located in the Porongorup National Park.

Posted by Goannaray 20:45 Archived in Australia Tagged trees rocks kids western_australia south_west_wa lane_poole_reserve miscellaneous_escapades collie_area other_man_made_things rivers_other_bodies_water other_natural_things Comments (0)

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