This site last updated on  15-Nov-2003
The first activity in Perth was to visit King's Park with Gwynne. We then met up with Barbara, and took a trip down to Freemantle, where we did a tour of the Freemantle Prison, which was built in the 1850's, and was still in active use until 1991, with few changes! The inside is just like the pictures from TV series! The exercise yard was basic! In the last year, the prisoners were allowed to paint their walls, some showed a lot of talent! Please let me out!!!
Porongarups Gwynne and I had a three day trip to SW of the state. Starting with a drive down to Albany, via these mountains called the Porongarups. On the way we went through Tenterden, just 10 miles from my parents in Kent!!! We also saw a Kookaburra, several Ring Necked Parrots, and this lovely Stumpy Skink, trying to camouflage in the Road!!!
The next day, after I paddled in the Southern Ocean, we left Albany for the Gap Rocks, which are the original connecting point with Antarctica, when it was all Gondwanaland. The Gap was originally a Bridge. We next went on to the Blow Holes, which unfortunately weren't blowing. However, we did have a wonderful time watching a large pod of Dolphins feeding and playing!!
Next, we went to a forest of Tingle Trees, which are very tall, at about 60 meters, and an ingenious tree top walk allowed us to walk at 40 meters above the forest floor, and get some lovely views of the canopy. This is ancient forest left over from the days of Gondwanaland. The trees produce a large buttress root, which through fire, over time, hollows out.
This part of Australia is fairly heavily forested, so there is a big timber industry. After a tour of a couple of processing plants, we visited the 100 Year Forest, now 140 years old, which re-established itself in the 1860's when a farm failed. It is a stand of trees that is cathedral like in it's appearance. We then visited a craft centre, which had this lovely "Bottle Brush" tree, with beautiful blooms. Later we went for a walk around Big Brook Dam, with some lovely tranquil spots.
The final day of the trip was planned to visit "Jewel Cave". On route we went through an old mill town, where we were privileged to see Kangaroos, and an Emu and chicks. The cave was only discovered in the 1950's through this hole! The hole was originally formed by a tree root like this. It is quite beautiful, having lots of colours, but mostly silver and gold. There were stalactites looking like folded caramel, some looking like cauliflowers, others like organ pipes. The most spectacular was the one that looked like a Karri Forest, and another that looked like a Camel. There were stalactites that grow sideways called Helictites, and there was even the skeleton of a possum that fell through the hole 250 years ago, and could not get out! We stopped for lunch at Plovelly, a beautiful beach with big waves, and white sand. Somewhere behind this wave is a pair of whales, mother and calf!