Letho's Blog

Australia’s South-West: From Cape Leeuwin to Perth

by on Apr.28, 2011, under South-West

Wednesday, 27th April – Thursday, 28th April 2011

After having admired the beautiful Indian Ocean we headed back towards Augusta, debating where we should sleep. Apart from the fact that hostels in general are not our thing we would have to pay less when we just camped at one of the spots in the National Park. Being dark already and Australia-like with few signs the way wasn’t easy to find and we ended up driving for half an hour through the park. We finally found a camping spot and even though it was not the one we had intended to find it was at least a place to put up our tent.
The next morning we woke up early and made our way back to the Cave road an important decision ahead of us: at which of the 150 caves that lie underneath the area should we have a look at? We decided to have a look at one of the three most famous caves, Mammoth, Jewel or Lake Cave and since we had seen fossils in caves already (remember our article about the Naracoorte caves? ; )) we booked places for the Lake cave tour. Since we had gotten up early we could take the first tour – a good thing as it turned out since all the popular midday tours were quickly fully booked. The entrance of the cave lies in a huge hole which must have been a cave itself at some point until the roof collapsed and if you look closely at the edges you can see that certain areas are mighty thin and might also collapse somewhen in the future. The lighting in the cave contributed very much to the beauty of the lake and despite having seen lots of stalactites and stalagmites (just remember stalacTites for Top = those are the ones that are at the ceiling) it was impressive. Especially since several stalactite structures were not attached to the ground and weighted all together as much as 4 four wheel drives (4wd). This is Australia, things can be measured in 4wd’s… ; ) But have a look at yourself at the beauty of the cave:

The only downside of the Lake Cave was first of all that it being a tour and being on a schedule it was a little rushed. Enough time to enjoy and admire the cave but if you wanted to take pictures without people in it you had to wait and were then rushed a bit by the guide. The second thing we only learned by chance and that was that the lake in the cave (Lake Cave) has been artificially kept at a certain level as it had been dried out several years ago. Understandable that the company that runs the caves doesn’t want to disappoint visitors who have come to see the lake but it still feels like they cheat on you. Nevertheless, the cave was quite beautiful.

We discovered that there was a self-guided cave in the area and with us enjoying climbing in caves tremendiously it was just what we wanted to do. The cave itself was huge though not extraordinary but it was great fun to walk around in absolute darkness and find our way through the cave.

Another look at our sightseeing to do list, check after Caves. It would have been interesting to have a look at the wine cellars since Margaret River is a renown wine region in Western Australia, but then again only one can try the wines, they are usually only open until five that means drinking alkohol during the day – to cut it short, we didn’t feel like it and continued to drive up north. At Cape Naturaliste we took several walks along the coast and some seals that sunbathed on some rocks in the ocean.

A bit further north we passed Busselton, the longest wooden jetty in the southern hemisphere. But wait a second, didn’t we write that in our article about Port Germain? Well, this seems to be a title that goes for several jetties : )
In contrast do the other longest jetty this one had a 2,50 Aus $ entrance fee (!) and somehow the planks had been partly cemented… I leave both points without a comment!

Finally, the last sight on our way to Perth was Australia’s smallest church, so small that we drove past it the first time : )

Größere Kartenansicht

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