(View from Tankers Jetty.)Our first stop was taking a walk along the town jetty (aka Tanker Jetty) where we saw some resident seals chasing each other through the water. We picked up a Coffee from the little van at the end of the jetty and it would honestly be the best coffee we have had along our entire trip!! While savouring every drop of our take away coffee we headed off to begin what is known as the tourist drive loop. 32kms of Beaches, Bays and lookouts that are just breath taking! We were especially lucky with the weather! Not too windy and the sun was just right to enhance the magical colours of the coast!
(The best coffee EVER!)
(It's a hard life...)
We would've spent days in and around Esperance exploring the national parks and camping on the glorious beaches. However we hadn't planned on spending too much time in the South West, rather a taste, so we could come back another time. After all we were now back on home soil!After going back to Coffee Cat for a second round (i know, but it really was that good!), we drove on west and made it to Albany for the night. The following morning we took a quick drive out to the Natural Bridge and The Gap along tourist drive for a look before continuing on towards Denmark and Walpole to visit the Red Tingle Trees which make up the Valley of the Giants.
These trees are exactly that, GIANT!! Some towering over 80 meters into the sky!! The best way to see these amazing trees is to take a walk into the tree tops! The tree top walk is along a steel truss walkway that meanders through the canopy of the trees about 40 metres off the ground! It was quite a strange feeling looking down to the forest floor, especially if there was a movement on the walkway! So with our feet back on mother earth we wandered through the ancient forest walk which was just as spectacular! Some of the trees would be at least 15 meters around the base, just jaw dropping to look at. Some previous fires have hollowed out the trunks of some trees making for some great photo's and even the pathways that lead straight through the tree trunks!
(Giant Tingle Tree...)
(Tree Top Walk)
We finally said goodbye to the Valley of the Giants and admired the scenery of the Karri Forests as we drove towards Pemberton. While calling past we wanted to check out and climb the Gloucester Tree. The Gloucester Tree and others like it in the area were originally fire lookouts, pegs were hammered into the tree's trunk and spiralled all the way to the top to get a better view of fires in the region. The tree is 72 meters tall, but i think to the actual viewing platform is about 60 meters off the ground!
(The Towering Gloucester Tree)
Standing at the base of the tree, we looked up in awe, and almost immediately began to question whether or not we could do it. A couple, were on their way down and if they took any longer on getting down I reckon Bren would've chickened out for good! But eventually it was our turn and began the climb, another couple had also begun the climb behind us... so there was definitely no chickening out now! Our palms were sweaty against the steel rods, our knees went weak as you looked down to see that you were placing your feet correctly on the next rung. Up and Up we spiralled around the tree. It was hard going and often you had to stop calm yourself down and just breathe! Eventually, huffing and puffing we arrived at the top platform, large enough for 6 people to comfortable enjoy the view! It was amazing looking above all the trees, although a little frightening looking down!! Once we got our breath back, we began the trip back down... which is just as thrilling as the way up... back safely on the ground again we looked back up the length of the tree! We had done it!!!
(Beautiful drive through the trees.)
(Surf @ Margaret River.)