After our near death experience on the Bicentennial Tree(!) we decided to head off to Albany a city right down the bottom of Western Australia and also home to some natural wonders such as ‘The Gap’ and ‘The Natural Bridge’ it is also home to WA’s second largest mountain… Bluff Knoll which we knew would be right up my parent’s street!! (A holiday wouldn’t be a holiday if they couldn’t get up a mountain… all be it a smaller one than usual!!)
We decided to head up Bluff Knoll in the morning as it was still a fair drive away. The great thing about Bluff Knoll is the drive as it takes you a fair bit up the mountain (Well a good thing unless you’re a mountaineer!) The day was beautiful, with the sun in the air and a wee breeze to keep things from getting too hot! There is quite a decent path that runs most of the way up the mountain which then turns into steps for the rest of the way up.
With around 700 steps (No, I never counted!!) it’s an asthmatics nightmare which I soon found out. So major tip of the day… if you have asthma… take your inhalers with you… I was almost sure one of my lungs were about to burst!
Despite my many rest stops we still managed up the mountain in around an hour and a half which is not bad timing! Reaching the top it had a strange sense that you could be somewhere in Scotland as there were hills all around and it was all green with no buildings in sight. Was strangely comforting especially as I had my parents with me!
The views form the top were beautiful as you could see for miles in every direction with lovely blue skies and slight cloud to dull the sun slightly (which here can be a good thing!!) We had the whole summit to ourselves and stopped for lunch while admiring the views!
Walking back down was A LOT easier than going up and I have to admit I enjoyed this part more. Although there is a possibility that being able to breathe had a part to play! It also gave plenty of time to catch up fully with my mum and dad which after a year and a half does take some time!!
As much as I know my dad will read this and say ‘I told you so!’ I will admit that reaching the bottom and looking back up there was a real sense of satisfaction in completing the walk! It was a great morning and defiantly worth the trek up if you are in Albany!
Once back at the hostel we showered and changed and headed out to the natural wonders which Albany has to offer.
Our first stop was to the natural bridge and ‘The Gap’ it is quite hard to put into
words how amazing these were as the pictures do not do it justice! The natural bridge is a MASSIVE rock bridge which has formed over time and hangs over the coast where the sea comes crashing through with a massive roar! My mum and dad went and sat on the top of the bridge and looked like tiny ants compared to the size of the bridge.
Right beside the Natural Bridge is ‘The Gap’ which is essentially a massive gap in the rocks where the sea comes rushing through. Again this is massive and makes some amount of noise! It is well worth the look and is one of Albany’s most famous attractions.
Driving a little bit more down the coast we came to the blow holes, which unfortunately were not blowing when we were there but the noise!!!! It was one of the loudest roar’s I have ever heard as the sea gushed into the holes and the noise echoed up the blow-hole. Usually this will spurt water straight up however it has to be quite choppy sea for this to happen and we had quite a calm day. Although for the noise alone it is worth a look… scared the living daylights out of me!!
After a lovely meal and a sleep we got back in the car and headed for our last stop before heading back to Perth, Mandurah where Andy’s mum lives. Again this is an extremely long drive and we were all shattered by the time we got back. (Especially Andy, the designated driver for the entire trip!)
It was great for the families to meet each other especially as my mum and dad had heard so much about Andy’s family through emails and text’s. Whilst on the jetty having drinks of all things that could have happened… a dolphin swam up the canal fishing! To think we paid $10 for the ‘chance’ we MAY see a dolphin in Bunbury when this dolphin decided to do a show for us in the back garden for free!! HA!
The next day was spent at Mandurah’s four-shore with Andy, his mum and brother Chris, soaking up the sun and lazing about. Finally after feasting on cake we headed home back to Perth after a mental week travelling the South of West of Australia!
Unfortunatley Andy and I were back at work on the Monday so holiday was over!!