Day 75 – 17 Sep 2012 – At Esperance

When we arrived at our Van Park yesterday we received a mud-map of a trip around the Ravensthorpe Range which detailed places to see the wildflowers so this morning, before leaving, we decided to do the 28 km round trip. Most of the trip needed a 4WD as the roads became quite steep and rough so we were pleased we have the Landcruiser. What can we say. What a lovely drive.

View from Ravensthorpe Range

First of all the view from the Range looking back over all the farmland and mountain ranges in the distances was just unbelievably beautiful. As for the wildflowers – well it was fantastic.

The little map had another printout which described what to see each kilometre or so. It was so easy to follow and each time a new plant was mentioned sure enough there is was not far from where we were driving. I took quite a few photos as you can imagine. We were glad we went to the wildflower/orchid show yesterday as we were then able to recognise a few of them.

There were flowers of all shapes and sizes and this is also the country of the most fantastic grevilleas and bottle brushes and banksias and hakeas and also a ecualyptus called the grey leaved mallee. Of course there were different types of wattle also. It was just amazing to see how all these colours just blended in with the bush. The only plant we failed to see was the Quandong. There were plenty of birds flying about and this is also the habitat of the mallee fowl, but we did not see any of them.

Some of the wildflowers on Ravensthorpe Range

Certainly it was a lovely trip and we were grateful that this caravan park provided this map.

It was almost 11.45am before we arrived back at the Park and hooked up the van and headed towards Esperance.

Large flywheel crankshaft and pistons

Before leaving the town we stopped at the Lions Park so Ian could have a look at the flywheel, crankshaft, and two pistons of a Crossley 8 cyclinder engine that was one of several imported from the U.K. to drive generators at mine sites and also, until the 1970’s, provided the town of Ravensthorpe with power. It was huge – the crankshaft alone weighing nearly 5 tonnes. Ian sure wishes he could have heard it running.

The countryside on today’s trip was so lovely. Of course, wildflowers all along the roadside but the farmland was very attractive with the wheat and barley crops so lovely and green – although they do look like they could do with a good drink! The canola was out in flower and because the paddocks are absolutely huge, the yellow color went for miles and miles and miles. Unfortunately, the other yellow of cape weed was around in paddocks which were lying fallow. We also saw more sheep and cattle than we have seen for ages, so it was a pleasant drive.

We passed a few quarries and open cut mines – the one near Ravensthorpe was for lithium, but we do not know what the others were for.

Even with the mining, it was evident that this biosphere hot spot has helped maintain a very protected countryside. We understand that 2/3rds of the Ravensthorpe Shire is natural bush. Very commendable.

We stopped at a small roadside stop (Munglinup) for lunch. The weather has been a bit windy today, but the temperature was around 25C so it was not unpleasant.

We then drove on to Esperance, choosing a caravan park which said it was right on the bay. They were right. The bay is just across the road from the Park. What a pretty place this is. We are amazed at the beauty of this part of Western Australia – once again beaches with such white sand, and the ocean which goes from the deepest blue to the palest of turquoise.

Before driving to all the lookouts on the ocean road, we first went to a local shopping centre and I booked in for a haircut tomorrow at 2pm. The last time I had my hair trimmed was in Darwin.

Our first tourist sight was what is called ‘Pink Lake’ – having seen the pink lake at Donald (Vic) we had an idea of what we would see. Well, if this lake was ‘pink’ then you could have fooled us. Maybe it is the wrong time of the year or so. Must check it on Google.

We then took the road which was called the Great Ocean Drive – absolutely stunning. Each beach had its own observation point and we stopped at them all. Each of them was so pretty. The amount of islands in the distance was great to see.

A view over Nine Mile Beach, Esperance

There is quite a history of this area right from the first sighting of this land by French seaman way back in the early 1700’s. The drive ended back into the town itself and we then drove up to the Rotary lookout which had a small spiral stairway to a 360 degree platform. It was amazing. The sun was setting behind the hills so the view did look lovely.

It has been quite a day of lovely views. We really did enjoy ourselves.

Love to all, Janese and Ian

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One response to “Day 75 – 17 Sep 2012 – At Esperance

  1. Lap up those wildflowers because they never grow or look as impressive if us ‘ easterners ‘ try to grow them over here. Somehow the colours and forms never seem quite as strong or beautiful.

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