advice for our SW WA trip

Submitted: Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 01:02
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Our 2 oldest children will be visiting us in Australind, from Idaho and Oregon, in March. We want to take them on a substantial but not too exhausting camping trip. We also have 4 younger children ages 3, 4, 6, and 9 who will be coming along; we are all experienced campers and travellers. We are considering Australind (bunbury) to Narrogin for one night, to Hyden/wave rock for 2 nights, then on to esperance, albany, walpole, a night at each and then home. Would love to hear about good campsites (we will be in tents) and things not to miss along the way, thanks,
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Reply By: disco driver - Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 02:23

Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 02:23
IdahOz,
It appears from your post that you are going to do it all in about a week.

That does not give much time to see anything, perhaps a little less travelling and more looking may be worth considering.

As an example Hyden to Esperance is about 300Ks just to spend one night there, then it's about 450Ks back to Albany.
That doesn't leave much time for sightseeing and doing all the touristy things in Esperance, and believe me there's plenty.

For what it's worth, this is what I suggest; Bunbury to Narrogin (O/Night at Narrogin), Narrogin to Hyden/Wave Rock (O/Night at Hyden), Hyden to Albany (2 Nights in Albany, there's plenty to see and do), Albany to Walpole, stopping in Denmark for an hour or two, do the treetop walk near Walpole and overnight in Walpole, Walpole to Pemberton/Manjimup (O/Night Pemberton) andthen Pemberton-Augusta-Margaret River-Busselton-Bunbury on your final day.

A distance of around 400-500Ks a day is about the maximum you can do safely and without cooping the littlies up for too long.

Hope this gives you some help

Disco.
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Follow Up By: Notso - Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 08:34

Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 08:34
That sounds great, how about a visit to the Stirling ranges Nat Park, a terrific spot.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 09:27

Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 09:27
Hi

I wouldnt bother stopping in Narrogin if target was Hyden. You'd be there (Narrogin) by about lunchtime first day if you left Bunbury midmorning. For this stage of the trip I would suggest a good break in ~Narrogin and then continue to Hyden in one day (~400km). Depends of course on how much you like driving and the childerbeasts activity levels.

Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: IdahOz - Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 10:33

Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 10:33
Thanks for all the suggestions. At this stage I am still quite open in planning.
A bit more detail :
We are more interested in scenery and wildlife than towns.
We prefer primitive or 'forest service' type campgrounds over caravan parks.
The reason for the Narrogin stay was to see the dryandra woodland and do the guided night tour of all the native mammals. The Congalin Campground sounds good.
Wave rock was to see the rock (!) and a taste of 'real outback' and it sounded like there was lots of other rocks and things in the area.
Reason for Esperance was to see some Aboriginal culture and it was the only place where i could find an indigenous guided tour in SW WA.
I had forgotten about the whaling stuff at Albany, that would be a great stop.
As it stands my itinerary is probably too full and too far, so i will be listening to all the advice and making modifications.
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Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 13:25

Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 13:25
At the risk of this turning into Ben Hur....

Dryandra at night is a great option.

After Hyden, consider going west to Norsemand on the very well maintained gravel rood. There are interpretive signboards along the way and you travel through the great western woodlands, one of the most well preserved temperate climate woodlands in the world. Exploring McDermid Rock is a great option for the kids - take at least an hour here and you could also camp free. (Also there is good free camping at Lake Johnston and earlier, at the Breakaways).

This area is about as close to Perth as you can get for a true outback experience. Much better than Hyden for this.

But carry plenty of water. There is quite a lot of traffic now on this road but it should still be considered as being remote area travelling.

Norseman is very well worth a visit and it has a couple of great short scenic interpretive walk trails.

Then south to Esperance.

Cheers.
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian: SA - Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 09:48

Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 09:48
Yep re much of Disco's comment above - seems to me you are going too far east if you want the troops to get quality for those days away, without exhausting hours staring out the car windows. On Hyden - Wave Rock has 'some interest', but we were passing through and continuing east - going there especially could be a let down for some. A trip no further east than Bremer Bay might be a plan (but you could have trouble getting the troops away from there :-o)... we stayed at the CP (very good).... plenty of bream in the estuary too. You could then access quality experiences coming back along the coast - if you are interested in the natural environment more than the towns, Cheyne beach, Denmark, Walpole, etc. all have great walks.... the tourist info offices all have plenty of good first hand info in these places. For example, there is a great little walk just behind the tourist info office at Walpole - there are other longer walks for example near the Shannon Campground by the Shannon River..... the Valley of Giants / treetop walks are great too of course......whatever..... it won't be hard to have a good time down there.....oh, and the whaling station tour at Albany was good for us, because we knew nothing at all about whaling as an industry..... the kids could have a great time there, especially with a real ship to climb all over.
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Reply By: Brian Purdue - Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 09:57

Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 09:57
Why travel so far? You can exhaust yourselves by going to Margaret River via the coast road -tall trees, vineyards, cattle - Augusta a very early settlement, the waterwheel and the lighthouse. Stay the night and then to Walpole via Nannup along the river. Stay Denmark and then follow the coast to Albany. Stay the night and sightsee the following day.
Less driving and more looking. Sounds better to me. I have done this route several times and still find more to see.
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Reply By: Cruznoz - Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 10:04

Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 10:04
Regarding the second part of your question. I live in Albany and know the coastline well from east of Bremmer Bay to Denmark. What sort of camping are you looking for? National park camp sites, Council Camps or bush camps?

Steve
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Follow Up By: IdahOz - Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 10:43

Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 10:43
Not sure of the terminology but we prefer to camp in areas with minimal infrastructure, a bit of privacy but not opposed to neighbours.
Not looking for 'resort' with swimming pool, games room etc.
Do not need electric hookup. Water and toilet are nice but not essential. Would like to try at least one night of real 'bush' camping where it is just us and the stars!
In Idaho we mostly camped in 'forest service' campgrounds; these typically have cleared spaces for tents and campers with a picnic table and fire ring (i realize that campfires might be out of the question in March?) and a pit toilet. We have also camped where there are no facilities at all.
All littlies are great travellers and good at 'roughing it.'
As we haven't seen the older two in several months, driving time can be spent gabbing! but we don't want to spend all our time driving either.
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Follow Up By: Cruznoz - Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 11:09

Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 11:09
Ok, I'll list a few options, starting near Bremer.

- Millars point - off Bremer Rd- Offical camp site- fees
- Boat harbour - Off boat harbour Rd- offical camp site- no fees
- Pallinup - off Boat harbour Rd- bush camp on the inlet- no fees
- Cape Riche - off Sandal wood Rd- offical camp site- fees
- Waychinicup - off Chains beach Rd- NP camp site- fees
- Normans beach- off homestead rd- offical camp site- no fees
- Bettys beach -off homestead rd- offical salmon camp- no fees
- East bay- off homestead rd- offical camp site- no fees
- Cosy corner(east)- off Cosy corner Rd- offical camp site- no fees
- Shelly beach- Off Cosy corner Rd- NP camp site- fees
- Parrys beach- off Parry Rd- offical camp sites -fees

These are the main camp sites. (There are lots of other bush camps know only tot he locals tucked away along the coast.) Most of these sites have a long drop toilet and a couple have flush toilets and cold showers. If you need any more info on a particular site or directions on now to get there let me know

Steve
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Follow Up By: IdahOz - Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 15:20

Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 15:20
I am leaning towards 2 nights dryandra, 2 nights wave rock, then driving from wave rock to Albany/Denmark area taking up most of the morning, camping a night there, spend the next day in Albany/Denmark area, camping a second night, then doing the tree top walk and hitting some other sites on the long drive home, leaving an option to camp one last night along the way. So i would most appreciate your suggestions for a nice place to spend 2 nights in the denmark/albany area, thanks, fraun
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Follow Up By: Member - Rowdy6032 (WA) - Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 17:42

Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 17:42
Hi

Might as well put my two bobs worth in.

One night at Congelin will probably be enough. Nice spot but at the end of summer will be as dry as chips.

Give Wave Rock a miss. Straight to Albany or maybe a stop at the Stirling Ranges.

I would probably stop in a caravan park in Albany and have a look around Albany and Torndirrup National Park which will take a couple of days.

If you don't want to stop in a caravan park Cosy Corner or Shelly Beach would be options but may involve more driving. Shelly Beach is lovely.

Parrys also a great little spot that I would recommend. The Tree Top walk, a look around Walpole and maybe a stop at Fernhook Falls or Shannon to camp.

Windy Harbour, Warren National Park and Big Brook Arboretum other places to camp and have a look around. If you go to Pemberton make sure you have a look at the Big Brook Dam.

A stop at Honeymoon Pool in Collie on the way back, well worth a look.

That should be plenty to keep you busy in a week.

Cape Riche, Bremer Bay and Esperance lovely, but you will be taking on a bit much.

Have a good trip whatever you decide.

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Follow Up By: BartWawa - Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 06:59

Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 06:59
I agree with Rowdy give Wave rock a miss
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 12:12

Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 12:12
Another for giving Wave rock a miss.
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Follow Up By: IdahOz - Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 14:09

Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 14:09
more food for thought, thanks!
what is the reason for people recommending we skip wave rock?
i thought it might be more fun to spend 2 nights at each chosen location or else so much of our time will be setting up and packing up.
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Follow Up By: Member - Rowdy6032 (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 20:57

Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 20:57
Taking into consideration the time available and the time of year the other coastal options would be more scenic.

During the wildflower season Wave Rock would be more of an option.
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Reply By: Member - William H (WA) - Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 12:05

Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 12:05
Morning IdahOz
have a look at my profile and send me an Email with your phone number,as i live in Eaton opposit The Eaton Tavern.....Cheers for now...William H...Bunbury...WA.
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