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Albany to Shannon National Park

Waking up in the early hours we had the pleasure of watching the sun rise of the bay and jetty, the Dawson's Creek theme tune sprung to mind. I had to wake Sarah up after we slept a little longer as 4 huge pelicans were now on the jetty staring out in the distance like old men sitting on a bench discussing the days weather.


We had been doing some Yoga on the trip and decided this was a good place to do a routine but as we were doing stretches we encountered these nasty big flies that continued to pester and try to bite you, so that put an end to that! We thought it would be good idea to try out one of the walks in the area near our camping so we made the short drive to edge of Flinders Peninsula to tackle the hike to the Bald Head. As we parked up it seemed the flies had followed us and several were hovering outside waiting to pounce.

Moving quickly out of the van we made our way to the trail but hadn't counted on the track taking 6 to 8 hours to finish! Instead we meandered up part of track for an hour and found our way to some fantastic view points. It was a gorgeous day and the wild flowers were out, but also the many flies (there is a bit of theme going on here I know).


On turning back having got our fair share of sea breeze we encountered this clever grasshopper who looked identical to the wood.


Leaving the trail we headed back to campsite to grab a shower but not before seeing the fields opposite with tens of Kangeroos out for their morning graze.


The next stop from Albany would be Denmark which is about a 40 minute drive. As we approached this small town we stopped off at the visitor centre trying to figure out our next move. Not ready to move on as the town was really quite nice we found our way to a quaint cafe called Mrs Jones and had a coffee and cake to help inspire us. We read that there were some elephant shaped rocks along the way out of Denmark and so of course we had to visit them, what with Sarah's passion for all things Elephants.


Before reaching the Elephant Rocks we stubbled upon a sign to a maze and so intrigued we turned off the highway to investigate. The maze was created by a family who own the land and they ask for any donations as you enter. It wasn't the most amazing maze but as a rest bite and also a bit of randomness it brought a smile to us.


Leaving the maze we began to see signs for wineries and also a Chocolate Lounge! Named Swiss Annie's denmarkchocolate.com.au, well of course we had to stop. With a Swiss theme evident as you approached the gardens of the house we thought could this be a home to lots of Toblerone? As we entered we were met by a English chap who was the husband of the Swiss lady whose grandfather had been a chocolatier for Thornton's (or was it Lindor). They were continuing on the family tradition over in Australia, however he explained how hard it is to do chocolate here due to the climate. Generally chocolate is more suited to the European climate, and so their choice of situating themselves in Denmark was predetermined as the area has a similar climate, however they still need to make sure they don't take long moving it out from one fridge to another during the process.


We had a sample of a few of their specialties white and dark chocolate which was given to us in handfuls! We then purchased some of their truffles including sea salt and burnt caramel truffles, roast almond and honey truffle, hazelnut and Cointreau and even a chocolate Koala! (Sarah got that one!). It was dead quiet being out of season but he told us that come Xmas time their would be queues going out the door so in a way we lucked out. It was only because we didn't have a way of keeping things cool in the van that we left without buying more although Sarah was tempted to get the chocolate marshmallow sauce!

Making our way to Elephant rocks with a satisfied sweet tooth we turned off the highway and parked up. It turns out, much like the dog rock in Albany the shape of the elephants isn't totally obvious but we had fun looking around and again being by the coast and taking in the sea breeze and especially the warm weather was more than enough to entertain us.


It was getting into late morning before we reached Walpole where we had been advised there was a tree top walk, so we found our way to it. The tree top walk is 40metre high and was quite windy and so the walkway would sway and bounce with the vibrations of people walking on it. Not one for those with a fear of heights. Sarah and I thought it was like being an Ewok in Star Wars or part of Robin Hood and his band of merry men. It was a short walk around the trees but a pleasant one. You learn to appreciate being out of the car on a roadtrip like this one and so even taking in the breeze amongst the tree top was a welcome break. As we headed to the lower ground we saw some Blue Wrens and a friendly chap told us that only the males are blue and the females are brown. They stay in family units of about 12 but only one male will be blue at a time, then this dominant male dies the next one changes his colour to become blue!


Needing some lunch we stopped off in Walpole town down at the jetty, (another Dawson creek moment) and we were the only people there. The jetty went out into one of the Inlets that if you had a boat would go all the way out to sea. It was great just to sit and relax for a bit in the sun.


By the time we were done in Walpole it was close to 4:30pm and with a desire not to be out at dusk we moved onto Shannon National Park to stop at the camping grounds off the highway. The camping ground were surrounded by huge karri trees and had some resident Kangeroos and Kookaburros. Walking around the grounds we took some photos and listened to the kookaburros make their odd sound which sounds like a monkey!


A simple dinner of soup cooked on a BBQ was prepared despite wrestling the mosquitos and flies and we were ready for bed.

Next would be a trip Margaret River and the Wine Dudes tour!

Stay tuned for more tales


Posted by doyledan 06:37 Archived in Australia

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