The Western Australia Day long weekend (June 2017) is a great excuse to take the camper out. Last year it was the last trip we made in the Cub. This year it’s our first winter trip in the slide on. We have been wanting to try out a couple of these places and the opportunity to have a fire is compelling. So after a shockingly busy week at work we hit the road late on Friday afternoon and made it to stop one, a prebooked site at Lane Pool, just outside Dwellingup.
For your reference our camper fit very comfortably on site 36 at the Baden Powell campsite. As a bit of a surprise we were welcomed by a tawny frogmouth owl, sitting in the middle of the road, a bit stunned by our lights. All set up, we got a fire going and enjoyed some hot soup and damper rolls for dinner. Eventually The Piper headed for bed while we stuck it out by the fire until the early hours. Noisy neighbours didn’t help but then we weren’t actually in any hurry to leave the fire.
Saturday morning we made a lazy start to the day, enjoying breakfast while The Piper hit the bike on some of the trails around the camp site. We made a move before the rain came in to spoil the day and headed to Waroona for supplies. Fully loaded our next stop was the internment memorial in Harvey for a cache and then we drove on to Collie for wood and lunch by the river. After a damp but mostly dry lunch we pushed on and found the open cut mine with a huge tourist drawcard. Not a huge amount of tourist visit it, but the draw card is huge. It’s a fabulous decommissioned shovel. Sounds dull but it is a great thing to see in the middle of nowhere! Onwards for a load of firewood from the side of the road we happily planned our dinner and fire, looking forward to an evening of not a lot.
Our plan for tonight was Lake Towerrinning which seems to be basically in the middle of nowhere. Having said that, we found it easily and were greeted by very friendly hosts who even delivered a fireplace so we could cook up a beef stew in the camp oven and enjoy s’mores for dessert. This camp site is basic but certainly adequate and excellent value for money. We had hot showers, a quiet unpowered spot, adjacent to the little bmx bike loop, with our perfectly placed fire for just $24. What’s not to love?
Sunday morning, after greetings from the Maggies, we headed off without a plan and found Boyup Brook and some good coffee. On the way we detoured around to have a look at the Gregory Tree. This is a nice little bit of history that had us speculating on the life of a surveyor. I think he would have had a hard life, a victim of the climate and landscape. Our detour took us through Dinninup that looks like a cute place to explore another time, perhaps around the time of their annual ag show. Late starts mean that lunch comes around quickly and we needed water in the rig so we headed for Bridgetown and used wiki camps to locate a tap. I got an opportunity to add to the entries, making note of another available tap. Thanks to the app we have located many great places to stay as well simple things like water. The map at the info board suggested that the Jarrah park just outside Bridgetown might be a good stop for lunch so we headed there. Indeed it is a great stop and we had a lovely spot to enjoy our lunch before going for a walk among the tall timbers for a well hidden cache.
Our next overnight stop was planned for a site just west of Nannup so we headed there and fortunately secured the last, and possibly most picturesque site at Workers Pool. Interestingly that’s the name on the sign. On the app it’s Workmans Pool. Perhaps non sexist language has dictated this change??? Anyway the place is named for the fresh water pool that the loggers used for recreation. The place is well equipped with fire pits that include BBQ plates and swinging billy hooks, long drop toilets, fire wood and friendly possums, all for $17.50 for the night. After our walk to the pool we threw the frisbee for a while before cooking our dinner of meatballs and spaghetti in the camp oven. The Weber was definitely on the back burner this weekend. After dinner we were wonderfully entertained by the possums. They are the bush equivalent of TV. One very much liked the spaghetti that we tipped out during the clean up. Had we realised he would go for the slops we wouldn’t have tipped the washing up water there! The next program was two possums having a standoff while the third took advantage of the distraction to scoot down the tree and have a scout around! Despite our fire and the entertainment we eventually headed for our warm beds and another good night sleep.
Monday is the end of the long weekend but as is our custom, we squeezed a bit into the day before we got home. We started with a lovely walk to Barrabup pool, a large lake of water feed by a stream. The pool is much bigger than workers pool. Barrabup was the pool reserved for the exclusive use of the manager of the timber mill. Too bad that many workers slogged it out then had the smaller pool to recreate in, while the manager and his family reserved the larger pool for their use. I wonder how the original inhabitants of the land made use of the water? Our first stop along our trip home was Wrights Bridge, a possibility for future camping before we rolled onto show The Piper Gnomesville. He was far from impressed, in fact its fair to say he didn’t like it at all so we made our way to the Crooked Brook for late lunch before making our way slowly back up the freeway to home. We fit a lot into the little weekend and thanks to The Newby driving the whole way, I felt refreshed and ready for another long week at work …