Sunday, 15 May 2011

Margaret River

After we left Shannon National Park we drove to Margaret River and settled into a park called Big Valley Campsite which is a small camp situated on a farm just out of Margaret River. We are sharing our campsite with the sheep and lambs who have a blessed life here with lush green pasture, rolling hills and a lovely climate. Each day we have spent here has been beautiful, the total opposite to what you are having we’re sure and we do have some sympathy, but not too much!

Initially we decided on three nights, then a couple more and now we’ve decided to stretch it out for a week even moving the van on the second morning to a sunnier position!  Margaret River is everything you have probably heard and more. Our hosts at the park are most helpful and we set off with a map highlighting some of the sights.

On our first full day we  set off down the coast and watched as some surfies demonstrated their skills (???) in the fairly adventurous waves and on down to Cape Leeuwin, the furthermost south west point of Australia. We have included a photo of the lighthouse which we could only photograph from a distance as it was closed for maintenance. The coast line and beaches are all beautiful although none have compared yet with Cape Le Grand. As we walked along the beach two dolphins were very busy moving the fish along, much to the chagrin of the two fisher people, but as they were only twenty metres from us we were delighted.

On the way back we stopped at the Historic Water Wheel which was built in 1895 to supply water to the builders of the lighthouse and later to the Lighthouse Keepers’ Cottages. The water came from a natural spring and travelled along the wooden flume. As the water flowed over, the wheel revolved activating a ram pump which piped water to the lighthouse. It operated day and night delivering one litre at every stroke. The water in the spring has dropped over the years and now water to the wheel is pumped by an electric motor to keep it moist and prevent drying and cracking. The wheel is now encrusted in calcified lime.

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