Destination: Denmark! – err, WA, that is…

JohnM

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Time for a few days away again. The weather is still mild in the south, so let’s go there again before winter sets in.

Denmark (Denmark Western Australia, Denmark WA, Tourist Visitors Guide & Information) is a cosy small town a little off the beaten track that I haven’t been to for a while, and PJM for many years. Like much of SW WA, it is an area that I did a fair amount of field work in over many years.

It’s always a nice place to go back to, so I snared three nights in self-contained accommodation for a brief getaway. It’s the final week of school holidays, and with PJM being a consultant in a category of special needs education, the last thing we want is to be tripping over kids so we’ll quietly do our own thing.

The route from PER makes for a good circuit, rather than returning the same way. Outbound Monday morning will be the faster E route via Albany Highway and return by the slower but more diversely scenic W route on Thursday.

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The Denmark-Walpole area offers a good mix of coastal scenery, agriculture (vineyards and wineries, grazing, horticulture), forests and arts and crafts studios Denmark Region of Western Australia).

The trip provided an opportunity to meet @Black Duck, who lives towards Walpole and has kindly invited us to lunch on Tuesday. It turns out in communication with @Black Duck that I knew her brother quite well through work and socially with our respective similar-aged first children back in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

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JohnM

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OK, resuming transmission.

We got caught with the changed weather following the passing-through of the two cyclones. Nothing bad, just rainy and chilly after the previous week being warm and sunny.

Nothing to report on the routine drive S along Albany Highway except for some unsealed roadworks that had been messed up by the heavy rain, turning their nice rolled pre-seal gravel into a potholed mess near Kojonup.

Plenty of Beaufortia still flowering as we dropped off the laterite of the plateau onto the coastal sands approaching Denmark.

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Denmark lies on the small Denmark River and near the Wilson Inlet, which is mostly blocked at the mouth to the sea by a sandbar.

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Eastern entry to town.

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Ahem...

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Near the river mouth.

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JohnM

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Scotsdale Rd loops around in the hills north of Denmark and is a pretty drive through a mix of karri forest, grazing, vineyards, food and craft galleries.

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Autumn is a pretty time for the karri trees as they have just finished shedding their bark and the trunks are a golden colour.

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JohnM

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Next day we headed west of Denmark, taking in mostly coastal sights and venturing past Walpole as far as Mandalay Bay (‘Broke’ on the map), named after a ship wrecked there in 1911.

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First stop was Elephant Rocks and Green’s Bay (part of greater William Bay on the map). The rocks are aptly named.

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Around the corner to Green’s Pool. Not enhanced by the gloomy day and a rain shower coming in.

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Peaceful Bay is long, sweeping bay and a popular fishing spot, but was not very inviting in the rain. The Frankland River which enters Nornalup Inlet through the settlement of Nornalup is popular for canoeing.

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Looping around the promontory that juts into Nornalup Inlet close to Walpole.

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JohnM

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After lunch in Walpole, we headed west to Mandalay Bay.

An interesting history. The first hydrographic survey of the SW coast by Captain George Vancouver in 1791, which included the discovery of King George Sound at Albany.

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Then down to the Mandalay memorial and an interesting rescue story. The wreck was not visible.

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We then began making our way back to Denmark via Ficifolia Rd. Corymbia ficifolia, the red-flowering gum, originates in this area. It was very late in the season for blooms, but there were some, along with plenty of Beaufortia in bloom.

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JohnM

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Then the Valley of the Giants loop through Tingledale to Bow Bridge. We didn’t do the tree-top walk (Tree Top Walk - Valley of the Giants, Denmark, Western Australia) as we had both done it previously and it was getting late in the day.

The Valley of the Giants is notable for its tingle forest (https://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/sites/...ks/20160006 THE TINGLE FOREST FACT WEB[3].pdf), mixed with karri. Tingle is a unique large eucalypt endemic to a very localised area and there are two species – red and yellow.

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Red tingle with the buttress; yellow without.

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Tree top walk entrance and an idea of the ramp. A couple of splendid blue fairy wrens (Splendid fairywren - Wikipedia) were foraging on the pavement around the entry. Males, at least those in breeding plumage, are very shy.

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JohnM

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Next morning, we headed back to Perth. Instead of the original plan to follow Highway 1 through Walpole and northwards to Manjimup, we followed the suggestion of @Black Duck and took a back road via Mt Frankland.

Mt Frankland and other hills in the area are granite domes. There’s an interpretive centre, picnic area, walk trails and an observation platform. They need to chop down a few trees to make the granite domes more visible. 😜 Morning is also photographing into the sun.

The dome adjacent to the platform is Little Mt Frankland. Mt Frankland was used as a fire-spotting platform for many years and can be climbed (class 4, with a ladder to climb). We didn’t have time to walk to the base of the ladder, let alone make the climb.

The area is nicely done and worth a visit. There is also a road in (29 km) off Highway 1 outside Walpole.


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craven morehead

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OK, resuming transmission.

We got caught with the changed weather following the passing-through of the two cyclones. Nothing bad, just rainy and chilly after the previous week being warm and sunny.

Nothing to report on the routine drive S along Albany Highway except for some unsealed roadworks that had been messed up by the heavy rain, turning their nice rolled pre-seal gravel into a potholed mess near Kojonup.

Plenty of Beaufortia still flowering as we dropped off the laterite of the plateau onto the coastal sands approaching Denmark.

View attachment 245310

Denmark lies on the small Denmark River and near the Wilson Inlet, which is mostly blocked at the mouth to the sea by a sandbar.

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Eastern entry to town.

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Ahem...

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Near the river mouth.

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Looks like that boat may have contracted Covid 😷
 

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