Excursion to Esperance

JohnM

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Righto, time to go for a drive again in the great wide WA Covid-free land of St Marko’s Own Country®. Setting off tomorrow morning for a week.

Being summer, it is PERtinent to head S. Esperance (Ultimate guide to Esperance | RAC WA) is the target for three nights, via stops in Bremer Bay (Ultimate guide to Bremer Bay | RAC WA) for one night on the way there and in the Porongorup NP (Places to visit and things to do in the Porongurups) for two nights on the way back, and passing through Collie to scope the new mural trail (Collie Mural Trail) on the run back into PER.

No mass testing, no masks, no tedious ‘pressers’, no hot-spots, no weird technicolour ‘traffic lights’, no internal borders, no lockdowns, no risk of a border slamming shut, no iso, no checkpoints, no panic buying, no EK retreat, no preferenced tennis players, no Eastern Staters... the list goes on. :p

No worries… :cool:

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I’ll possibly post a few snippets along the way but the main TR will be compiled after return.
 
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jb747

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Missing Albany, and the coast just to its west... I thought that was the highlight of our visit to that part of the world.
 

JohnM

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Missing Albany, and the coast just to its west... I thought that was the highlight of our visit to that part of the world.

Albany is nice, but I've been there and throughout the Albany-Walpole-Manjimup-Margaret River region a bazillion times over many years - for work and leisure, and PJM started her teaching career at Albany and visited there only a couple of years ago.

We only have this week before PJM has to go back to work and she hasn't been to the SE coast, at least not for a very long time.

Esperance has been quite cool so far this summer, which is quite usual. Recent maxima have been consistently in the low 20s, but from the forecast it looks like we've aced it this week as it's set to get into the mid-30s.
 

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Looking forward to this as I have not been to Esperance or anywhere E of Albany
 

JohnM

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Resuming transmission.

Routine drive south on Albany Highway until cutting across E to Great Southern Highway briefly around Katanning, then deviating SE through Gnowangerup and Borden to Bremer Bay, tracking NE of the Stirling Range.

Lunch stop at Louis’ Lookout north of Borden for a view of the E part of the Stirlings.

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We then pressed on to the Fitzgerald River NP, a UNESCO-recognised Biosphere Reserve (Fitzgerald River National Park - Wikipedia, Fitzgerald River National Park » Fitzgerald Coast) noted for its botanical richness and endemism.

Essentially, access to the park is in western and eastern sections.

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We were staying in Bremer Bay that night, so we did a loop through the W section on the way to our B&B. The E section was our target on the return from Esperance.

The WA Christmas tree (Nuytsia floribunda) (Nuytsia - Wikipedia) is abundant on the sandplains of the S coast and was flowering prolifically. It is also common further N & W around Bunbury where it flowers in December; further S it reaches peak bloom during January.

Royal hakea (Hakea victoria) (Hakea victoria - Wikipedia) is a spectacular plant very common in the park. The new season’s growth was still a pale yellow-green. It will become orange-red as the season progresses.

Various Banksia species are common.

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JohnM

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Trigelow Beach sweeps W all the way to Bremer Bay but the mats on the track leading down had been broken up or come adrift. It looked a bit too gnarly and seemed like the Parks authorities were not encouraging going down there. We retreated.

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A wind-blown hawk.

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A nice python on the track. And then to our accommodation.

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Black Duck

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Lovely part of the world. I like Point Ann a lot and if you are camping there is a good dpaw site just around from the day area where the whale watching platforms are. Just tucked in behind the dunes and a nice stretch of beach.

Looking forward to the rest of your report John.
 

JohnM

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Around Esperance in the latter part of the afternoon.


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A close-run thing? We could have avoided controversy 😜 and been celebrating Bastille Day - and using Madame La Guillotine for troublemakers…:) (and - horror of all horrors - speaking French…:mad:).

:p

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The Pink Lake at Esperance is a mere shadow of its former self.

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JohnM

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Next day, it was a full day in Cape Le Grande NP, about 50 clicks E of Esperance (Cape Le Grand National Park - Wikipedia, https://www.westernaustralia.com/en/Attraction/Cape_Le_Grand_National_Park/56b266a6d5f1565045da9afd). It’s noted for the squeaky white-sand beaches that can be driven on and kangaroos that come down to the beach at Lucky Bay.


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It was a warm, sunny day in peak school holidays, so it was packed and the kangaroos were not to be seen on the beach in the middle of the day.

Christmas trees are widespread and abundant, but of compact size near the windy coast.

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Frenchman Peak.

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First stop Cape Le Grande Beach. It faces W, back towards Esperance.

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Then around to Hellfire Bay – our favourite beach.

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jastel

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Nice pix but there seems to be some smudges on your lens or sensor of the camera or phone.
I had a similar issue on my last Ayres Rock trip with all the blue sky it was really noticeable.
After wet cleaning the sensor (DSLR) the spots were 99% gone.

Of course I didnt find this out until I got home and looked at the pix on the computer.
 

JohnM

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Nice pix but there seems to be some smudges on your lens or sensor of the camera or phone.
I had a similar issue on my last Ayres Rock trip with all the blue sky it was really noticeable.
After wet cleaning the sensor (DSLR) the spots were 99% gone.

Of course I didnt find this out until I got home and looked at the pix on the computer.

I am aware of that. They show up when I've zoomed in. It's my Sony DSC-HX90V pocket camera that's given me a lot of grief in humid environments. It's a PITA, but I doubt that I can clean such a dinky thing. The only reason I like it is that it has a viewfinder, so I can see what I'm photographing, unlike just using the screen. All I want is a point and shoot that I can put in my pocket. It supplements my iPhone, especially for zooming.
 

JohnM

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A closer look at Frenchman Peak on the way to Lucky Bay.

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At Lucky Bay, we drove onto the beach and around the bay to the far SE end where there is a lookout platform. Most people were parked up for the day - chilling, playing beach games, swimming. Classic family summer holiday stuff and very orderly.

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And then to the W end of the bay. The prevailing SE winds dump seagrass there.

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After lunch, leaving the bay and taking in the panorama from the lookout back at the road.

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