23 May 2014
The spectacular colours in Greens Pool near Denmark
No need to have an early start this morning, as we had a long drive yesterday and planned a casual sightseeing day today. We decided to drive in to Denmark for breakfast and found a nice organic restaurant “Luscious” where I could have a bowl of muesli with fresh fruit and yogurt – my favourite breakfast.
Today we backtracked toward Walpole to see some beaches we had missed out on yesterday, and that had been highly recommended to us. Peaceful Bay certainly lives up to its name with its pale blue water and white sands and we could see the coastline back towards Denmark on the Southern Ocean.
The serene blue and green waters of Peaceful Bay
On our drive east we went through luscious green pastures and I noticed some unusual cows that I had never seen before. They were black with a wide white “belt” around their middle – had to take some photos to see if I could later identify the breed (if you can help, please let me know!). It was interesting to keep an eye out for the different types of animals being bred in the area – along with the usual cattle and sheep, there were emu, deer and alpaca, quite a mixed bunch.
PS I have since discovered that the cattle are Belted Galloway, originating in the south west of Scotland, so bred for cooler conditions with their woolly coats – you learn something new every day!
The next beautiful beach we visited was Greens Pool with its unbelievable turquoise green water on the edge of Williams Bay. It has a pristine white sandy beach and large granite boulders surround the pool protecting it from the might of the southern ocean. Fish and sea creatures live in the calm waters such as tiny sea slugs and coloured sea stars. Hooded plovers and other shorebirds inhabit the beach, many laying their eggs in the sand. Dogs are not permitted on these delicate beaches in an attempt to preserve the wildlife.
The special Greens Pool and the rocks that protect it from the might of the Southern Ocean
The Elephant Rocks were the next on our list, but it was getting close to 1pm and we had reserved a table for lunch at Forest Hill winery, which had come highly recommended. So we decided to press on to have lunch, then return the short drive to Elephant Rocks. The Salt & Pepper Restaurant is set among vineyards and beautiful gardens, and the glass walls of the restaurant look out on a forest of eucalypts on the surrounding hills, a truly delightful setting. The Tapas Taste plate had also been recommended – it included some battered fish, cuttlefish, garlic prawns, two dips and toasted sour dough and salad. Pete had a glass of red wine while I (as the designated driver) had sparkling grape juice. A very decadent dessert completed our delicious lunch.
Forest Hill Winery set among the hills, vines and gardens near Denmark
Our visit to Elephant Rocks was fascinating. The location is very close to Greens Pool which we were still able to see on our walk down. The Rocks look like a herd of huge elephants paddling in the shallow water and are a stunning sight as they gaze out upon the Great Southern Ocean. There is a staircase that I descended to find an opening between two towering rocks that led to Elephant Cove beach. It was fairly eerie near the Cove, the clouds had been moving in, it had started to sprinkle and the wind had increased, so we made our way back to the car to return to our accommodation, Caddyvale Cottages at Denmark. As we had our last glimpse of Greens Pool we noticed a marriage ceremony taking place on the beach – the wedding party and guests must have been shivering in the cold wind!
The truly fascinating Elephant Rocks and Elephant Cove near Denmark
The cottages are in Ocean Beach Road so we decided to follow the road to the end, and explore Ocean Beach which is between Wilson Inlet and the Great Southern Ocean. It was still raining lightly but we made our way to the beach to see a few paddle boarders (which seems to be a popular sport in W.A). From the beach we could look east across the ocean and see a sand bar taking you to the Nullaki peninsula….or an open channel where the dark waters pour into the ocean, after the channel is dredged.
Ocean Beach near Wilson Inlet on a cloudy afternoon
The rain was setting in so we returned to the cottage to light up the fire and relax after a busy day. Lunch had been so delicious that we bought some cheese and a dip and crackers and enjoyed a light snack (and a chocolate) to end our sightseeing day.