20 May 2014
On the train returning to Busselton along the longest wooden Jetty in the southern hemisphere
Again I was conscious of heavy rain during the night, and when I got up the rain was pelting down. I saw later today that Bunbury had the heaviest rainfall in the area during the night. We did not have time last night to complete the drying of our laundry, so our first chore was to organise this – we hadn’t washed for a week so there was a bit of a load! By about 10.30am the rain had eased and we decided to follow our plans for the day – to drive to Busselton, Dunsborough then on to Cape Naturaliste, Yallingup and complete the circle back to Bunbury.
As soon as we started our journey the rain started to ease and the sun came out when we arrived at Busselton. We made straight for the famous Jetty that is 1939 metres long, the longest wooden jetty in the southern hemisphere, and newly renovated over the last few years. The little train leaves on the hour, so we had time for a quick coffee and muffin at The Goose cafe, to be back in time for the midday trip. It is a cute little train that chugs its way along the majestic jetty with an Observatory at the end, not usually open at this time of the year, but it was open today.
The jetty train arrives to collect passengers (left) and the ticket office, gift shop and museum (right)
It was a wonderful ride out to the end of the jetty, the water was so blue, the dark clouds made an interesting backdrop, and we saw dolphins on our way out to the end of the jetty, and again on the way back. Lots of people choose to walk the two kilometres, and there were some fishermen trying their luck. The museum demonstrating the history of the jetty was very interesting and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there.
The weather remained fine, although some clouds threatened more rain, as we made our way via the small town of Dunsborough, to Cape Naturaliste and the lighthouse. We decided to do the 30 minute tour around the lighthouse and up to the top platform (not as many stairs as Cape Leeuwen lighthouse, which we didn’t climb), however as this lighthouse was 100 metres above sea level the top was about as high as Cape Leeuwen.
As our guide, Tod, led us up to the top platform we noticed a large rain cloud about to drop rain on us, so we took the opportunity to walk around the platform and take some photos, before sheltering inside to learn more about the workings of the lighthouse, and again the difficulties encountered by the early lighthouse keepers and their families.
Something special about a lighthouse….love them!
Clouds moving in, and a rainbow to the right of the lighthouse (left) and rain clouds gather as we look over Breaker Bay from the platform of the lighthouse (right)
Our guide, Tod, suggested we return to Dunsborough via Bunker Bay, and Eagle Bay on the coast road. Both beaches were beautiful, again that pure white sand and blue water, ideal for a few days of rest and relaxation.
Bunker Bay (left) and Eagle Bay (left) with dramatic storm clouds
Making our way back through the north of the Margaret River vineyards we came across the Gunyulgup Gallery and Little Fish Cafe which overlooks a peaceful man made lake, an ideal place for a coffee and cake (forgot to have lunch again!). I had a wander through the gallery, they had some wonderful hand made jewellery, glass and paintings, and the setting next to the lake was superb. The sun was starting to sink in the west, so we reluctantly left the cafe and headed off home, again through the vineyard areas.
A wire fish outside the Little Fish Cafe (left) and overlooking the lake and Gallery (right)
Shortly after leaving the gallery we saw a kangaroo hop across the road in front of us and as we slowed down and looked to the green paddock to our right we could see a mob of 30 to 40 kangaroos and joeys making the most of the last of the day…I don’t remember seeing so many kangaroos together in the wild, it was a great sight.
A paddock with a mob of kangaroos (left) and a mother and her joey (right)
As we drove back to Bunbury the day was coming to an end, and the clouds were tinged with pink, as we sped along the highway. After a late afternoon tea we were not inclined for a big meal, so headed to the Aristos fish cafe on the waterfront adjacent to the hotel and had beer battered fish with chips (haven’t had that in eons!).