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Home > Perth > Perth and South West Western Australia in early spring 2015



The first dozen or so photos I tool of the huge canola fields from a rest stop about 70Km drive north of Mount Barker. However, the overriding theme of this album is the place that we stayed two nights. Namely the beautiful Banksia Farm near Mount Barker about 320Km or 4 hours drive south-east of Perth. It showcases all 79 varieties of Banksia and looking east from your elegant accommodation, namely a 1980s constructed late colonial/federation home, you can see the Porongurup Ranges, one of the world's oldest mountain ranges. In the mornings from your room, you are greeted by a beautiful sunrise which I photographed on both mornings starting at around 6am. The friendly owners Kathy and Kevin only take one a couple at a time and you have half the house with its elegant living room, plus the outside cafe/restaurant for a hearty continental breakfast as well as your for your own cooking later in the day and evening. From the cafe you can take in the view of the Porongurups to the east.

254 files, last one added on Oct 08, 2015



Our day in the neighbouring Stirling and Porongurup Ranges. They both run from east to west with the Stirlings the more northerly and longer of the the two stretching 65Km, with their southerly cousins only spanning 15Km. However, the Porongurups are the much older having formed in the Precambrian eon over 1200 million (1.2 billion) years ago, with the Stirlings "only" forming during the Jurassic period (The age of the dinosaurs) about 132 to 96 million years ago in the second phase of the Australian continent's separation from Antarctica. As well, the Stirlings are much drier and are where we started our day driving along more than 50Km of dirt road to get in and amongst the most prolific sites of wild flowers. Many of these wild flowers are endemic to the region and even to the Stirling Range National Park--to emphasize even more the incredible number of species of flora endemic to the south-western corner of Western Australia. The magenta "handsome wedged pea" which I photographed from the western lookout of the Stirling Range National Park being a classic example. And in accordance with my vanity, I have declared it my flower and furthermore, one most desirable for the "Pink Panther". By mid afternoon, we made it to Castle Rock in the wetter Porongurups where we did not quite make it to the main lookout, but were able on the way up to photograph more wild flowers such as the "tassel flower" before taking in a wonderful view of the Stirlings to the north. While the Porongurups are not the oldest mountain range in the world, they would certainly still make it into the top 20 and perhaps even the top 10 in the world. As already mentioned in the previous album, they were the range we saw from our accommodation at Banksia Farm, The Stirlings are named after Governor James Stirling, the founder of the Swan River Colony in 1829 who led an expedition there in 1835, with them being named after him by his colleague John Septimus Roe.

108 files, last one added on Oct 11, 2015



We started our day heading 50Km south from Banksia Farm in Mt Barker down the Albany Highway to the so named town, where in 1915, our diggers sailed for Gallipoli. We started our abbreviated tour of Albany at Middleton Beach where we found the "Pelargonium australe Willd" or "Wild Geranium" which is endemic to Australia but not confined to Western Australia. It occurs on sand dunes, coastal cliffs and rocky outcrops. Later we made a brief visit to the Anzac memorial at the Avenue of Honour then close by was Apex drive, where we took in the view northwards atop Mt Clarence. We then departed for Denmark about 60Km drive west where we had lunch by the creek to be greeted by ducks crossing it. Our day was concluded by driving 50Km further west to visit the Valley of the Giants. This is a reserve in which the Giant tingle trees, about 70 metres or more high, tower above you, with a skywalk to allow you to reach 40 metres above the forest floor. The tingle trees now only exist in a relatively wet 6000 hectare corner of Western Australia's south west corner and are a remnant from Australia's much wetter distant and ancient past. Afterwards we drove back to Perth along Highway 1, where from Walpole north-west to Manjimup, there were no towns in between, just dense forest for 150Km or so.

152 files, last one added on Oct 26, 2015


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