Day 145: 22 October – Birds, beaches and blossoms

Author: Mrs A

Distance cycled: 22 km

Distance walked: 3 km

Turning left out of our campground we followed a cycle path without truly knowing where it would take us, enjoying the adventure of spontaneity. The path followed the forest behind the water’s edge with occasional diversions down to white sand beaches and incredible views.

We continued on as the paved pathway made way for an off-road route, following the Bibbulmun Track for a couple of kilometres, and back out through a housing estate. We chatted with a couple of local cyclists out for a Sunday morning explore who gave us advice on directions to go. We chose to follow the river towards the ocean, finishing up at a lookout with a vista of the spectacular Ocean Beach.

It was a warm and very humid day, with temperatures in the late 20s, constantly threatening storms which we would have welcomed, but never came. We returned via the other end of the rail trail, which brought us conveniently back to camp.

After a BBQ lunch, we spent the afternoon cleaning. Fridge, floors and shoe cupboard for me, mountain bikes and car for Mr A. After a shower and quick pick up of final supplies (we are off bush camping for a few days, and the IGA supermarket here is fabulous!) a walk to enjoy the stunning evening was in order.

The water was very still, offering mirror-like reflections.

(Below: A drumstick – threatened species in these parts, with phytophthora dieback which feeds on the root system, rotting the plants)

(Below: a pelican checking to see whether I had any fish to feed him)

(Below: one of four kookaburras which stalked me on the walk)

Tomorrow we farewell this beautiful water and woodland paradise, and head further east. We’ll be sad to leave serene Denmark. It’s not quite Western Australia’s answer to Byron Bay as some suggest, but a far sleepier, more peaceful version of it. Denmark – it has been wonderful.

Day 143: 20 October – Walpole to Denmark in an hour

Author: Mrs A

From: Walpole

To: Denmark

Distance driven: 73km Cycled: 28km

Well who knew you could travel to Denmark in less than an hour and still speak English? Denmark Western Australia was named by Europeans in 1829, not after the country as you would imagine, but after a naval surgeon, Alexander Denmark. The resident aborigines called the area Kwoorabup (place of the black wallaby). 

We turned in an easterly direction from Walpole and drove through stunning scenery, Marri, Karri and Tingle forests lining the roads with blue skies overhead, the morning sunlight filtering through the trees. Beautiful. We booked into a campsite down by the Wilson Inlet, a shallow lagoon full of birdlife with forest and white sand beaches lining the shoreline. We were keen to enjoy the beautiful day and so after setting up jumped on our bikes for an explore. Denmark is very bike friendly with shared pathways throughout town. 

We decided to embark on a ride along the Heritage Rail Trail which starts just 100 metres from the campground. 

It was a beautiful ride, along relatively flat pathways, mostly alongside the inlet and beaches, and frequently reminding us more of English countryside rather than typical Australian landscapes – it was only the flora and fauna which reminded us where we still were.

It was a stunning afternoon’s ride taking us to a little under 30km return and working up a good appetite for the evening’s activity. 

Just before heading off on our cycle, we had received a knock on the caravan’s door, as you do. It was the skipper of the the caravan site’s boat, popping over to let us know they were doing an evening cruise – $35 to head up the local creek and out into the inlet to see the sun set, including a fish and chip dinner delivered by the local pub! That was something we couldn’t say no to, so of course we booked on.

The cruise departed at 5.30pm sharp, and took us up the river, allowing us to see some incredible reflections while learning a bit about the region’s logging and farming heritage.

It was BYO so of course we took along a rather delicious chilled white to accompany us on the journey and to enjoy with our food. With a cloudless sky, sunset was lovely but not spectacular, and best enjoyed through the glow on the trees and scenery. 

A lovely end to a fine day.