4WD, bacon for breakfast and misty mornings
Earlier in May we spent a few days away from the city in the peaceful country towns of Pemberton and Northcliffe, part one of our winter trip can be viewed here.
Our accommodation for the weekend was located in a South West national forest and the nearest cafe and pub was at least a 30 minute drive away. We bought down our food supplies and cooked up a delicious ‘carb’ heavy breakfast of eggs, bacon, bread, tomatoes and baked beans. We mingled around the tiny kitchen, all having our own tasks to contribute to the meal. I brought down the stovetop espresso maker and freshly ground coffee beans, something that always accompanies me on trips to the south west as I am insanely obsessed with coffee and it is indubitably one of my life long pleasures.
The cold morning was not a bother to us and we sat outside devouring an ‘awesome’ breakfast.
There are a number of river systems that make their way through the forest and we stopped by Beedulup Falls which is on the other side of the Karri Valley Resort. The gigantic tree canopies are thick and a small amount of sunlight penetrates through giving us a little warmth from the winter chill. It was fresh and the forest was abuzz with all sorts of noises. As we walked towards the falls we noticed a smell similar to an air freshener except this was 100% natural, it was infact from the forest and not a can! I wonder how the commercial producers have managed to artificially recreate the exact essence of the forest smell. Amazing or scary!
Gigantic Karri tree, a common sight
Beedulup falls though small is certainly picturesque against the native Australian bush and a relaxing area to walk through. It is ideal for guests staying a short distance away at the Karri Valley Resort.
There is a fee to enter the national parks by car and you can purchase a park pass ($11.00) if you plan on exploring several parks. At Beedulup Falls there was an honour box to leave the required donation.
Not too far from Beedulup Falls is Channybearup Road which is home to several wineries, overnight chalets and a cidery. We stopped in at Silkwood’s winery cellar door and restaurant, the grounds are beautifully manicured and the cellar door overlooks a serene lake fringed with tall Karri and Jarrah trees. Pemberton is renowned for its beautiful thick forests and I found during our trip most of the wineries are positioned in or around the Karri trees, making the area very special indeed with virtually no commercialisation. Silkwood offer delicious looking platters and meals to accompany with the wine.
Silkwood Winery Restaurant
The vineyard at Silkwood is 23.7ha and produces 12 varieties of grapes from Pinot Noir to Zinfandel and Malbec. We were spoilt for choice when it came to participating in a tasting session.
In Northcliffe we spoke to a local who informed us of a 4WD track called Summertime off Wheatley Coast Road in the D’Entrecasteaux National Park. We were told the track took around 60 minutes to reach Malimup Beach. With a 4WD car full we buckled up and committed to the mini adventure having no real idea what to expect or what we would come across. The track snaked around bends, low lying bushes and through small batches of karri tree forest systems as well as up sand hills and down again. We crossed a dry river bed and just like a hip hop music clip we bounced our way to the beach.
The bumpy drive was certainly worth it when we reached the beach, it was stunning and so very wild. The ocean was a beautiful deep blue, crashing onto the sand bank and the sound of the roaring waves was deafening. We drove along the beach and set up the fishing gear, well the boys did. The sun was out and it was so warm.
Even though we were on an isolated beach, virtually untouched and miles away from town, it was sad to see the beach was still littered with plastic. Vice have made a documentary on plastic in the ocean, definitely an eye opener even though I have always been aware of the issue, recycling has taken an urgent priority at home since watching the documentary. It is something everyone needs to be aware of as we are contributors to the problem in our plastic society. Okay, my rant is over.
Fishing at Malimup Beach
I was hungry so I made some tuna cracker snacks for for everyone, ironically eating canned fish whilst patiently fishing.
Ending an unlucky fishing afternoon, we packed up and headed to the Tookalup look out at Point D’Entrecasteaux for a glimpse of the sunset. Point D’Entrecasteaux is south of Northcliffe and has incredible limestone and basalt cliffs, the views are expansive and amazing. Thanks to a new 6km sealed road 2WD cars can now easily access the area. To reach the lookout area take Windy Harbour Road and turn right before reaching the settlement. The road also connects to Salmon Beach, a wild beach where the cliffs meet the ocean.
There are a number of trails to walk along but as we arrived just as the sun was beginning to fall we went straight to the overhanging viewing platform at Tookalup.
The other walk trails at Point D’Entrecasteaux include:
Pupulong Loop Walk – 400m loop walk and is also suitable wheelchairs
Cliff Top Walk to Tookulup – 1.3km one way and links Point D’Entrecasteaux with Tookulup lookout
Coastal Survivor Walk – 2.8km one way from Windy Harbour beach to Point D’Entrecasteaux
Whales and dolphins can be seen from the look out and whale season in Western Australia is around May to December.
It is a big drop when you look down and although it was tempting to climb closer to the edge, limestone crumbles like a cake! Unstable!
Sunset at Point D’Entrecasteaux
Twilight and a full moon
That evening we headed into the Northcliffe city centre to find a place to eat and as expected there was no nightlife to be seen however in Australia you will always find a pub that is open. The Northcliffe Motel Pub is on Wheatley Coast Road just around the corner from the small grocery store. The pub restaurant was full of diners and when we arrived at 7:50 pm we were told the kitchen was closed. Leaving the pub with the thought of no dinner for me that night the lady comes bursting out the door hailing us back.
The food was about the same prices as back in Perth. The Porterhouse costing $30.00 with salad from the buffet station. The battered snapper was $24.00 and the grilled snapper fillet was $26.00. The servings were big and included vegetables and salad from the buffet station.
Meals from the Northcliffe Pub
Silkwood Cellar Door and Restaurant
Friday – Monday
10am – 4pm
Bookings essential please phone +61 8 9776 1535
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay at one of the chalets