Bibbulmun Track Virtual Trek Days 22 thru 28
Sunday, April 28, 2013
This has been a long week and I decided to do a weekly blog instead of a daily one.
Day 22 we left Balingup through the Golden Valley Tree Park and then followed the edge of the Blackwood Valley, which provided panoramic views of forest and farmland below. We saw evidence of past bush fires, which can be quite destructive and even deadly, but are necessary for some of the native flora to flourish. We saw our first karri trees at Karri Gully, which was exciting for another reason. It meant that we had reached the halfway point on the Track. WooHoo! We continued to see orchids, wildflowers, and flowering banksias, but the highlight of the day was watching a black cockatoo (which I didn't know existed) feeding on the nectar of a banksia flower. We spent the night at Gregory Brook campsite where we saw a Pigmy Honey Possum that is much cuter than the opossums I am use to seeing.
Day 23 was very interesting because as we got close to Donnelly River Village we encountered kangaroos, emus, colorful parakeets, kookaburras, magpies, and blue wrens. Once we got into the village we bought special food at the general store and got to hand feed the animals. The joeys were so cute and cuddly. We spent the night in Donnelly River Village at the old school house that is now a bunk-house for hikers and bikers. Before turning in for the night I stepped outside and saw a little possum on the veranda.
Day 24 we followed the Donnelly River, crossing several bridges, including the historic One Tree Bridge on our way to our Boarding House Campsite.
Day 25 we continued to follow the Donnelly River skirting the Beedleup National Park until we reached the Beedelup Falls. These falls were more impressive than the Noble Falls back in Perth. We camped at the Beedelup Campsite and fell asleep to the sound of rushing water.
Day 26 we skirted Big Brook Dam on our way to Pemberton. We continued through karri forests and crossed many small streams that fed into the Big Brook Dam. We finally reached Pemberton, an old sawmill town that now has many vineyards and wineries and relies heavily on tourism. We will be staying here for the next 3 nights.
Day 27 I went on a wildflower tour that was spectacular! The guide knew where to find the best wildflowers, so I spent the day photographing flowers that I will probably never see again. The flowers encompassed every color of the rainbow and even some in between. There were Water Bush, Karri Hazel, different species of wattle, Tassel Bush, Coral Vine, Flame Pea Vine, Native Wisteria, White Clematis, and 30 species of terrestrial orchids. The sights and smells were a real treat for the senses.
Day 28 I sucked up the courage to climb the Gloucester Tree, a 61 meter high karri that was once used as a fire lookout. It seemed like you could see to the ends of the earth from there. As an added bonus, I saw red-tailed black cockatoos and many beautifully colored parakeets. I then headed back to town to ride the tram, which provided a relaxing view of the countryside and a history of the milling activity in the area. Dinner was grilled local marron, freshwater crayfish, which was very good.