Di and Pete's 2014 Oz Adventure travel blog

Mandurah - miniature village

Mandurah - Motor museum (car like Pete's mums)

Mandurah - Motor museum (ute like Pete's dads)

Stockton Lake - Imogen with speed boat in background

Stockton Lake - assistant cook Madeleine

Stockton Lake - Pete, Madeleine & Imogen swimming in acidic water

Mount Baker - car park (RV friendly camp spot - yuk)

Albany - War Memorial

Albany - view from War Memorial

Albany area - huddled around blow hole

Albany - overlooking ocean

Albany - Dog Rock

Albany - Gong like ones used in Di's gong session

Di & the Cleland's saying goodbye

(Arrived Mandurah Dec 10 and left Albany Dec 17)

About an hour south of Fremantle we stayed two days at Mandurah, it's a lovely place with a great foreshore to enjoy.

I visited a miniature village which is based on a village in England, I enjoyed looking at the buildings, there was also a maze I ventured into and I have to admit I was a bit worried I would never get out, I was "amazed" I got through it without having to cut my way out. There were school kids and a teacher still trying to find their way out ages after I had escaped.

I felt the sun burning my skin as I walked around the village yet it wasn't terribly hot temperature wise.

Whilst I was at the village Pete visited a car museum housing over fifty old cars. Pete saw a vehicle the same as one his dad had years ago that he learnt to drive in as well as one his mum use to have. Pete was pretty impressed with the museum.

We have booked a site at a camp ground in the Margaret River area for Christmas so we can spend Christmas with my son Jay, now we have to go exploring until then. We were a bit unsure what direction to take as Pete didn't want to get cold, I was just worried my hard earned tan was going to fade if I had to cover up. We can't believe that it's December and the nights (and some days) can be rather cold.

We spun the bottle and it pointed south towards Albany so off we headed, we then contacted our friends the 'Clelands' who we thought may be down south somewhere and discovered they were in Mandurah whilst we were there. As they were also heading to Albany we decided to meet up at a camp on route at Stockton Lake near Collie.

We arrived first and found a great spot looking over the Lake. Stockton Lake was created from a disused open cut coal mine that was filled with water for recreational use. The ranger comes each day and collects fees from campers.

It looked fantastic with trees surrounding it and the water was very clear, however the water is acidic because of the minerals from the mining. There are signs warning not to spend excessive lengths of time in the water due to the acidity. There were speed boats on the lake pulling kids around on tubes etc, they didn't look effected by the waters acidity. Ducks also enjoy swimming around on it.

When our friends arrived they set up camp, then Imogen Pete and I went into the surrounding bush collecting firewood for a camp fire. We joined our friends for dinner and enjoyed a lovely meal. We then sat around the camp fire chatting and later feasted on damper baked on the camp fire.

The next day Pete cooked breakfast for everyone and later Pete, Michael, Imogen and Madeleine took to the acidic lake for a refreshing swim. They all said it was great and so far they don't seem to have any side effects ( ha ha)

We all headed out the next day towards Albany, Pete and I decided to stop at Mount Barker and camp the night at a RV designated parking area which turned out to be a large car park behind the council building, a large concrete area.

It was Saturday and the car park was empty, no other caravaners arrived to use the area so we had it all to ourselves until a police car arrived and parked near us for some time before driving off. Well that didn't really instil confidence in me about where we were spending the night. There was loud music coming from a nearby club and when the club closed I wasn't sure what to expect. Well it was a quiet night without any trouble thank heavens. We both decided it wasn't one of our best spots to camp, it may have been free but it wasn't very enjoyable.

The next day we planned to visit the Mount Romance Sandalwood Factory but unfortunately there was no caravan parking area. I was rather disappointed as I was looking forward to going there.

On arrival in Albany we found a suitable caravan park, set up camp then went off exploring with the Clelands. We visited the ANZAC memorial which has had major work carried out for the 100 yr anniversary of troops leaving Albany for the first world war, very impressive and we had a great view over Albany.

We went exploring several locations along the Albany coastline, there was a small blow hole which had an almighty blast, we heard a loud roar before a very strong blast of spray, Micael and Pete both had their hats blown off and we were pretty impressed.

At another spot we watched remote control planes flying out over the cliffs and ocean, it was rather windy and they looked pretty impressive. We spoke to an owner of on plane and its an expensive sport, if the plane goes down into the ocean it's all over.

I went back to the Mt Romance Sandalwood Factory and had some 'me time' and early Christmas present. I had a massage followed by an hour in the cone dome having a gong session. The gong session was a first for me and very relaxing, I was on the floor in a large cone shaped room while several different sized gongs were played. It was amazing and so relaxing. We need one of these back home as I want more gonging.

We saw the famous 'Dog Rock' again, enjoyed walking the hilly streets of Albany and even played several games of pool and ping pong at the caravan games room. We had three very enjoyable days in Albany.

Our next camp was only twelve kilometres from Albany at a bush camp at Roy's Place. He's offering affordable camping for travellers and it's pretty cheap, $5 no power and $10 for power. Roy has heaps of chooks and Pete bought a dozen straight from the nest, can't get fresher then that. We both enjoy being out in the bush setting.

We went for a quick drive to Denmark to catch the Cleland's as they were heading off and we won't be seeing them again on this side of Australia. We had a few hours together in lovely Denmark and then had to farewell them. We will miss them.

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