Western Australia's great sites
Walpole Travel Blog› entry 2 of 16 › view all entries
It wasn't until I arrived at my Aunty Margaret's place in Bunbury, Western Australia, and took a few deep breaths, that I realised just how stressed I was throughout the last few months.
It was great to be away from NZ - and work!
I had a few days sitting about and gathering my thoughts. Unwinding from it all. Getting used to the time difference. Walking about the neighbourhood, to just enjoy the change of pace.
Margaret is keen on getting around the countryside in her car and seeing things, so we hit the trail South, along the Leeuwin Way.
We stopped a few times along the way, but ultimately our destination was the Nornalup National Park down near Walpole.
The park is well know for it's magnificent Tingle Trees, which are regularly bathed in flames of forest fires. The odd thing about these giants is that the soft interior of the trees burn away and leave only the outer layer, which of course is the living and growing part of a tree.
I went in to the heart of these giants but I didn't find any of my answers there.
We then headed to a local tourist experience among the gum trees.
The Tree-Top Walk sits in the tree tops (odd that), about 30m from the ground. It's quiet and relaxing at that height. Just the birds to give you the eye. Surly I would find the peace here to discover what I sought.
Margaret isn't a fan of heights at all so she was a little reluctant to climb the catwalk into the trees until my Grand Mother and I talked her into it.
It doesn't really feel like you're up at that height, it's just seems like a different vantage point.
The cat walk is very well constructed and I'm sure there would never be any concerns about safety. That is, until I trotted along the thing and got it bouncing and shaking!
Neither my Aunty or my Grand Mother were very pleased with that trick! Perhaps that's why I found no enlightenment in the tree tops.
On the journey home we stopped at the Gloucester Tree near the town of Pemberton.
This is one of the Fire Watch Trees the area is known for.
As these giants grow, iron rods are hammered into the trunks and, thus a staircase is created up the tree. From these vantage points in the top of the tree, Fire-watchers would keep look-out in case of a forest fire.
Apart from the lonely lifestyle, you'd have to be pretty swift at getting down the tree. Forest fires move very rapidly and I imagine there wouldn't be a hell of a lot of time once you saw one starting to head to your tree.
The Gloucester Tree is open to the public.
Not as frightened as Margaret about heights, I thought I'd give it a go. Maybe that close to the sky I would make a discovery.
The first thing I noticed was that the bars were freezing! Within minutes my hands were numb from the cold and I was doubting my ability to keep a grip.
The next thing I noticed was that I had reached the highest point I was brave enough to reach.
I stopped to take a photo, a little disappointed I couldn't convince myself to carry on.
Whilst I was stopped there, three other climbers came up behind me.
I'm still a little bummed about not getting to the top. When I was a kid I spent hours sitting in the top of all the trees in my neighbourhood. I've always had a love to climb big old trees!
So, at the unsatisfactory height I had managed I was still unable to have a clear view of what the future held in relation to my employment or my housing project.
I did know that there was more travels to be had, more searching to be done. I was happier than I had been though, Western Australia is a fabulous place to do your searching!