Tall Timbers Trek 2013. 11th – 31st Oct.

People headed for Lake Towering W.A. from down south, N.S.W one couple flying in other was already on the road, Perth and Cardup. The O’Neill’s arrived the day before to enjoy some quite time beside the Lake

Day 1. 

Camp sites were set up on the edge of the Lake, caravan is owned by a local farmer. Very keen spot for water skiers who visit quite often Some intrepid skiers were at it from 6.30am to 6.30pm. Used to do that once but way to hard now. Cedars daughter Lisa, Enzo children Josh,Mitchell and Rosie along with Ben, Trish Jack, Lizzy and Ava. First for them all camping together. Elke and Roger from N.S.W. arrived in their mobile home they had picked up in Perth. Warrick and two of his N.S.W. friends arrived  also. The night was enjoyed by all by the camp fire.

Day 2. 

Before leaving lots of children went for a ride in the tractors much to their enjoyment. Allan welcomed everybody and we set off. Past the old Moodiarup Hall with the front door marking of the 1982 floods, over 1m up. Into Kojonup to camp the night. Met up with Gail and Paul from Perth here. Off to ‘Kodja Place’which is an award-winning tourism spot in Kojonup. Tour guide Jack did a very good job of explaining everything to us from early history to present day He also makes beautiful damper,jam and cream and billy tea which we could not resist. Kojonup has quite a bit of history and is well worth finding out about from ‘Kodja Place’, Heritage Rose Maze, Brigadier Arnold William Potts DSO OBE Kokoda Track Memorial, military Barracks Museum, Kojonup Spring and Elverds Cottage. Look these up when next in Kojonup well worth the visit. Last stop for the day was a train ride, but once again the ladies put on scones jam and cream, Committee and local Rotarians joined us on the ride, was funny to see a committee member had to get out and stop the traffic for the train to cross over the road. Dick and Barbara had joined us also so Dick had a go at stopping the traffic. After getting back Ned gave a very interesting talk about how the tourist train got started. Finally back at park which the owner had lit a huge campfire for us.

Day 3. 

1st stop Genstock Artificial Breeding/Fleece Testing Centre, Liz welcomed us and was extremely interested in the 9G’S. They run Genstock 40%sheep/60% crop on the farm. Comprehensive fleece testing service to yield micron and comfort factors of the very fine, super fine wool for the Italian market. after looking at this complex we were taken to their home where there was more scones jam and cream, along with a beautiful view, just gorgeous Time to move this time to Stuart’s farm along with his 3 dogs. He owns a granite quarry among other things. Has quite a few large projects on the go. Huge granite work shed going up, tractors lined up for us to look at, down the back was a wood splitter and circular saw mill that he planes to have in running order one day. Then we followed him to his quarry, WOW what a sight all granite, granite everywhere.Amazing how he cuts it into 5mx 20m x 20m. A huge piece granite among other things is going to be used for the ANZAC Interpretive Centre at Mt Clarence Albany W.A. for Anzac Centenary 2015. Stuart asked for tractors to be parked at edge of quarry for photo shoot. moved along to camping spot which had mossies that seemed to carry you away, so big. The young families moved on as mossies were to bad for the children. Roger gave us an interesting talk about his and Elke’s hometown Dubbo.

Day 4. 

Departed Lake Poorracup area early to get away from the mossies which were just as bad in the morning, lots of orchids were found here though. arrived at Lake Poorracup which is a salt lake beautiful clear water. Dick and Barbara used to water ski here, in there younger days. Children enjoyed the water and Sue had made Enzo a birthday cake which we had on the lakes edge where we had parked the tractors. Driving through Karri Forrest was hard to visualize the early settlers there. Came across a windy muddy track which the tractors could get through but no way for the mobile homes. Tractors made it worse for everybody else but there was no turning around area so had to fill the holes in with branches etc with a lot of vocal support we got them through but the 2 utes and caravan cleared a way around and came up the paddock. Local farmer came along on quad bike to see what we we had done he would not have known there was a lot of farmers in this group but never said a word when he came back. Arrived at Ocean Beach Caravan Park for the night. At 6.30pm Vicki came from the Denmark St. Johns Ambulance Centre and gave us a demo on using our defibrillator the club has purchased. Lets hope we never have to use it but it talks you through the whole process anyway. Also here was Kerry and Ron, Perth, along with Bruce and Joan, from N.S.W. who had come from Esperance where they had attended John and Maggie’s, son’s funeral.

Day 5. 

No rush as only had 40 kms to go, so it was ice creams all round to start the day off. An extremely high hill gave Faulky’s 9g a headache as the new van is much heavier than the old one. Scenery divine with magnificent homes, some with views 180 degrees. Somerset Hill winery next stop wine tasting and interesting talk on how it was all started. Peacefull Bay Caravan Park presented us with strong winds and rough seas. Sue and David joined us from Ongerup joined us.

Day 6. 

Leisurely day as the deep-sea fishing had to be put off due to rough seas. Ladies did a casual work around village and beach, A few members went to Paul and Eve’s Marron Farm, we learnt how they are farmed and processed, bumpy ride on back of ute driving around the dams but fun. We pulled up nets that he had put in for us. They are fed dog cubes anything to small thrown back along with females. Marlene and Jim have a cottage here so joined us for the day also, they organised in the local Progress Association Hall an evening of fish dinner fresh fish nothing better than fresh.

Day 7. 

Warrick left us today, Jim and Marlene said goodbye wishing us all the best for the rest of Trek. Valley of the Giants next,then lunch at Walpole Bakery. Early evening arrived at Walpole Wilderness Retreat warmly welcomed by Graeme Rhonda and Annette having several hours socializing.

Day 8.

Jetty early for our boat cruise for 2 1/2 hrs, Gary was very informative energetic and humorous commentator. Gary gave us a history of the world according to Walpole.Stopped on the dunes for some energetic people to climb the some beautiful lemon cake his Mother makes and cuppa. One island we passed is full of quokkas they are tolerant to 1080. Ben Trish and children left for home in Perth.

Day 9. 

Soft rain overnight Then onto Fernbrook Falls. Very wet and slippery roads now. Falls flowing very well. Lisa left us now also didn’t want to go through another night with a wet tent and young children. Dick explained the Karri foresters collect seeds from mature trees so hundreds of seeds are sow again

Day 10. 

Northcliffe Hotel for lunch, Sue Armstrong’s, great-grandfather built this hotel in the 1950’s with a vision that the town would prosper. Northcliffe Museum was well worth the visit. At Windy Harbour we had a large hut and wood fire for nibbles and drink,s as it was raining very heavy hut soon filled up with water, so had a abandon it to our vans. Rained all night very heavy and very strong winds.

Day 11. 

Water everywhere. one way in one way out water on each side of road was flowing very swiftly and almost to top of road. Headed for Point D’Entrecasteau braving the rain to veiw natures window. Limstone and granite around here. No whales to be seen. Brockmans Saw Pits next stop discovered in 1972 by forest workers, the saw pit is one of the best preserved of many which remain in the bush nearby. Brockman family first began running cattle in the Karri country in 1861, the old homestead is still standing.Work in saw pits was hard tedius and very poorly paid In 1822 an official price for pit-saw planks was 7/6d per 100 feet. Then off to Pemberton Caravan Park, where Brenda Bar joined us, local hotel gave us a room upstairs for our evening meal where we said goodbye to Roger and Elke as they had to head off to Perth.

Day 12.

Pemberton Saw Mill Tour, timber is cut up using latest technology computers and lasers, approx 40 people are employed here. Then on the Pemberton train,through the forest over old bridges almost to Northcliffe but last bridge is considered to dangerous to cross.

Day 13. 

Said goodbye to Roger and Elke, first stop Diamond Tree for cuppa, nobody did the complete climb but pretended we did. During 1837 to 1952 eight tree ladders were built for fire watch throughout the southern forests.Met up with a representative from CSBP who stopped for a chat. His son had quite a lot of cancer treatment at Princess Margaret children’s Hospital but sadly passed away so he gave us a donation. Manjimup next stop King Jarrah Tree, estimated age is 500yrs, 2.6 diameter and 45 meters high, now that’s a tree. 10 trekkers joined hands around it so you would have some idea how big it is. Manjimup Steam Museum is set in beautiful gardens, where there is a fly wheel, 5m diameter, which ran a steam engine from years gone by. Headed off to Wine and Truffle Co Deborah gave us a very interesting talk along with slides all about truffles. Dogs are trained to find them in the ground. Arrived at Fonty’s Pool Caravan Park mid evening said goodbye to Brenda as she went off to see friends on her way home.

Day 14. 

One Tree Bridge stop is where a tree 3.6m diameter was felled and had fallen across a creek, so was made into a bridge but its a long time since used. The Four Aces are trees that have grown through the remains of a tree felled.They are 6m apart 40m high and have grown in a straight row. Lunch a Sue’s Bridge where there is great camping spots. Alexandra Bridge for the night but 2 couples went ahead to Augusta.

Day 15. 

Augusta Caravan Park overlooks Hardy Inlet on the Blackwood River. Kerrys great-grandfather Captain James Turner bought the land that is now the caravan park and surrounds A fig tree planted by the Turner family in the 1830’s still stands in the park today. A cruise on Miss Flinders at 2pm up the Blackwood River which by the way is 400 kms long originates at Lake Dumbeleyung, but we only went to the other side of Molloy Island. We saw a pod of dolphins playing around. Evening meal at local fish and chip shop.

Day 16. 

Three tractors went to Cape Leeuwin Light house at  8.30am for a photo shoot right next to it special permission. Two ladies one from N.S.W. other Qld were trapped to take a ride in the tractors. Visited the Men’s Shed and have a membership of 150 to use machines you have to have a creditation. Back to local bakery for lunch Then off to Caves Road Tourist Drive through pictureque thick forest parallel to the ocean at times. Boranup Gallery next stop but had to be careful as there are cyclist in races down in this area for 3 days. Lake cave huge hole but they now have walk ways down to the bottom only 3 ladies made the walk. Along to Prevelly beach road but no parking for everybody so into Margaret River, very busy place. Onto Cowaramup is home to the black and white cows, it’s not who let the dogs out it’s who let the cows out. So very real looking. Taunton Farm Holiday Park for the night lovely spot.

Day 17. 

Relaxing day for all Kerry and Helen counted the collection tins. everybody had an early night. Ron and Marion Ness drove there tractor over to see us, nice meeting up for a few hours

Day 18. 

Pat our bus driver met us at main office early.First stop And Sharp’s Vintage Collection in Busselton,awe inspiring collection. A 1923 Rugby in mint condition was the first to drive along the Bussell Bypass when it opened. 28 vehicles and 10 tractors but lots o other things as well. Head off to Cape Naturaliste through back roads as Pat explained the local area. pointed out the Holy Mile, which developers want now as these places are on waterfront land. To the lighthouse at Cape Naturaliste built in 1903 out of local stone. Next Sugar Loaf Rock which is not to far from shore. Onto Happs Winery wine tasting and lovely pottery which the whole family make. Bootleg Brewery for lunch, at last a beer. Sonia Abbott, Royal Flying Doctor Service Fundraising Co-ordinater Joined us and gave a very informative talk, she was presented with 2 very generous donated cheques. Allan’s birthday today and Barbara’s on 2nd November were celebrated with a delicious mud cake. Allan’s Dad and partner also joined us fro lunch. Onto Vasse Virgin Natural Soap Factory, family owned business producing products for people with dermatitis and excesma. Other olive products are also available. Gabrielle’s Chocolate Factory where it is made from worlds finest cacao beans.Listened to a talk then sampled the chocolate. Margaret River Silk Farm, very different business in this area.Grow mulberry trees and cultivate silk worms to produce home grown silk.Silk cocoons are sent to Cambodia where it is processed and blended with there silk which makes it viable for both countries. each cocoon produces 180m approx. of silk. Was nice being driven around for the day.

Day 19. 

Photo shoot in front of old church and hall which are being restored. Cowaramup where Cedar brought a cow thank god it was only a small one, suppose he could have put a bigger one on the top of tractor. Another bakery so get morning tea everybody. Headed off to Nannup, shops for the ladies op shop antique shops coffee shops etc.Another photo shoot for local rag, in a side street but it got very busy as the tractors where parked across the road. Allan found a blacksmiths shop and local wood shop, handmade. Off to Ballinup by the river beautiful drive, stopped at Old Cheese Factory, sadly no longer a coffee shop there but we did spend money there so much to look at. Another evening around a camp fire.

Day 20.

Carolyn David and Sue departed today as they had other commitments Local shops don’t open here till 10am Had to fill in time so we got to Mumbalup Hotel for lunch, but when we got there no lunch there had been a death in the cooks family so no cook. Went to nearby dam where some people were water skiing. Onto Wellington dam but stopped at Gnomesville over 3,000 gnomes here and growing. We added to them Cedar had been carring 6 gnomes under his seat, hopeing they had no broken, which his daughter Lisa had organised and painted 9g orange. so we signed them and found a spot to put them. Camped at Wellington Dam

Day 21. 

Cedar and Allan left this morning work beckoned them, the small group left went on to Dardanup Heritage Museum. what a well laid out Museum, Barry was invited to have a ride on a Super 70 K45 and modified common knocker motor 3 cylinder.from the shed. Dick and Bruce followed. Tractor train for people that cant walk to far and after a while you need to catch it this is so big a place. All enjoyed lunch in restaurant. Now to Harvey, Margaret and Richards place, what a collection of Massey Ferguson’s here some restored some in the process, plus old cars etc, They supplied a BBQ tea with some local made sausages etc and a BBQ brekkie next morning, what lovely people. Last evening together so Thanked Dick and Barbara for a very well organised Trek We all enjoyed a wonderful time over 3 weeks with camaraderie, lush green scenery majestic wildflowers. full dams. running creeks and extremely friendly helpful people Big Thanks to all who helped us, donated money for RFDS, organised meals in anyway, but once again

Thanks to Dick and Barbara for organizing the Trek. GREAT JOB

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