Wednesday February 8th saw us leave Yallingup. We had the people across from us move their vehicles and had no drama getting the caravan out of our site and back on the road. We travelled south along the Cave Road past Margaret River. About half way between Margaret River and Augusta we pulled into the Conto Campground near Lake Cave. We found a lovely large area with 3 sites in the Whistler loop. One of the nicest campgrounds we have been in. Cost was about $14/night and basic toilets and drinking water were available. The place had thousands of Grass Trees (Black Boys) and beautiful shade provided by Peppermint Trees. Sandra has taken enough pictures of the Black Boys to make a new album. A few samples below.
As we were set up nice and early we all took a drive into Augusta after lunch. We travelled through Augusta to Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. We took a paid walk down to the lighthouse and to a viewing platform where you can see where the Indian Ocean meets the Great Southern Ocean. It was blowing a gale while we were there which made for some interesting picture taking and photos. Actually was blowing you and the camera while trying to take the pictures. Got some nice photos of the lighthouse and our group of adventurers. Get a load of Sandra's hair in the bottom photo! I'm not in the photo because the wind started to blow the camera off the wooden rail I had it setup on for the self timer!
We stopped for a quick look around in Augusta and it's coastline. Not a huge amount to see and as mentioned above the winds were the strongest we have experienced so we limited our time there. Stopped for a quick peak at Hamelin Bay on our way back to the campsite. It was sheltered from the wind and beautiful so we will definitely return tomorrow. See the contrast between the Augusta coastline and Hamelin Bay below.
We drove by our campground entrance to the coastal access when we returned to Conto. Stopped at Conto Spring and did a short walk to a beautiful lookout over Conto Beach. This beach is inaccessible by road and would have to be one of the nicest hidden treasures that we have discovered on our adventure. Would have been worth a walk down and enjoying a day on the beach if we were staying here longer. The rocky areas are reported to be great fishing as well.
Thursday morning we packed up our picnic baskets and headed back to Hamelin Bay. Once again the weather was beautiful and the bay was sheltered although the winds had subsided somewhat. We enjoyed a beautiful swim and some of us had a snorkel. Nothing too exciting as far as fish or coral but Stephen & I did have the largest Sting Ray either of us had ever seen swim directly under us. I think we both left a little something extra in our shorts and the Indian Ocean when it did! Wow! No harm was done and apparently they are very tame as the girls got a chance to pet a smaller one along the beach later. Very placid creatures who are obviously used to being fed by humans. We ended up returning to the campground for our lunch as there were no sheltered (shaded) eating areas at the beach. Too bad as was otherwise a top destination.
On the return trip we travelled again through the the Bondalup Forest which is amazing. Huge tall trees with the sunlight shining through on to the ferns on the ground level. We enjoyed a nice shaded lunch back at the campground with a little Blue Wren entertaining us as we ate. Difficult to get photo as they don't stay still while you are clicking away.
Di cut and coloured Sandra's hair in the afternoon and I enjoyed a relaxing afternoon reading in the shade. A very relaxing camp and one that Sandra & I would have been happy to stay at longer. Unfortunately no generators are allowed so our batteries would have been challenged if we stayed longer. We will be moving on in the morning to Pemberton. Cheers!