Two Yanks Downunder

A blog about the experiences of two Americans on their first visit to the fabulous continent of Australia

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Daytripping part 2

After our stop in Gingin we had decided it was too far to go to the pinnacles today as by the time we had finished lunch it was after 2:00 and we reckoned we had another 3 hour drive, so we stopped to get gas before the long trip home. At the gas station they told us the pinnacles was only another two hour drive, so we changed our mind and decided to risk it, even though Wendy was already imagining the dozens of kangaroo carcasses we might leave behind when trying to return home during the dusk.

The change in landscape from region to region is always fascinating and although there were never any good places to pull over, we saw some beautiful fields of wild flowers (particularly the yellow ones in this area).

We passed a wind farm at Emu Downs (where we saw no emus nor place to stop and take a picture. I know it is impossible to tell that these are windmills, but trust me, the tiny white lines in the background (you'll have to click on the image to see them) are windmills.))

When we got to Nambung State park (where the pinnacles reside (most of them), we were very happy that we had changed our minds. The rock formations were magnificent.

Also we were overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of them. They stretched on for miles quite like the poppy fields in the Wizard of Oz.

The pinnacles are basically a petrified forest of limestone tree stumps that were buried for years until the wind blew the sand away from them.

They stand about six to eight feet tall in little clumps and are surrounded by the reddish or white and ochre colored sand. We had particularly dramatic weather and did not know if it would rain or be sunny, but the consequence was a full rainbow that stretched from one side of the sky the other completely unbroken.

Most of the rocks are pointy, but this one had a particularly interesting texture.

Here is Mom amongst the pinnacles and also a chance to reference the size. (These seem a bit smaller than the earlier ones)

We drove around a curve and came upon these perforated pinnacles. Unfortunately we could not stop there to take a careful shot, but you can see the holes pretty clearly.

The seeping in of different chemicals into the wood left different colors in the rock.

...So there are many different shapes and colors to please the eye.

As we left we stopped by a little pull out and saw these kangaroos grazing. (Making Wendy even more nervous about the drive home.)

This was called Hangover Beach and was an absolutely gorgeous shoreline.

They call this part of Australia the Turquoise coast and the water is deep blue and beautiful.

There are also lovely flora and fauna - iceplants and seagulls as well as other flowers and scrub. I captured this fauna heading to the beach.

Here are some images of the yellow wild flowers near the beach as we left and the sun began to sink.

Our trip back was indeed a bit stressful. Mom was on kangaroo patrol and at dusk we did indeed encounter two different kangaroo crossings or near crossings. We passed one guy who munched quietly on the side of the highway (and Wendy began to think she would have nothing to worry about) until she saw a dark spot inthe road ahead. As she got closer she saw it hop to the side of the highway, only to watch it decide to jump back across in front of her just as she was starting to pass. Thank goodness she had had the foresight to slow down upon sighting, so he passed by without incident and other than two freshly dead kangaroo bodies that had not been there on our drive up we spotted no more kangaroos on the road. Other then getting lost and going north to Badgingarra (and adding 100 km to our drive home in the dark) We had a safe trip home and got in around 10:00, exhausted, but happy.


At 11:57 PM, Anonymous min said...

You must be over the rainbow.
That sure looks like an interesting place. I like the pinnacles, but hey, kangaroos/Smangaroos. We've got Kangaroos in our attic!


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