A few weeks ago we packed up the FJ and headed down to Mount Barker to stay at my Uncle Lindsay’s place and day-trip down to Albany and Denmark.
Lindsay’s property is approx 8 acres of mostly bush, a stone throw from the town centre. It really is a lovely spot and quite a great place to use as our base-camp for the long weekend.
On Saturday we headed out in the FJ to check out some beaches and trails. We drove down to Albany and further east to Two Peoples Bay where we parked up and had a look at Little Beach. On the way back we also had a bit of a run down on Nanarup Beach where we setup our beach-camp for a little while, had a swim and relax. It was very nice, the water down there is cold but stunning. A local fisherman walked past our camp with about 40kg of freshly caught Oz Salmon over his shoulder in a beach towel, nice catch!
We drove in to town and had a look around, checking out the old gardens, marine area and the visitors centre. We grabbed some lunch then ventured over toward Frenchmans Bay where we found “The Gap”, “Natures Bridge” and the salmon holes. Spectacular! We also drove through the Albany Wind Farm on all the gravel roads and trails, right to the end. Further past is beach access to Muttonbird, but we decided to head back as it was starting to get late and the kids needed a feed.
Heading back to Uncle Lindsay’s for the evening we were treated to wood-fired pizzas in his absolutely killer outdoor entertaining area. I swear, his alfresco is bigger than his house and very well appointed with huge hand-made timber bar, TV, fridges, pizza oven and more.
Sunday morning we jumped back in the FJ and headed to Denmark. First stop, coffee in town. There’s a new place open down there (new to me anyway) called Ravens Coffee Roasters. Really great flat white, and Melissa bought a bag for me to take home. Some Ethiopia Michiti. It was tasty!
On to Boat Harbour, a nice little spot on the coast which is mostly rocky. I bumped in to fellow FJ owner and FJCC member Scottie who was having a fish there with his missus. After letting the mutt run around for a bit, we took off down some trails and found a nice little ‘secret’ beach. The entry was very over grown and quite a descent to get to. Drove all the way to the other end and turned around, only to get the FJ bogged! For the first time, I’d managed to bog the FJ, the sand was nothing like what I’m used to back here on my local beaches where I run 25PSI without dramas. It was my opportunity to finally use the maxtrax on the FJ which, until now, were only roof ornaments. After three maxtrax recoveries I decided to let some air out, I went down to 15psi and it was super easy. Honestly, I probably could have skipped the maxtrax had I just aired down to begin with! oh well it was fun!
Next was “Greens Pool” and “Elephant Rocks”, a VERY VERY busy and popular tourist spot in Denmark showcasing some absolutely stunning turquoise water that is protected from the ocean waves. It was really busy with cars actually spilling out of the large carpark. The ice-cream truck man was just killing it.
We headed back towards Denmark but stopped at the Chocolate Factory and a number of wineries. Several children at the Chocolate Factory thought that Cooper was the cutest dog ever, poor little guy was a bit overwhelmed with the hordes of kids trying to pat and hug him. We headed to a mates, aunties winery, Rickety Gate Wines. It was a very well setup place and was super busy with people dining and wine tasting. Impressive. From there we visited some other wineries and I thought I’d be smart and take some shortcuts through some bushes… it ended up taking longer as we drove through over-grown fire-break trails and all kinds of other areas, oops! I also lost the top off my UHF antenna which managed to unscrew itself! lesson learned!
We dropped past Ravens Coffee Roasters one more time before heading back to Mount Barker where we had prawns and salad for dinner, thanks Lindsay!
That night we spoke to Lindsay and Elaine about how we’ve been quite restricted with our touring because of Cooper. You just can’t take dogs in to National Parks and Reserves. They offered to mind him so we could go check some more stuff out on Monday.
We went straight for Whale World in Discovery Bay (frenchmans bay) in Albany, and I’m glad we did. This place is just bursting with amazing history and cool things to see and do. It’s really quite well setup and very well maintained and preserved. Many a lesson was learned here. We went past “The Gap” and “Natures Bridge” one more time before heading back, this time, the kids had a look too, they were impressed!
We made our way back to Lindsay’s in Mount Barker, picked up Cooper, packed the car, and took off back home.
What a great long weekend. Mount Barker is 30 minutes from Albany and 45 minutes from Denmark, it served as an excellent ‘base’, and Uncle Lindsay said we were welcome any time we liked, even if we wanted to bring mates down with us. Cool!
Check out the photos: link to flickr gallery
Check out a little vid clip/trailer I put together: