This morning, we started early again, packing the car once more and hitting the road to see the area around Albany. It was a cool and damp morning, having rained most of the night. Very low clouds covered the tops of the hills around Albany and a constant drizzle made it difficult to see any sights at all. It was a good thing we had driven around the town the previous evening – since we couldn’t see anything at all this morning.
We drove around the Princess Royal Harbour to the Torndirrup National Park where we stopped at The Gap – but it was raining so much that we gave up without getting out of the car. We continued on around to Whaleworld – a museum about whaling in the district, but again, it was raining so much we decided it wouldn’t be much fun touring the whaling boat and other outdoor stuff there, so we headed back. This time, we stopped in at the Blowholes – and the rain dropped off enough that we decided to get out and have a look – with umbrellas of course !
The Blowholes were quite spectacular – a cave in the rocks with openings high above the waterline, whenever a large wave breaks over the cave, it violently pushed air and water spray up through the holes. It was actually a little scary – it sounded like a dragon breathing, with steam coming from its nostrils. It was quite calm – hardly any wind, but the swell was still quite large, which made the blowholes work well.
After the Blowholes, we drove back to The Gap – where there was also a natural bridge – not quite as spectacular as the “London Bridge” on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, but impressive none-the-less. The Gap was truely awesome though. Literally a gap in the rocks – I estimate about 10m wide by 30m long and possibly 20-30m deep as well. The swell thunders into the gap, spraying up high above the cliff walls and creating a seething pool of water at the base – like a giant washing machine, complete with suds ! It was awe-inspiring and quite scary too – the power of the water and the waves crashing against the rocks.
We eventually managed to tear ourselves away from the national park, and after a brief stop to look at the Albany Wind Farm up the road, we headed back to town where we took some photos at the “Dog Rock” – a granite outcrop in the middle of the town which, from certain angles, looks like the large head of a dog emerging from the ground. They have even painted a collar around the base to enhance the effect.
We decided to have an early lunch while still in Albany, so we headed to Dylans – a lovely coffee shop just off the main strip and had a wonderful meal before jumping back in the car and finally heading out of town. Over lunch we had debated about which route to take back to Perth, but given how late it was getting, we decided to take the most direct route back – even if it was the most boring. We had agreed that we would come back to visit Albany at some stage in the future, as it seems like such a lovely area, and the coastline really is worth exploring some more.
We basically followed the Albany Highway all the way back to Armadale, and then on to Perth – got in around 5:30pm and checked in to the Sheraton.
mmm… broadband internet – might actually get a chance to upload some photos if I have time before we leave for home !