(Click here to read Down South of Western Australia: Part 1)
Before the early morning sunrise, we get to Mt. Clarence and walk up to the Memorial to the Desert Mounted Corps Exhibition. It was built near Princess Royal Fortress, the centre overlooking the actual harbour, as a remembrance of 41,000 men and women who departed the country and many of them sacrificed their lives for the Great War in 1917.
We get to enjoy the cool breeze blowing from the ocean and it is so calm up there. I also can hear the sound of the ocean wave as well. Princess Royal Fortress Military Museum is located nearby the memorial, but we going to miss that, since the opening hours start from 9 a.m.
We go back to Albany town to grab ourselves some latte and coffee to keep us awake before hitting the highway to the next town, Esperance. Still feeling sleepy due to the comfy weather. This district here was called ‘Dog Rock’ and it is funny how it got its name because there is a rock that looks like a dog’s head.
The six members had separated from our group as their trip conclude here. They only take the 4-days journey. Another driver is waiting at a rest stop and drives them back to the city after having our lunch. The remaining three of us wish them a safe trip and continue our journey.
Our next stop is the Sandalwood Factory where they produce and sell one of the world’s luxury perfume brands. It is situated at Mount Romance, the coastal town in Albany and they had been the leading producer of Australian sandalwood oil and beauty products over the past 15 years.
When entering the factory, we saw this huge perfume box displaying at its entrance. Imagine if I bought and use it, then it probably will take years to finish using. Their friendly staff warmly welcome and take us on about 25-minute tour by showing us how the perfumes are made. Through the hands-on experience, we get to see and touch the samples of sandalwood from log to wood powder. From there, we smell the pure sandalwood oil which was used in the perfumes.
We arrive at Esperance by evening and the weather here was also very cold and windy because it is near the coastline too. It was unfortunate because it was raining and can’t see the sunset along the coast. So, we just check in right away in our dormitory.
Today we make our way to Frenchmen Peak at Cape Le Grand National Park. We take 2 hours to hike all the way up to the summit where there is a large cave that can see the sea at the other side. It is believed that the formation was caused by wave and underwater currents some 40 million years ago when sea levels were at least 300 meters above the current level today and the peaks around here submerged.
This peak was named after a surveyor Alexander Forrest during his exploration to find a new place for pasture in 1870. The shape of the peak looks like the hats worn by the French army during the 1800s. The Indigenous people named it Mandooboornup and it plays an important part of their culture.
After the morning hike, we get to enjoy the breathtaking view of Hellfire Bay inside the national park. Good news for us: we have the whole beach all to ourselves. So, we just chill, relax and sunbathing at this sandy beach for an hour. There are no better words to describe this place and you have to see it for yourself.
Just when the trip can get more interesting, we were fortunate to see a swarm of dolphins swimming through the waves near the coastline before the sunset. So nice to see them come by and say ‘hi’ 🙂
For the last day of our trip, we arrive at Hyden to explore this magnificent Wave Rock. It is about 15 meters high and the shape of this rock formation is like the ocean waves. According to the local tribes, they believed that this rock was created by the Rainbow Serpent in her wake by dragging her swollen body over the land after consumed all of the water in the land.
We simply follow the Wave Rock Walk Circuit by ourselves, following the trail marked with Interpretative signs. It starts from the main access path to the base of the Rock, then head east to Hippo’s Yawn (1.03km) and walk another 680 m back to the car park.
Our guide was helping us to prepare our lunch at the barbeque pit near the car park. And by the time we return on the 1.71 km trail, we are starving and thankfully, the food is ready for us to eat- B.B.Q. sausage with bun and salad.
Next, we drop by in a small town named Corrigin to visit a dog cemetery. There are over 80 buried dogs here by their owners in this cemetery and was told by our guide that their owners need to buy the land for their pet burial.
Our final stop is York town, just another 2-hours drive from here back to Perth city. We take a long journey break and wander around its surrounding and seems nothing much interesting. The only small attraction is York Motor Museum, however it is closed on that day.
There are some old historical buildings along a small stretch of the road including York Town Hall, Information Service, a courthouse complex, a residency museum and a Catholic church.
And now, our trip has come to the end when we arrived back to the city around 7 p.m. The remaining three of us wish each other farewell and set off for the next adventure.
(Click here to read Down South of Western Australia: Part 1)
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