Before I get started on this blog today, I need to warn you to get comfortable as it is a long one. You might want to read this one in parts I tried to condense it but there was just too much stuff to share. So I am sorry not sorry.
I woke up this morning and headed over to the toilet block and I am very happy to report that there were no snakes. Quite a few kangaroos and ducks, but no snakes. We have again been really lucky with the site we were given, right at the back of the park and no one else around us but the wild life. It is great to be in a Caravan Park but not have people on top of you.
Col and I decided to go to the Valley of the Giants today and do the tree top walk, which is just outside of Nornalup. This was another beautiful experience. It cost $21 per adult, so it is not cheap, but they do a free tour guided ground walk through the Ancient Empire section and this was really great too if you are on a tight budget.
It was interesting as you could see through the grates underfoot to the Forest floor below which at it’s highest point was 40m above ground. Some of the Karri trees were 7om tall. There was also a lot of movement in the bridges, so they were gently swaying and bouncing as you moved which was a little disconcerting at first. Breathtaking views of the surrounding forest soon distract you and listening to the birds chirping and the silence of the forest, love it.
After the tree top walk we met with the tour guide and did the walk through the Ancient Empire section and both enjoyed learning more about the Forest and plants. There are 4 main trees in the Forest, the Red Tingle that grows wide at the bottom of the tree as it gets older and is often hollowed out by fire but still grows, the Yellow Tingle that remains pretty much the same size top to bottom, the Karri Tree that is multicoloured when it drops it’s bark and the Sheoak tree which has cork like bark. We learned that when the Karri Trees drop their bark and the salmon colour wood shows through beneath, that this signals the beginning of the Salmon fishing season.
We also learned that the English Settlers thought the Sheoak tree was an Oak tree but decided it was inferior to the Oak Tree so called it a “She” Oak, as the term “She” meant inferior. I really don’t like it, but there you go.
The Sword Grass plant has edible seeds that can be ground up to make a flour like substance used to make damper and the Quokas also love it, you can also chew the white part at the bottom of the leaf, the leaves will give you a nasty paper cut if you run your hand along the edge in the wrong direction. We also learned about the Soap Tree, you can crush the leaves and rub your hands with them under water and they soap up! They also have an analgesic affect on the body if eaten (although they may taste like soap). The Aboriginals would put the Soap Tree branches and leaves into the water and this would effectively dope the Kangaroos that drank from the water as well as the fish and make them easier to catch.
The roots of the Tingle trees are only about a metre below the surface and having so many tourists visiting the Karri forest actually killed some of the trees with people trampling over the soil and compacting it. So they have built the tree top walk and a board walk to minimise the impact of tourism on the environment. The Karri trees are the third tallest tree in the world and only grow in the South Western part of Australia.
Grandma Tingle is one of the oldest Red Tingle trees in the Ancient Empire and is dated at approximately 450 years old. She is called Grandma because of the face that appears on the tree.
After the Valley of the Giants we stopped in at Peaceful Bay on the way back to the Caravan Park.
Col and I then stopped into the Elephant Rocks Cidery for lunch and to sample the cider. The place was great and kid friendly, I was sad that Haim wasn’t with us as he would have loved it. We got a burger to share and the food was great, but I was not a fan of the cider at all. We got a tasting flight of the ciders where you choose 4 small ciders to sample, but definitely not my taste. They have a soccer golf course there which looked interesting.
I also found this sign on the door and couldn’t resist taking a photo for the blog
I accidentally fed Colin half my burger and chips before I read the sign, haha. We did see Colin the crow and I promise I didn’t feed him anything.