The Big Lap 2015 – Kojonup et al

We purposely timed our departure from Norseman for later in the morning purposely so we could visit the dump point at the Norseman Visitor Centre only to arrive to find that someone had driven off with the key the day before and apparently there was no spare and obviously no access to a pair of bolt cutters to remove the padlock. Knowing there was a dump point also at Ravensthorpe we left Norseman heading south toward Esperance.

The country between Norseman and Esperance (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperance,_Western_Australia) is uncleared initially but tends to good farming country the further south one progresses. Around Salmon Gums (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salmon_Gums,_Western_Australia) and Grass Patch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grass_Patch,_Western_Australia) the country obviously produces good grain and is also used for the grazing of sheep.

About halfway between Norseman and Esperance

About halfway between Norseman and Esperance

Great sign at the entrance to this small town

Great sign at the entrance to this small town

We stopped for morning tea at a roadside parking area south of Scaddan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scaddan,_Western_Australia) then drove on to Gibson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibson,_Western_Australia) where we had proposed to bypass Esperance but due to a lack of local knowledge, signage and the myriad of roads leading to who knew where we found ourselves on the outskirts of the city before we turned west toward Albany (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albany,_Western_Australia).

Not far to Esperance - long way to Albany

Not far to Esperance – long way to Albany

Welcome to Esperance

Welcome to Esperance

Esperance population 14450

Esperance population 14450

Very large container depot at Esperance

Very large container depot at Esperance

Countryside along the way

Countryside along the way

Countryside along the way

Countryside along the way

Countryside along the way

Countryside along the way

Catchment sign at the rest area where we had lunch

Catchment sign at the rest area where we had lunch

And the (beat) road goes on

And the (beat) road goes on

We arrived in Ravensthorpe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ravensthorpe,_Western_Australia) later in the day only to learn that the dump point in town had been removed to accommodate a new road being constructed so after filling the vehicle with fuel we drove along seeking a site to camp for the evening. We had sussed out a couple of spots from Camps 8 and checked out the first of these just west of Ravensthorpe at the Meridian Rest Stop; however, the site was very small and right on the road so we decided against it and drove on.

The view from the road

The view from the road

No more kangaroos or cattle - look out for the Mallee Fowl

No more kangaroos or cattle – look out for the Mallee Fowl

Our next planned stop was a further 60 kilometres further on and we arrived there about four o’clock and struggled to find an appropriate place to camp for the evening and after fiddling about with different spots for half an hour we drove on and finally arrived at Jerramungup (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerramungup,_Western_Australia) just on dark and checked into the local caravan park. After ringing the bell the manager appeared took our money and told us to find our own spot – “there’s plenty of room” – before disappearing back into his residence. We set up, went to the local truck stop for food and retired for the evening.  Before leaving the park we were able to access the dump point and solve that problem.

Welcome to the Great Southern Region

Welcome to the Great Southern Region

We are entering the Shire of Jerramungup

We are entering the Shire of Jerramungup

Town sign for Jerramungup

Town sign for Jerramungup

Next morning we noticed a tap on the door of the van and looked out the window – nothing; another tap and we opened the door to find a kangaroo seemingly wanting entry; no matter how much we shushed and chased the persistent roo would not depart and it wasn’t until Murray left the van to chase it that it finally left and went on to the next van. We had the heater going on a cool morning and it was hard to know if the roo was chasing the warmth emanating from the door vent or just mooching for a feed.

No! You cannot come into the caravan

No! You cannot come into the caravan

She wont let me in!

She wont let me in!

Leaving Jerramungup we headed off for Kojonup (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kojonup,_Western_Australia) where we had decided to stay for a couple of days along the way passing through some of the “ups” – Ongerup and Gnowangerup (where we stopped for morning tea), before we reached Broomehill then Katanning then turned south west to Kojonup where we arrived around midday.

Out of one

Out of one

Into another

Into another

We are at another UP

We are at another UP

Unique sign at Ongerup

Unique sign at Ongerup

The Stirling Ranges in the distance

The Stirling Ranges in the distance

Getting closer

Getting closer

The Stirling Ranges in the distance

The Stirling Ranges in the distance

We are staying at the Kojonup Caravan Park (http://www.kojonupcaravanpark.com.au/) which in the words of the owner can be described as a “quaint rural park”. As well as caravan sites, the park has an eclectic collection of cabins and permanent caravan used for accommodation including a couple of buses converted for accommodation. There is a double decker bus on site which will be converted to storage for the housekeeping items the management currently stores in a donger. The park also has a collection of other curios including a life size fibreglass giraffe and a hippopotamus in the garden at the entrance to the park; old machinery and an old red phone box with a miniature spider man figure in occupation. There is a fire pit where a raging fire has burned each evening we have been here.

Entering the first Shire with 1,000,000 Sheep

Entering the first Shire with 1,000,000 Sheep

Kojonup town sign

Kojonup town sign

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Look at the slabs of timber in the camp kitchen at Kojonup Caravan Park

Look at the slabs of timber in the camp kitchen at Kojonup Caravan Park

Fire pit - Kojonup Caravan Park

Fire pit – Kojonup Caravan Park

Different accommodation at Kojonup Caravan Park

Different accommodation at Kojonup Caravan Park

An old bus used for accommodation at Kojonup Caravan Park

An old bus used for accommodation at Kojonup Caravan Park

Old telephone box complete with small Spiderman inside at Kojonup Caravan Park

Old telephone box complete with small Spiderman inside at Kojonup Caravan Park

Hippo at Kojonup Caravan Park

Hippo at Kojonup Caravan Park

Giraffe at Kojonup Caravan Park

Giraffe at Kojonup Caravan Park

Manager's garden at Kojonup Caravan Park

Manager’s garden at Kojonup Caravan Park

Old machinery at Kojonup Caravan Park

Old machinery at Kojonup Caravan Park

A future project at Kojonup Caravan Park

A future project at Kojonup Caravan Park

After lunch we explored Kojonup to see the sites the small town has to offer. We checked out the commercial area, bought some groceries, bread and jam from a local craft group, then went to the local Apex Park where we found a memorial dedicated to Brigadier Arnold Potts (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_Potts) who with his men fought a withdrawal along the Kokoda Track after an unsuccessful attempt to retake Kokoda Village from the Japanese during WWII. Potts’ action “so depleted and delayed the Japanese advance, they were forced to start their long withdrawal.” Potts farmed in the Kojonup area.

Brigadier A W Potts

Brigadier A W Potts

Kokoda Track Memorial Bridge at Kojonup

Kokoda Track Memorial Bridge at Kojonup

Centenary of Federation Wool Wagon on display at Kojonup

Centenary of Federation Wool Wagon on display at Kojonup

The Australian Rose Maze is near the Apex Park and “pays tribute to the women of twentieth century Australia”. The website suggests – “Trace the stories of Yoondi, Elizabeth and Maria along the enchanting pathways of the Australian Rose Maze to discover 100 years of Noongar, English and Italian experiences.” Unfortunately it was not the right time of year to see the maze at its best and we were a little disappointed with the display. Adjacent to the maze is The Kodja Place (www.kodjaplace.net.au) which is cited as an example of what can be achieved by cultures working together. We also visited the Information Centre and collected brochures for other locations we will visit on our trip.

Sign at entry to Kodja Place and the Rose Maze

Sign at entry to Kodja Place and the Rose Maze

The three ladies of the Maze

The three ladies of the Maze

One of the few blooms in the Rose Maze at this time of year

One of the few blooms in the Rose Maze at this time of year

The bees like the blooms

The bees like the blooms

Unique seat in the Rose Maze

Unique seat in the Rose Maze

Thursday morning we headed off for a look at Katanning (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katanning,_Western_Australia) some 40 kms from Kojonup. Once in Katanning we left the car and walked the commercial area. Katanning is a larger town than Kojonup and boasts 5 banks, several car dealerships and a Woolworth’s grocery store. We had an interesting couple of hours looking around the town and had a coffee at a small coffee shop – The Daily Grind.

Old hotel in Katanning now used for retail

Old hotel in Katanning now used for retail

Old Flour Mill in Katanning

Old Flour Mill in Katanning

Town Clock in Katanning

Town Clock in Katanning

Monument to the first water supply to Katanning circa 1958

Monument to the first water supply to Katanning circa 1958

Katanning Council Offices

Katanning Council Offices

Monument to Malay ancestry in Katanning

Monument to Malay ancestry in Katanning

Katanning Town Hall

Katanning Town Hall

That Pink Lady? - Secondhand furniture

That Pink Lady? – Secondhand furniture

P1090982 P1090983 P1090984 P1090985

Leaving Katanning we headed south to Broomehill (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broomehill,_Western_Australia) with a view to driving back to Kojonup along a different road to that which we travelled this morning. At Broomehill we stopped to take a few photographs and noticed a winery cum café was open and decided to have lunch at the establishment.

Town Entry Sign - Broomehill

Town Entry Sign – Broomehill

Museum at Broomehill

Museum at Broomehill

Broomehill Hotel

Broomehill Hotel

Boots nailed to a post in Broomehill - not sure why - quite curious

Boots nailed to a post in Broomehill – not sure why – quite curious

Henry Jones Winery & Cafe (http://www.dimmi.com.au/restaurant/henry-jones-winery-and-cafe) is an interesting establishment and well worth a visit, if only for the curiosity value. The building in Broomehill is very large and a good portion of it seems to be filled with antiques and collectibles of all sorts. The actual café includes a good stock of these as well as bottles of wine (obviously) and several large tables (and some smaller ones) where patrons consume the food provided. We ordered food and while waiting for it to arrive read one of the local papers; from the kitchen came a loud altercation between the proprietor and the chef and Margaret suggested perhaps we should leave before the chef did. Meanwhile the proprietor’s wife arrived back from a trip to town, obviously poured oil over troubled waters and delivered our meals to the table with an offer of wine tasting. We enjoyed the meals and tasting and bought a couple of bottles of Wadjekanup River Estate wine before leaving and heading back to Kojonup.

Henry Jones Winery & Cafe in Broomehill

Henry Jones Winery & Cafe in Broomehill

Back in Kojonup we headed off to take a look at the Myrtle Benn Flora & Fauna Sanctuary (http://www.kojonupvisitors.com/Wildflowers/default.htm) on the outskirts of town. Again it was not the right time of year to see the flora in the sanctuary at its best and there also seemed to be a lack of bird life. We drove back to the caravan park past the Old Military Barracks and the Elverd Cottage both local buildings in Kojonup. For a small town (population 2145) Kojonup (http://www.kojonupvisitors.com/) has a lot to offer beside the 1,000,000 + sheep claimed on the welcome to the Shire signs seen when entering the district, and our visit to the area was worthwhile.

Old Military Barracks in Kojonup

Old Military Barracks in Kojonup

Elverd Cottage in Kojonup

Elverd Cottage in Kojonup

Anglican Church in Kojonup

Anglican Church in Kojonup

Our next destination is Busselton on the coast below Perth and we will stay here for several days as we did not visit Busselton on our previous visit in 2010.

More later!

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