The drive from Margaret River to Denmark was supposed to be 4h-ish, but with the campervan, everything takes longer. We didn’t stop for much along the way, but we just watched the landscape scroll on by.
In Denmark, there were a lot of fun adventures that we had while we there. The first one we had was a tree top trek along the giant red gum trees in the area.
Wilson was nervous about it being rickety walkways and a series of walkways made out of ropes. He was relieved to see that there were sturdy metal walkways that snaked its way through the tree tops.
We were probably 30m above the ground, but the views of the surrounding forests were incredible.
We then went to see the “king” and “queen” in the area, which were two of the oldest growth trees in the area. They were pretty impressive to see. A number of trees in the area had been exposed to a forest fire in the past, and created shelters in the bases of the tree trunks that you could walk through.
All in all it was pretty impressive, and made for a nice stop in the area.
After the tree top trek, we visited Greens Pool, which is a super calm tidal pool that has a white sandy base that you can swim around and snorkel without the fear of seeing any sharks, which are plentiful in this part of the country.
We walked down the path to the pool which was beautiful as it opened up onto white sandy beaches, and rolling mounds of granite rock. Robyn and I decided to jump into the water with our snorkel gear on to take a look around. There was a resident sting ray in the water that people were looking at as it swam around the waters edge where someone was fishing.
We kept a wide berth from the sting ray, even though we knew that it was relatively harmless unless you stepped on it, keeping with the “If you don’t bother me, I won’t bother you” theory of underwater life.
Robyn and I swam around the large pool and collected some seashells that were fairly impressive in size and shape, and then on the way back to where Deb, Wilson and Lulu were, we looked up to see what was going on.
There was quite a crowd at the shores edge when we looked and Lulu put her hand vertically to her forehead, which is sign language for “shark”.
Umm, “shark”? I didn’t think that there were sharks in here….how could it get through the rock wall between the pool and the great big ocean on the other side. Robyn and I swam to the shore, a ways down from where the crowd was. The on shore crew ran over to help Robyn up and out of the water, and then promptly left. Um, hello? The shore was a rough rocky slope that was hard to clamber up onto…so I was having a tough time getting up. And they were walking away.
“A little help?” I said, and they came back to give me a hand. Awfully nice of them.
The shark was a baby shark that had slipped though one of the spaces between the rock barrier. “It happens all the time” the fisherman told us. Grrreeeaat! At least no big man eating great whites could get through the narrow openings.
We went over to the Elephant Rocks which were right over the hill from the Green Pools, and as we descended into the little bay that had these rock formations in it, you could certainly see the “elephants” that gave the area its name.
These formations were made over millions of years as the salt water slowly disintegrated the basaltic rock (softer) and left the granite rock that was mixed in. The basaltic rock was formed as molten lava creeped up through the earths crust many years ago.
We made our way back for a taco dinner, with the meat cooked up on their frying pan, er I mean barbecue. I had enough meat to make Australia and Tasmania out of the meat!
We had to fill our bellies as the next morning we were going to be taking some surfing lessons down a the local surfing beach.
We were all really excited to take these lessons, especially Robyn as this was something that she had always wanted to do. The kids were pretty apprehensive about getting in the water as they were afraid of sharks in the area. Understandable, but Mike, our surfing instructor, let us know that the odds of dying from a shark attack was much less than dying from mosquitos (6 deaths in last year from sharks, 75000 from mosquitos).
Mike was great in that we spent an hour on the beach learning about the waves, how to read them and figure out the pattern of waves rolling in, and the physics of surfing. Apparently, my “large frame” (haha, damn french pastries) need bigger waves to propel myself along the waves.
We grabbed some boards and put them on an inner tube, and then a bucket to practice getting up and finding the balance point of the board. I will have to remember this when we get home for when we get new people up on the wake surf board behind the boat.
He then told us to get in the water to look at the waves and ride a few in on our bellies, then a few on our knees, and then try to stand up on them.
Of course, the Travelling Trenholms followed the rules and then there was the energetic and athletic teenager that pretty much bypassed all of the steps and just stood up after she rode one in on her knees. Show off.
The kids had a great time and did very well riding the waves, but lost interest after Lulu got too much salt in her eyes and didn’t want to do it anymore, and Wilson just wanted to play in the waves.
Robyn and I grabbed what was called “the chairlift”, a riptide that was along the shore and carried surfers out to where the big waves are. Normally you try to avoid these rip currents so you don’t get swept away, however, it is ok to grab ones like these. It was pretty cool to barely paddle and watch yourself get propelled out along the shore. It also reminded you how dangerous these currents were.
Surfing is surprisingly hard. Even compared to surfing behind the boat, for which we thought that we would have some background skill. However, the bigger board and the wave shape and size, and the lack of a rope, proved to make it more difficult. Out in the deeper waters the waves were bigger, and Robyn and I got pummelled by a few of the waves. There were a couple of “Oh sh….” before we were buried in water and our boards, which were attached to our feet, were rocketed into the air.
At the end of the 2 hour lesson, we were all sufficiently pooped, and we headed back to the campground to have lunch and play a bit.
Robyn taught Lulu some new moves that she can use with her new cheerleading team when she gets home. No handed cartwheels, front flips, front handsprings….must be nice to be young and flexible. I tried, and landed squarely on my head…probably the reason there is a big “No Inverted Maneuvers” stamp on the side of the jumping pillow.
Robyn and I wanted to go back to Green Pool to swim around again to see the sting ray and find the shark, while the kids didn’t want to go, so Deb dropped us off at the pool while she and the kids went to find some ice cream, and we had 90 minutes to play around in the water.
When we got to the pools, we put on our snorkel gear and then jumped in on our visual hunt. Within two minutes, Robyn found the sting ray and it was great as we were able to follow it along for quite sometime, until Robyn got cold and she jumped out to suntan on the rocks. I kept going and looked around but couldn’t find the shark, but saw lots of other great things under water. Probably one of the cooler places we had snorkelled.
We made it up to the parking lot to get to the trailer, washed off in the shower on the outside of the camper, and headed off to dinner at the pub. This wasn’t any ordinary pub, it had a grassy backyard with a playground, fooz ball, and a big connect four game!
Sufficiently tired from all of the day’s activities, we headed back to the campground for a good nights sleep before we worked our way back to Perth via Busselton.