Deciding to spend our final week in Perth and vicinity was an excellent choice.
We arrived in Perth at lunchtime and were met by one of my teenage day friends and her husband, Carol and Chris, who live in Bunbury, 200kms south of Perth. They have a daughter who lives in Perth in whose home we spent our first night. The following morning we travelled to Bunbury via a scenic route.
Our first stop was the Serpentine Dam so we turned off the State Highway and drove down the road as indicated to get to the Dam. We passed through a fascinating little town in which the buildings were all vintage and shortly thereafter I saw a sign indicating to turn right to Serpentine Dam. We drove past this and I kept quiet assuming that there was another road that Chris planned to take. After another 10kms or so we came to a T-Junction. Both Chris and Carol expressed surprise as they realised we had missed the turn-off so I mentioned the sign that I had seen. No one else had seen it!
The bridge across the Serpentine Dam
Serpentine Dam wall
We drove back and this time took the correct turn-off and soon arrived at the dam. One could not refer to it as spectacular but it was worth the short stop which included a coffee at the small café. As we drank our coffee on the café balcony we enjoyed having Lorikeets flying freely around eating tit-bits off the feeding tables that were hanging in the area. Near the dam was a mosaic in the form of a serpent plus other interesting mosaics.
Lorikeets at a feeding tray
Mosaic in form of a serpent
Information on Aboriginal mosaid designs
We continued down the road which formed the T-Junction which was undergoing some repairs along the way. This was a circuit road which brought us back to the State Highway which followed to the town of Pinjarra, a small town and not far from its centre was a park with a suspension bridge over the Murray River. It was built by the army and opened in 1985 and it has some lovely mosaics depicting life of the aboriginals. The park in which the bridge is located is a beautiful spot for picnics or just a quiet place to sit and relax.
Chris and Vicky on the suspension bridge
Information on the bridge
Our 3rd and final stop was Harvey, about 170kms from Perth. Here we first visited the Tourist Visitors’ Centre where we met 2 very nice young women, one of whom was originally from South Africa. The other lady was also not a local but I can’t remember from where she had come. It was interesting that both persons working at the Tourist Centre were not locals. The Centre itself was beautifully set up and there was a large variety of items including books, local preserved foods, ornaments and trinkets of Harvey as well as plants. Outside the Centre there was a fun sign where one can stand behind and place your face at the level of a cow’s head.
Harvey Tourist Centre
The sign with cows
While Carol and I perused the Centre, Trevor and Chris walked up to the Internment Camp Memorial Shrine. When war broke out in 1939 with Italy supporting Germany all Italians in the area were put into an internment camp as happened all over Australia and Commonwealth countries with both Germans and Italians. This camp in Harvey was for Italians and was known at Internment Camp #11. One of the POWs had built a small altar for the Roman Catholic Interns and this is now the Shrine within the Memorial.
The POW Internment Memorial
We enjoyed a lovely lunch at Stirling Cottage set in beautiful gardens beside the Harvey River. The original cottage was built in the mid-19th Century by convicts for Governor Stirling, the first Governor of Western Australia. A modern replica was built in 1994. After lunch we walked around the gardens which were really beautiful with a large variety of plants, a small bridge and a gazebo.
In Stirling Cottage gardens
Bridge over Harvey River in the gardens
From there we drove around to the Harvey Dam parking near the dam wall. Although one can walk the full length of the very impressive wall we didn’t as it would have taken a very long time and by now it was mid-afternoon. There was a very nice picnic and play area on one side and then we followed the path down to the Open Air Amphitheatre which was a beautiful structure. For the first time, but it would not be the last, we saw a Skink, a type of lizard. Unfortunately it was impossible to photograph as it slid away very quickly. Now that I have Googled these animals I learn that are to be found everywhere but I had never heard of one in South Africa. Below the dam wall is a Gibbs Pool to honour May Gibbs, author and resident of Stirling Cottage.
We arrived in Bunbury late afternoon, after stopping to do a bit of grocery shopping, and enjoyed a delicious dinner and some hours catching up on family news.