We have been able to get away and have some time down in our favourite holiday destination! Kinjarling- Albany is about 350km south of Perth, a place of fabulous views, white beaches, unique flora and fauna and great cafes and restaurants. Sadly we missed out opportunity to see the whales make their visit this year, but there may be a more kind opportunity next year. Kinjarling is the Minang Noongar word for a 'place of plenty'. Recently the local council adopted a dual naming policy -indigenous place names and English names will be seen together on all signage.
This beautiful land in the Great Southern region of Western Australia Always Was, Always Will Be Aboriginal Land. The custodians of the land for more than 50000 years are the Minang Nyoongar people. I pay my respects to their elders and their strength.
I think we have been visiting Kinjarling - Albany for something like 44 years! It was the place my DH took me on our first adventure together -which included meeting his parents, who lived there for a number of years. When we lived in Melbourne for 13 years we came home and visited them as often as we could. We have memories of taking our tiny children to the parks and watching them chase the seagulls while crawling in their little bodysuits. Later when DS was a teenager with a driving license he drove us to visit the wineries, while staying sober himself!
We had a lovely place to stay with views over Princess Royal Harbour. Sometimes it was enough to just stay there, watching the clouds and the boats and the waves.
Kinjarling-Albany is notorious for its weather. As it is on the south coast of Western Australia, it is often brushed by low pressure systems coming in from the Great Southern Ocean. In summer people from Perth go south to avoid our heat. They are often rewarded with drizzly days and cold temperatures. We were lucky this time -four days of sunshine!
DD wanted to see the trees of the Tingle and Karri forest - a unique and tiny geographical area where the giant trees are found. They grow just outside of Walpole (about an hour's drive from Albany) and we are so lucky that the forest remnant is still there, given the pressure of agriculture and climate change. The trees are big and old -they have the largest girth of any eucalypt in the world. Some of them have hollowed out bases -due to fire and other events -but continue to grow. One of these is easily big enough to park a car inside. We had bought some food from the Denmark bakery -a local award winning business -and found a coffee van in the car park of the Tree Top Walk. Once we had our picnic we had a walk through the forest, admiring the trees and flowers.
The coastline is a particular feature of this part of our beautiful state. On the edge of the town of Kinjarling-Albany is a national park called Torndirrup, where the Wagyl Kaip people are the traditional custodians. It is a fairly narrow strip of land which has ocean views and views to Frenchman Bay and Princess Royal Harbour. The coast is rocky and the seas notoriously rough and unpredictable. The white sand means that the shallow water near the coast is an astonishing opal or tourmaline colour. This place is hard to photograph simply because the landscape is so big and so beautiful -where do you point your camera? And even then, you can't quite get the impression in a photograph of walking down a bush track and suddenly being on the edge of the hill, with the ocean laid out before you.
We only stayed for four days, but we all feel so much better for having refreshed our memories of this lovely place, during NAIDOC week. To read more about NAIDOC week click here