This is amazing. Listen carefully and watch the magpie’s throat – he barks like a dog and later says good morning. With thanks to my sister Jane for capturing this on her smart phone – taken at Smiths Beach, near Yalingup, Western Australia, brilliant!
Cervantes, a small fishing town.
Rating: 500 Frequent Bio Points
1000 points if you walk though any of the natural habitats!
Cervantes is a small fishing town, an easy two and half hour drive up from Perth along the Indian Ocean Drive. The town was named after a ship-wreck. The ship was named after Cervantes the author of Don Quixote.
The town has white sandy beaches perfect for fishing or swimming and for enjoying tasty and fresh seafood (Cervantes is famous for it’s Lobster Industry).
Cervantes is an excellent place for boating, camping, fishing, four wheel driving, scenic driving, snorkeling, surfing, swimming and walking. The picture below was taken from Thirsty Point where two brave windsurfers braved the elements (the beach was closed due to a whale carcass washed up on the shore – shark alert!).
This quaint little town is very close to Nambung National Park, the home to a desert area with many ancient rock pillars amid sand dunes known as the Pinnacles. You can walk or drive through this moon-like landscape (many people go at dawn or dusk or even at night-time if there is a full moon!). The area is less then 30 mins away from Cervantes by road and entrance is through a Discovery Centre (which means there is the inevitable entrance-fee attached).
The atmosphere here is eerie as the gentle breezes seem to whisper along the desert sands and through the moon-like rock forms.
Just east of town is a saline lake called Lake Thetis where you can see Stromatolites (ancient living marine fossils). The lake is one of only a few places in the world with these living fossils.
We walked to the lake via Thirsty Point and through some bush land where we came across wild kangaroos, emus and even a snake or two (always best to wear long trousers when bush walking, however snakes are very shy and usually avoid you).
Hangover Bay is not far from Cervantes and is aptly named especially if you happen to have overly feasted on seafood at the Cervantes Tavern or at the Lobster Shack. Dolphins are common here and sea lions can also be occasionally seen. We didn’t see any the day we went there but we certainly enjoyed walking along the shore and swimming in it’s tranquil waters.
Cervantes is well worth a visit and if traveling here in Spring the area around Cervantes comes alive with spectacular displays of wildflowers between July and October. The Lake Thetis stromatolites and the Nambung National Park Pinnacles are both must-see attractions.
Rating: 100 FBIO’s
You can find the entrance to Subiaco Common on Mere View Way in the suburb of Subiaco.
My mother lives near the common. It is a beautiful place to talk a stroll.
Mum has late onset Parkinson’s disease and apart from finding it difficult to walk she also has difficulty projecting her voice. Sometimes I find it difficult to hear her talk and have to lean over close to hear what she is trying to say. Recently she has commenced speech therapy to try and improve her voice.
On this occasion she decided to practice some vocal exercises while we were walking through the park. As we walked along she would suddenly (and surprisingly) project some loud ‘Aaahh!’ sounds; often in various pitches and often to the amusement and/or puzzlement to some of the other walkers in the park!
As we walked passed a pond I suddenly heard an echo to one of mum’s vocalisations. We stopped and I asked mum to say ‘Aaahh!’ again and again there was an immediate echo!
To our amazement the echo was a frog! Mum seemed to pitch the sound just at the right frequency to trigger a response from it. We found this very amusing, every time mum said ‘Aaaah’ the frog would immediately respond to her. But if we just talked, the frog would remain silent! I took out my phone and recorded it.
The common is a wonderful space to take time out if you live or work near here. It is in a lovely setting of trees, flowers, lakes and waterways and there is also a BBQ area, a children’s playground and even an open ground for exercising the dogs or kicking a footy.
Mum and I had a fun day there and the frogs added much to our enjoyment of this enchanting environment.
Rating: 300 Frequent Bio Points
Perry Lakes consists of two lakes ( East Lake and West Lake) within a 80–hectare reserve.
Easy 1 -2 hour walking, BBQs, toilets, children’s playground, outdoor Gymn, shaded areas.
Floreat Park, WA
Perry Lakes is situated near Bold Park, between the city of Perth and the Indian Ocean. You can walk, ride your bike, try out the outdoor exercise equipment, enjoy a picnic, exercise your dog or just enjoy the ambience of being in a nature reserve.
This year both lakes are full of water. Something I haven’t seen for many a year. As far as rain goes, this has been a good winter but unfortunately hasn’t been a regular weather pattern in recent years.
Walkways can take you through around the lakes and sometimes through some very beautiful environments
As you walk around the lakes you will come across a variety of wetland birds including ducks, ebrets and white-necked heron.
Perth has some fabulous nature reserves and this is one of them. Very family friendly!
Please do not feed the wildlife and if driving into the park be careful of turtles crossing the road (and if walking during springtime – be aware of the occasional magpie swoop).
Sanctuary by the Sea
Rating: 500 Frequent Bio Points
A Class Reserve
Walking Distance: 1 up to 9 km Various circuits
Easy 1 -2 hour walk depending on trail/s taken
The entrance to Bold Park is near Perry Lakes in the suburb of City Beach.
Bold Park beautifully situated between the city of Perth and the Indian Ocean. All trails are for walkers only, no bicycles allowed but you could ride to Perry Lakes and park your bike there.
Today I took the Tuart Walk as well as parts of the Zamia and Banksia Trails.
A couple of cockatoos kept an eye of me as I made my way up to the entrance to the park.
This was a beautiful walk on a tranquil, warm spring day. I would occasionally come across one or two walkers but for the most part the trails were very quiet.
At times it was easy to imagine that I was well away in the countryside.
However stunning views of the city occasionally reminded me that I was less than 10 kms from centre of Perth.
Further on up the Zamia trail I caught glimpses of the Indian Ocean. It was astonishing to realise that some beautiful Perth beaches were only about a kilometer away.
Along the way the trails were flanked by beautiful flowers.
Many people go to Kings Park. It is truly magnificent. But don’t neglect Bold Park. It is a great place to take a relaxing stroll, absorb the natural surroundings and replenish your sense of well-being! Highly recommended!!
Rating: 2000 Frequent Bio Points*
The Bibbulmun Track is world famous. It is a long distance walk trail (one of the longest in the world), stretching 1000km from the Perth Hills all the way down to Albany on the south coast.
The track winds through the scenic South West of Western Australia.
For the more seasoned and adventurous walkers there are shelters along the trail for overnight camping.
For the more casual walker (who may prefer to stroll for an hour or two in scenic surroundings) the track is easily accessible in many places along the way.
The track starts in the Darling Ranges and finishes at Albany on the south coast.
It passes through many towns such as Dwellingup, Collie, Balingup, Donnelly River, Pemberton, Northcliffe, Walpole and Denmark.
I spent a week or two exploring different sections of the trail starting at the picturesque Donnelly River and finishing up just past Walpole on the southern coast.
The Karri forests past Walpole were particularly pristine!
Along the way I captured many different sounds of the forests.
I put these sounds together to create a Soundscape depicting a day in the forest from dawn to dusk. It is called Bibbulmun Cathedral and attempts to capture the spirit of the forest.
The bush walk is ever changing and at times breath taking, for example when you reach cliff-tops above the Southern Ocean.
This magnificent trail winds its way through diverse areas of natural and wild beauty; from jarrah forests to the giant karri and tingle trees.
You will come across a variety of flowers and trees, low-lying scrub heath lands, lakes and rivers. There are very many mammals, reptiles and birds that thrive in these areas.
Even just an hour or two on this track will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Highly Recommended!
Magpie, cockatoos and surfSmiths Beach, Yalingup
Rating: 300 Frequent Bio Points*
Yalingup is a coastal surfing town located in the south west coast of Western Australia.
Wadjemup – Land across the water where the spirits go.
Rating: 1,000 Frequent Bio Points
Plus 500 Bonus Frequent Bio Points every time you walk or ride to a bay away from the settlement!
19 Kms across the sea from Fremantle, Western Australia.
Rottnest Island is an A Class Nature Reserve preserving flora, marine and wildlife.
Cars are not permitted on the Island and bicycles or walking are the main means of transport.
Rottnest is the home to the quokka, a small marsupial with a pouch similar to Kangaroos and Wallabies. In 1696 de Vlamingh thought that quokkas were “a kind of rat as big as a common cat” and he named the Island ‘Rotte nest’ (meaning ‘rat’s nest’).
The traditional and Indigenous name for Rottnest is Wadgemup.
After colonization Rottnest was used for a time as a prison for convicted Aboriginals. These convictions were often only for very petty crimes. The conditions on the Island have been quoted as being horrific; ‘squalid, cramped, dank and dark’. This was a shameful period in the recent history of the Island. A memorial centre is to be built and at least some proper respect will be paid to those who lost their lives there.
There are many walks on the Island including guided walks and bird watching walks
The Island is surrounded by beautiful and often secluded bays.
The waters around Rottnest as crystal clear and perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
October and November are best times to see the many humpback whales heading past Rottnest towards the Southern Ocean.
Accommodation is basic but clean. It is a safe place for children and families.There are facilities for disabled and elderly visitors. This has become a place for all people to enjoy.
Developers want to get their hands on the Island and build 5 star hotels and resorts.
Locals do not want the Island to become a place just for the wealthy.
My mother has Parkinson’s disease.
We have just spent a lovely week at Rottnest.
We were well looked after on the ferries and on the Island.
Mum says she felt so much better after having spent a week in such a healthy environment.
Her appetite was good, she slept well, and there was an obvious improvement in her health each day and throughout our stay.
Rottnest is a pristine environment and a natural wonderland.
Rating: 500 Frequent Bio Points
Distance: 5 km circuit
Moderate 1 -2 hour walk
The entrance to the Ridgeback trail is on the Telephone Road about 1.5 km north of Quinninup.
Finding the trail
Walking north of Quinninup, go past Karri Lake on the right and the new forest re-plantations on the left. After a turn in the bend at the top of the road you will eventually find a small sign post indicating a forest track called Telephone Road.
This is near the entrance to the Ridgeback trail.
This trail is much underused. In fact the original sign for the trail was lying flat on the ground and was therefore hard to find.
The trail itself is largely overgrown and the signage can be hard to follow at times. If you are persistent you will come across some beautiful and tranquil forest scenes. There is a feeling of remoteness in places.
I love this walk.
This was a particularly good wet winter. We need more of these!
And the frogs were happy.
Along Telephone road near the Bark road turn off the frogs seemed to be in conversation with each other.
They are amusing to listen to if you have the time.
Rating: 500 Frequent Bio Points
Distance: 5 km circuit
Easy 1 -2 hour walk
The entrance to the Orchid Trail is off Karri Lane 1.5 kms East of Quinninup.
On my way to Karri Lane I came across a clan of magpies living near the town’s park on the edge of the forest. Sitting down at one of the picnic tables I turned my sound recorder up high to try and capture the magpies caroling in the trees tops. To my surprise a curious magpie* flew down, hopped up onto the table and started to talk into the microphone. It blew the recording meter right off the scale! Luckily I managed to save most of the recording. You can hear him from about 0.48 (volume has been reduced).
The orchid walk is a delightful walk and well marked.
The entrance is off Karri Lane and across a small footbridge. It is not long before you will enjoy some beautiful forest scenery.
Taking this trail in mid-winter we unfortunately didn’t spot any orchids.
Spring would be the best time for wildflowers and orchids.
I can imagine this walk would be most spectacular then.
In season the Orchid walk features many of the species such as the Spider, Helmet, Hammer, Snail and Bird Orchids.
In any case the forest was still impressive with varied foliage throughout the walk including banksia, hakea, grevillea, dryandra and a variety of fungi.
Overall very satisfying and not too arduous.
*Footnote: Magpies Alert; Magpies can swoop! Usually only in Springtime to protect their young.
My cousins from Cornwall loved our Australian Magpies. I did too. I couldn’t resist sampling their song to introduce a little piano piece I wrote last year.