Great Southern Revisited

On the road to Quinninup.

Well, it has been some time since I had travelled to my favourite haunt near Quinninup, a town located between Pemberton and Walpole. When I arrived there were a few surprises. I guess I should have known things wouldn’t be quite the same…

…or be too surprised of changes in a strange year like the one we are having in 2020.

Sadly the first thing I found was that the good old Australian weatherboard pub has gone, burnt to the ground in a bush fire. Luckily no-one was hurt.

The old and the new!

The new pub is great (and the people are still the same), but I did miss the atmosphere the old country pub had.

After the four hour drive down from Perth, I was looking forward to some of my favourite walks in the forest. Along the way, I was disturbed to find some of my favourite areas of the forest were now fenced off with constant warning signs: Private Land – No trespassing.

And I was disturbed to discover some land cleared of trees for farming. The rumour about this is as follows; as the land dries out, farmers are having to move further south in a bid to find more reliable rainfall. Is this true? The sad thing is that it can only be a temporary fix. Eventually, as more forests are cleared, then inevitably climate change will dry out this land too. Won’t it?

But as I walked on, my optimism returned when I passed through a tranquil country scene on an established farm. At that moment I realised that farmers, like the rest of us, have to make a living to make ends meet – how else can they supply and feed the country. In addition, farms and the forest can be integrated and the land looked after. I hope that happens. Perhaps we can help and stop buying discounted food from the supermarkets _easier said than done! Maybe we need an understanding between consumers, markets and farmers that together we can save our planet. Anyway, I argued all these things with myself; that is the beauty of walking in the forest – your mind can toss these thoughts around as you stroll along! BUT, I was happy again.

Later on, I came across a section of the Warren Blackwood Stock Route, part of a trail that meandered through the Karri forests.

The colours of the forest provided evidence that winter was over and now it was spring!

How lucky are we to live in such a beautiful state!

Happy, refreshed and energised by the clear air of the forests, I was ready to get back into my writing (my new occupation!). One novel published, another being reviewed and my third is on its way! Natural environments have a way of clearing the mind and freeing the creative spirit! Try it out :-).

Rottnest Island

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!


Rottnest Island

19 Kms across the sea from Fremantle, Western Australia.

Rottnest Ferry services are available from Perth and Fremantle.

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 a place of natural attractions and healthy activities.


Rottnest is the home to the quokka, a quokkasmall 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. 019e435f9a6c1fbd7ea637179c88dd39b636d5013f

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.

 Highly recommended!


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Ridgeback Trail

Rating:  500 Frequent Bio Points

IMG_0401Ridgeback Trial

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

Quinninup-3Walking 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.