What’s better than long country drives, blue beaches for miles, irresistible views, and lazy days reading books by the sea?
To be honest, not much…. except doing it with a great friend!
And that’s exactly what I did.
Last week, Arianne and I were determined to soak in the last few days of our summer holidays. We bundled ourselves up into the car one afternoon, coffee cups at hand, beach umbrella in the boot and a couple of Akubra hats lying in the back seat, and hit the road for a 5 hour road trip down to the glorious south west of the country. We talked for a couple of hours, blasted music for the rest of it, and broke the drive by a few service station stops, where we bought really bad coffee. It was fantastic!
We arrived in Denmark well after dark, greedily ate some soup, before tucking ourselves into bed rather early.
In the morning we met this incredible view and, with coffee in had, soaked up the outdoors right from our deck.
The sun shone beautifully through the canopy of trees, birds were singing and flying about the place, and the air was crisp and cool, just making you want to wrap your hands around your coffee mug that bit tighter.
Ready for a day of adventure, we made our way to the Bibbulman Track, just off Lights Road (find it here), where we parked our car and went for a leisurely hike uphill to see the views from Monkey Rock.
At the top, we held onto a rope and pulled ourselves up and then climbed some more to the top.
From there the views were amazing.
You can see for kilometres, across William Bay National Park, Green’s Pool and the wider coast line. Truly beautiful!
(NB: It’s under a kilometre walk from the car park to Monkey Rock, so very accessible to everyone. The hardest part is the rope climb, which I’d avoid on a rainy day, as I’m sure the rock would be quite slippery. You must climb the rock to see the views though, it’s not worth it otherwise, so just keep that in mind.)
Back at the car, we headed west along the south coast, our hearts set on forests.
And making friends with the locals along the way.
We arrived at the Valley of the Giants – famous for the ancient forest of tingle trees.
Grabbing some coffees to go, we followed the famous suspended walk among the canopy.
Up and up you go – certainly not recommended for those scared of heights. At the highest point, you are 40 metres above the ground.
You really don’t want to drop your coffee cup down there, that’s for sure.
Down from the treetops, there’s a walk through the tingle forest. There you see how large some tree trunks truly are. We swear we found Grandmother Willow from Pocahontas there, believe me.
After this beautiful forest, the sea was calling. We had a list of beaches on our ‘to-do’ list while down south, and Peaceful Bay was not far away
We bought a big tub of hot chips and set ourselves on the sand, for a seriously good view.
Let me just say, Peaceful Bay doesn’t get it’s name for no reason.
We ate our chips, with the seagulls begging us for a taste, and then went for a walk.
The water was cold, but gloriously aqua blue – my favourite colour.
Ari soon jumped in for a swim, and after a long while of coaxing, I followed suit.
Soaking wet and with no towels, we were so lucky we had a change of clothes in the car.
On the 30 minute drive back to Denmark, we stopped by a delightful pottery studio, where Ari bought a lovely hand-made souvenir for herself. Then we naturally needed more food, so ‘ducked’ into Ducketts Mill Winery. It’s not just a winery though, but an amazing cheese farmhouse, which I’ve been a fan of for years.
We ordered up the platter for two, and like usual it didn’t disappoint.
Bursting with cheese, cold cuts, fruit, olives, chutney, pate, gluten free crackers (on request), and more cheese, we were more than thoroughly full by the end of it. It’s a platter that’s very good value for money, compared to others around, but which also doesn’t compromise on quality either. You have to try it!
We spent the rest of the day back at the house on the ‘marinating’ deck, drinking bubbly, reading and soaking in the last golden light from between the trees.
Day 2 started with coffee from the cute Ravens Coffee, a lovely red brick building on the main street in town. We decided to nab a spot in the morning sun, and turned a few pages of our books.
After a little walk around town, it was time to hit the beach.
Today’s sandy destination was Cosy Corner – halfway between Denmark and Albany to the east.
A beautiful part of the coast, once again almost left all to ourselves, and dotted with rocks and an island off the edge of the bay.
We set up our umbrella and towels, Ari pulled out her book, and we were left to soak in the sun, the view and the cool breeze all to ourselves.
I took a walk along the coast and grabbed a few photos, passing just a handful of people as I went.
Back with Ari, I ate our packed picnic of juicy peaches and gluten free muesli bars (gourmet, I know!), before it was time to brace ourselves and plunge into the eternally cold Southern Ocean.
We waded out to the small rock island nearby, crested with an uncountable amount of gulls. There, we very ungraciously climbed up and found a rock pool, where the water was warmed by the sun and felt as toasty as a spa. I sat in it like an oversized child in a bath tub, while Ari looked on, eyebrows raised and questioning why she was friends with me.
It was lovely seeing the coast from further out, and to conquer places it feels not many had. I’m sure thousands upon thousands have, but the little population we saw, made it seem we were a special few. That’s the beauty of the great south land, and really Australia in general. There’s so much to see and yet it’s left spread out far and wide, for those who are keen to find it.
We headed back to Denmark for a wander through the shops, before buying some more bubbly and cheese, and heading home to the marinating deck.
As sunset approached, we wanted to see it from one of the most iconic beaches of the South West – Green’s Pool. We had some beautiful quiet time to ourselves, climbing rocks, and enjoying a brilliant golden sun, dropping in the sky. The setting light highlighted the copious amounts of sea-spray, bored up by the wind and taken from the turbulent ocean water below.
We finished off with a giant pub meal from the Denmark Tavern, before we were home to books and bed, keen for another adventure in the morning.
Day 3 saw us hitting Green’s Pool again – nice and early to beat the crowds.
Truly one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the rocks off shore break any choppy seas out further, leaving the little inlet constantly peaceful and perfectly clear.
We grabbed our snorkels and jumped in.
(Very attractive, I know.)
While there isn’t much to spot underwater, it’s spectacular to see the depths you swim in and just how clear the water is. You meet fish on your travels, and see the rocks down below, which always helps to climb unto them.
I can’t say we ever quite warmed up in the water, so once we had explored the deep blue, we walked along the sand.
Now, just a short walk away, you’ll find Elephant Rocks, yet another glorious beach spot.
Arianne’s Akubra – Byron Bay
Elephant Rocks is known for it’s bulbous rock formation coming out of the water. Clear and even deeper water than Green’s Pool, it turned out to be a great place to snorkel.
If you take the low path, you have a wonderful entrance into the little cove, where you’ll lift your towel and get your feet wet.
We jumped in the water, snorkeling around the rocks, before warming up in the sun like the geckos we are.
Sadly we had to leave – a drive ahead of us and a lunch date with our friend Anna at noon. Blasting some music, windows down and with salty wet hair, we hit the road to Albany.
Albany is a lovely old laid-back town, and is the oldest settlement in Western Australia.
The place is very neat and you can tell they are proud of their heritage, spotting the colonial buildings everywhere.
In the afternoon, we had a look around the beautiful replica ship of the Amity – the real one being wrecked off the coast of Tasmania in 1845.
Sadly it was closed for restoration work, so we looked around the outside instead.
As much as we wanted to stay in town for dinner, Ari and I thought we should leave before dark to spot kangaroos on the road to Denmark better.
On the way home, we were blessed with a sunset crowning the long road and finishing off our last evening in Denmark beautifully.
Sadly we said goodbye to Denmark the next morning. We popped into Margaret River for lunch on the way home and were back in Perth by the late afternoon. We had an incredible time down south and made some beautiful memories I will cherish for a long while yet.
So grab yourself a friend who loves a good adventure, pack the car, hit the road and live a little!