It has been an interesting day in Margaret River, with visits below the ground and above the ground.
Our visit below the ground was the time that we spent at Jewel Cave, down the road towards the little town of Augusta. This cave is the largest of a number of caves in this predominanlty limestone area. Once underground, you follow a series of walkways along stairs to a number of platforms where you can see many examples of stalagmites, stalactites and other sorts of ‘mites’ throughout the cave area. There are some quite grand formations but compared to other caves that we have seen around the world, I thought that they could have dome with some more creative lighting to show the formations at their best.
Above the ground, we found some elevation at the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. This lighthouse is at the point where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean. Obviously there is no line jutting out into the sea to define the two, but if you squint your eyes and tun your head on the side, it’s possible to believe that the sea in one direction looks different to the sea in the other.
The lighthouse was opened in 1895 and originally comprised quite a little settlement with four cottages for the lighthouse keepers, a weather station, radio room and other assorted maintenance buildings. It so now automated and the local tourism authority provides access and runs a little cafe. Of all the lighthouses around the country, this one is only one of a few that are over 24 metres in height.
Near the lighthouse, is an old waterwheel that is now calcified and immortalised in its rocky and encrusted skin. It was originally fed by a flume and it pumped fresh water to to the lighthouse keepers cottages. Apparently, it pumped about 1 litre on every pump stroke. It now seems to be one of the most photographed objects in Western Australia.
The Karri forest in this area (another variety of Eucalypt) is a tall and open forest. There are many large trees and we expect to see much larger ones as we reach the little town of Pemberton a little way down the road.