In Greek mythology, sirens were dangerous creatures who lured sailors with music and songs. The pelicans of Denmark are a bit like that. They are enchanting – though they can be aggressive if you get in their face! A good zoom lens is recommended!
I’m talking about Denmark, Western Australia. Not Denmark,Scandanavia, where I understand sightings of pelicans in the wild are rare.
In WA’s Denmark, there is a colony of pelicans that draw you into the landscape and beckon you to stay! Which is why, when I set off from our short holiday in Albany to head home, we ended up on an impromptu overnight stay in Denmark – yes, another of those spur of the moment travel decisions I mentioned in Part 1 of this Road Trip blog (published on April 8).
We were only 40 minutes into our homewards journey, when we pulled over at the Wilson Inlet estuary in the tiny town of Denmark. Supposedly, a five minute stop for me to take photos.
But how could you leave! It was a fabulous autumn day, and the view was beautiful – a big flock of those alluring pelicans included!
We decided one more night away from home wouldn’t hurt, but finding accommodation was not an easy feat to accomplish given that it was a Friday, and Denmark is hot property for travellers – particularly on weekends. I pulled out my iPad, and began trawling for accommodation. Nothing! Booked out!
We were parked outside a caravan park where the Denmark River meets Wilson Inlet, and according to the net, that too was full.
But my impulsiveness runs neck to neck with my ‘never give up’ spirit. I suggested M.J. go into the caravan office and ask, while I continued to look on the net. “You never know. They might have a cancellation that isn’t showing up on their website.”
Our luck was in. A self contained studio, complete with a verandah that looked out onto the river was ours for the night!
We had a few hours to spare before check-in, so we headed off on a bushwalk under tall timbers along the nearby Harewood Forest trail. This area was logged of all substantial trees in the late 1800’s and what you walk through today is regrowth Karri forrest. Old growth Karri trees can reach up to 300 feet ( 90 metres ) and be 300 years old.
It’s a beautiful hardwood, used extensively in the building, furniture and woodcraft industries. Apparently, some of Sydney’s main streets were paved with blocks of Karri in its early days. Gold in timber terms!
For decades, there’s been a campaign to end native logging in Western Australia. And in September last year, finally victory. The State Government announced logging in old growth native forests would end by 2024 to preserve them for future generations. As one activist said “The tragedy is that it’s taken so long.”
The regrowth forests may not be as magnificent as old growth, but it was still a pleasure to wander along the trail at Harewood, white breasted robins and white browed (spotted) scrub wrens watching us from the surrounding bush, and flitting ahead and around us on the track in a tease. Moving so fast that I could rarely land a focused shot!
Sunset at the Denmark estuary was magnificent, surpassed only by sunrise the next morning. Stunning reflections in the 60 kilometre Denmark River.
And those pelicans – I think they must be narcissists. They are real posers. I love them.
We reluctantly took our leave of Denmark. But there was one more stop, just 15 kilometres along the road. Greens Pool. At 9am, there were already swimmers in the lagoon on this beautiful autumn day!
Greens Pool is surely one of the most magnificent places along the Western Australian coastline! Famous for its turquoise waters sheltered by huge granite rocks from the Southern Ocean and and lined with pristine find white sand beaches. School children learn to swim in the lagoon every summer.
I’ve seen some of Europe’s famous beaches, and they are not a patch on this place. Not a deck chair in sight! And no trouble ‘social distancing’!
It’s part of the William Bay National Park. There are toilets and change rooms, and plenty of parking. There are also lots of steps to get down to the beach. For those who can’t negotiate stairs, there is a good lookout along the coast from the main car park.
You cannot stay here overnight though. Which is just as well, as our trip home might have been further delayed!
IN DENMARK, WE STAYED AT THE RIVERMOUTH CARAVAN PARK – good camping, caravan and ensuite accommodation available. It’s expensive, but location, location, location!
COMING UP NEXT MONTH – I’LL TAKE YOU TO THE BREATHTAKING BAY OF FIRES IN TASMANIA!
See more of my photos on Instagram:
It would be a fantastic twist if it ever turned out that sirens were historically inspired by pelicans, instead of seals/sea lions (kind of wish they had been).
Stunning photos of nature as always. The sunset, the water – wow!
Thanks .. sunset and sunrise were both amazing on that visit. It’s always a special place to enjoy.
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