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Our first outing - still based at Dongara

Day 2

sunny 25 °C
View Sam Smart in World War II & Back to Oz on SteveJD's travel map.

Before leaving Perth we had been told, and had read, that Coalseam Conservation Park was a likely spot for wildflowers as well as being of scenic interest so, after a good night's rest at the Old Mill Motel, we set off, driving through attractive open farming country. We stopped at a bridge over the Lockyer River which was mainly dry but surrounded by yellow wildflowers and several pieces of old farm machinery.

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We continued along Coalseam Road and came across a flock of sheep being herded in our direction.

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Once through this obstacle we continued to where the open country became much more craggy.

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We then entered the park and headed for Fossil parking area. As we had arranged to meet our 'old' friend Davina in Geraldton, we had less time than the park deserves. The, almost dry, Irwin River flows through the park which was the site of the first mined coal in Western Australia and still seams of coal can be seen along with sandstones and other formations in the cliffs.

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At this time, at Fossil, there were no 'carpets' of wildflowers but there were many patches of yellow everlastings among the trees and just a few white and pink everlastings beginning to show, as well as scatterings of other wildflowers some of which we have yet to identify.

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The river was low enough for walking along the sand bed to explore the area. We didn't go as far as other visitors due to the lack of time and also my (Steve's) limited walking capability over uneven ground - good exercise though! Near the car park we spotted a couple of mulga parrots, new birds for us. We drove back and took a side road to the Lookout on the top of the cliffs for great panoramic views over the park.

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We left Coalseam and, in case our third character is forgotten, Jetset accompanies us everywhere we go, on this occasion as we are leaving Coalseam Conservation Park.

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We headed towards Geraldton stopping at Depot Hill Reserve for a quick light picnic lunch. This turned out to be another place deserving of more time. Judith spotted a lizard which obligingly posed for a series of photographs. Lunch was then interrupted by the arrival of a red-capped robin quickly followed by a small group of blue wrens. There were paths around the reserve and there were probably many wildflowers to be found but Geraldton called.

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We found Skeetas and found Davina waiting for us. We enjoyed several hours chatting over coffees and cakes, with very patient staff.

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After leaving Davina to pick up her niece, we made our way to the stunning memorial to the HMAS Sydney which was sunk with all hands in a battle with the German raider, Kormoran, which was also sunk in the same engagement. The dome on the Sanctuary has one gull for every person lost on the Sydney - 645 in all. Other than the Sanctuary, other components of the memorial are the statue of the Waiting Woman grieving for her lost son/s or husband; the Stele a stainless steel representation of the prow of the HMAS Sydney, linking with the steel birds on the dome; the Sanctuary itself, the domed structure; the Podium, the circular floor of the Sanctuary "..constructed of W.A. Granite and incorporates representative graphic images, based upon on the Ship's prow and the Silver Gull motif. Central to this is the ship's propeller, serving as a ceremonial wreath-laying altar. Above, hangs an Eternal Flame, manifestation of the soul and eternal life, lit from the War Memorial in King's Park, Perth." and the Wall of Remembrance, a semi-circular granite wall, engraved with the names of all 645 men lost.

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We decided that it was worth staying another day in order to revisit Coalseam and to get out to Pindar to see the unusual and rare wreath flowers. The Old Mill Motel was booked out so we opted for a long day 3, heading out to Coalseam and Pindar and then heading down to Cervantes for an overnight stay.

Posted by SteveJD 03:47 Archived in Australia

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Comments

Wow such an interesting and beautiful trip. The photos are just out of this world. How is the hip doing Steve.

by Lorraine Wilson

Hi Judith and Steve, I have at last managed to get my lazy behind in gear and log onto your blog. Lovely photos and Steve is a natural narrator. Life is much the same at Nuffield, Judith, but we really miss you xx

by Liz Baker

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