Feb 19 – An Even Busier Day after the Busy Sightseeing Day in Dunsborough Area
PART 1: LEEUWIN ESTATE AND CAPE LEEUWIN
If Feb 18 was a busy sightseeing day for us, and it was, the next day was even busier. Because we traveled greater distances and saw some true wonders of the world. Like the clash of two giant oceans at Cape Leeuwin, or the majesty of the Jewel Cave, or the serenity of the giant Karri (tree) forest.
After all that, the Moses Rock, another famous surfing spot on the Indian Ocean side of Caves Road, seemed almost like an afterthought. 🙂
Originally, we were going to go to Walpole on the southern coast of Western Australia for a 270-foot treetop walk on giant trees (top left). Alas, a bush fire raging between Pemberton and Walpole nixed that plan.
So we shifted gears and decided to go to Cape Leeuwin instead, the southwestern-most tip of Australia (above right). Afterward, we came back home to Dunsborough via Caves Road which offers a plethora of additional adventures.
VISITING LEEUWIN ESTATE CONCERT STAGE
Our first stop was the Leeuwin Estate winery, south of Margaret River. Actually, it is a lot more than (just) a winery. The estate has become famous more for its concerts than its wines.
The winery first opened in 1978 and has been staging sold out concerts on its magnificent lawn for more than 30 years now.
Check out this amazing natural stage setting, with huge Karri trees as backdrop. The concert picture is a photo of a photo at the entrance to the winery (below).
The Leeuwin Estate interior is also charming. Take a look at these lovely wooden benches and tables.
And then on the way out, as sort of a special treat, I noticed this amazing cloud sailing over the concert stage (touched up for emphasis below).
“Very appropriate,” I said to Elizabeth, “considering that our next stop will be Cape Leeuwin,.”
It is at this windy cape where many a sailing ship found its final resting place due to the turbulence of the two giant oceans clashing.
BATTLE OF TWO OCEANS AT CAPE LEEUWIN
Where Southern and Indian Oceans Clash at Southwestern-most Tip of Australia
As frequent visitors to the South Point of the Big Island – the southernmost point of the United States – Elizabeth and I are quite familiar with both the beauty and ferocity of capes. But this was the first time she had a chance to be at a place of such tremendous energy where two giant oceans battle each other in relentless alternating waves crashing against the cape’s rocks.
“Wow, this is amazing,” Elizabeth exclaimed while watching the waves’ struggle through a telescopic sense. “First comes one, then the other from a different direction.”
The Southern ocean’s waves were crashing from the southwest to the northeast, the Indian ocean’s from the opposite direction. It’s a never ending battle with no winners and one loser – the rocks. They have been carved and re-carved at this magical spot for between 600 million and 1.5 billion years.
Interestingly, the brass/copper point that marks the actual Cape Leeuwin spot (above) points to Montevideo, Uruguay at the next point of land of similar latitude to the west. But actually that’s not true. The next closest land is another cape – Cape Town, South Africa. So I added these two maps with their respective distances (above right).
Here are also photos of some other informative plaques we found at Cape Leeuwin. Elizabeth was fascinated watching through a telescope the battle of the Southern and Indian ocean waves. They alternated rhythmically from the southeast and southwest like some never ending concert.
The parking lot at Cape Leeuwin also provided a bit of levity to lighten the high energy we could feel at this powerful place. Here are two examples of Aussie humor we saw as we walked toward the lighthouse…
Oh, a fair warning: Ladies, do not wear loose skirts on capes! Unless, of course, you want to have your up-skirt shots taken by strangers. Like me. 🙂
[TO BE CONTINUED… JEWEL CAVE NEXT]