Day 15 – Waychinicup National Park
We both had a pretty average sleep, with possums having gone down a little on the ‘loved creatures’ list! On the front of the Oztent, we have an annex which makes a secondary room. It has doors, but can easily be accessed by animals if they wanted to. We went to bed without thinking too much about what was laying around, and woke to the noise of something rummaging through our stuff. I got up, and found a possum had taken a liking to our loaf of bread. We put anything edible away in the boxes, and went back to sleep. Not more than 10 minutes later, the noise started again. This time, the possum had taken a liking to our rubbish bag, and was happily exploring it even with a bright LED light shining in its face, and a grumpy looking person staring out of the tent (me, not Sarah!).
I put the rubbish bag in the car bin, and went back to sleep. Once again, the possum was back, this time on top of our chairs, sorting through the dishes (that we had been too lazy to do!). I got up again, and took the dishes to the car, and locked them in. On the way back, I made sure to get plenty of photos of the possums, and even saw what I am pretty certain was a quokka, wandering around.
After several wake up calls, we were glad to sleep for the rest of the night, and wake to a clear morning with plenty of bird life. The birds are amazing here; lots of variety and plenty to see. They are also pretty tame! We photographed the little wrens, honey eaters, parrots and a big bird which looks like a cross between a crow and a magpie, with yellow eyes. A quick bacon and egg breakfast and we dropped the tyre pressures down, heading out to Hassal beach. This is accessed via a 4WD track 2 km out of Waychinicup road. The track meanders through the bush (with lots of washouts) and crosses the bluff creek, where it eventually ends up on the beach.
We drove along the beach for some time, until a young bloke waved us down, asking for a tow out of a sticky situation. He had tried to turn around on a tight sandy track with steep edges, and had ended up crossed up with the wheels at maximum flex, and all power going to the wheels with no traction. We attempted to fit a shackle to the front, but his recovery point wouldn’t accept it, so we got the Maxtrax out, dug a bit of sand and rocked him out. As soon as the Maxtrax had bitten he had no issues, and was out quickly.
After tying the Maxtrax back onto the roof, we continued along the beach, to Cheynes ‘settlement’. From there, you can access a 4WD track that takes you right around the point, and back onto the main road. The track took about an hour, and accessed some incredible coastline. Most of it was tight sandy sections, but there were a few rocky and washed out places that we had to be a bit careful of. We were planning on heading closer into Albany to do another 4WD track, but decided to call it quits and head back to camp.
After sausages (and the remaining untouched possum bread) we set the rods up and headed to the inlet, keen to give fishing a better go. Some Albany locals had caught 12 decent fish the day before, including skippy, bream and herring. We tried for a couple of hours with fresh squid, but only ended up with 1 measly herring. Fishing can be so frustrating at times!
Back at camp, and the animals were still having a great time. The birds were hopping around, and then the local racehorse goanna decided to join in. I sat about a meter away, taking photos for some time, until he disappeared into the bush. They are amazing animals, and despite Sarah’s fear of reptiles she came closer to take a look!
Quite a few people pulled into Waychinicup today to take a look, and a number stayed in the day use area, enjoying the inlet. It really is an awesome place, and one I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to anyone. The only let down is the size of the designated tent spots – there is no way you could have a camper or caravan here.
I made sure no possum was going to keep us awake again by putting absolutely everything away that was even remotely edible, and I only heard them a couple of times around our tent, making the normal possum noises!