In WA not Europe

With so much to do around the area, Denmark is a popular tourist destination. It is surrounded by beautiful beaches and tall forests and a small town which is home to 5,000 people. The Denmark region is known to the aboriginal community as ‘Koorabup’ meaning ‘place of the Black Swan’. The Bibbulmum Track, one of the world’s great long distance walking trails, crosses the town. This walk is nearly 1000km. Other walking, or running, tracks are just as spectacular, if not as long.

Climbing big trees

Before the introduction of spotter planes and drones, a network of fire lookout trees was built across the south-west forests of Australia. The aim: to spot fires that were hidden at ground level by the giant Karri forests during the hot Aussie summers.

The first Karri fire lookout tower, was the Big Tree, constructed in 1938. This lookout was lost years later to a bushfire. After this tree, eight other lookouts followed between 1937 and 1952, including the Gloucester Tree chosen as a fire lookout in 1947. Gloucester Tree is 72 meters in height though the lookout is at 61 meters. Although the Gloucester tree was originally pegged with wooden pegs, now all the trees are pegged with metal pegs which are easier to grip. They are regularly checked for any faults. The Gloucester Tree has 153 pegs.

Nowadays climbing up the giants is an attraction for tourists that rewards them with amazing views at the top. No one has died making their ascent to the three trees lookouts but two people have had heart attacks after climbing the trees.

What water can make

It is said that there are around 350 caves hidden underneath the area of Margaret River.

If you are willing and fit, you can descend the 350 steps down to the cavern entrance to a not so hidden limestone cave: Lake Cave. Before entering, look up and admire the seemingly never-ending karri trees. As you enter, watch out for Headache rock and splitting headache rock.

Lake Cave is the deepest tourist cave in the South-West of Australia with a depth of 62 metres; its chamber is only 82 metres long but what it lacks in size it makes up in beauty. Lake Cave is renowned for the Suspended Table: an almost 5 ton column of calcite that hangs from the ceiling “suspended” above the crystal clear lake. The water dissolved the sand bank underneath the structure leaving it as a wonder to all who visit.

Whilst the existence of the cave was known to Australian indigenous, in 1867 it was found by accident by an European sixteen year old while out searching for lost cattle. The woman reported the discovery to her family but it took them 30 years to re-discover the entrance. One of these early explorers searched through the dark using nothing but a candle and later became one of the first guides.

Lake Cave was opened to the public in 1901 and from its beginnings work was done to allow visitors whilst preserving the cave. The cave at this time was called “Queen of the Earth”.

A pelican with eyelashes

Percy the big pelican is 41 years old this year. Built in 1977 it has lived a long life full of adventures; including capsizing in the Noosa River. After that near death experience, Percy got restored for over $10,000 and took 6 months to complete. It is now mounted on a trailer and is sometimes used for street parades. The pelican can rotate its head, blink its eyes, open and close its bill, flap its winds and even wiggle its tail, all controlled by a collection of levers, pulleys and ropes from within.

Nowadays parked in Noosaville in front of Pelican Boat Hire, by the river, serving if nothing else but a good reference point for morning runs or a landmark for locals.

[Huh?] Grading “clean”

When you go to food courts here in Singapore, if you pay attention to detail, you will notice a letter. Be it A, B or C. I have never seen other ones but who knows all is possible in this world. This letter is the rating for “cleanliness” of the place. Important not for it to be confused with the quality of the place – this is just the hygiene factor. A being the highest, establishment proudly display where it is easy to spot.


[Huh?] Napkins

Traditionally in food courts in Singapore restaurants don’t give out napkins, tissues or servilletes (however you wish to call them). People carry their own packs if they so desire…