Saturday, 22 September 2012

Oz Trip - Day 144

Day 144 – 22/9/2012 – Albany Sightseeing

After a late start, a bit of shopping, and lunch back at camp we set off to have a bit of a look around Albany.

It was nice to have an en-suite while the weather wasn't so good!
There were heaps of old buildings in the main street.




It was still cold but not quite as windy and the rain had eased off. First stop of the afternoon was the wind farm. This wind farm supplies about 80% of the power needs to Albany. Pretty amazing really.






The next stop was the Cave Point Lighthouse. It wasn't the prettiest lighthouse but the main reason we wanted to visit the lighthouse was to satisfy the nerd within me. The lighthouse isn't actually a lighthouse any more. It has been converted to a Local User Terminal, (LUT), for the COSPAS-SARSAT Program – the international satellite system for search and rescue. Basically the converted lighthouse is a ground receiving station for the satellites that pick-up and receive an activation from any of the emergency distress beacons, ie EPIRBS, PLB's or ELT's. The main reason that we wanted to visit this site is that there are only two receiving stations in Australia, this one at Cave Point Albany, and the other one is located at the Burnett Heads lighthouse in our home town of Bundaberg!

Cove Point Lighthouse LUT


Some of the views
On our way back to the Pajero, we startled some black cockatoos. I had been trying to get a photo of one of these for the whole trip but never been in the right place at the right time.



From the lighthouse it wasn't far to “The Gap” - a narrow opening in the rocks and when the swell rushes in and the spray reaches the viewing platform.

The Gap
And then on to Natural Bridge.

The swell on the nearby rocks.
From there it was around to some more blow holes. Unfortunately the photos don't capture the sound of the air escaping through the vents in the rocks. We also spotted a seal playing in the rough water below but it disappeared before I could get a photo of it.

Track leading to the blow holes with the Cove Point Lighthouse in the far background

The blowholes.
Later that afternoon we spent a bit of time tracking down a car wash. The pajero badly needed a wash to get the red tint off it from all of the dust but the main reason was to get the salt spray off. The wind was so strong that the salt spray from the “The Gap” and Natural Bridge was being blown into the carpark and coating all of the vehicles.

The salt buildup after 10min in the carpark!!!
That night I also gave my camera a sponge bath to remove all of the salt spray from it as well.

It was also back to the camp kitchen again that night as it was still too cold and windy to use our kitchen.

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