On the most south-westerly point of Australia, stands a grand and captivating structure – the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse – still fully operational, and one that has reduced the number of shipwrecks from 22 before its time, to only 1 since it was built in 1895. Constructed of limestone, this 176 steps ascent brings us over 31metres above ground, and boasts views of where two oceans meet.
An amazing fact I’d gathered was that the lighthouse ran on a clockwork mechanism and kerosene burner until 1982, when electricity was introduced to its operations. How does it feel to be left in a corner of the world and forgotten despite all that progress?!
Nothing stops a history buff from visiting a Shipwreck Museum. Situated in Fremantle, the Western Australia Museum – Shipwreck Galleries is a must-visit (between the beers and all). The museum houses relics from all kinds of wrecks that occurred along the Western Australia coastline (that explains Hamelin Bay too) and countless artefacts from the various Dutch ships.
Glass fragments, mints and even grenades from various shipwrecks have been documented here. I spent a good bulk of time at the galleries reading up on the archaeology, myths and tales of the past.
If that cannot satisfy your thirst for historical knowledge, just a few stops away, one can find the Western Australian Maritime Museum perched close to the ocean, holding the past and present of Fremantle’s tale within.
I didn’t have enough time to walk through the entire museum, but one attraction you might consider would be the HMAS Ovens tour, where you can take a walking tour inside the submarine parked just behind the building and learn all about its intricacies.
It’s a small town – Fremantle – but I’m sure I’ll be back to finish up my tour of the museum…
I took a hike to Hamelin Bay one afternoon, and took in the fresh breeze by the sea. It wasn’t quite the place you would visit in Autumn, but I did anyway.
The colours were foreboding, as I arrived close to sunset, and that was where I’d learned about the notorious history of wrecks on this bay. The remnants of the original jetty stand against the winds and waves as I approached.
There I met a friend who had the same taste as I did with the sea breeze –
A short break brought me to a set of caves within the Margaret River region. I cannot be sure what fascinates me more, the shadows in the dancing darkness, or the flickering lights that bounce of the stalactites.
The region has several caves, of which I chose to take a walk at the Mammoth Cave – a self-guided trip into the unknown – but still safe, nonetheless.
The beauty of the Mammoth Cave lies in the amount of knowledge you can pick up – from the evolution of geographical spaces, to the extinction of megafauna that were far superior than what we see today.
I took a turn to another cave nearby, the Lake Cave, and was intrigued to learn the impact of human touch on the formations (I won’t spoil the fun for you – head to Perth and find out on your own!)
To get to the bottom of Lake Caves, you’ve got to take a challenging 350 steps in, and as you look up, don’t be surprised by the little white cob webs that cling to the surface of the rocks. I can only rave about the beauty of the lake caves – the sound of water trickling and echoing in the depths, forming new shapes and wonders of the world.
There’s a good other few caves you can visit, such as the Ngilgi Cave set in the bushes, and the highly-promoted (which was perhaps why I chose to skip it) Jewel Cave.
Either ways, the silence in the caves were a great way for me to relax and think about life.