The Group Settlement schemes of the 1920s and 1930s were an economic and social disaster. There are many stories of hardship from this era. In these days where false advertising is not permitted it is hard to understand how a government could advertise in British papers offering working farms and entice migrants to Australia where they were given an axe and taken into the karri forest to clear their own land! Many walked off the land.
The Cape to Cape region is one area where group settlement schemes were established. Small communities sprang up everywhere, and facilities such as schools were established. Here is a shot of the Yallingup Siding school that is still standing today (although in pretty poor condition).
There is a front coming in tonight. Over at Yallingup this is what it looked like. 10 minutes later it was bucketing down with individual raindrops that you could feel each one as it hit you.
I went down to the mouth of the Willyabrup River Saturday afternoon. The walk from the carpark where the cliff climbers park down to the cliffs, and then north up to the mouth of the river is stunning with superb views opening up all the way. I even met a group of tourists on a wine tour, and the tour operator brings them down here by 4WD, just to take photos. In summer the river mouth is closed over by a sandbar and the water is stagnant. Not very interesting. Once the river starts flowing it is a different story. You can see in this shot the level where the sand builds up to over summer – the river has cut away a new channel and exposed these rocks. The water dammed up over summer is still draining, and so the water in the river is still dirty. A long exposure gives it a grey appearance. Later in winter the water will be crystal clear, and more of the sand will erode, leaving behind black streaks of mineral sands (ilmenite). You can see some of the ilmenite in the sand at the edges of the water, but there is not a lot to see just yet.
Along the Cape to Cape trail the river mouths all offer good photo opportunities over winter.
This is a beautiful beach, and in winter there are never very many people here. Just a few surfers usually. At the moment it is school holidays and there are a few families around. In the near future this will all change as the Smith’s Beach development proceeds.
Another Wyadup shot. There were a couple of surfers out tonight. Also there was a whale breaching offshore and the porpoises were catching some waves. Pretty nice all round.
A second shot looking north from nearly the same spot.
At the beginning of the month I went over to Nannup and drove along the road to Balingup. This road winds along the banks of the Blackwood River and is a very pretty drive. I turned off the main road thinking I was going on a side road but it quickly became a forestry track. They were clearing the pine plantations in the area, and the road climbed rapidly until I was high above the Blackwood River. The rain, and spectacular scenery were worth the effort. Once up at the top I did see a sign saying I wasn’t supposed to be there as they were clearing the area, but that was hardly the place to put the sign!
This was taken last Thursday evening. Normally these rocks are covered with water. It was a pity that the sunset didn’t happen because of clouds low on the horizon.