Scribbles from our Travels: Day 5 – Busselton – Yallingup – Canal Rocks
We leave the farm early and drive up to Busselton, hoping to visit the Jetty and Underwater Observatory. Unfortunately, a rainy night and morning have resulted in very grey and choppy waters, and both the Jetty Train and UWO are closed for operations, due to the weather conditions.
It’s a shame as I had been looking forward to exploring the 1.841km long jetty and I thought the Underwater Observatory would be an interesting experience for DS who loves underwater sea creatures.
The waves are so strong, they crash upon the side of the Busselton Interpretive Centre’s building, and splatter the windows with sea spray. If we’re here just 50m out from land and feeling all that, I can’t imagine what it must be like 1.8km out in the open sea!
Anyway, we take the opportunity to point out to the children the difference in the nature and colour of the waters when the sea is choppy, vs. when the sea is calm. We don’t really see choppy waters in Singapore because it is sheltered by large bodies of land surrounding it, so the sea is generally calm.
The grey of the waters also reminds us of the illustration of a storm in “Sharing a Shell” by Julia Donaldson, a book they just read recently. It’s great to be able to bring that illustration to life here.
With nothing much else to do at Busselton, we decide to go to the 11am sheep shearing show at Yallingup Shearing Shed.
This is our second visit, but I like the demo here very much because Farmer Steve Butterly gives a very informative end-to-end walkthrough of the process of shearing sheep and processing wool for commercial sale, from the point where the sheep is sheared, to the distribution of the various parts of the shorn wool, to the packaging into bales, and explanation of where the bales go, and what are the various roles in a shearing shed and how much each earns.
Older children also get to participate in each step of the process, which makes it more real and memorable.
This brown dog is a Kelpie – its job is to run through the sheep to herd them back into the pens. The reason sheep farmers use border collies and kelpies to help them, Farmer Butterly says, is because, while any dog can chase or run through the sheep, these two breeds specifically do not bite the sheep, as other dogs may be prone to do. Interesting…
At the end of the session, he recommends two places to visit – Canal Rocks and Dunsborough Bakery for meat pies. Since Canal Rocks is just nearby, we take up the suggestion, and are not disappointed!
It. Is. Amazing. We are standing on a boardwalk that is built across a channel of water, into which the sea water from the rocks pours in. The sea water level appears to be higher than the water level in the channel.
The camera does not do it justice. You just have to be there.
Listen to the roar. Stand in awe of the crashing waves. Cover your ears from the whipping winds. Wonder about the water level. It’s scary and exciting all at the same time.
In the late afternoon, we take a tractor ride out on the property of Sunflowers Farm. Overnight guests are treated to tractor rides on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Aside from seeing the sheep and kangaroos that dot the green hills, we also get to feed the cows some bread from the side of the tractor.
It’s too wet and windy to build a campfire to toast marshmallows, but the children have some fun splashing and stomping in a little creek that runs through the farmland. I am glad for those rainboots!
Subconsciously though, I wince each time DS and DD splash their way across the creek, which makes DH and Debbie, the farmer’s wife laugh at me. “They are rain boots, they’re built to get wet!”