Have you ever crossed the border from East to West through Border Village? Did you know that there are quarantine restrictions as you enter Western Australia? If you haven’t already come across this, be prepared. No fresh fruit or vegetables. No honey. Be honest. The inspectors can make you pull over and fully unpack your trailer/camper/caravan, and they don’t mess around. We were prepared and had either eaten or disposed of fruit & veg before we reached the border. Paul had to show the inspector through the Jayco (though he warned her to watch her head as the pop top was closed!). She checked the fridge, having already looked in the freezer in the Legend, and asked Paul to open cupboards inside the van too. We watched as other inspectors asked for exterior lockers to be opened on caravans, and even for the inhabitants of vehicles to step out so they can check inside. We saw bins of confiscated fruit, and inspectors leaving vehicles with spring onions and capsicums. It is a serious business, and when you consider that they have a huge beautiful expanse of land to prevent unwanted transmission of various pests, the Nullarbor being a perfect barrier, and entry to Western Australia is well protected if travellers do the right thing. Be prepared. Be honest. The penalties are fierce, and the inspectors can make life difficult for you if you don’t respect the responsibility they have.
Esperance was busy with school holiday traffic, so after grabbing groceries and lunch, we continued to Ravensthorpe. We were shocked though to see a Mallee Fowl at the side of the road only ten minutes out of town! We’re familiar with this part of Western Australia but finding a free 48hr camp in the main street was a blessing. The kids played at the fabulous park across the road (where the clean public toilets also are), and with no internet or TV, Paul & Kirstine played several games of UNO before bringing the kids home to settle for the night.
Arriving in Denmark, we made our way straight to Karri Aura Caravan Park, where we were warmly welcomed to site “lucky 13” complete with ensuite! Fin & Glyn purchased the park, which had been closed for four years, but you would never know now! Laundry, HUGE hooded BBQ, free pool table, new playground, fire pit in the making, views to die for. Fin came and chatted with us, met and fell in love with Luna, told us that she knew of a lady whose husband had taken his own life recently. It was unexpected, as it always is. The lady is only now starting to figure life out, so Fin has seen what happens when suicide impacts on a family. She gets it. She loves what we’re doing. Fin is passionate about Denmark and all it has to offer, and rightly so! We ended up staying another day so that we could catch up on our blog/photos and see a few of the sights as well. Whilst we had to be in the region for a couple of days, it was difficult for us as there were significant triggers for Paul.
Kirstine LOVED the Supa IGA in town, we drove around taking photos of the spectacular coast line, though it would have been fabulous to have sunlight instead of clouds, realistically in Autumn you can’t be too picky! Luna proudly wore her mindDog vest in the William Bay National Park, so that we could see the Greens Pool and Elephant Rocks. Oh, the photo opportunities if the sun were shining!! As we were leaving, another family were on their way down to the Pool with their dog, one exclaiming as they saw Luna, “see, I told you everyone brings their dogs here!”. Paul told them that as Luna “is a service dog, she’s allowed here”. It is frustrating to see people breaking rules in national parks, but equally as concerning to see the signs for 1080 Poison. There are several serious reasons NOT to take your dog into national parks. Poison is just one of them.
We ended up having to drive back to Albany for fuel, with a reference to the Youngs Siding petrol station being a BP station not entirely correct. The rude female owner did nothing to improve the mood as we then headed towards Albany BP to refill the Legend, a detour we were not wanting to make.
That evening, the kids enjoyed playing with two others who’d arrived, as Paul & Kirstine tried to decompress playing pool while doing laundry and cooking tea. We eventually relaxed, the kids wanted to stay. Denmark is a beautiful little town, and well worth visiting. Drop off your caravan/camper trailer at Karri Aura and go explore! Wineries, playgrounds, beaches, there is so much on offer! Take your time, enjoy and remember Robin Williams’ words – “everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be Kind. Always.”