Places to enjoy on your road trip - Crapella

This free overnight rest area is set off the Albany Highway.  There are trees between you and the highway to provide a noise limiter.  It is a circular gravel layout with plenty of shade if desired.  It is basic with picnic tables & bins only.

Look for wildflowers - Hibbertia, Wandoo, Jarrah, Dryandra, Banksias, Eremaea, Melaleucas and Pea flowers. Follow the track around to the lake (s.e corner) which is home to small tortoises.

Flame Peas.jpg

The service and sacrifice of Western Australia's Victoria Cross and George Cross recipients will be remembered in perpetuity with each recipient being commemorated at highway rest stops south of Perth. 

A plaque commemorates Private Arthur Gurney who was a recipient of the Victoria Cross (V.C.) for his actions during World War Two. The plaque is part of the Commemoration Way Project which honours Western Australian recipients of the Victoria Cross and George Cross.

During fighting at Tel el Eisa on 22 July 1942, Gurney attacked three enemy machine-gun posts which had been holding up his company's advance. He had already stormed the first two, killing the occupants with his bayonet, and was approaching the third when a stick of grenades exploded, knocking him over. He continued on and charged the third post, "using the bayonet with great vigour" until killed. His body was later recovered from the post. His citation claimed that his company's successful attack "was almost entirely due to Private Gurney's heroism at the moment when it was needed".

Gurney was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, he also received service medals for the Second World War.

Source: Monument Australia

Places to enjoy on your road trip - Orup Creek

 Orup Creek Cathedral Of Trees Rest Area is 13.6 km Northwest of Mount Barker, WA

Orup Creek.jpg

The service and sacrifice of Western Australia's Victoria Cross and George Cross recipients will be remembered in perpetuity with each recipient being commemorated at highway rest stops south of Perth. A plaque commemorates Private Leslie Starcevich who was a recipient of the Victoria Cross (V.C.) for his actions during World War Two.

Tom Starcevich (1918-1989) was a quietly-spoken Western Australian veteran of the fighting in Egypt - he was wounded at Tel el Eisa in July 1942 - and New Guinea before gaining the Victoria Cross in North Borneo. In the capture of Beaufort he attacked Japanese machine-gun positions, fearlessly firing his Bren gun from the hip. "The outstanding gallantry of Private Starcevich in carrying out these attacks single-handed with complete disregard of his own safety resulted in the decisive success of the action."Tom Starcevich (1918-1989) was a quietly-spoken Western Australian veteran of the fighting in Egypt - he was wounded at Tel el Eisa in July 1942 - and New Guinea before gaining the Victoria Cross in North Borneo.

In the capture of Beaufort he attacked Japanese machine-gun positions, fearlessly firing his Bren gun from the hip. "The outstanding gallantry of Private Starcevich in carrying out these attacks single-handed with complete disregard of his own safety resulted in the decisive success of the action." 

Source: Monument Australia

Places to enjoy on your road trip - Crossman

Crossman is a town located in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia, 125 kilometres (78 mi) south-southeast of the state capital, Perth along Albany Highway, and 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) east of Boddington. Close to Crossman you will find attractive reserves and rivers.

By Geoffrey Derrin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Geoffrey Derrin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The name honours Lt William Crossman of the Royal Engineers, who arrived in Fremantle as a second lieutenant stationed in Perth in 1852, but was responsible for works in the Albany district and for roads in the area. In 1853, in company with surveyor A.C. Gregory, he examined and reported on various routes between Perth and Albany, and recommended that the then-current routes via York or Bunbury be replaced by a straight line between Kelmscott (now a Perth suburb near Armadale) and Albany. After serving as colonial magistrate, he returned to England in 1856 and later was promoted to captain and served as a British Member of Parliament for Portsmouth. The Crossman River, a 42 kilometres (26 mi) tributary of the Hotham River, was most likely named by A.C. Gregory in 1853.

Crossman Wildflower Reserve, a year-round sanctuary for flora and fauna and home to a wide range of native orchids,  including the rattle beaks, which only flower after fire.and Woolpack Lavender Farm, which opened in January 2003 and showcases lavender varieties.

Places to enjoy on your road trip - Gleneagle Forest

A beautiful place to take a those last remaining breaths of fresh air and enjoy a few moments of tranquility before returning to the hustle and bustle of the big smoke. 

Image Credit: Paul Torrance

Image Credit: Paul Torrance

You'll find the locality of Gleneagle on the Albany Highway nestled amongst mountains such as Eagle Hill (472m) and Mount Randall (513m) in southwest Western Australia. Gleneagle is 49km southeast of Perth (show me). Gleneagle is at an altitude of approximately 311m.

Gleneagle is located within the Jarrahdale State Forest

Gleneagle was a small forestry settlement some 26 kms south of Armadale near the junction of the Albany Highway and Jarrahdale Road. The township was abandoned in the late 1960's. At its height, Gleneagle had a school, a hall, 15 houses, teacher quarters, a forestry office, single men's huts and workshops. During the 1961 Dwellingup and Jarrahdale bushfires, the town served as a fire fighting operational centre providing necessities to all those in battle.  All the buildings were removed apart from the water tower.  The access road into old Gleneagle is around one hundred metres in length. The road splits and circles around the old townsite. The complete circuit is around one kilometre. The road was sealed but has fallen into disrepair although is still navigable.

Places to enjoy on your road trip - Williams

Williams is a town located in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia, 161 kilometres (100 mi) south-southeast of the state capital, Perth along Albany Highway and 32 kilometres (20 mi) west of Narrogin. The Williams River passes through the town.

Shire of Williams.jpg

Williams is named after the Williams River which flows nearby. The river was discovered by Captain Thomas Bannister in 1831 while leading the first overland expedition from the Swan River Colony to King George Sound(now Albany), and was first shown on an 1833 map. More than likely, the name honours King William IV, who reigned in the United Kingdom from June 1830 until June 1837.

The first claims on land in the area occurred in 1832. In 1835 a party led by Governor James Stirling and John Septimus Roe surveyed a route joining King George Sound with York via Williams to encourage inland settlement.No settlement occurred until after Lieutenant Henry Bunbury explored the region in 1836, despite his assessment that "on the Williams the land is generally very bad and the water brackish."

After the building of Albany Highway by convicts in the 1850s, Williams became an important stopover point for passengers and changing of horses and became the main centre in the district. The Williams Hotel was erected in 1871, and a Road Board (predecessor to the current Shire Council) first convened in 1877.

In early 1898 the population of the town was 55, 30 males and 25 females. Later the same year the local Agricultural Hall was opened by Frederick Piesse, it was built at a cost of £250 granted by Parliament.

The original town had been built on the Albany side of the river, but was subject to increasing floods due to the clearing of the land for intensive farming; therefore the town was relocated to the Perth side of the bridge. The town site was surveyed in 1905 and most of the buildings in the present town site were constructed after that time.

Today the town is a centre for the wool, cattle and coarse grains industry, and serves as a stopping point on the Albany Highway. A heritage trail takes visitors past some of Williams's historic buildings and nearby wildflowerstands and dryandra forests are also attractions. One unusual feature is the Jesse Martin museum, a historic village and memorabilia collection constructed by a local farmer on his own property from old shops and post offices on the verge of being demolished in country towns, as well as barns full of old cars and farm machinery

There is an excellent Williams Heritage Trail brochure available at the Roadhouse. It details a total of 19 places of historical interest in the local area. Of these places the most interesting are the old Agricultural Hall (1898) on the Albany Highway which is now used as an Arts and Crafts shop, the superb old Williams Hotel (1871) recognised as the oldest building in town, and the very unusual convict tank, a 4 500 litre capacity underground tank which was built by ticket-of-leave men in the 1880s. The tank is located near the river on the Albany side of town.

The Heritage trail was developed by the Williams Historical Society, Williams District High School and Williams Shire Council. The trail explores early areas settlement and has two sections - a 1km walk around the townsite and a 35km scenic drive to Quindanning.

Click HERE to download brochure


Source:  Wikipedia

Places to enjoy on your road trip - Woodanilling Pioneer Heritage Trail

The town of Woodanilling was first gazetted in 1892, not far from the watering hole called Round Pool. The town is in a sheep and grain producing area and was named after a spring in the Boyerine Creek, 1 km south of town.  Woodanilling is a Noongar Aboriginal word meaning place of little fishes. It is approx 37km from Albany Highway turnoff.  Well worth a detour to break up your trip.

Image Credit:  Shire of Woodanilling

Image Credit:  Shire of Woodanilling

The very first settlers came to the area looking for pastures on which to graze their sheep. Later, cutters poured into the district and decimated the sandalwood tree population.

In 1904 the railway station was the freight leader for the region, transporting mallet bark, sandalwood, grain, wool and goods for the local shops and businesses on the big old steam trains.

In the early 1900s, 800 people lived in the Shire, and the townsite boasted general stores, a hotel, banks, a hospital, a road board office, a post office, a bakery, a blacksmith’s shop and brickworks. Today the population is on the increase again and stands at about 420 people.  

Opened in 2008, the Woodanilling Heritage Walk consists of 13 panels on a short walk around the townsite. There are old black and white photos on each panel together with all sorts of stories about our people and places. Heritage Walk colour guides are available at the Shire council offices.

Source: Hidden Treasures.

"Woodanilling Pioneer Heritage Trail" Guide Brochures can be collected free from the Woody Shire Offices.

Places to enjoy on your road trip - King Rock

Located to the north west of the Woodanilling Shire, between Boyerine and Cartmeticup, the rock has a large flat face at the summit sloping to the north, the highest point is in excess of 340 metres above sea level.

Image Credit: Woodanilling Shire 

Image Credit: Woodanilling Shire 

The name has probably been ascribed due to the size of the rock and majestic view from
the summit. Panoramic views to the north can enjoyed as far as Mt Deception.

It became a popular picnic spot for the families in the area in the 1920's. Carts and
wagons would wind their way around to the NNE corner of the rock. Here, at the foot of
the rock, games and other social activities would take place.

The reserve has abundant wildflowers and is thickly timbered with sheoaks and jam trees.
It is also the most easterly site of the Shire where red gums (eucalyptus marri) grow. Part
of the reserve was used as a Shire gravel pit. This has since been rehabilitated.

The site is a prominent natural feature of the landscape

The site is significant as a recreational site for early settlers. The area surrounding the
rock is also notable as a flora and fauna sanctuary.


Source: State Hertiage WA

Places to enjoy on your road trip - Queerearrup Lake

You will find this salt lake about 30 kms west of the Woodanilling townsite, on Queerearrup Road along Douglas Road, approx 37km from Albany Highway turnoff. The lake has a pink tinge to it due to the caroten microbes.



Woodanilling is prided on its peaceful surrounding and its ability to get close to nature, and has been recognised as a popular area for bird watching and possess many locations bursting with native and rare wildflowers and flora.

Located northwest of Woodanilling, Queerearrup lake in its former glory offered a large variety of recreational and leisure activities from skiing, swimming and picnic areas. The lake has a significant historical value to Woodanilling. However, due to falling water levels the lake is no longer used as a skiing or swimming location, although native flora and fauna, including black swans can still be admired throughout the reserve.

We need to tighten the law to protect wildlife homes

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The critically endangered Leadbeater’s Possums is just one of Australia’s animals threatened by habitat loss. Greens MPs/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND
Don Anton, Griffith University

Three recent reports make clear that we should be saving habitat in order to save species. It is pretty simple. Destroy a species’ habitat and you destroy its home.

The first report was issued last week by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), Birdlife Austrlia and Environmental Justice Australia*. Its take away message is that in Australia we will do little to halt the continuing threat to and extinction of species here until we get serious about providing effective legal protection to habitat.

The second report accompanied an update of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species at the end of June. It highlighted that the main threat to 85% of the 22,784 known and assessed species threatened with extinction (1,839 in Australia) is the loss and degradation of habitat.

The third study, also published at the end of June, was even more disturbing. It found that over the last century the extinction rate for many species was 100 times faster than usual and that we are heading into a human-created sixth mass extinction on Earth. It blamed this on habitat destruction, as well as climate change, trade, and pollution.

Without an adequate home, a species cannot survive. Of course, stressing the need to protect habitat is much easier said than done. Why is that? It largely comes down to three obstacles that have been intractable so far.

Where threatened species are found in Australia. Environmental Resources Information Network (ERIN), Department of Environment

Protecting species, but not their homes

First, the law in Australia does not protect habitat per se. It only protects species. It does this through a process of listing and then making it an offence to kill or take the listed species. Listing species alone, however, does nothing to protect habitat.

It is true that it is possible to list critical habitat under Commonwealth law and various state laws. That has largely been ignored. The problem has been a persistent lack of political will.

Politicians are reluctant to list habitat because it means that parcel of land will be off limits to development. That is something most politicians seek to avoid in pursuit of short-term economic benefits.

Second, protecting habitat is subject to politics. Even when a species is listed, it is possible for governmental decision-makers to exercise discretion and permit a development, even if it will threaten the species.

A decion-maker will be required to consider a number of factors (ordinarily environmental, economic, and social impact) in exercising his or her discretion.

However, if these factors are appropriately ventilated, then the law allows the discretion to be exercised against a threatened species. What we have in these sorts of cases is environmental law without necessarily environmental protection.

It becomes a matter of right process and the only remedy for those dissatisfied when the process has been followed is at the ballot box.

Third, protecting habitat is economically tough. David Attenborough, the famous environmental documentary presenter, has highlighted that humans are in competition with the other species for space on this finite planet.

He correctly observed that it will take a great deal of willpower and economic strength to fix things. The questions for us is, do we have what it takes? Or, will we leave future generations with an environment less rich, less diverse than the one we inherited?

Tighter regulation, more money

The ACF report recommends that in Australia we start by improving recovery plans for species. In particular, ACF maintains that recovery plans must contain “measurable and targeted restraints on the destruction of threatened species habitat and outline restorative outcomes that any approval decisions must work toward”.

The ACF recognises this will not be cheap. It calls for an annual investment of A$370 million to implement recovery plans and purchase land for protected areas.

To follow the recommendation would be to start to seriously protect habitat. It would only be a start though.

Much would depend on whether the new recovery plan arrangements deprived decision-makers of discretion to allow the destruction of habitat despite protection.

Much would depend on where and how much habitat was set aside. Much would depend on the sufficiency of funding. Still, it is a start and you have to start somewhere. One thing is certain, we should start now.

The Conversation*This sentence was updated to include the other contributors to the report.

Don Anton, Professor of International Law, Griffith University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

National parks are vital for protecting Australia’s endangered plants

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There are fewer than a thousand Graveside gorge wattles in Kakadu National Park. Parks Australia
Linda Broadhurst, CSIRO

Norfolk Island, nearly 1,500km from Australia’s east coast, is home to one of the country’s most endangered species, but you probably haven’t heard of it. Clematis dubia, a woody climber with white and hairy flowers, was known to number only 15 mature plants in 2003.

Once common on the island, this clematis illustrates what stands in the way of survival for many of our threatened plants. Around 84% of Australia’s native plants don’t occur anywhere else on Earth.

Threats to our native plants include ongoing habitat destruction, fire, invasive species, more frequent extreme weather events, and declining populations of the animals involved in their pollination and seed dispersal.

Clematis dubia is lucky to call Norfolk Island National Park home. Our national parks are places of beauty and adventure for us to enjoy. They are also a haven for many species.

But life in a national park doesn’t guarantee a species’ survival. Recently we assessed 41 endangered or significant plants that occur in Australia’s six Commonwealth National Parks, to identify ways to help these plants recover.

We found that many of these species don’t occur outside national parks, meaning the parks play a huge role in their conservation. Few of these species have been secured in living plant collections or seed banks, and very few are regularly monitored in the wild.

We have little information on either the impacts of threats or of species biology, which limits our ability to secure these species against further loss.

There were only 15 mature Clematis dubia on Norfolk Island known in 2003. Parks Australia

Threats to plants

Clematis dubia lives in small and isolated populations. It faces many perils of modern life, like invasive weeds. We understand very little of its biology, including how its seeds are dispersed, how long it takes to start producing seed, and even how long it lives.

Another plant we assessed was the Graveside Gorge wattle (Acacia equisetifolia) found in Kakadu National Park. A small shrub, less than a metre tall with small yellow flowers, this wattle is listed as critically endangered.

Fewer than a thousand plants are growing in only two locations about a kilometre apart in a restricted area of the park. There is little information on the basic biology of this shrub.

Like other acacias, Graveside Gorge wattle is probably pollinated by, and provides food for, a variety of different insect species. It probably only reproduces sexually and its seeds might be dispersed by ants and probably germinate after fires. The main threat to this species is fires, especially ones that are too frequent or too intense.

As a safeguard against extinction, Parks Australia has collected seed from the Graveside Gorge wattle, which is now stored in the National Seed Bank at the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra.

Hibiscus brennanii is a vulnerable shrub found in Kakadu National Park. Parks Australia
Jenny Hunter, Kakadu ranger, collecting Hibiscus brennanii seed for the seed bank. Parks Australia

Seed banking can extend the longevity of seeds to hundreds of years, protecting a species from extinction and helping in its recovery should the worst happen. Germination trials at the National Seed Bank help unlock the often complex germination requirements of different species so that they can be regrown from seed.

As a result of trials with Graveside gorge wattle, the Gardens now has a living collection of this species. In Kakadu, Parks Australia is protecting the two wild populations by planning protective burning to create longer intervals between fires and reduce the likelihood of severe fires.

Protecting plants

Seed banking and living collections are two of the strategies we recommended to safeguard populations of threatened plant species. Some species may also benefit from establishing new populations outside national parks, similar to the management strategies used for vertebrate animals.

We also recommend surveying all endangered plant species in national parks that are not currently part of a formal monitoring program or that have not been surveyed within the past two years.

Finally, realising the gaps in our knowledge of the biology of and threats to many of Australia’s threatened plants, we recommend partnering with researchers and NGOs with restoration experience to draw on available scientific and on-the-ground knowledge.

And what of Norfolk Island’s endemic climbing clematis, Clematis dubia? Along with the low number of individuals, competition from weeds is a major threat to the survival of this species, so conservation efforts by Parks Australia have involved intensive weed control work, particularly to deal with the invasive guava plant.

Recent searches in likely habitat have revealed an additional 33 plants, a mix of adults and juveniles. Happily, new seedlings are now showing up in areas where guava has been removed, improving the future prospects for this species.

The ConversationThe report Constraints to Threatened Plant Recovery in Commonwealth National Parks was funded by the Australian Government through the Threatened Species Commissioner, Gregory Andrews. It was authored by researchers at the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research, a joint initiative between Parks Australia’s Australian National Botanic Gardens and CSIRO.

Linda Broadhurst, Director, Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research, CSIRO

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.