Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.
I am a Freelance Journalist and Photographer based in Bunbury, Western Australia. My published work specialises in Western Australian travel articles and stories about inspiring everyday people. My passion is photography, writing, travel, wildflower and food photography.
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Monday, 2 November 2015

Camping in the Dryandra Woodland, Western Australian wheatbelt


Wattle at Dryandra
Firstly, I want to say thank you to all my lovely readers who took the time to comment on my last post Finding myself 50 plus plus. I think I struck a cord with many and your thoughful comments really helped my realise that I was not alone. Thank you. 

So today something more bright and cheerful!

In late September-early October we took a wildflower drive out through the eastern wheatbelt and beyond to the Great Western Woodland south of the Kalgoorlie goldfields. 
I brought you some images of spring in the wheatbelt here - Spring in the Western Australian wheatbelt


I promised to bring you more, so today I am backtracking to the start of that trip and our first night in the Dryandra woodland 22 kilometres north-west of Narrogin. As it is only about two hours drive from home we finished packing on Saturday morning, and left home after an early lunch. 

We reached Dryandra about 3pm after stopping along the way a couple of times to take photos of wildflowers - well we were on a wildflower drive after all :) 

Everlastings
We were surprised when we reached Dryandra that the campground was very full, but as it was the first day of the long weekend, and only being a couple of hours from Perth, and a great place to camp in spring, I guess we should have expected it. However we managed to find a good spot to set up, after a bit of maneuvering (manhandling) to get our camper trailer in. We had the kettle onto boil for a cuppa as soon as we had set up our camp.

 Bush camping in the wheatbelt is limited, and Dryandra is one I can recommend for families, retirees, bushwalkers, photographers, or just having a time-out weekend, as we have camped here a few times over the last few years.  The partly shaded Congelin Dam campground, located near the Congelin Railway Dam on the western side of Dryandra, is suitable for caravans, camper trailers, tents and there are group camping areas. The campground has been upgraded since we last visited in 2012. There are two camp kitchens, and long-drop toilets.


An easy 1.6 kilometre walk trail conveniently starts at the Congelin campground and follows the old Pinjarra to Narrogin railway line constructed in 1925. The walk trails are signposted with information boards telling you about the history and ecology of Dryandra including historic sites like the old water tank stand and railway dam.
 Below you can see the dam and the old rail formation. 



Dryandra Woodland is one of the largest remaining woodland areas in the vast Western Australian central wheatbelt.  This 28,000 hectare reserve managed by the Western Australian Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) is a valuable conservation area.

With less than 10% of the Wheatbelt’s original native vegetation remaining, nature reserves and rock outcrops provide a valuable habitat for wildlife and flora, as well as being wonderful places to picnic and bushwalk, especially during spring when the wildflowers when the woodlands erupt in a profusion of wildflowers. 

Look out for the dragon orchids (you can see one in the centre here) along the Congelin Siding walk trail. 
Also below you can see, clock wise from top LH corner - Silky Petrophile, White Candles, Hibbertia, sorry I don't know what this one is but I loved the late afternoon light!, the blue Dampiera, Dryandra, Cone Flower, and Poison Bush.


 Another image of the Pink Coneflower - Isopogon crithmifolious - known as coneflowers because of the grey cones which remain on the shrub after flowering.

Pink Coneflower
One plant you will see in profusion is the yellow and gold Poison Bush (Gastrolobium). The Poison Bush is a member of the pea family and contains a toxic substance that when synthesised is called ‘1080’. The poison bush has no effect on native animals, but 1080 is used in baits to control feral animals such as foxes and feral cats.



There are picnic areas spread throughout Dryandra and seven walk trails suitable for all levels of fitness, ranging from one to thirteen kilometres and a 25-kilometre audio drive. The trails feature diverse vegetation including white-barked wandoo, powderbark, brown mallet and rock sheoak woodlands.  The Ochre Trail describes Noongar culture and features an ochre pit used by Aboriginal people for decoration. 

Here is one of the Dryandra species from which the woodland takes its name. There are twelve different dryandra species growing in Dryandra. 

Dryandra
Extensive clearing of bushland throughout the wheatbelt for farming and introduction of exotic plants, disease and predators such as the fox have severely affected native plants and animals. The Western Shield project, “Return to Dryandra” is re-introducing endangered species to the wild through breeding programs and fox-baiting. Dryandra’s woodlands protect 100 bird and 24 mammal species, including thirteen species of native ground-dwelling mammals such as the woylie, tammar wallaby and the numbat. 

 A night tour at the Barna Mia Sanctuary enables visitors to observe threatened species at close range. Please refer to the information boards about bookings and tour times. We are yet to do this tour, but I am told it is a great one to take children to, though you need to sit quietly. It is on my list for next time.

Below here you can see a numbat (you have to be very lucky to see this one), a Western Grey Kangaroo with Joey, a Bobtail lizard and an Echidna. 



Some more of Dryandra's wildflowers - from top LH corner - this blue one might be a Squill I am not sure, Dryandra, a field of tiny yellow flowers, Smokebush, Hakea, Wattle.


Not only wildflowers, I also enjoy taking pictures of textures. You might even find a tee-pee!
 


During the evening you are likely to see possums in the campground, but please do not encourage them by feeding them, or leave anything laying about when you go to bed and zip up your tents. 
 
If you don’t want to camp there are eight former Forest Department cottages at the Lions Dryandra Village which can cater up to twelve people, whilst the group huts can cater for up to 56 people.  Please refer to their website for bookings. 

There is also a new campground, Gnaala Mia, not far from Dryandra, with 30 campsites, completed in June 2015 and signposted along the Williams-York Road. There are sites suitable for caravans, camper trailers and tents, and a campkitchen with hotplates, bench and table.

Gnaala Mia campground


Dryandra is only a few hours from major centres, making it an easy to get to destination for a restful weekend getaway. 





MORE INFORMATION:

Where is it?: Approx two hours south east of Perth via the Albany Highway, and 22 kilometres north-west of Narrogin. Some of the roads are gravel, but were in very good condition when we visited.
Position:  -32.84489 116.88991
Best time to visit: Late winter and spring. Summer not recommended. 
Campgrounds - Congelin Dam campground and Gnaala Mia campground. 
Facilities:  Eco toilet, camp kitchen, picnic tables and fire rings. No power. Please bring all your own supplies, water and firewood, be aware of fire restrictions and take away your rubbish.   
Check Information boards for walk trail distances, estimated walk times and degree of difficulty.  
Campground rates at the time of writing:

Adults $7.50/night; Concession card holders $5.50/night; Children 6-15 years $2.50/night.
Pets : Not permitted due to wildlife conservation and  possible poison baiting


Useful Websites: 

Dryandra Tourism: www.dryandratourism.org.au 
Lions Dryandra Village: www.dryandravillage.org.au 
WA Dept of Parks & Wildlife - DPAW Park Stay - Then "camp finder" tab and search for "Dryandra".



Petrophile

I hope you have enjoyed this little tour of Dryandra. You might also like - 

Dryandra woodland in the early morning light - October 2012

Tour Western Australia - Entering the wheatbelt - Week 18/52

Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Mosaic Monday
Travel Photo Mondays

Lifestyle Fifty Monday Linkup 
Our World Tuesday

Through My Lens 
Image-in-ing
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Worth Casing Wednesday
What's It Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday

The Weekly Postcard
Weekend Travel Inspirations 

 

28 comments:

  1. Thank goodness the Dryandra woodland has been preserved. Love the photo of the carpet of yellow ball flowers. I must remember this place for wildflower viewing when we head over to the west. Look forward to more of this trip Jill.

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  2. This looks an amazing area and your wildflower pics are so beautiful - really capture the delicate nature of the flowers.

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  3. Dryandra looks like a great bush camp. I wish we had known about it when we were heading north from Perth. Unfortunately we weren't in WA when the wildflowers were blooming - we were a little too early. The coneflowers are absolutely gorgeous. It also must have been a thrill to capture a numbat. Well done!

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  4. What a great place to camp! My family and I used to tent camp when my boys were little...so much fun! Your photos and mosaics are all so beautiful...I love wildflowers. Have a great week!

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  5. What an amazing space to camp! I will be elated to see all that wildlife.

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  6. Beautiful photos!
    Never heard of a numbat before.
    It would be so much fun to travel to Australia... perhaps some day!
    Thanks for sharing at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/11/waiting-for-metro.html

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  7. Your "woods" are certainly very different from those here in Oregon! And the animals definitely not something you woukd find here.

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  8. Dryandra looks like an interesting and beautiful place to spend some time. The Australian flora and fauna is so very different from ours, and I enjoy seeing the variety of species. It's lovely to see signs of spring on your blog when the winter is beginning to close in here, and things are looking dark and damp. Beautiful photos. I especially like the cone flower.

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  9. Gorgeous shots of your latest adventure!

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  10. An amazing place to visit. The wild flowers and critters are fantastic.

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  11. Hello Jill, what a beautiful post. The wildflowers are gorgeous. I would love to visit that sanctuary and see all the animals. Have a happy new week!

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  12. Gorgeous! Looks like you are keeping busy! Happy Week!
    http://travelingbugwiththreeboys-kelleyn.blogspot.com/2015/11/halloween-15.html

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  13. Your bush-camping photos are just wonderful! Beautiful wildflowers and scenes. I know how much fun it must have been!

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  14. Another great camping area and although seeing a kangaroo with baby might be normal for you, I was thrilled to see them. Lots of interesting vegetation.

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    1. We still enjoy seeing kangaroos, especially with babies in the pouch. We have an area only 10 minutes drive from home where they seem to graze in the paddocks all day! It is a great place to take international visitors.

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  15. Gorgeous photography! I enjoyed your sidebar, too!

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  16. This place is magnificent and the images of the land, the camp site, the flowers and other interesting image shares are wonderful, but you know, me, I especially enjoyed those animals, what cool creatures you have there. I always enjoy my visits here, as I feel like I have gone on a pleasant journey. Hugs to you Jill~

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  17. What a wonderful area to go camping and embrace the beauty of nature Jill . I always smile when I see your wonderful captures of wildflowers and remember the joy of childhood fossicking in the scrub for spider - egg & bacon and pink orchids which we picked in handfuls, Of course we can't do that now and they all have botanic names but at least I can see them through the eyes of your camera.

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  18. WOW! you have such a wonderful nature in Aussie!! And your pictures show all the beauty of your land!!

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  19. I so enjoyed visiting this area a few years ago. Thanks for the lovely reminders with the usual very gorgeous photos!

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  20. Wonderful photography, as well as a lesson in southern hemisphere flora and fauna! I live in the US, the state of West Virginia, and love gardening and our great outdoors. This was a real treat, especially as our season is fall, and all the flora are readying for winter hibernation. Visiting from Ivy & Elephants
    Rita C at Panoply

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    1. thank you so much Rita for stopping by. I wanted to repay your visit, but couldn't comment as I don't have Google +, however I loved your Christmas lady. Very creative.

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  21. What a beautiful place to camp - your images are amazing!

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  22. When you mentioned Dryandra Woodland being the last preserved land in your area of the world, I was glad to learn that it is being preserved. What a gift and what a treasure to save for future generations. Thanks for sharing of your visit there.

    Coming to you from Mosaic Monday ... and wishing you a beautiful 'down under' day!
    Brenda (from up here in northerly Alberta, Canada)


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  23. To see that kangaroo would have made my day complete - I was thrilled when I saw my first camels and I know I'd be nuts over the kangaroos! Another great outing you've shared with us, Jill! Happy weekend.

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  24. Absolutely stunning photography. If I go to Australia, can I buy an Echidna for a souvenir? (A live one, of course!) How darn cute is he?

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  25. You took beautiful pictures, especially all close ups, all flowers and other plants - very nice!

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  26. What a fantastic spot - but your story reminds me of why we tend to steer clear of long weekends!!! I had no idea 1080 came from the pea flower, we've used it quite a lot to control foxes in my area. And how thrilling to see a numbat - I've NEVER seen one, not even in a wildlife park let alone in the wild! Your luck is IN, girlfriend!

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I hope you have enjoyed your visit to my blog. Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. I read and very much appreciate every comment and love hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return.