Where the Australian coast hangs a right and turns from the Indian Ocean to the Southern Ocean, the cool, moist climate supports some of the tallest trees in the world. Karri trees are an exceptionally beautiful form of eucalyptus with blond, barkless trunks and a graceful, soaring shape. Tingle trees are also eucalypts, but they keep their bark and look like elegant old maples, only much larger.
While redwoods may be taller and much more massive, they can't compare with the prettiness of a karri forest. I took several scenic drives and spent two nights camping in a caravan park in Walpole-Noralup National Park, home of the treetop walk and a few other forest features.
|A karri grove|
|They shed their bark in piles on the ground|
|A naked trunk|
|The flowers hummed with bees.|
|The blur makes it seem extra scary, right?|
The tree is well over 200 feet tall. They've drilled rebar into the trunk to form a giant spiral ladder that climbs all the way up to the canopy. The top platform is actually 3 platforms, each connected to the next by a ladder.
I got out of the car, took one look up, and said to myself, "Oh yeah, I'm climbing up that whole thing!"
|From the first platform, only about a third of the way up|
|Above the canopy|
I'm now at a hotel in the beach-resort town of Esperance, preparing for a 2-day solid slog across the treeless, uninhabited expanse of the Nullarbor Plain. It might be some of the most remote traveling of this trip, but luckily, it's the only road around, and there should be plenty of other caravaners. I'll be landing in another park in South Australia, so it'll be a few days before I can update again. Check ya later!