Our last day in Denmark on Tuesday was a very ‘kiwi’ affair. During the course of the day we meet three other kiwi couples in the same camp who were also travelling Australia in their respective motorhomes. They hailed from the Hawkes Bay, Greymouth and New Plymouth and while some had been on the road longer than others, everyone was on the same journey. We had a very social 5 o’clockers and caught up on each others travelling tales.
Wednesday morning we were back on the South Coast Highway and making our way the 55km to Albany. Albany was settled in 1826 and has one of the best natural harbours in the world. One of the New Zealand couples we met in Denmark currently manage the Emu Point Holiday Park in Albany so no second guessing on where our home is at the moment. It is a great little park with the ‘best possible rates’ and we are here until Monday.
We have been asked a number of times over the past weeks whether, as Kiwi’s, we were going to attend last weekends ANZAC celebrations at Albany. While we would have liked to, when we found out what the cost of staying in Albany for that weekend was going to be, we gave it a miss. The price of campsites rose from $30 per night to well over $50 per night and in some cases up to $70 per night. The price of food and the cost of eating out rose considerably. Hotels, motels and guesthouses were all charging premium prices. We were told when we arrived here on Wednesday that possibly, as a result of the pricing, the expected 70,000 attendees ended up only 40,000 and the best business day was last Wednesday i.e. the first day of the celebrations. Attendees stopped spending after that. Here is our slant on it – if there had been no price changes, the event may have attracted the 70,000 and those visitors would have had more discretionary cash to spread around the community. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face!
Having said all that, we are in Albany and loving it. On Thursday morning we visited the recently opened National ANZAC Centre in the Albany Heritage Park. What a stunning place. The Centre is Australia’s foremost museum to the ANZACs of the First World War and has many thought provoking images, rare film, artefacts and interactive displays. While war is nothing to celebrate and achieves little other than to stroke political ego’s, you cannot help but admire the courage of the young men who sacrificed their lives in the most inhospitable places and in the worse possible conditions. They must have been terrified as their ‘great adventure’ turned into a hell.
During the afternoon we did a drive around the town to get our bearings. We found it very easy as most everything is either on the Main Albany Highway or just off it. On our way back to the motorhome, the Captain did a quick recce to Oyster Harbour with the goal of picking up a dozen oysters. However when informed the price was $20 per dozen, his money went back into the pocket. It was only a 100km away that he was paying $10 per dozen.
The Navigator’s sister (Nicky) drove down from Perth yesterday afternoon to spend a few days with us in Albany. It was great to see her again and with all the excitement, we had to start 5 o’clockers at 3 o’clock. It’s a tough life over here let me tell you!
Today (Friday) has been one of those ‘stay inside’ days so far. It poured down most of the night and it has been raining off and on all morning. The forecast is for clearing later in the day so if it happens that way, we will attend the local A and P Show this afternoon. We do not have a fixed plan for the rest of the weekend apart from to see as much of the area as we can and just kick back and enjoy the visit.
Have a great weekend everyone.