Last Wednesday, when we met our young friend Richard at the Rockingham Hotel for lunch, I had my trusty camera at the ready and I will now take you on the journey down Highway 1 and beyond. There are lots of pics so bear with me as I show what we saw on the way. It was a lovely sunny, although quite cool winter day, with just a gentle breeze and lots of pretty fluffy clouds in a blue sky. All these pictures can be shown larger if you care to click on them.
Having backed out from our driveway we head south on our street
and then turn right into Keenan Street
and left into Frederick Road
there's an island to negotiate here as we head for Forrest Road.
There is a block of units being built here on what was once the site of a service station at the corner of Frederick and Forrest Roads. It had been vacant for many years and used to grow crops of really huge weeds and was quite an eyesore. It is great to see it now being built on. Frederick Road has been a revelation over the past few years. It's amazing how many new homes have been built on subdivided blocks (house behind a house). I doubt there are many streets in the metropolitan area that have seen so many changes, and all for the better as well.
We now turn left into Forrest Road (having negotiated the turn safely despite that blessed bus shelter that I've mentioned before still being there). It truly has made a difference to the look of our suburb now we have underground power. Wonderful to be rid of all those big wooden light poles and the numerous wires. Lots safer in wild, windy weather as well.
If we had turned right at this junction we would be about a minute's drive from our GP's surgery. Great to be living as close as we do. If the appointment is 11am we only need to leave home at about 10.55am to be on time. (Knowing our reputation for always being late this is a good thing).
We now are heading for the traffic lights at the corner of Stock Road which is National Highway 1 .
We are now heading south on Stock Road and on the horizon you can see the Darling Ranges, a very ancient range of hills that would have once been mountains. It also shows part of an industrial area and, of course, one of those wretched mobile (cell) phone towers:
We now continue to head south as we approach the intersection of Spearwood Avenue. On the left (behind the trees) are the Spearwood markets and opposite is a huge Bunnings store, seen in second picture:
Had we turned left at the Armadale sign we would have been heading for our daughter's place about 35-40 minutes drive east.
You see a lot of these trucks on Stock Road and if you get stuck behind one on these long hills they certainly can slow you down. On Wednesday there wasn't a lot of traffic as the school holidays are on which seems to halve the amount of cars on the road so we could pass the truck with ease.
Ah, seems we are down to one lane here with some type of roadworks going on. No problem as already in left lane anyway and very little traffic.
More of the industrial areas that stretch for several kilometres on the east side of Stock Road. The tree on the left is a Cape Lilac which lose all their leaves in winter but retain a lot of their yellow berries. Obviously not native to Australia but were very popular a number of years ago and you see them dotted about in the older suburbs. There were three of them in our back garden when we moved to our present home but we decided to get rid of them as we had small grandchildren and the berries used to litter the ground which we felt could be dangerous for the kids. We now have eucalypts and weeping peppermints instead.
and here peeping over the trees is the top tower of Cockburn Cement where my son-in-law is the accountant:
after a few twists and turns in the road we arrive in Kwinana and, not forgetting the 70kmh zone we travelled through which is a popular spot for catching speedsters who forget to slow down, we see the huge chimneys of Alcoa Alumina plant.
If we turn right here we can follow the road around the coast but we choose to keep going along Patterson Road until we arrive at our destination. We will take a leisurely drive along the scenic drive on the way home.
Patterson Road is an excellent double lane highway with the median strip planted with many Australian trees and shrubs. The one in the middle is one of our weeping peppermints and along the other side they are planted equal distances apart but have been pruned severely which I feel detracts from their weeping beauty so I didn't take a photo of them.
We finally arrive in Rockingham and wait at the lights for the right hand turn arrow:
This must be a memorial of some kind and one day I will try and find out exactly what it is meant to be. Could be an interesting story here. It's quite unusual.
This is (a) the bar and lounge in the old hotel, (b) the smaller bar in the sunroom at the back of the hotel where we sat to eat our lunch in the sunshine pouring through the large window, and (c) the quaint old telephone box in the corner. Perhaps, had it been painted blue, we could have expected Dr Who to suddenly appear.
We all three decided on fish, chips and salad and had quite a battle to eat the huge portions. Two pieces of crispy battered fish and the crispiest chips ever plus a mixed salad and they never forget the mayonnaise and tartare sauce and there were also salt, pepper and vinegar on the table as well. Many of the modern eating places don't look after their customers that well. The meals cost us $15 each so good value for money at this pub.
After we finished eating we sat and chatted for a while we then headed down to the front where we sat in the sunshine and drank coffee served by a lovely young lady. There were families down on the lawn across the road but the shops themselves seemed very quiet and some do actually close for the winter break. I guess it's their opportunity to take a break and perhaps go on holidays.
Phil had gone back for the car and parked it right outside the cafe. I had walked down there using my walker but wasn't sure I'd make it back as my knee was playing up and so we were parked in the wrong direction and to find our way back to where we wanted to be we drove down this delightful tree and palm lined street before heading home. Old Rockingham is indeed a great place to be and you discover places you didn't even know existed, like this delightful thoroughfare.
We finally found the street we were looking for and as we once again drove past the hotel driveway, I spotted Richard's camper van in the distance still parked. It is a very large converted post office van and is extremely comfortable and has everything Richard needs as he heads northwards next week for what could be an extended holiday of two months or more. That incidentally is not the hotel but a far more modern building built in the past few years. The hotel is the building hidden behind the large pine tree.
We turned right and headed along the scenic coastal drive where the speed limited is 50kmh which is a great idea as there are more playgrounds and picnic areas right along the coast and it makes for much safer conditions, especially when there are children around.
Further along one comes across Co-operative Bulk Handling grain terminal. It is an extremely large building and running across from it is the transporter for the grain to travel to the ships waiting at the jetty out in the ocean. I am sure it has a special name but I am not able to explain it better than I did. Just before the CBH building you can see one of the many two-storey homes that have replaced the holiday cottages that were here for years. These homes have beautiful views of the Indian Ocean and Garden Island in the distance.
We continued along the scenic drive and finally were back on Stock Road heading homeward after a most enjoyable few hours out and about. There is more traffic here as it is well after 4pm and many people would be heading home after a day at work.
If you are interested at all I am also posting part b to tell the history of the Rockingham Hotel and explain more about Highway 1. This journey has been too long by far and I wonder if you bothered to stay with me as I relived a great day out.