From the dairy town of Harvey, where I grew up, to the major regional town and harbour of Bunbury, Busselton with its mile long jetty, Margaret River, Augusta,
Donnybrook, Manjimup, the old timber town of Pemberton. Magnificent forests of Karri, Tingle, Jarrah, and even the world’s only Tuart forest near Busselton.
So much there. A magnificent area of the world.
The Heartbreak trail is a 12 km long gravel road just out of Pemberton. It is a steep and slippery road with great viewing areas, jetties, campsites, fire lookout, camp kitchen, toilets. Fishing and canoeing. Walking. Photography. The Karri forest is magnificent!
Seven Day Road is where Fonty’s Pool is. It is a nicely sealed road there…but it continues on and becomes a very basic gravel track with many obstructions. Parts were closed. But we followed the GPS to where it said Fonty’s pool was and ended up here. Road closed or not we got through, though we had to move a few obstacles.
Seven Day Road is only a track here…but the forest is magnificent. No matter how difficult the track became the drive was memorable.
We eventually made it to Fonty’s Pool. I had visited here when I was a boy in the 1960s. Had taken my family there in the 1980s. Each time the place has been further developed. It is such a pleasant, magnificent place to be.
Fonty’s pool is a landmark in the Manjimup region, attracting many visitors every year. The founder of Fonty’s pool, Archimedes Fontanini, bought 460 acres of land in 1907 and began farming there. He used to grow potatoes and other crops in the wet area in front of the house. Eventually he decided to let the land rest and dammed the area by dragging a large log across the creek. His 5 children used it as a swimming hole, and their friends joined them. Because there was no local swimming pool in Manjimup the local council encouraged him to charge a fee so people could use the pool. It was opened to the public in 1925.
After a time of being closed, it was re-opened in 1979 in celebration of Western Australia’s 150th celebrations. Fontanini, then already 100 years old, was present. He died at 103 in 1983.
Archimedes (Archie) Fontanini was born in Italy in 1880, and arrived in Australia in 1904. He bought 460 acres of land near Manjimup in 1907 and began farming there. He developed Fonty’s pool as part of the farm, eventually working on the pool full time. He was already 94 when he closed the pool in 1973 when it just became too much for him. It was re-opened in 1979 in celebration of Western Australia’s 150th celebrations. Fontanini, then already 100 years old, was present. He died at 103 in 1983.
Wellington Dam is the largest dam in the South West of Western Australia. It was built to supply the Collie River Irrigation District. It is also the fourth largest man-made reservoir in Western Australia. Lake Argyle, the result of the damming of the Ord River in the far north of Western Australia, is the largest at 5,800,000 ML; South Dandalup at 205,000ML and Serpentine 190,000 ML dams are larger. Wellington Dam’s current capacity is 186 000 megalitres.
The original 31,000 megalitre concrete dam was opened in 1933, with a 240 metre long and 19 metres high wall. It was one of the largest public works of the “Great Depression” and contained 60% more water than Mundaring Weir, the dam that among other things supplies Kalgoorlie’s water.
In 1944 the dam was raised 1 metre, increasing storage capacity to 36,000 ML. In 1955 the dam was raised a further 15 metres to a height of 34 metres and a small hydro electric power station was built. Then completed in 1960, Wellington Dam’s storage capacity was increased to 186,000ML, its current capacity.
More info here.
I visited Wellington Dam many times as a kid, and later as an adult with my own family. Great memories, but the giant mural is a spectacular part that I have not seen! Thanks, Luke, for the great pic!
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