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2008: Denmark, Western Australia

Denmark River

As it was, the Blue Wren was a beam of radiance in my hostel hell. With a monicker like that, how could it have failed? Presumably named for the splendid fairy-wren, which I had yet to see, this YHA place was charming with a big, affable dog. You won’t catch me saying that often! The hostel’s balcony was high enough to watch sad, silvery-calling gerygones flitting through bush tops before I retired for a good night’s sleep in silence.

Denmark delivered on all fronts. Small but lively with a cheerful pub and helpful bar-staff. And a river ran through it. A walk along its bank passed old friends like the gorgeous wood (or maned) ducks, willie wagtails, magpie-larks, New Holland honeyeaters zipping here, there and everywhere; kookaburras and the cute cormorants – pied, little pied and little black.

I could have settled there but I was on a whistle-stop, surface-scratching flyby. One of Australia’s many bright ideas, a treetop walk, was also beckoning me from the far end of the South Coast Highway. With the prospect of eye-level views of canopy-dwelling birds I had to crack on to Nornalup.

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