Bunbury: Dolphins and Cathedrals

We were up early the next day in Bunbury to see the dolphins come close to shore on Bunbury Beach.

 Waiting for the dolphinsWaiting for the dolphins

As the dolphins only come close to the beach early in the morning we left home at 6am. Up to 6 dolphins had been seen at various times but I did warn everyone that with me there it would be amazing if saw even one! We were met on the beach by Chris and Carol’s friends, Kerrie and Don. We left our towels and other items and had to walk a fair distance to the point where the dolphins swam close to the beach. On arriving at there we met a group of volunteers and permanent staff of the Dolphin Discovery Centre which was in the final stages of completion when we were there early November 2018. They showed us where to stand in a straight row to await the dolphins. We waited nearly 15mins and I was ready to give up and not be a bad luck charm for the others when one was spotted in the distance. It was the only one that I saw and it did swim fairly close to us. I left shortly after seeing it and, of course, a second one appeared almost immediately!

Dolphin swims pastThe dolphin's flipper

Dolphin up closeAnd he came close to us

Gradually all 6 of us returned to where we had left our clothes and had a short swim. Don was more energetic and swam 6 or 7 lengths parallel to the beach. Once relaxed and showered we walked a short distance along the pedestrian path above the beach and came across the bust of Nicolas Baudin. In 1801 he, with 23 scientists, arrived on 2 ships, the Géographe and the Naturaliste, and anchored in what is now known as Geographe Bay. The 2 Captains of the ships were separated by a storm and charted the coast independently and discovered some unknown flora and fauna that had never been seen by European scientists before.

Nicolas BaudinNicolas Baudin

The ladies went by car to the coffee shop, Dome, their favourite coffee shop, while the men walked over the bridge to meet us there. I have to admit, the coffee was delicious. Once we had finished coffee the 3 men chose to walk to the Lookout Tower while we ladies wandered around the shopping area and the wharf. We visited an art shop which sold some really beautifully decorated glassware but we didn’t buy any as we have more than enough clutter. I purchase only fridge magnets these days and now I need a new, bigger fridge as, having over 100 magnets, space is limited. They are wonderful reminders of all our travels.

Carol and ChrisCarol and Chris af Dome

Bridge at BunburyBridge over the river at the beach

Bunbury Lookout TowerThe Lookout Tower under repair

After the art shop we discovered a very interesting chocolate and toffee shop called Taffy’s. It is an American franchise which makes salt water flavoured chocolates. We were able to watch some of the sweets being made and wrapped and there were some very well presented gift packs. The chocolate tasted very different but not unpleasant.

At this point Kerrie and Don went home and the 4 of us went to discover the city of Bunbury. This is the 4th largest city in W Australia with a busy port. It is situated on the Northern side of Geographe Bay and is just over 170kms south of Perth. Our first stop was St Boniface Anglican Cathedral which was upgraded recently following a tornado that ripped through Bunbury in 2005. The Cathedral was only built in 1962 although the Diocese was declared in 1904. It has a beautiful bell tower but there have never been any bells in the tower due to lack of funds. A member of the congregation was able to obtain the bells from St Leonard’s, Shoreditch in London. These were made in 1739 but had to be removed when they became too heavy for the bell tower. Unfortunately the bells still stand on the floor of St Boniface as there are insufficient funds to pay for the bell tower to be prepared and  the bells hung.

Bunbury Ang Cath entEntrance to St Boniface

Bunbury Ang Cath bells of St Clementsbells of St Clement's, Shoreditch

Bunbury Anglican Cathedral Nave and SanctuaryNave and Sanctuary. The backdrop was handmade by a British artist from chips of Parishioners china

From there we went up to the Roman Catholic Cathedral, St Patrick’s, which is just up the hill from St Boniface, within walking distance, in fact. The original St Patrick’s was significantly more damaged than St Boniface in the 2005 tornado and actually had to be demolished and rebuilt. It is very modern and beautifully done. The original cathedral had stood high on a hill above Bunbury for 80 years.

Bunbury RC CathedralSt Patrick's Cathedral

Bunbury RC Cathedral old hallThe Cathedral Hall which was restored

Bunbury RC Cathedral SanctaryThe Sanctuary

Bunbury RC Cathedral statue of St PatrickStatue of St Patrick

We drove down into the town and saw a couple of interesting sculptures, buildings and parks. A very interestingly designed building was the Government Offices colloquially known as ‘The Milk Carton’ due to the shape of one of the top corners which looks like the opened corner of a milk carton. In the centre of one intersection was a flat design fountain with a sculpture of a man and a woman on top called “Brother and Sister”.

Bunbury park and bridgeOne of a number of parks with the beach bridge in the background

Brother and sister sculptureBrother and Sister sculpture

Bunbury downtownDowntown Bunbury with Christmas decorations in mid-November

Downtown bldg"The Milk Carton" Government Offices

We continued through town and visited St Mark’s Church, the first church building in the area. It was originally built in 1842 by Revd JR Wollaston who had to raise funds as well as use his own money to build the church. In 1936 it was to be demolished but the then Rector, Revd A Fryer fought for its continuation as a church and he too provided funding for the building to be restored. It was not consecrated for a total of 127 years when, in 1969, and given the formal name of St Mark the Evangelist. Sadly, it has been vandalised twice and some valuable artefacts removed. Funding is very limited but the church has been placed on the National Heritage Register. This was the first Parish Church for Carol who is an Anglican Priest.

Bunbury St Marks Church rearSt Maark's Church

Bunbury St Marks Church Cross for 1st ChaplainCross in memory of Revd Woollaston

Bunbury St Marks SanctuaryChurch Sanctuary with the Fruits of the Spirit written on the doves

We drove via the coast road from where we saw the black and white checked Bunbury Lighthouse and stopped briefly to see all the Basalt Rock on the beach in that area. On the final stretch of road we saw Kangaroos for the first time hopping around on the golf course.

Bunbury lighthouse 2Bunbury Lighthouse

Bunbury beach with basalt rockBasalt rock on the beach

Kangaroos in a field 2Kangaroos on the golf course

We had afternoon tea with Kerrie and Don as we were returning to Perth the next day and would not be seeing them again.

Park in BunburyPark with the 'Milk Carton in the background

About Me

I was born into the early part of the Baby Boomer generation, the 3rd of what came to be a family of 6 daughters. Although both our parents, who are now deceased, had been raised in rural Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal) and the 2 eldest daughters were born in a country town, the other 4 of us were all born at home in Durban. Read More

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