By Rockingham the heavens opened and we were driving through sheets of water wondering if we'd made a wise decision in going south. I don't think it was just the rain but Rockingham and it's sister town of Mandurah seem to offer few reasons to stop.
Apart from a brief stops for coffee at Mandurah and lunch outside Bunbury, by which time the rain had cleared, we made directly for Bridgetown. The Nelson of Bridgetown is, as the Lonely Planet suggests, a very comfortable place to stay the night although the large spacious room, is perhaps a bit 1970's.
The point of the journey is a few kilometres further on at the Diamond and Gloucester trees which have fire lookouts at the top, some 55-60 metres above the ground. The LP suggests that there is a metal spiral staircase leading up to the top, but this conjures up quite the wrong impression. There is in fact a series of metal pegs inserted around the tree so the very fit and foolhardy can climb.
Mary and I didn't. I'd like to have done so but by 10 metres I knew it was not a starter. It really was beyond my fear of heights and not just beyond either. Bugger.
We returned to Bridgetown and took a walk (short) through town. It became apparent that we would be dining in the Nelson's restaurant as there is nowhere else in town that seems to be open, except the pub, which didn't look like an option. The meals were quite expensive by NZ standards but very generous. Don't get a starter first.