Saturday, 6 April 2013


When I was a kid our family would occasionally go to see the blowholes and the petrified forest, the limestone cave, the sand dunes, the dune lakes, shelley beach and the swimming beach at Bridgewater. They are all within cooee of each other so it was easy to drive from one to the other, and it was less than an hour from home. I remember once we went there on a school excursion because the geology is interesting and diverse enough for a full day's expedition. And it's beautiful as well so that was a bonus.

Bridgewater Bay and Cape Bridgewater
Over the years we've visited Bridgewater Bay occasionally - there is a Surf Lifesaving Club there so it's a safe beach for kids and surfers and we've walked to see the seal colony on the cape. But it's quite a while since we've been to the blowholes and the petrified forest on the cliffs west of the bay. The cape is clifftop sand dunes over basalt and when you visit the blowholes area you can clearly see the geology, and now there are boardwalks and paths and lookouts and explanatory signs so you can understand what you're looking at. And it's not as dangerous as it was when I was a kid. Our parents were always telling us to stand back from the edge of the cliffs.

Blowholes, Bridgewater
Petrified Forest, Bridgewater
Petrified Forest, Bridgewater
I was busily explaining the geology to the relatives we'd taken to visit the area, telling them that the sand dunes had covered a forest of trees and the calcified remains are now exposed, when we all read the explanatory sign at the same time. Oops! The header on the sign reads 'The petrified forest that isn't'.

The real explanation for the formation of the petrified trees. [Click to enlarge]
One of the dune lakes at Bridgewater
Wind generators, Bridgewater
Limestone caves, Bridgewater [Google Maps Street View]