Yesterday my son and I took a drive through the Chittering Valley. It is a long time since I have gone for a drive around this area. It would be at least ten years, and most likely longer.
When my dad was alive this was one of his favourite little drives to go on. He would pack two or three brownies of lager and we would stop here-and-there so he could take on a refreshing glass of golden ale while taking in the bush scenery and sounds.
The Chittering Valley area starts about 30 to 40 minutes to the north of Perth—assuming no traffic snarls. So for travel time there and back you would need to allow a solid hour (which means about 75 minutes). Then depending on what you plan to do when you get there you would need at least another hour just to tour around the various winding roads, but if you intended to visit any of the vineyards you would need to allow additional time for this.
For me, as usual, the primary objective was to find something to photograph. For most people early autumn is probably not the ideal time to go through the valley. The creeks are dry or close to it, and there is very little green grass to be seen.
But I prefer "dry, fallow, and yellow" so, for me, late autumn is a good time to go. Also, there is a lot less traffic on the winding hilly roads.
One thing that happens in the autumn is that the bark on certain strains of gum trees takes on a beautiful blend of grey, black, orange, and yellow.
The picture was taken in heavily overcast conditions so the yellow/orange colours are not coming out that well, but you can see how the colours on this tree trunk would light up with a bit of sunshine.
In Part 2 I have picture of the biggest blackboy bush/grass-tree I have ever seen and a map of the Chittering Valley area—for anyone thinking of going for a little day trip up that way.