Monthly Archives: February 2015

A Marri 4

Marri trees – a great example of WA’s beautiful flora

We would like to share some of Western Australia’s beautiful flora with you, as our state has such a huge variety of wildflowers, bushes and trees.

It’s mid February so we will start with the magnificent Marri trees (Corymbia calophylla)  which are in full flower. It reminds us of a time in New Zealand when we saw snow on the forests midway down the North Island… They contrast so beautifully against the other eucalypts that are not flowering, such as the Red Flowering Gums and the River Red Gums along the creek beds. The large stands are very beautiful and the honeyeaters and bees are in hog (or bee!) heaven.

A Marri 1 A Marri 2

In some places the nectar flow is so great it forms wet patches on the ground.

A Marri 3 A Marri 4 A Marri 7

Some trees are 10-15 metres in height and nearly as big again around their crown. The flowers are sometimes bunched up over most of the extremities of the crown, rather like a cauliflower.

A Marri 6

The characteristic gnarly bark of the trunk and limbs is very evident. Some of last year’s fruit on our local trees is still intact and has avoided the Red & White Tailed Cockatoos’ attentions. These large birds have very strong beaks that they use to crack open the hard gumnuts to extract the seeds.

A Marri 8

The marris provide a very beautiful display at this time of the year throughout the South West of Western Australia, and seem like an extension of our peak wildflower season starting in September each year.

Fellow West Australians, you may like to share your favourite native tree, bush or wildflower with us too?

Tyre Choice..

Back in 2011, we were in Singapore when Mr Joyce, that marvellous Qantas gentleman, decided to ground all of the airline’s aircraft… not that an extra few days in that great city was any hardship! So our arrival back in Perth was delayed somewhat and we had to ring the Toyota dealer to advise that we would not make our arranged delivery date… As a result after arrival home, we got a taxi from the airport to City Toyota and took delivery of our new Toyota FJ Cruiser on the 1st of November 2011. Very cool! Several important changes were made to the vehicle before delivery including an extra spare wheel and we wanted all 6 fitted with our tyre choice, Cooper S/T Maxx tyres which we had spent some time researching on the net and by word of mouth.

We have covered 102,176 km on these tyres.

Most of the ‘mileage’ has been on sealed roads, but a good proportion was off-road, mainly on gravel roads of varying conditions, sand and quite a lot of rough, rocky tracks. Not to mention towing a small caravan for a total of about 20,000km over eight and a half months (on one trip).

On the road 1 Ginny & I 2

A Fraser Island 5 Grunty Southern Shores 2

We are members of the fantastic 4WD Club of WA and have been on quite a few day trips with them, including sand and bush work-outs that they run to give drivers some experience and fun in handling the different conditions each location entails.

_Grunty in the Wandoo Woodland 4 _Grunty in the Wandoo Woodland Wandoo Woodland 5

As a result we have become pretty well acquainted with our tyres – definitely on a first name basis now – and have learnt a lot. Three key things include:

  1. Correct tyre pressures are vital to successfully handling the prevailing conditions. The mantra is “ Tyre pressure, tyre pressure and tyre pressure!” It can’t be emphasised enough.
  2. Do get a good 12 volt air compressor to bring your pressures back up for sealed road operations.
  3. A good quality, quick tyre deflator and pressure gauge are essentials.

So over the 102,176km our tyres have been down as far as 10PSI for some interesting sand work (in old money – but easier to remember!), at 27PSI on the rocky roads, around 32PSI on the gravel and at 40PSI towing our caravan on the black top. In that time we had 3 slow leaks which we had fixed while on the road. No problem.

We tackled the Skytrek track on Willow Springs station in the Flinders Ranges and had a real off-road, all day experience that was hard to beat… The track had just about every off-road challenge except for mud – and I think at the right time of year they could throw that in as well…

WA 4wd mag WA 4wd mag 1 WA 4wd mag 2 WA 4wd mag 3 WA 4wd mag 5 WA 4wd mag 6

So to say we were impressed with our tyres’ performance would be an understatement.

As you can see from the ‘before & after’ photos, there still remained a legal amount of tread and we had decided to run them over summer before fitting new ones when winter arrived.

Before 1 Before 2

But Cooper were offering a ‘special’ so our decision to fit new tyres was brought forward – pretty flash, ay?

After 1 After 2

Morley Tyrepower are club supporters so it was easy to pick a dealer for the purchase.  Steve Vella looked after us and it was all done with no fuss including a wheel alignment. Can’t thank them enough.

So if you’re looking for hard wearing tyres capable of handling the conditions you’ll find in your travels, we definitely recommend Cooper Tyres.