The highway then heads south-east, going inland to bypass the developed areas east of the Leschenault Inlet.
It could be travelled in 32 hours, with a ferry to cross the estuary at Mandurah.The ferry was operated, and later owned, by nearby resident Mrs Lyttleton, as the government was not interested at that time in owning or leasing out the ferry.The government later appropriated the ferry on 2 February 1843, and imposed standardised tolls for passengers and livestock.By 1840, the population was just fifty-three, and most of those were in or near Bunbury (then known as Port Leschenault).Throughout much of 1842, there was much debate and discussion over providing a new route to Bunbury.The first river to cross was the Harvey River, which could only be forded by horses at a single point, near the river mouth.
Continuing south-westward, the northern tip of Leschenault Estuary was reached, and its shores followed before curving around into Bunbury.
The road curves back to the south, reaching Old Bunbury Road after ten kilometres (6.2 mi).
Forrest Highway meanders across the Spearwood dune system Forrest Highway continues south for 25 kilometres (16 mi), to the west of Myalup State Forest and two to three kilometres (1.2 to 1.9 mi) east of Lake Preston.
Between 18, two parties of convicts were involved in the making of the road.
From 30 June 1868, the government discontinued the ferry's operation and the position of caretaker, leaving travellers to work the ferry themselves.
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