death by paper cut

{June 24, 2010}   Perth and WA – Road Trip

before the new term begins, i better post about my perth trip. it began when my aunt from perth visited singapore and extended an open invitation to us to visit. 5 months later we were taking off in tiger airways. this holiday will be split over three posts, the road trip, perth and its nearby suburbs and the swan valley day tour.

Changi Budget Terminal 20

the trip was 10 days long excluding flying time. that gave us ample time to spend half of that on a road trip to the south west of western australia and the remaining half to check out the city of perth and its surrounding suburbs.

i have to give credit to the geek for planning the details of the entire trip and making all the accommodation bookings when we were on the road.

Perth Holiday - Google Maps

we set off for albany 6 hours south of perth after a good breakfast prepared by my aunt who also packed for us 4 yummy sandwiches and 2 mugs of hot tea. the journey was smooth and mostly uneventful and we arrived in the middle of the day. middle of the day means we were close to closing time in the town of albany. after first locating our accommodation at havana villas, we loaded up on groceries at the town centre and prepared for an early start the next day.

the highlight of day two of the road trip was the valley of the giants tree top walk. at 13 degree celsius the air was crisp and cool. the elevation is so gradual that i hardly noticed the incline that maxed at 40m where the canopy is.

Valley of the Giants, Tree Top Walk 25 Valley of the Giants, Tree Top Walk 26 Valley of the Giants, Tree Top Walk 56

Valley of the Giants, Tree Top Walk 13

on the way to pemberton, we side tracked to mandalay beach because the foldout guide for the walpole-nornalup national park mentioned a boardwalk and a boardwalk there was. however, it took 8km of dirt track to get there from the highway. perhaps for that reason we saw no one else on the pristine beach.

Mandalay Beach, D'Entrecasteaux National Park 9

Mandalay Beach, D'Entrecasteaux National Park 19

after snapping more than a few happy shots we resumed our way to pemberton. it was already mid afternoon when we arrived which means about 2 hours of day light left. the receptionist at pemberton caravan park where our accommodation for the night was recommended that we drop by the nearby gloucester tree and big brook dam.

the gloucester tree used to serve as a lookout point for firemen. the only way up is by climbing the metal rods pegged to the sides of the tree with hardly any safety net. since we were already there, we climbed all 61 metres of it the hardy way. the view from the top of the gloucester tree was more breathtaking than the view from the tree top walk firstly because i heaved myself onto the gloucester tree platform panting and secondly because there is nothing blocking the view for miles on end. it was a sean connery medicine man moment.

Gloucester Tree, Pemberton 6

Gloucester Tree, Pemberton 14

pemberton itself is a nice small town with adequate facilities. there are many day tours that operate from pemberton which we didn’t have time to check out. i wouldn’t mind visiting pemberton again.

on day three on the road we started with breakfast at the lavender & berry farm in the vicinity of pemberton. besides producing lavender products, this place also has cottages for rent in its very big property.

Lavender & Berry Farm, Pemberton 32 Lavender & Berry Farm, Pemberton 10 Lavender & Berry Farm, Pemberton 4

Lavender & Berry Farm, Pemberton 27

our breakfast – lavender pancakes, lavender scone and herb & cheese scone. we didn’t have to eat till dinner.

Lavender & Berry Farm, Pemberton 34

with our stomachs satisfied, we headed to margaret river. along the main highway that passes through margaret river are clusters of wineries, restaurants, and food producers such as chocolate and cheese.

within the afternoon, we visited:

Margaret River Chocolate Factory 15
margaret river chocolate factory

Sandalford Wines, Margaret River 3
sandalford wines

Margaret River Nuts and Cereals 4
margaret river cereals and nuts

Yahava Koffeworks, Margaret River 6
yahava koffeeworks

my aunt recommended that we watch the sunset at prevelly park at margaret river so we headed there with a car boot full of loot. we saw many aussie surfer dudes head for the waves and rode into the sunset. one particularly interesting incident was a labrador yelping for his master who took to the waves because the dog panicked when his master was out of sight. the dog was not reassured even with the master’s whistling and so the master had to return to shore and end his surfing.

Prevelly Park, Margaret River 24 Prevelly Park, Margaret River 26 Prevelly Park, Margaret River 6

Prevelly Park, Margaret River 28

Prevelly Park, Margaret River 18

Prevelly Park, Margaret River 30

that night our accommodation was at the very homely and lovely loaring place bed & breakfast. we were greeted by the very friendly dirk hos and his dog kasey upon arrival. the bed & breakfast has only 4 guest rooms and one very large dining and living area with cable tv and wireless internet access for guests.

each guest room has a patio with alfresco seating area and a very luxurious bathroom attached. it was too cold to sit in the patio so we made ourselves cosy in the living room.

Loaring Place B&B, Margaret River 2

Loaring Place B&B, Margaret River 22

Loaring Place B&B, Margaret River 25

Loaring Place B&B, Margaret River 24

the next morning, we helped ourselves to cereals and fruits while dirk made us a full yummy breakfast.

Loaring Place B&B, Margaret River 29

before we left margaret river on the fourth day on the road, we first visited the berry farm, voyager estate, leeuwin estate and vasse felix.

voyager estate is the biggest winery i’ve been to. it is literally sprawling. the drive way itself is very long with a gigantic australian flag at the end of it. surrounding the restaurant and visitor centre are rose gardens. the place is so big that tours are conducted.

Voyager Estate, Margaret River 5

Voyager Estate, Margaret River 8

Voyager Estate, Margaret River 34

leeuwin by comparison looks smaller, however they do frequently host concerts in their very large lawn. we had lunch here after the geek made the order of a case of wine for a friend. i prefer the ambiance of leeuwin to voyager. the food was heavenly too!

Leeuwin Estate, Margaret River 12

Leeuwin Estate, Margaret River 18

Leeuwin Estate, Margaret River 19

Leeuwin Estate, Margaret River 23

soon after lunch we made our way to bunbury as a night stop over before heading back to perth. we didn’t spend a lot of time in bunbury as it was 5pm by the time we got there and checked in i.e. everything closes and got dark. however, we did get to watch a very nice sunset from a skip and a hop across from our accommodation at welcome inn. oh and also we got to watch the w0rld cup opening ceremony and the opening match on cable tv. at least the geek did, i slept shortly into the match.

Bunbury 4

Bunbury 13

on the fifth day on the road, we left bunbury early in the morning to make our way back to perth which was not very far away. on the way there we visited the new waterfront living and lifestyle development at mandurah. the special feature of the condominums at mandurah is that they are built along water canals where smaller boats, jet skis or kayaks can be “parked” at. shopping and eating places were rather well patronised in the area without being too crowded

Mandurah 25 Mandurah 43 Mandurah 4

Mandurah 12

Mandurah 16

Mandurah 44

Mandurah 37

after a long walk along the waterfront, boardwalks and bridges, we stopped for fish & chips at cicerello’s. it was only 3pm when we arrived back in perth so we did some shopping at kathmandu and jb hi-fi in the city before unloading all the goodies we bought on the road trip at my aunt’s place.

the day did not end there. that evening, we watch a rugby union international match between england and australia at subiaco oval, and we got there and back very efficiently and safely via public transport.

there is a train station located just outside the suburb of my aunt’s place where we boarded the special service train directly to subiaco oval. public transport fares are also included in the match ticket so it was very easy hop on and off for us.

Rugby Union International Aus Vs Eng 2010 13 Rugby Union International Aus Vs Eng 2010 15 Rugby Union International Aus Vs Eng 2010 45

Rugby Union International Aus Vs Eng 2010 1

Rugby Union International Aus Vs Eng 2010 26

Rugby Union International Aus Vs Eng 2010 30

upon returning to my aunt’s place after the match, we were served spaghetti bolognese that we promptly wolfed down. after which we could then truly rest from the five eventful days on the roads of western australia.

ser says:

omg loaring place is SOOOOO beautiful!!!!

[…] than the availability of lemon lime & bitter) that i really enjoyed was the balance between sightseeing on the move from point to point and the opportunity to have pockets of free time for roaming around or kicking back. once night […]

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