We said it too early that we would not return to Perth any time soon. We were wrong! About 4 months after our visit in May, we were back again. The last trip was rather a let-down as we fell ill soon after we arrived [check out “Unwinding in Down Under” in this blog!] So we were back this time with a “vengeance”; and we had another family on the same road trip that promised fun for a 6D5N relaxing and fruitful journey 🙂
We decided to self drive and got an X-Trail. Hertz did not have the RAV 4 that we wanted. Never mind. Equipped with the GPS and 150MB-a-day WIFI, we headed to Margaret River immediately after I touched down from a midnight flight.
1st pit stop: Mandurah. We decided to stop for a break at the peaceful town, watching the seagulls as we sipped our soup and coffee. Not bad at all – the clear blue sky, the sea and the cooling weather under 20deg.
A friend told me Margaret River (MR) is the gem of Perth, and I agree with him. Though we were not particularly knowledgeable in the art of wine tasting, we appreciated the tranquillity of the wineries. I also loved the lush greeneries that laid all over South Perth.
Thanks to L who did research and booked our stay for this trip, we got a cosy room at Yelverton Brooks Eco Spa for 2 nights. My very 1st time being so up close and personal with lively kangaroos, parrots, woollies and possums. The animals must have felt so loved by L’s family cos they kept going to her cottage for carrots, bananas and apples. Yeah, L bought 5kg worth of carrots just to feed them! They were obviously happy with their food, so did we! We had BBQ chix wings, beef fillets, broccoli and sausages for dinner 🙂
Day 2 was another fulfilling day. The owner recommended that we visit the Farmers’ Market for fresh produce, and so we did. But after checking it out, we only bought oranges, hee. We then proceeded to the Berry Farm, Chocolate factory, Betteney’s wine and nougat for more shopping before heading to the Voyager Estate for high tea. The sales at Berry Farm was amused we bought 18 jars of jam, lol. The Voyager Estate is ranked 3rd in MR and we were indeed impressed by its vast vineyard, classy settings and certainly, the food. Yummy! Dinner was L’s specialty – spaghetti. We also had the oranges from Farmers’ Market and sparkling strawberry wine from Berry Farm to wrap our 2nd night in MR.
(from left) Berry Farm; Chocolate Factory
High Tea @ Voyager Estate
On our 3rd morning, we were pleasantly greeted by the Roos family who waited patiently for us to cut the carrots and apples before feeding them. After a breakfast of toasts, we bided goodbye to MR. En route to Pemberton, we dropped by beautiful Knotting Hill winery for photo op and bought a bottle of white wine. We loved the ambience at Voyager so much that we decided to return for lunch 🙂 Thereafter, our long road trip began…into and through the woods.
By evening after 2+hrs of continuous driving, we finally checked into Forest Lodge. Yeah, Pemberton is full of National Parks and forests. L & Y made dinner for us again…spaghetti, veg, pan fried chicken fillets, corn and minestrone soup. As usual, we capped the night with the award-winning Semillon Sauvignon Blanc – cheers!
Pemberton has more colourful birds and Roos. A decent spread of flakes, fruits and hot breakfast, coupled with birds chirping really made a wonderful morning. We had a leisure walk after brekkie to check out the property and yes, more photo ops with the tranquil surroundings. We missed the timing for the tram ride and decided to visit the Gloucester National Park. For A$11 per car, we could visit ALL the parks in the area! Too bad, we only had time for one. Unanimously, we thought it wd be better if we could spend another night’s stay here. After attempting to climb up the tallest Gloucester Tree in the park, we took a leisure 800m trail around the park and got closer to Mother Nature.
Leisure walk around Forest Lodge
800m trail around Gloucester National Park
Busselton Jetty was our next pit stop for photo op, feeding seagulls and lunch before we parted ways with L n family. It was the longest timber-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. I really loved the chilly breeze, clear blue sky, tall trees and the seagulls! We fed them one big loaf of bread (made by the Yelverton Eco Spa owner, hee). The seagulls enjoyed their food, so did we with the joy of feeding them.
For our last 2 nights, we bunked in with J & N who are staying at Langford. It was nice seeing them, esp. Bb Al again 🙂 Gosh, she’s grown so much during the last 4 months! J had made popiah (akin to Vietnamese spring rolls) for dinner. City was really different from the suburbs. So we did what most people would do in city – shopping at the huge Harbour Town Factory Outlet. Didn’t expect we stayed there for about 5hrs, with quite a few shopping bags 🙂 We treated J & N to the Chinese Restaurant at Chinatown. The snow crab was really fantastic, no wonder K & Y came here a few times for dinner and dim sum the week before L & I arrived. At Y’s suggestion, we met up for dim sum there on our last morning before departing to the airport.
We loved the relaxing pace (including the vehicles on the road) in Perth. K was even contemplating returning next time, contrary to what he remarked during our last trip (his first) here in May, that there’s nothing much to do in Perth. I think we have grown to love to appreciate nature more and it’s always good to do that, seeking serenity away from the bustling and bursting Singapore.