Posts Tagged With: Margaret River

Ten of the Fifty Toes gives a 5 minute trip summary (#2)

Time for H to give her quick recap on trip highlights:

What were your three favourite places and why?”

  1. “Trial Harbour on the West coast of Tasmania was my favourite place because I love the endangered Tasmanian Devils and this was where I saw one. I was sleeping when it tried to raid our rubbish in the campsite and Dad woke me up. They are quite rare and this was the only wild one we saw. Luckily it was a healthy one.”
  2. “The Whale sharks can be found on the Ningaloo Reef in WA. Swimming with these huge fish was my best experience of the trip as they are not very common and they are huge! The girls in the crew were pretty cool too and I’m hoping to go back on work experience one day with them”
  3. “The campsite at Cape Le grand near Esperance in WA was my other favourite place. The people there were lovely and lots of kids to play with….”
  4. “Oh and don’t forget the chocolate factory in Margaret River – all those yummy free samples and the chocolate fondue”
  5. “And winning the watermelon eating contest at the Port Lincoln Tunarama festival……”
  6. “And trying to learn the traditional dances with the indigenous clans at the Garma festival in Arnhemland”
“What was the best thing you took on the trip?”
“My diary because I used it to stick brochures in of every place we visited. I can now look back through it and remember all the places that Mum and Dad have forgotten about”
“What did you miss most, or just couldn’t take with you?”
“I missed my toys, bike and scooter. We only had limited storage space and so took very little from home. We borrowed friends bikes along the way. I also missed my school friends. We had a spare bunk bed in the trailer but not enough seats in the car to take a friend.” Editors note – although we had a 7 seater Pajero the back seat was removed for extra storage space
“Would you do it again?”
“Definitely”
“How did schooling on the road go?”
“It went pretty well even though it was very hard with all the distractions. Some of the projects were really enjoyable “
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Categories: Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Road trip, Travel, Travel Adventure | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Back to Margaret River

Our friends from Margaret River, Mike and Rhonda, invited us to visit them in Margaret River and given how close it was, and how much we had enjoyed the region we did a little back track. Mike is a surfing legend, with many titles to his name, including a number of appearances representing Australia. They now both dedicate their time to surf coaching and helping with the organisation of events such as the upcoming Drug Aware Surf Margaret River Pro 2015 at nearby Prevelly Beach.

The morning we visited the beach the surf was pumping, the most impressive I have ever seen, with plenty of breaks everywhere for everyone from Beginners to Legends (a plaque above the beach tells you where to surf, assuming you know where you stand in the scale, Beginner, Rookie, Master, and Legend). Main Break and The Box were producing some nice waves and a constant stream of locals were arriving to make the most of it. There were boards that has lost their owners and broken boards floating past, some great barrel action and then a flare went up in the sky behind the Box. A rescue operation followed and we watched a jet ski retrieve a local fisherman from his sinking dinghy. It all happens at Prevelly Beach!

A few hundred metres away we found a cool coffee van at the Rivermouth break. At this time of year the river fails to meet the ocean, stopping just behind the beach. A little further north Gracetown offered a smaller but clean wave for a number of surfers.

Travelling back down to Margaret River we had a quick diversion up to Cape Naturaliste National Park to see some of the beaches we hadn’t seen yet. Eagle Bay offered us a few Geocache opportunities and a collection of small picturesque beaches with glorious white sand and azure water lapping on to the shore. Meelup Beach was hosting an end of Nippers season event with massive inflatable floating toys. The kids made us stop, and following the fastest change witnessed to date, were in amongst the fun before we gather our towels. Many thanks to Smiths Beach Surf Lifesaving Club for allowing us to join in the fun.

We also had to visit Cowaramup, where locals have installed at least 25 (our count on one drive past) fibreglass cows throughout the town. Not pronounced as it looks, it means “Place of the purple crowned lorikeets”. Many of the places in this region end in “up”- an aboriginal word meaning “place of”.

With so much to do in this area time flew and it was time to finally say farewell to our friends and Margaret River. Time to hit the big smoke again up north.

 

Categories: Adventure, australia, Beach, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, National Park, Travel, Travel Adventure, West Australia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Margaret River

Using Conto campsite as our base we ventured into Margaret River to see what was on offer, and there was definitely something for everyone.

We started the morning with an educational trip to Australia’s first commercial Silk Farm, called Silk Road. The operation has been going for two years and is very much still in expansion mode. The lifecycle was explained to us, with displays that show the eggs, caterpillars at different stages, cocoons (in various different colours), and plenty of completed products for sale. Because they are not yet at full production they give all their cocoons to Asian countries, and they receive products back that include their silk. In addition to woven silk products, they have an array of mulberry products, chutneys, jams and teas, all of which can be tasted. To make the operation viable all year round the mulberry trees are grown in hothouses in the grounds.

Interesting fact : Did you know silkworms are fully domesticated by man, the moths cannot fly and do not live in the wild?

Next stop was the chocolate factory just a few hundred metres down the road. It was like opening the door to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, with wall to wall displays of Easter eggs, chocolate bunnies, nut clusters and more… Huge bowls of free tasting samples were a big drawcard for the kids, but we had to stay and sample the chocolate fondue. Having dipped crunchies, apricots, lolly snakes, marshmallows and glace cherries, Oscar paused when sampling the nougat, face suddenly changed and went green. Luckily quick thinking from Amanda got him out to the garden before he regurgitated the lot on the grass. What a waste, but the rapid change on his face from rapture to revulsion was hilarious to watch!!! A few more samples on the way out and we were on our way.

Time for some wine tasting. The “golden triangle” refers to the wine region that Margaret River sits in the middle of. Blessed with perfect climate assisted by ocean on two sides, some of the countries best Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon blends. Two of the best known vineyards were our first stops, Voyager and Leeuwin Estates. The former employ 7 gardeners and the result is an immaculate grounds, well worth a wander before you taste the wines. With a restaurant and private tasting room available there are plenty of options. Leeuwin Estate also has a restaurant, concerts in the grounds and an impressive art collection in the cellar, as well as the Art Series wines that incorporate the  artwork in the labels.

Final stop for the day was a quick cheese tasting and the family vote went with the smoked cheddar.

On another day we visited Woodlands and Cullen vineyards, the former being partially organically farmed, the latter taking a biodynamic approach. The quality wines resulting from both these vineyards is testament to the passion and commitment of both operations.

Categories: australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Travel, West Australia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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