All those wineries ...did I mention the food?
04.11.2010 - 13.11.2010
We left Perth after staying there for over a week. Had to get the motorhome serviced and luckily there is not a thing wrong with it. Before I start this section I have to say that now we are getting back into colder climate, wind and sometimes rain. Probably in summer this changes but not for this time of year. So you will notice a lot of pics of beaches but not us swimming in them.
Will put a map in at end of this blog. We headed to the the south west of WA - Margaret River area. Had heard a lot about it - in particular about the wines. On the way there we passed Bunbury and the turn off to a town called Collie. When our family first arrived in Australia we lived in this small town but I have no desire to see the place again. It was a 'dump' and fortunately my parents decided very quickly to move us to Queensland. We then passed through Busselton and the only point of interest here was the 1.8 km long jetty. It has an underwater aquarium at the end but unfortunately it was under repair. The jetty had a huge history about when they were going to pull it down and then it broke and then it became longer etc.
We stayed at Margaret River and it is what you would expect of a wine growing area. Plenty of vines and also farming country. A pretty area. The shops had some good stuff for women shopping and were really reasonably priced. It is a small town made to look cute. The fudge factory was really yummy! I was hopeful to find some cheeseries which is of far more interest to me. The cheesery was pretty ordinary. What was really yummy was the 'nuts and cereals' factory - it had these beautiful mueslies of varying sorts and biscuits. The chocolate factory was also pretty good. The chocs however come from Belgium and they melt it down to various tastes and shapes. You are only allowed to taste the choc chips - so everyone was helping themselves to spoonfuls of the stuff. I only had 2 glasses of wine in the whole area and visited 4 wineries. We have to say that of far more interest was the architecture and landscaping of these places.
Our caravan park was a farm (Taunton Farm) so we had these lovely views of farmlands and the animals. They were fed every day at a certain time and of course kids loved to feed them. I also had to have a go on the jumping pillow which is for kids and adults. Had to wait for the kids to be gone so I wouldn't embarass myself! Great fun and good exercise.
The trip to Augusta was beautiful. Again the lovely heathlands meeting the ocean. It is the southern most tip of WA. They called this tip of South west Australia Cape Leeuwin National Park, recognising the Dutch explorers. The tip north of Margaret River was called Cape Naturaliste National Park to recognise the French explorers. Both ends had a lighthouse and walks along the cliffs to view the ocean and the heathlands. There is also a Cape to Cape mountain bike race held once a year which is a distance of approx. 135 kms and goes over a period of 4 days. You can also walk this track!
All in all we think Margaret River is overrated. Have seen nicer wine growing areas around the Barossa and Vic areas as well as New Zealand and South Africa. I am not a wine buff but hopefully the wine is good. Prettier areas (growing wines as well) we found along the southern coastline of WA with the added attraction of the forests.