Traveled down to Margaret River on Monday 4th January, the first of five days down in southern W.A. The itinerary was such that we planned to spend one night each at Margaret River, Pemberton and Denmark with two nights at Albany. We also had a bit of time for ad hoc side excursions.
Eighteen years ago, Gerry and I did a similar trip, although we had less time and we did the journey in the reverse order, omitting Margaret River which we bypassed on our way home to Perth.
This time we were four, each of us with varying knowledge and experience of our various destinations. En route to Margaret River we stopped of for refreshments at the “Settlers Roadhouse”.
Steve and Denise had previously experienced their “pig butties” and had been selling them to us for quite a few days, so our expectations were high. We were not disappointed. Nice soft rolls, multiple rashers of bacon and fried eggs.
On the down side, the main toilet block in the car park was out of action, so was the gents attached to the roadhouse, so men were having to use the disabled facilities. This also meant that there was a queue, something that a lady waiting to use the women’s facilities commented on …… “not often you see a queue for the mens toilet”.
Back on the road and we were soon in Margaret River.
What a pleasant bustling town Margaret River is. Lots of small boutique style shops and plenty of cafe’s and eateries. We stopped in a cafe and wrapped ourselves around a cup of tea and some apple pie, well I did. Can’t remember what anyone else had. After quenching our thirst we headed over to the visitor centre to find out what was going on locally.
As we had a bit of time to spare, before we could check in to our hotel, we took off for a tour around the area. Denise and Steve had been here before , so they had some idea of where to go.
So we found ourselves heading out along Wallcliffe Road towards Surfers Point…..
Rejuvenation was placed to commemorate a bush-fire that occurred in incident that occurred in November of 2011. Burning through 3,400 hectares (8,400 acres) of land and leaving a total of 39 homes destroyed and another 14 damaged. No lives were lost.
I’m not sure what this next artwork is commemorating. Note, she is on the top of a hill, on a skateboard and wearing a blindfold.
The wind was blowing very hard. As we crested the rise we were presented with this initial view ….
Just some of the many surfers taking advantage of the strong wind …..
This guy was doing very well, controlling his kite as he emerged from the sea. There have been a couple of nasty accidents, here in the Perth area, where the wind has gusted and carried the surfer away. Slamming one unfortunate soul into a tree.
Just a few others around Surfers Point …
After braving the winds gusting up these cliffs, I’d had to tie my hat on, we decided to move on to a cafe for more tea. We found ourselves at the White Elephant Cafe at Gnarabup.
Whats not shown in this photo is the tasty bowls of wedges that we shared. This cafe has a superb terrace / deck from which to watch the surfers, sea birds and sunbathers.
And so it was time to head to our hotel so that we could unload the car and freshen ourselves up for our evening meal.
We were staying at the Quality Inn and this is an establishment that I can highly recommend. The rooms were large and airy. Ours came with a little terrace with a bistro set overlooking a small stream which linked the two ponds. Steve and Denise had pretty much the same but their terrace looked out over the larger of the two ponds.
In the evening the frogs began their chorus. We were informed that we could hear several different species of frog. There were the tradition frogs that call out the usual “ribbet, ribbet”. Then, yes really, there were the “motor bike” frogs. They sound like an old honda accelerating away into the distance. And last, but not least, there were the “banjo” frogs. Sounding out a single “bonk” like the plucking of a banjo string.
We chose to eat in the hotel, in part because we were quite tired, but also because Steve and Denise had eaten there before and were very pleased with their meal. Once again their recommendation was well founded. The staff were friendly, the food was superbly cooked and the portions were more than ample.
Here endeth our Margaret River experience. We wished we had allowed more time for this lovely town. Needless to say we will be returning as soon as we can.