Saturday, September 21, 2013

Western Australia - Pt 3

In Busselton, we visited the longest wooden jetty / pier in the southern hemisphere (2km). Unfortunately, the underwater observatory at the end of it was closed due to poor sea visibility, but we caught the little train out to the end of the jetty anyway.

Quokky took advantage of the sunshine to sit and have a refreshing apple juice with lunch.

After lunch, we went to an outdoor archery range for a quick round of field archery. 

The next day in the Margaret River area was pretty busy. It started with a trip to the wonderful Ngilgi Cave where we went on a semi-guided tour. We were taken into the cave, told the history and about the formations and then left to wander around ourselves at our own pace.

That afternoon we went to Yallingup Maze - a giant timber maze - where we spent far too much time trying to find our way to the four towers (damn false walls lol), and far too much money on puzzles in the shop :) Every table in the cafe had puzzles and games out so you could play with them while eating. Very clever marketing! We ended up buying a metal knot puzzle and a Rubik's Cube to replace Billy's old one which had broken.

Our caravan park was near the charmingly named Cowaramup - we had to stop and look at the fibreglass cows :)

And since the caravan park was also a working farm, the visiting kids got to feed the animals that evening.

This is where our lovely weather ran out with heavy rain over night :(

Western Australia Trip - Pt 2

After we picked up the motorhome, we did exciting things like find a supermarket to shop for food etc to stock the van. That actually was more exciting than it sounds as the van was obviously bigger than a normal car so parking was an adventure :)

Our 1st full day we caught the ferry over to Rottnest Island, 18km off the coast of WA. It's a reserve, so no private land ownership is allowed, and it's full of history and gorgeous scenery. We caught a bus tour around the island, as well as taking some time to walk around the settlement area.

And for me, the main attraction are the quokkas, small macropods native to the area. They are the cutest things ever and many on the island are quite tame. Some of these cheeky ones were coming right up to sniff the camera (most shots taken by Billy).

We couldn't resist buying our own toy quokka (since we weren't allowed to smuggle a real one off the island!)

The next day we travelled to Bunbury, where we stopped at the Dolphin Discovery Centre. Wild dolphins regularly come into the bay where the centre is, but unfortunately we weren't lucky enough to see any that day. We did get to look at their aquariums with gorgeous seahorses, starfish and octopi, as well as view the dolphin information displays. It was quite an impressive place for something entirely run by volunteers.

On the way out to dinner, we stopped to look at the Bunbury lighthouse. I'm not sure if there's anything significant about it other than its paint job! I remember seeing it as a kid so it was nice to show it to Billy.

Our Dolphin centre entry fees entitled us to go back to the centre 3 times, so we called in there the next morning in the hope that we'd see dolphins this time. We watched feeding time in the aquarium and then were lucky enough to see some dolphins - WAY out in the bay. Binoculars helped! Billy did manage to capture one in one photo - see the black dot around the middle of the photo :)

We then headed down the coast to Busselton. More later...

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Western Australia Trip - Pt 1

The first few days of our trip were spent in Fremantle where I had my writer's conference. Before the conference, we had time to do some sightseeing.

We started off with Fremantle Prison, built as a convict barracks in the 19th Century and remained in use until 1991. We took a guided tour - very interesting stories, although we had to dodge the rain showers!

Next we visited the Fremantle Round House, the oldest building still standing in WA. It was originally the prison until Fremantle Jail was built, then used as a police lockup and living quarters for the chief constable.

We also had time for taking in the harbour views, and eating fish and chips and gelato on the foreshore.

and walks around the township.

Hubby and Billy did various things while I was at the conference, like going to the markets and a football (AFL) match, until finally, the conference was over and we picked up our new home. The adventure had kicked off in earnest!