After seeing most of Perth and it's surrounding areas, we thought it'd be good to see a little more of Western Australia- after all it is as big as Europe even though it only has a population of 2 million. So we decided to go on a 3 day organised trip visiting the South West Regions of Western Australia.
So we were picked up at the unearthly hour of 6.30am by our tour guide Todd (who was to go on and become a little bit of a legend!) and we picked up thew other 3 tourists, Madeline, Manuel and Matt. The normally have between 15-20 people on the tours so we were lucky that we were in a small group. My 'small world' syndrome continued as it turned out that MAtt did not only live in Shortlands, about 3 minutes from my house, but also worked in the same road in Holborn as me during the summer! I wonder why so many people want to get out of Bromley...
We headed down south making various stops on the way: to Kojonup to visit a rose maze and an aboriginal museum tour and then on to Jingalla winery for lunch and a wine tasting session. I fell in love with the Jingalla Tawney Port, but with limited luggage space and budget I resist buying a bottle. We then headed down through the Porongurup Rangers into Mount Barker where we trekked up the mountain to take in the breathtaking views and take some comedy pictures with castle rock.
From there we headed down to Albany, Australia's first settlement stopping at Middleton Beech and took in more exceptional views of King George Sound before heading to our hostel in Albany where Todd rustled up a stir fry before Matt, Chris and I headed out for a drink in the deserted Albany!
The following day we headed out early to visit the famous 'gap' and 'natural bridge' and take some more comedy pictures directed perfectly by Todd! We then made our way down to 'Whale World' to visit the original Whaling station where Whale's used to be hunted.
Todd then drove us into Denmark for a BBQ lunch by the river followed by some swimming and snorkelling in Greens Pool which was excellent The water was really clear and you could see for miles. Todd and I were the only ones who fancied a snorkel but he took be out to all the best spots full of amazing fish, reefs and shells. After warming up following the swim we headed to Walpole where we went on a tree top walk, 40 meters above the ground, which again gave great views, before doing the ground walk around the giant trees (which Matt was happy to do now that he had reached ground level!).
We'd managed to pack a lot into the day so we arrived in Pemberton, our overnight stop quite late so it was around 10pm by the time Todd had produced a BBQ with his own 'secret recipe' potato bake, which went down well with a $7 bottle of red! They kept Kangaroo's in the grounds of our accommodation so we went out for some late night feeding after dinner.
An even earlier start to the third day saw us leave Pemberton at 6.30am and headed for Dunsborough where we went on a whale watching cruise. We were very lucky to see so many whales and some came within about 10 meters of the boat. Pictorial evidence of the whales were hard to get as you never knew when they were going to flip out of the water, but we did our best!
Once the whales had been watched to the max, we drove up to Margaret River, the famous winning region for some lunch, another wine tour and a visit to a chocolate factory before making the long trip back to Perth. It really was an amazing few day and we managed to pack so much into the trip. We got on really well with everyone else an by the end the banter was great on the bus.