We were looking forward to getting back to some kind of normality; camping, driving and cooking for ourselves again. We chose a campsite in Bunbury, right opposite the dolphin discovery centre and pretty close to the centre. Campsites in Oz seem to be well prepared for campers, providing camp kitchens and free electric BBQs, along with the usual amenities. Our first day in town was a windy one, so we battled it out to secure the tent down and headed off to the shops to stock up on food! On the site opposite us was an Aussie guy, originally from Wales, who took us into town that night for a drink and showed us the sights and sounds of Bunbury town (not that many, it turns out!).
The main attraction in Bunbury is the wild dolphins that frequent the bay here. The dolphin discovery centre has been set up to educate people and research and protect the dolphins. They don't keep the dolphins there (they are wild!), but when they do come in to the shore, they have people who take the public into the water safely and make sure the experience is enjoyable for them and the dolphins. Usually the dolphins turn up early morning, so we sat out on the beach from about 8am ready to see them. About 9.30am, we were rewarded with 4 dolphins swimming in. The centre's staff walked us into the water, keeping a safe distance from the dolphins, and talked us through what we were seeing; we saw 2 males, a mother and her calf. The dolphins seemed as curious about us as we did them! They came up so close to us and just swam up and down, past the people stood in the water to their knees. The males only stuck around for about 5 minutes, but the female and her calf spent a good 20 minutes in the shallows. They really seemed to like showing off for us; spinning round, diving about and sticking their noses out the water! It was really amazing. After frolicking about, they swam off into the distance again, leaving us time to take a look around the discovery centre.
That afternoon, we took a walk round the huge inlet and the mangrove board walk. It took us about an hour and a half to wander along the path, while we spotted lots of wild birds, which looked more like parrots than your average black bird! Also, on route we saw some gorgeous houses with their boats moored up to their back gardens - now that is the life!
After a few days in Bunbury, we headed about 100km south to a small town called Margaret River - an area famed for its countless vineyards, cheese, fudge and chocolate factories! Our kind of place we thought! Again, we were camping at a well equipped campsite. To increase our comforts, this time, we invested in an airbed. This certainly made the camping part more enticing and our tent seemed like a five star hotel with it inside!
Of course, James got his way and we spent the first day visiting numerous wineries, including Leeuwin and Cape Mentelle. The wine tasting is free here, which unfortunately means you feel obliged to buy a bottle or two of their finest wines! Although, we soon discovered we wouldn't last long if we kept buying pricey ones, so we finally went for the cheaper ones! Including one of the hugest bottles of red wine I have ever seen, for under £10! As the designated driver, I (Becky) got to drive home via the cheese factories and sampled some of the delicious cheeses. Again, this was free, so we ended up buying a few different cheeses to nibble on whilst we are here!
For our last day, James finally succumbed and let me run wild in the chocolate factory! Actually, it was just a huge chocolate shop really, with a viewing window into the factory. But still!! Of course, there were free samples here too - milk chocolate, white chocolate and dark chocolate!! I didn't mind one bit when we felt obliged to buy some chocolate goodies! In fact, it wasn't only eating chocolate that they had; they had a whole range of chocolate beauty products, so as James tells me I can go in the shower and want to drink my shower gel and eat my soap!