Wine, caves, lighthouses, a very long jetty and lots of old people!
Augusta, Western Australia
You must go and see the Margaret River region, is what so many people have said to me, when I mentioned that I was going to Perth. So, after reading up about the area and discovering that there are lots of things to see, I decided to book a tour of the area. The backpacker tour I wanted to do is not running until next week, which was an initial dissapointment as it involved lots of walking and more active stuff with a younger crowd. The only tour daily at the moment was a tour with a company called APT, which run luxury coach tours that nan and Arthur would be very at home on and are also very expensive. The lovely travel agent knocked a big chunk off the price for me and so I was very happy about that. The tour was very well run and actually went further down the coast all the way to the Cape leeuwin lighthouse, where the Indian and Southern oceans meet, so in hindsight, this was the tour to be on. There were a couple of younger Asians and a family, but other than that it was mainly an older crowd, which was actually great, as there were a couple of older ladies in front of me on the coach and they had the greatest sense of humour ever. One of them was 85, and it made me feel proud of Nan who is still able to get out and about in good health. We didn't get much time at each stop but there was alot to pack in, and as is common in Australia we had a fair distance to cover (700kms over the course of the day). First stop was the famous Bussleton jetty at just under 1.9kms in length. We didn't have time to walk it/ ride the train to the end, but we had some time for photos and a little wander around (and an ice cream!). Onwards to the beautiful Margaret River region, it would have been wrong to pass without visiting one of the many wineries, where we tasted 7 different wines and were taught how to taste properly. I really could taste the different flavours - usually I don't allow my tastebuds the chance, as it doesn't touch the sides! With tummies full of wine, it was time to have some lunch, so we stopped at some limestone caves and enjoyed a lovely buffet lunch followed by a trip into one of the caves, where we saw some fossils from giant animals from long ago. We drove through a magnificent Karri forest with really tall trees, and so many of them that they looked like a forest of tall straight sticks, before arriving at the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse. You really can see where the two seas meet, and the sweeping coastline to the South was really nice. On our journey back to Perth we stopped briefly in the township of Margaret River to have a look at the shops and then at a hotel near Busselton for dinner. We arrived back in Perth at 21.15 and I was so ready for a sleep.