Margaret River- a dream come true!
Margaret River, Western Australia
"Originally had planned to stay in Margaret River for three nights, but as soon as we drove through the gates of Big Valley that quickly changed to a week… Ended up staying two and a half weeks! Beautiful location, clean amenities, friendly folk and wonderful owners. Highly recommend! (Our WikiCamps review of our stay at Big Valley, Margaret River)
It was finally upon us, one of our big ticket items for WA- the MIGHTY Margaret River… Although the river is actually quite small, at least it flowed through the town and the name was signified by an actual river which usually isn't the case in most places we have visited!
Wine, Food, Wine, Food and so on. It was time to book a tour. Shelley (Big Valley owner) recommended 'Cheers' tours. They picked us up and dropped us off from the campsite and boy was it worth the $72 each… look we didn't get as merry as we hoped for but we were full of food and had a fair few drinks and tasters. From wineries with a massive lunch to the venison farm (delicious) to more wineries and chocolate. To the dairy company and finishing off with "The Grove Experience". The Grove Experience was like no other apart from the micro-brewery, winery and distillery… there was the owner Steve…. Now we were warned that if we were easily offended not to go in… It was us and 14 Tasmanians on the bus, so there was no hope of that happening. A fantastic day was had by all!
Big Valley provided communal fire pits and wood, this is where everyone congregated after the sun went down. It was there that we met some of the locals… Dave has been on the road for 12 years now, he spends the summer in Margaret River and the winter in Broome or "paradise" as he calls it. Then there was Red dog or Red… A Red Healer X Dingo. She isn't to be mistaken with Red dog of the Pilbara, she was Red Dog of the Kimberley.
Then there was Bruce with his black Labrador named 'Beyonce' Tara didn't believe the name for a long time. Bruce was another long time local to Big Valley. Bruce and Tristan hit it off as he was a mad keen fisherman. He kept talking about a place called Cosy Corner… Probably the most stunning fishing spot ever… even if we didn't get fish, the view still would have been worth it. But we are in WA after all, the fishing was insane. Tristan being the Victorian fishing he is and only running a 12 pound line the 6 kg salmon just snapped off every time…. You live and you learn. A sign of good things to come. (He now has some 30 pound leader to avoid future fishing failures!)
On one of our last days Greg and Kate arrived. They are a young couple the same age as us who have been on the road for around 2 and a half years. We hit it off straight away…. Finally some people our own age… a breath of fresh air.
Then came the storms… Margaret River is susceptible to some doozies as the Southern and Indian Oceans meet just down the road… so you never know what you're going to get. They predicted the worst storm in a very long time, with a couple of hundred millimetres of rain and wind gust of 125km/h… fun, fun, fun! During the day we prepped Judy for the night ahead. Larry doing the gentlemanly thing shielded her side where the wind was howling and offered a few tie down points to keep her stable during the storm… after a sleepless night we all made it in one piece-safe and sound. Thanks again Larry for being so brave.
After comparing meal ideas with Kate and Greg, they suggested baking a loaf of bread on the Weber… How hard could it be? Tristan can bust out a pretty mean pizza dough from scratch, surely he can make bread! It was a massive success, the loaf was huge and so yum. We think we may have started a trend….
Before we left this amazing wine region we needed to buy up some wine. Dean mentioned Mad Fish/Howard Park Wines… well we walked in amazed by the building, then the wine and let's just say we walked out with a case of 12 bottles. It was really nice…
Margaret River was a brilliant stay, a friendly, welcoming home away from home. We went from 3 days to 2 and a half weeks and loved every minute….even the storms and rain. Except on the second last day when we drove an hour and a half back to Cosy Corner for the last time… Tristan wanted one of those Salmon and as we pulled up BANG the deluge of wind, rain and everything else you could think of started. Let's just say he wasn't happy!
Thanks Margaret River… It was a pleasure xx