Busselton and the South West

We left the last blog as we were leaving Cervantes. It was a four and a half hour drive to Busselton, 2 hours on the other side of Perth from where we started.

I wish I was musical as I’d write a hit rock song anthem called Indian Ocean Drive.

We had a time limit as we had to make an appointment. We were meeting our next House Sit couple who’d be spending the next couple of weeks in Bali and we’d be looking after their lovely Golden Labrador.

Mandura

We stopped for lunch briefly on the way in Mandura. There’s a Pirate Ship thing going on which I haven’t spent the time investigating why? Anyway the Pirate Ship came in as we were walking back to the car so here it is.

Pirate Ship in Mandura

Busselton

Often when visiting a place for the first time we’ll look it up in Google and Tripadvisor and see whats happening. I’ll also do a Google Images scan and see what there is to photograph. When I did this for Bussleton I got a gazillion pics of the jetty from a hundred different angles, not much else. So…after a days work and after feeding and watering Polly, the Golden Labrador, we went to explore the Jetty. It was sunset.

Busselton Jetty

First impressions, it’s long. It is 1,841 metres long in fact. The longest wooden jetty in the world apparently.

Now THATS a long jetty

Second impressions, it stank. Tons and tons of rotting seaweed lined the beaches on either side and it gave off a reek.

Stinky, but very environmentally critical, seaweed

Every year, at this time, tons of seaweed piles up on all the beautiful beaches around here. The locals and visitors might not like the sight and the stink but the local wildlife love it…so it stays. It supports and feeds a lot of animals. At the end of the season it is bulldozed into trucks and used for fertiliser. We were lucky, the first day we visited the Jetty the sunset was pretty good. There were a lot of people trying to photograph it.

Of course I took a picture of someone, taking a picture of someone, taking a picture of the sunset. There was probably someone behind me taking a better picture of someone (me) taking a picture of . . . you get the picture!

They charged a small fee to get onto the Jetty. We visited it again another day and walked to the end. For lazy folk, there’s a train that runs every hour on the hour. I bet if it was run by British Rail it would still be delayed.

Wish I’d taken the train

At the end of the Jetty is this informative sign. Now, I have a problem with this. The Bussleton Jetty web site states this, “The Busselton Jetty is 1.841km long. It is the longest timber piled jetty in the southern hemisphere “

The (IMNSHO) inaccurate End of the Pier sign

But as you may be able to discern from a previous picture, the jetty does a ‘dog leg’ thing and kinks to the right about 2/3 along it’s length. It may be 1,841 metres long, that I am not disputing, but that’s not in a straight line. We cannot be 1,841 metres out to sea if the jetty is not straight. Then, in extrapolation, if that initial point of reference is wrong then all of the information on this sign is wrong. Maybe I should stop being an engineer sometimes.

One of the things most interesting about Busselton Esplanade, not found in any guide books, is the environmentally friendly street lamps. They have strips of solar panels and a wind turbine on top of each one.

Solar Powered, Wind Assisted street Lamps…and Jenni in a red beanie

House Sit

Polly, the Golden Labrador, was a most enthusiastic dog. She was a little arthritic so we had to be careful with the exercise and not overdo it. We did a couple of stints of running up and down the (extensive) garden each day to keep her moving.

When I say ‘we’, I mean Jenni.

She let us know when she had had enough by lying down and projecting, “No More” vibe quite clearly.

Fire Station

If you’re in Busselton and like good wine and food at reasonable prices go here. That’s it.

Old Fire Station

An enterprising bunch have taken over the old Fire Station and turned it into a great venue. Ironically it has a fire.

And a great selection of beers and wines including my all time favourite stout 4 Pines Nitro Stout. We visited many times and the selections change often, always good. If they had rooms I’d stay here.

Cape Naturaliste

It is Wildflower Season in Western Australia. We are very close to Cape Naturaliste which is the start of the Cape to Cape walk and has a plethora of wildflowers on show. One of the afternoons after working all day as usual, we stopped an hour early took a trip out to see the wildflowers and the scenery. We were not disappointed.

Wildflower Hotspot

There were Clawflowers in abundance.

Clawflower

And other flora.

Wisteria maybe
Lily, possibly

The Cape to Cape walk is 250kms long. Its start and finish are the lighthouses at the tips of Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin. It passes through some of the places we had planned to stay while we were here to se would walk a bit of it on this journey. This day we walked from Sugarloaf Rock to the start of the track, Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse.

Cape Naturaliste lighthouse

The walk between Sugarloaf Rock and the lighthouse was quite scenic but windy and cold, despite what the pictures show. There were a lot of birds flitting about, more on that later. It was very green, with Australian things growing. They probably kill you if you walk close to them.

Probably deadly, but very beautiful, Australian flora.
Sugarloaf Rock
Jenni and the Sugarloaf Rocks
Culchie spoiling the view

It was a good walk though. Gave us a steer for next destination. Love the fact we’re not fixed in where we go next. Afterwards we went for lunch in a winery. The one thing this part of the world isn’t short of, is wineries.

Wise Winery

Yallingup

On a day trip from Busselton we visited Yallingup. It is a seaside resort and came recommended by an Airbnb host. The local camp site also gets 4.5 stars in Wikicamps so in preparation we stopped by. It is one of the few camp sites near the ocean in this region and is famous for its surf breaks. I was upset to find there was a statue of a surfer on display where they had stolen my body image without my permission. Not sure how to progress that claim so I may have to let it go. Picture of said statue appears in a few moments, read on.

Yallingup was heaving with surfers the day we arrived, we later found out the waves were near perfect this day.

I can hear Beach Boys tunes in my head watching this
Spectacular skills on show
Raging Surf
Watching people, watching people surfing

I do love taking pictures of surfers. If there was a living to be made of this I’d be on it. Not all the surfers had successful runs as we saw this day.

However, Yallingup was now a fixed in our minds as a destination. It is effortlessly beautiful. We booked the camp site across the road from the beach pretty much right away.

Margaret River

After our house sit we booked a place to stay in Margaret River for a couple of days. After that we’re camping in Yallingup. Jenni had found a location to visit, Boranup Forest. We did a drive by and at the time the sun was setting, the light was stupidly beautiful. I could not capture one tenth of how beautiful this was on camera. It’s a must visit location if you are ever Margaret River, Western Australia.

Entering Boranup Forest
Boranup Forest
Jenni and the tree

The forests at this time of year show some nice fungi also. We spied these beauties on one of our walks.

Capped Mushrooms
Flat Leaf Funghi

Someone put an excellent cafe in the middle of the forest called Boranup Cafe. It was in such a beautiful setting. We checked out the reviews on Tripadvisor before we stopped there and it got 5 stars so we stopped for lunch.

Boranup Cafe
Boranup Cafe menu
Art Gallery beside the cafe

Cowaramup Brewery

On another outing on another day went to Cowaramup Brewery for lunch. I had the tasting paddle. We also had some food, I can’t remember if lunch was good or not but the beer was average. Not offensive and awful like James Squire but ‘Just OK’. Wilson Brewery I spoke about in a blog before had amazing beers eclipsed only by Artisan Brewery brews, both from this part of Australia. Therefore I had high hopes but these guys didn’t make beer good enough to make the ‘Good’ range. They were not offensive, just ‘OK’.

Cowaramup beer, its just “OK”

They did give me a free can of beer though so they aren’t all bad.

Happy boy, free beer.

Wineries

The Margaret River region is famous for wine. There are 215 vineyards in the region. We visited 3 while we stayed here. Cullen Winery where we bought a bottle of their special chardonnay.

Gorgeous Rock Star I papped outside Cullen Winery

And the excellently named Snake and Herring winery which we stopped at just beacause of this sign.

Guess what we bought here?
Snake and Herring wine list

Wise Winery where we had lunch.

Wise Winery restaurant, great views
Wise Winery exit

Australian Fauna

We’ve seen a lot of different birds on this leg. Also some other animals. Here are some pics of what we’ve seen so far. This beautiful little feral cat came to see what we were up to one night while we were having a sundowner at the camp site. Feral cats are a serious issue in Australia.

Inquisitive Black Australian Kitten

On our Cape to Cape walk there were hundreds of birds. I only managed to snap them when they posed on the high stalks of plants for a second,

They seem to like doing this a lot

On the path we spied this colourful creature. We stopped and made sure it didn’t get trodden on till it got across the pathway

Caterpliiar, not to scale
Not all birds sat cooperatively
Yellow Pointy Beak Spiky Haired gull thing
Hey Jim. Any food this morning?
Look at me! I’m magnificent.
Who are you looking at?

We’re glad not all fauna put in an appearance.

Snake warning on the camp site.

Yallingup

From Margaret River we moved to a camp site in Yallingup, It is beautiful, and it has a statue of me on the beach. I think you’ll agree they caught me reasonably accurately.

What I’d look like with a surf board, but I’d be slightly more bluey white coloured.

As I write this we’ve been in our camp site for 5 days and nights. It is off season so the camp site is quiet. The weather has been grey and raining but the scenery is still effortlessly beautiful.

Jenni and I have walked quite a bit of the Cape to Cape walk now as it passes through Yallingup. The surf isn’t always perfect as it was in the first day we arrived, nor is the sky clear blue but it is always a peasure to behold.

Here are a few images from our walks along the coastline we took during our stay. Not in chronological order.

Western Australia’s Next Top Model
The sign needs repair also
Yallingup Reef
(My) Love on the rocks.
View up the Coast
He’ll be coming down the mountain when he comes…eventually!
Hey!
Errr!

Spot the amateur photographer on the rocks?

This is Jenni, photographing me, photographing the sea.

This is me, photographing Jenni photographing the sea.

I turned 180 degrees right and snapped this just after the last picture. People surf this. Not sane people of course, Australians.

Till next time.

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