30/9 – 4/10/2013
Wine, food, beaches, bush walks, forests and caves all here in Margaret River – could this be the perfect place? We are staying at a farm stay called Big Valley Caravan Park and it is a lovely natural setting with some challenging hill walks – very reasonable rates too. As there is so much to see, taste and do we decide on a tour with ‘Cheers’ and go to 3 wineries, a chocolate factory, cheese tasting, venison small goods, nougat sampling and even a brewery – something for everyone. They even picked us up and dropped us off for the day with lunch included at the Watershed Winery. We gain some local knowledge and find out the best place for some Shiraz is just down the road at Brown Hill Winery and they ship it back home for free.
At last a beer after a day of wine tasting
Where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean
At last we see the sun after about a week of clouds, rain and wind so we head to the most south western tip of Australia where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean at the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. Jewel Cave is not far from here and I am keen to have a look after a friend told me if you can’t see all of the caves, there are 5, at least get to this one. Shane is not a fan of dark, damp underground places so he opts to read a book and off I go. The cave is nothing short of spectacular with an abundance of limestone formations from straw stalactites, columns, shawls and the roof is covered in stalactites of every shape and size. Unfortunately, I am in rather a large group so we are ‘herded’ through and not enough time to truly appreciate how wonderful it all is. (Tip: find out how many are in the tour and avoid school holidays.) A short drive to Hamelin beach but as the sea has been rough and the seaweed is piled up everywhere there are no stingrays in the bay. On our way home we take a loop through a Karri forest which is just beautiful, peaceful and well worth the drive.
There is so much still to see and the Yahava Koffeeworks at the end of our road is a good place to start another day. They roast there own coffee, you can give them a try and learn all you ever need to know about coffee. A good hardy walk along the Margaret River and then its off to the Brown Hill Winery which I claim as the best and best value.
We could have easily stayed here another week but may have been too loaded down with wine and other goodies – best to move on.