Friday, October 29, 2010

Night 99 - Margaret River

Today was much the same as yesterday......sight seeing, enjoying lunch at the park and then more sight seeing! I am seriously in love with this place!!

We left our alcohol free camp (how they can make an alcohol free camp in the middle of a hundred vineyards I dont know!!) at about 10am. Camera charged, video camera charged, lunch made....ready to go.

First stop was the Margaret River Cheese Factory which was fantastic. It is only a tiny little shop but of course we tried everything! We bought Garlic and Herb Feta and Sweet Chilli Cheddar, delicious! The kids enjoyed taste testing the vanilla yoghurt.

Next stop the wine tasting where Craig bought 4 'lucky dip' bottles for $20. They also had a kids lucky dip and Bailey scored himself some new colouring pencils. I didnt go in as Ellie was asleep in the car.

Next stop was lunch at the park, again we had our usual road side lunch then the kids ran it off playing at the park. Its such a nice sunny day but its pretty chilly.

Next stop was the 'Berry Farm'....we thought this was actually a strawberry, blueberry, blackberry farm but as we drove down the driveway we realised it was another vineyard. I wonder how many people do exactly the same thing as we did! Nonetheless it was gorgeous.

We came back to camp and tested out our cheese and wine, very happy. I could seriously get used to this!

Another night was spent around the campfire trying to warm up.

Night 98 - Margaret River

It rained all night and its absolutely freezing! I had to dig out the socks, beanies, trackies and jumpers which we havent seen since Brisbane!

We are camping in a National Park about 18km's SW of Margaret River so today we went to explore the town. Its absolutely gorgeous, I wish my mum were here as she would love it, its so old fashioned and rustic.

First stop was the Margaret River Chocolate Factory which was excellent. Kids loved the big bowls of free chocolate, they are great taste testers!! We watched through the factory windows and saw how they made chocolate freckles. The chocolate was divine but pretty expensive so we didnt buy too much.

Next stop was the Providore Shop behind the factory where Craig tested some jams and honey.

We drove back down the main street to find some where for lunch. We found this great little park by Margaret River and made some bread rolls. All was going well until Ellie got bitten on the hand by a huge drake, poor little thing.

Back to the van so Craig could get stuck into some maths with the boys. While they were busy Ellie and I made choc coated strawberries......yum!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Night 97 - Margaret River

We woke to a pretty foggy cloudy day in Bussleton. We packed up and drove down to the jetty to check it out. I had read somewhere before we left that the jetty and underwater observatory was going through a million dollar make over and would be open in Aug 2010. We arrived pretty excited as I had heard people say it was awesome. Not only was it raining but it was still closed. Shame.

We looked around the town a bit then headed south towards Cape Naturaliste. We walked a 2km track around the lighthouse and saw some whales out in the ocean. Craig was keen to check out the surf at Yallingup but when we arrived there it was onshore and messy (apparently!) so he was a bit dissappointed. Yallingup is great, well worth a visit. The cows, sheep and goats in the fields here must be the happiest in Australia with gorgeous long green grass.

Camping at Margaret River at Cape Leeuwin National Park (Conto Campground, $16 per night for 5 of us) is awesome. So beautiful, quiet, cheap, shady and has plenty of birds to keep the bird nerd happy!

We broke the law!!

Neville and his family who we camped with at Lakeside are also here so it was nice to see them again.

Just after dinner about 30 high school students turn up and camp right next to us. They are in for a cold night, its raining and some of them dont even have propper tents.

The kids were so excited as we are allowed to have a fire here after 6pm, its been a while in between marshmallow toasting. Craig got a little excited and burnt all the hair off his arms on our campfire!

We will head into town tomorrow to chek it out....

Night 96 - Bussleton

So sad to leave Birdy, Traci and the kids. Its been awesome to catch up with them after so long. I kind of wish we didnt stay in the house as Ill be having withdrawals from the comfortable beds, the wonderful shower and the real kitchen!! The kids are going to miss their friends too.

We left Perth (sadly) at lunch time and drove down to Bunbury for a look around. First up was a stop at the petrol station where we picked up petrol for $1.20, it will be the last time for quite a while we see prices like that. Bunbury is a pretty big town, much bigger than we thought it was going to be. The houses are massive and really expensive. There are heaps of new housing estates and the town looks really neat and tidy. We drove around and had a quick look and let the kids play at a park by the bay.

Im not really sure why we didnt stay here but we decided to drive the extra 50 km's or so into Bussleton. We stopped at a roadside free camp but Craig didnt like it so we found a caravan park in Bussleton. By the time we were set up and unpacked it was wine time so we didnt do any sight seeing.

The weather is looking pretty grim tomorrow so we will probably head off further south and chase the sunshine.

Night 95 - Perth

Awoke to another sunny day over here.....they are in a drought and the residents have gone to a higher level of water restrictions. We would like a little bit of rain as the car and van could do with a wash!!

Today we went to Perth Zoo with Hannah, Tom and Traci. We all had a great time and with it being a Monday there was hardly anyone there. We watched the reptile feeding (so many little white fluffy mice), the penguin feeding and talk but the highlight were the little monkeys.....the marmosets and the baby 'Ranga'!

It is a great zoo and needless to say the kids had a ball. We saw a couple of squirrals running around the grounds of the zoo which I thought had escaped....are there squirrals in Perth??

Again the kids came home and had a swim in the pool and were worn out by nightfall.

Here are some shots from our day...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Night 94 - Perth

We had a look around Perth today and it was fantastic. Had a lazy morning as its Sunday and the city doesnt open until 12 (yes thats right, a capital city that doesnt open until lunch time. I love it!!!).

We left the boys with Traci and the twins having fun in the pool, much easier exploring a city with just one child.

So Ellie, Craig and I set off and drove the 15 mins or so into town. We went to the city mall first which was really busy, the shops were packed and there were heaps of buskers around. As excited I was to see a mall we didnt stay long as our 4WD didnt fit into the underground parking station so we could only find 1/2 hour parking.

We grabbed a coffee and walked around, we found this cute little arcade which was like something you would see in Europe.

Next stop was the beautiful Kings Park which is much like the Botanical Gardens in Sydney. All the flowers were out and they looked pretty spectacular. We spent ages walking around looking for the State Floral Emblem the 'Sturt Desert Pea', no wonder we couldnt see it.....its actually the S.A Emblem!! Duh!

We had a great time walking around while Ellie was asleep in the pram. The views over the city are amazing and the walkway is fantastic. There were hundreds of families enjoying their Sunday in the sun.

Beers and BBQ that night with Birdy and Traci and the 5 kids who are getting along like best mates!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Night 93 - Perth

So we arrived in Perth just before lunch - very exciting!! Ive been wanting to come here for so long.

We headed straight for Freemantle for lunch and a beer at the famous 'Little Creatures Brewery'. Thanks Nat for telling us to go there, it was very cool! We absolutely loved Freemantle; lots of parks, restaurants and great little shops.

We then went to Freemantle Harbour for a quick lunch, very nice!

We then went to Cottisloe Beach for a look around. The houses here are absolutely massive and worth a fortune Im sure. They had a pathway than ran right along the foreshore which was beautiful. We will come back for another look around another day.

We are staying with Birdy and Traci, its been so long since we have seen them so its been great to catch up. We were up until all hours eating, drinking and chatting.

Lots more sight seeing tomorrow....

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Night 92 - Avon National Park

What a day we had today, we got lost!

We left Lancelin by 10ish and drove south towards Perth. We saw what looked like a nice spot in the Camps 5 book called Avon National Park. We made it to Gin Gin for lunch by the duck pond, after that Im not quite sure what happened. We had the GPS on (but we dont trust her, she is soooo blonde!), Im trying to read the map but the roads didnt have signs and we had no idea where we were! We drove around and around and did countless u-turns.

Finally by about 2pm we made it to Toodyay and from there we were ok. Toodyay was a great little town, really old and quaint. People were so friendly and even waved at us as we drove down the main street. I ducked into a shop to look for a book and came back to find this old drunk toothless man telling his life story to Craig!

Avon was a nice National Park but there was no one else in sight. And what do you do when there is no one else in sight? Light a smoke flare of course!!

I love camping without others on top of us but not having anyone else in the national park makes me slightly nervous. I had a pretty restless night.

Night 91 - Lancelin

After 3 nights free camping we decided it was time to move on. We drove to Lancelin not even knowing if there was a caravan park there but we found a nice little one. Time to fill up our water tanks, do some washing and charge up all of our electricals!

Lancelin is a really nice little spot, its another cute little beachy town. We spent the arvo at the beach checking out all the kite surfers. It was pretty windy and its starting to feel chilly again as we head down the coast.

The kids loved Craigs fish, he battered it and they had a feast for dinner!

In the morning we werent sure if we were going to stay another night. Craig said lets go so we started packing up. Just as we started packing 4 car loads of South African guys turned up to camp right behind us. Drunk and loud at 9am.....we made the right decicion to leave!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Night 90 - Jurien Bay

Well this morning it was cold, foggy and rainy. We arent used to this at all! First time I have heard the kids say they are cold in a long time!

So this morning was spent sand boarding, classic! We had many stacks but so much fun. I had a go, stacked twice (didnt include on the video as Im wearing a skirt, not the most appropriate attire for sand boarding!!)

In the arvo it rained so we sat down for a few more hours of school work, nothing better to do on a rainy day in a caravan! It cleared for an hour or so and we took the kids to the park in town.

Craig took the kids fishing off the cliff, he came back with a shark which they ate for dinner. Its a gorgeous spot here....

Its our 3rd night here and we havent seen a ranger to collect our fees. Gotta love lazy rangers!!