We leave Perth and head for the Bunbury Farmer’s Markets to stock up on a few provisions and then make our way to Busselton to view the underwater aquarium at the Jetty. Although the last excursion of the day is over, we decide to pay the lesser fare to walk part of the way of the 1 km stretch of jetty, where locals fish and people stroll by.
It is dusk by the time we get to the town of Margaret River. Our host, Kass has kindly left a key in the door to the delightful cottage “The Sandcastle“ that we find tucked behind their homestead.
We feel immediately at home in a cleverly designed space that has a wood burner stove and spiral wooden staircase, leading to a tastefully furnished loft bedroom. Soon we are languishing in the spa with a glass of vino, followed by a delicious Bunbury Market African Curry. The fire has done wonders to heat the entire cottage and we drift off to sleep as the embers softly crackle and burn late into the night.
Our first day is spent exploring south along Caves Road, taking in spectacular forest and coastal scenery, including a walk around Hamlin Bay. We decide to lunch at the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse near Augusta.
“At our age we believe we’ve seen it all. We’ve witnessed birth and death; experienced success, failure and near death. But nothing prepared us for the culinary Armageddon that was thrust upon us in the form of a bacon and egg burger on that sorry day from the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse Cafe. How does a kitchen turn out a meal that sees eggs blackened on the bottom and runny, raw white on top; bread that’s jaundice yellow impregnated with what appeared to be cheese; raw beetroot cleverly hidden under layers of rocket leaves – the perfect camouflage? However, it did not stop there. The ‘chips’ turned out to be soggy potato crisps out of a packet.”
Having recovered from this dastardly lunching experience, we still have the courage to pay for the lighthouse walking excursion. We exercise restraint as we follow a long line of tourists of a certain persuasion who are obsessed with doing selfies at every turn.
The highlight of our second day is a two-hour e-bike tour with Jodie from Easy Ride Tours around the bush tracks of Margaret River. The tour takes in two wine tastings and a craft brew tasting on a near-perfect day that we complete by driving to the Vasse Felix and Stormflower local wineries.
The weather for the two days we’re there is fantastic. Cool nights, warm days seeing us walk around in T-shirts and shorts. The locals remind us that it’s very ‘unseasonal’.
They’re right. As we leave Margaret River the wind picks up and the cloud starts to ride in from the West. The start of their winter.
Next stop of the Western Australia Road Trip –
Read about our Top 5 Places to Visit in Western Australia