Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 018 Contents 212 Scoop Traveller June-December 2010
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He travelled the world and the South
West on the professional poker circuit,
before Kester Solomon found his piece of
paradise in Albany three years ago and
opened Liberte, a cool, European-style
wine bar and coffee house at the London
Hotel on Stirling Terrace.
“After six years of playing professional
poker around the world, we were
keen to settle down in a real country
town where we could raise our two
girls, and enjoy a real quality of life.
After touring the usual South West
communities, we were inadvertently
detoured to Albany and found exactly
what we were looking for. We call
Albany ‘the last frontier’: pristine,
unspoilt beaches where you can surf
alone on the breaks rolling off the
wild Great Southern ocean, where
there are green hills and wildlife at
your door. There are so many things
I love about this town. Firstly, you
can’t go past Albany’s history – the
old heritage buildings set among the
backdrop of a beautiful harbour are
so unique and quite breathtaking.
The coastline is so unique down
here, too, you could be forgiven for
thinking you were elsewhere around
the world, with grand cliffs, massive
granite outcrops and islands that
surround beautiful turquoise bays –
it’s spectacular. But mostly I love the
people. Albany is far enough away
from Perth that it has been able to
develop its own character and town
sentiment. People here are void of
the usual trappings that normally
consume your life in a big city. Life
down here is largely about family
and people enjoying living. It sounds
cliched, but the best things in life are
usually free, and everyone here has
My favourite things to do
• Driving my car onto any of the
incredibly pristine beaches, such as
Two Peoples Bay or Nanarup, and
watching the whales frolic with not
another soul in sight.
• Bonfiring under a big sky with
friends and local Dorper Lamb
on the barbeque.
• Enjoying all four seasons.
• Visiting the diverse wine regions
that make up the Great Southern
and chatting to all the talented wine
makers and vineyard owners.
• Lunching at the organic Thai
restaurant Maleeya’s in the middle
of a Porongurup paddock.
• Catching up with the community
at the Sunday farmers market.
KESTER SOLOMON |
Best Albany experiences
1. salmon Holes Fishermen flock to
the aptly named Salmon Holes in Torndirrup
National Park. Named after the schools of
salmon known to shelter closer to the sand,
Salmon Holes makes an excellent site for
hauling in fish of all shapes and sizes. The
powerful currents and strong winds make for
nice surfing waves as well if you’re willing
to venture a bit further out. Swimming
is permitted, though between the fishing
hooks, surfboards and powerful currents,
only the experienced should take a dip.
We scout the albany area to find three of the best beaches for sheer beauty and entertainment.
2. middleton beacH Attracting
thousands upon thousands in the summer
months, Albany’s Middleton Beach is a five-
kilometre-long hub of activity for the whole
family. Mum and dad can fire up the barbie
and prepare a flame-grilled picnic while the
kids enjoy themselves on the play equipment.
Combine this with an evening sunset for
a truly special meal. And we haven’t even
touched the water yet! Fishing from the jetty,
swimming among the gentle currents and
windsurfing are all popular activities.
3. sHelley beacH Roughly halfway
between Albany and Denmark is Torbay,
home to Shelley Beach. A spot for the
wild at heart, Shelley Beach is one of the
best for hang-gliding and parasailing.
Purpose-built ramps provide a platform for
daring adventurers to take flight and glide
across a panorama of white sand, clear blue
waters and lush greenery, taking in the
spectacular views from a perspective usually
reserved for the winged members of the
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