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Busselton & Margaret River Wine Region insider
Go down to this region before the silly season starts in November, and
you can avoid the masses and enjoy something a little different to what
the area is famous for (wine, fishing, surfing and glorious nature). Anyone
can put a canoe or kayak in the water and paddle about down there,
but have you considered having breakfast with a humpback or seal? An
experienced guide such as Michael Wise, from Cape Kayaks, can take you
and your family to all those hard-to-reach places along Cape Naturaliste.
With more than seven years studying the patterns of whale behaviour,
and with an 80 percent success rate or higher (he happily claims), in two
and a half hours he can have you up close and personal to one of the 1200
or so humpbacks that will be swimming past the cape in September and
October. This is guaranteed to be the ride of your life. Alternatively, you
can take a ride past the Cape Naturaliste Seal Colonies, which can only be
viewed from the water. Or why not see the quarry where they mined the
material from which the lighthouse was built? After all, who else but
a licenced guide can get you from Bunker Bay to Monahans, and who
can judge the conditions – weather, tide, beast – to offer you the best
view in the house? Created from years of trial and error studying currents
and weather, these guided tours (suitable for all levels of ability) provide
a unique experience.
TOuR | BREAKFAST WITH HuMPBACKS
TOuR | INDIGENOuS HISTORY
September is the time to put in for a whale of a time.
For those eager to find out more about the region’s indigenous
past, head to the Wardan cultural centre from August.
The Wardan Cultural Centre was
developed by the Wardandi people
as a place where they can share
their culture with visitors, school
groups and Aboriginal people
from other areas. Its mission is
to increase understanding and
reconciliation with the wider
community. Opening its doors
again on Sunday, August 15, the
centre’s hours will be from 10am-4pm, seven days a week. Entry to the
art gallery and the gift shop is free, and the centre’s gallery showcases and
sells local Indigenous art. Its interpretive centre is also open seven days
a week and provides a self-guided tour of both local Indigenous culture
and history. The centre also runs a total of three guided tours – but which
to experience? Simply take the difficulty out of the decision and spend a
half-day at the centre so that you can experience all three! Prices are $20
for adults and $10 for children per tour, or you can go on all three tours for
$50 per adult and $25 per child. All of the tours are guided by members of
the Webb Family, who are the traditional owners of the land in this region.
The whole of the family are well-versed in the stories of their country and
in the culture and traditions of their land – here’s an idea of what you will
discover on the tours:
Toolmaking This tour demonstrates how to make a cutting implement,
such as a dap knife, from materials in the natural environment. The
experience also involves storytelling and a cultural history of the region
and the Wardandi people, who are the traditional owners of the land.
Bush Story Trail This is a one-kilometre easy walk around the culture
centre. All the way along the trail, you will be taught how to identify bush
tucker, how you can go about preparing a natural shelter (mia mia) and
some facts about bush medicine.
Spear and boomerang Everyone loves this one. There can’t be many
people who haven’t tried to throw a boomerang – this hands-on lesson
will teach you how to do it properly, and how to be a Wardandi warrior or
gatherer using traditional methods.
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