Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 019 Contents 82 Scoop Traveller December-June 2011
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We then spent 10 days at our friend’s holiday home in Busselton, the
perfect place. We loved the Busselton jetty, the drive-in cinema (these are
almost non-existent in Europe), the wild Yallingup beaches and the walk
around Cape Naturaliste (although a hat against flies would have been a
good investment...) . We had the best cheesecake in the world at Bunkers
Beach Cafe, with its stunning beach, and the Goanna Gallery and Cafe in
Dunsborough had trendy outdoor settings and great organic food. Some
of the wineries were a bit ‘Las Vegas’ – there’s a fantastic view at Wise
Vineyard, but it’s not really made for families. Boranup Gallery and its lovely
cafe, nestled in the middle of the forest on Caves Road, was interesting, and
the newly opened (in December 2009) White Elephant Beach Cafe, set right
on the beach of Gnarabup Bay, was friendly and cool. Finally we saw Cape
Leeuwin Lighthouse, where the Southern and Indian oceans meet.
Margaret River to Esperance | It took us over 12 hours to reach Esperance but
the renowned white sand beaches are definitely worth the drive. With its
unbelievable white, crisp sand, spectacular rock formations and crystal-
clear water, you feel like you’ve reached another world. It is the place to
be if you love fishing. The boys spent hours on the beach and even caught
an Atlantic salmon, while Sonja read “pre-loved books” from the local
bookshops – a concept we should definitely export to Europe. We stayed at
the beautiful Esperance Beachfront Resort, located five minutes from the
jetty where the kids could feed local attraction Sammy the Seal. The Ocean
Blues Restaurant, set on The Esplanade, quickly became a favorite hang-out:
cool atmosphere, small kids playground, great wine, food and lounge music.
Albany and Denmark | With New Year approaching, we drove back to
Albany to meet up with some friends at the luxury Maitraya Retreat,
which featured everything you could dream of... from private beach and
lake, to tennis courts, swimming pool and indoor cinema. You can spend
ages on the property without getting bored. We stayed in a little – for us,
affordable – cottage, popping in from time to time to the main house.
Albany has again so many natural wonders to offer. We loved Two Peoples
Bay, its wonderful scenery and ‘Esperance standard’ white-sand beach,
The Gap and the Natural Bridge, the Albany Whaleworld – the only whale
museum created from an actual whaling station – and the Tanglehead
Brewery on Stirling Terrace, with its sprawling atmosphere and great beer.
Denmark has an ‘old-time’ European flair, combined with a relaxed zen
atmosphere that’s perfect for unwinding after long hours driving. We fell
in love with Aiyana Retreat, three one- and two-bedroom villas, tastefully
decorated with the help of local artists and craftsmen, surrounded by
natural bush reserve and next to the Bibbulmun Track. Lalita, the owner’s
wife (originally from Switzerland) provides fantastic massages in the
nearby spa unit, where we enjoyed the privacy of the outdoor jacuzzi...
We loved Elephant Rocks, snorkeling at the Greens Pool (although it was
very crowded), fishing at Madfish Bay, running down the huge dunes at
the far end of Wilson Inlet, cycling the Wilson Inlet Heritage Trail and, of
course, the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk, an absolute must. Stop by
at the Bibbulmun Cafe, where we had one of the best organic meals ever.
Our children also loved the Pentland Alpaca Stud and Animal Farm, and
Bartholomews Meadery with its fantastic home-made honey ice creams.
CLOCKWISE from below The view from the
White Elephant Beach Cafe; the Schuler family
take in the Tree Top Walk in the Valley of the
Giants; Two People’s Bay in Albany was a favourite.
OPPOSITE The clan spent four nights on Rottnest.
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