Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 019 Contents 262 Scoop Traveller December-June 2011
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Tony Smith was one of the original pioneers of the Great Southern wine
region. Now semi-retired, the chairman of Plantagenet Wines lists his
favourite southern pleasures.
Autumn Walks | particularly in the Stirling Range and Porongurup National
Parks, which come into their own at that time of year, although walking
anywhere in the region in April and May is gorgeous.
Mt Barker Wineries | Visitors say the reception they receive at local
cellar doors is friendlier and less abrupt or rude than at...other wine
regions in the state.
Albany Entertainment Centre | A spectacular new building on the
foreshore. Part of a wonderful redevelopment in the immediate area.
Protected Beaches | So many sheltered spots, from Cosy Corner between
Albany and Denmark, all the way to Bremer Bay. Beautiful, quiet, isolated
beaches that are the favourites of locals.
Flora and Fauna | Rich and diverse. For instance, the Mt Barker Banksia
Farm houses the only full collection of every single Banksia in the world.
GEMS OF THE GREAT SOUTHERN
Objective | A ten-day discovery tour of the Great Southern Region.
What you will need | A family car
What to pack | Kids plus surfboards, fishing rods, tents, hats and
sunscreen, walking shoes and warm sweaters.
Pre-book | Walpole area campground (three nights), Denmark cottage
(two nights), Albany caravan/camp site (three nights), Stirling Range
National Park campsite (two nights).
Day One | Leave the city early in the morning. Take a packed lunch and
the kids’ iPods. and drive 4.5 hours to the Great Southern coast. Arrive in
Walpole area just after lunch. Set up camp beachside and take a short drive
to suss out the local attractions.
Day Two | Consult locals on whereabouts of one or two of the best family
beaches, or drive a little further and discover your own.
Day Three | Head to the Walpole-Nornalup National Park. Take the Tree
Top Walk through the Valley of the Giants (with trees big enough to
impress even the most sullen teenager). Cool off with a picnic and a dip in
a Frankland River swimming hole.
Day Four | Fishing trip in the Walpole inlet system. Consult visitors’
centre for tips on how to snag a famous local black bream. Bring your
bathers and towels.
Day Five | Drive to Denmark (45 minutes). Set up base in family cottage.
Visit Denmark Dinosaur World and a chocolate or toffee factory. Kids are
now satisfied. Pop in to a local winery cellar door and grab a bottle or
three. Drink dinner on the cliff overlooking the ocean.
Day Six | Eco-tour of the surrounding hinterland, followed by a
window-shopping excursion of Denmark’s cottage industries.
Day Seven | Arrive in Albany. Enjoy a day in the city (cinema,
lunch, shopping). Treat the family to a restaurant meal. Night fishing
in King George Sound.
Day Eight | Visit Whale World (the kids will love it). Drive twenty minutes
east to bird and animal farm (the kids will love you).
Day Nine | Take harbour cruise to see dolphins, sea lions and (maybe) a
whale. Drive to Blowholes west of town (they’re worth the effort). Fishing
at Cables Beach. Cook fish for dinner. Recharge iPods.
Day Ten | Head north on Albany Highway to Mt Barker. Stock up
on local produce and wine. Set up camp in Stirling Range. Consume
Mt Barker hamper.
Day Eleven | Walk to peak at Bluff Knoll (sullen teenager will appreciate
the views). Relax at night by the campfire. Sleep like a log.
Day Twelve | You are now two days late for work, but who cares? Take
a leisurely drive home, stopping at Frankland River for a last bottle of
Great Southern wine.
Total cost of Great Southern tour Less than four airline tickets to
the Gold Coast.
GREAT SOUTHERN FAMILY HOLIDAY
The Cove, Wilson
Walking the Bibbulmun Track.
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