(1) Porongurup 5-8 November
Headed up to Porongurup Range Tourist Park to catch up with all the lovely people there. Sammy also enjoyed catching up with Gypsy, Jak & the very much bigger Padlock. We were happy to look after the park for a day while Fredy & Ulli had a well deserved day of leisure with friends visiting from Mandurah. We finished off the last of the hikes on Porongurup Range, Nancy & Hayworth Peaks. We did the tour of the National Anzac Centre in Albany – well presented with lots of reading.
Well we took our leave of Porongurup, topped up with all sorts of homemade jams, chutneys, olives and of course a supply of local wines and head back to Walpole for another 3wks of house sitting on one of our favourite spots in WA.
(2) Walpole 9-30 November
There was more fishing with Dave & Patsy including a supply of smoked herring. Patsy also dressed a freshly caught rabbit ready for me to cook. I was pretty happy with my effort, being my first time at cooking a rabbit.
We managed to get a house sit at Glen Forrest in the Perth Hills so north we head again – round & round we go, taking in different areas each time.
(3) Quinninup Tourist Park 1-2 Dec
Heading north, we stayed at Quinninup Tourist Park. A little town that has a pub and a caravan park. It had resident roos & emus. The roo actually growled at Sammy. Other than Skippy😉, never heard a roo make a noise before. The emus were very inquisitive in checking out Glen & Sammy. One even checked out what was for dinner, looking through the kitchen window. We decided to support the local pub by having dinner & a drink. Only one other couple there for dinner. Our basic meal took over an hour and $70 later for a meal & drink each. WA really know how to charge. The most expensive state to travel through.
(4) Big Brook Arboretum 3 Dec
Next stop was Big Brook Arbetorum after travelling through Pemberton. A campground in amongst Sequoias, Karri & Spotted Gums with toilets for $15 per night. Due to all the trees, not exactly solar friendly. We walked to Big Brook dam to do some geocaching and because that’s Sammy’s favourite thing to do.
(5) Alexandra Bridge 4-5 Dec
We used Alexandra Bridge as our base to explore Augustus. We found some caches in Augusta and checked out the Water Wheel out past the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. The water wheel system was built in 1895 to supply water for the stone masons of the lighthouse & water to the lighthouse keepers cottage. The water wheel was restored in 2001 by the Augusta Historical Society. We also endured a couple of berry turnovers from the bakery as one does😋
(6) Margaret River. Big Valley Campground 6-9 Dec
On our way to Margaret River we of course had to have a momentary pause at Whirlwind Olive Farm at Karridale. And of course couldn’t leave there without some garlic olive oil, olives & dukkah😋. We camped at Big Valley Campground, a short drive out of Margaret River. Another farm that has diversified by opening up for camping to help supplement their income. $32 pwd/$26 unpwd with toilets, showers & a communal campfire area. Totally recommend it👍 What was even better was the Cheers Wine Tour bus picks you up from the campground as well as the kennels for Sammy’s day care. Thoroughly enjoyed the wine tour (not so much the wine – yes I know that that will come as a shock). The itinerary for the day was Watershed winery, Bettenays Margaret river nougat company winery, Margaret river venison farm, Knotting hill vineyard, Margaret river choc factory, Margaret river dairy company (cheese) & colonial brewery. The wine making/appreciation session at the first winery was really interesting and lunch was yum. Really enjoyed the venison from Margaret River Venison – wish I had have bought more. Our third day at Margaret River we checked out Laurance winery, canal rocks, Yallingup, Bunker Bay, Dunsborough, Busselton and last but not least finished off the day at the berry farm – yum.
We continued north, planning to stay overnight at Herron Point again but was all booked out. So we stayed the night at Pinjarra RV rest area, a free camp in town with a nice walk along the river and over the suspension bridge and geocaching of course.
(8) Glen Forrest – Perth Hills 13 Dec – 5 Jan
We house sat at Glen Forrest for nearly 4 weeks which gave us somewhere to stay over Xmas. Glen Forrest is in the Perth Hills which we had mistakenly thought would be similar to Adelaide Hills – wrong. It was so hot & so dry and to make it worse we were parked on that red pea gravel which seemed to soak up the heat and hold it😓. While there, we did enjoy a tapas dinner at The Cavern at Kalamunda and Xmas lunch at Chapel Farm in the Swan Valley region. Shame we didn’t take a taxi as it was a eat & drink all you can, so I was the designated driver, since I rarely drive these days. We had a very enjoyable feast. And that pretty much brings me to the end of 2015 at long last🎄🍾🎊