The Wandering Tops

The Wandering Tops

08 December, 2013

Margaret River region

I don't know what's happened as we seem to have slipped into a holiday mode, visiting many beaches and tourist attractions.  I keep saying to myself this is not what it's about, it's a lifestyle we want, but there is so much to see and it's been more than 30 years since we have been in this area.  So we will continue to see many of the attractions in the area.

After leaving Manjimup travelled west towards Margret River area, staying for one night at Alexander Bridge on the Blackwood River, another great spot and if we were in the life style mode would have stayed for a week or so but had to keep moving ............ places to see (wineries and chocolate factories!).

We decided to base ourselves at Big Valley Campsite a working sheep station about 10km out from Margaret River, we had heard some good reports on the camp ground and this would be a great central spot to visit all the attractions that Margaret River has to offer.

On our way from Alexander Bridge we also decided to visit some southern attractions. With the van in tow we headed for Augusta then along the Caves Road until we turned to Whitchcliffe then to Big Valley.

You've guessed this one, Cape Leeuwin Light House.
Cape Leeuwin Light House 9km south of Augusta on the most south westerly point of Australia. Only 1km from the Light house is the water wheel known as being the most photographed tourist attraction in WA.  It was built in 1895 to supply water to the light house cottages. Also stopped at a monument which commemorated Mathew Flinders mapping the coastline of Aust from Cape Leeuwin in 6/12/1801 - and we were there on 6/12/2013!!!

Water wheel, built from timber, now fully calcified.

Visited the mouth of Margaret River at Prevelly -  another nice beach and many surfers.

Mouth of the Margaret River @ Prevelly

As we were in the Margaret River area on the weekend was able to go to some of the markets, they have a farmers Market, again lots of local produce and excellent coffee. We also just happened to pass a Lions Garage Sale where I just HAD to visit if only for the sausage sizzle! Hels was happy I no longer had a shed! Also visited Cowaramup, which is 11km north of Margaret River.  With a name like Cowaramup the town has lots of cows hanging around and very clever names of businesses incorporating the 'cow' theme like 'Candycow' for the lolly shop - I've managed to capture a few piccies of the locals.

This is our Xmas card, so Merry Christmas

Found this cow in the candy store, say no more!!!

Obviously waiting for a Christmas card.

Was moooooved on by couple of characters by the ATM.

This guy had spent tooooo long sampling the beer at Colonial Brewing Co.

Not only does the Margaret River area have many wineries but also has cheese factories, chocolate factories and wool outlets being in a sheep farming area.  As we neared one of the chocolate factories our eyes lit up and the Tojo just veered off the road into the car park. What could I do but go and sample the produce.  The only way I could convince Helen to leave the first was promise we would stop at another chocolate outlet!!  At the second chocolate outlet, Gabriel Chocolate, they produce fine chocolate made from freshly roasted cacao beans from around the world. We decided to have a coffee and Helen thought a hot chocolate drink would be in order.  The glass was lined with chocolate and drink poured in, it was at this point that Hels realised she had reached the chocolate limit.

Like a kid at a candy store ...... Hels at the chocolate window

Some choccies didn't even make it to the car park.

And another chocolate delight!!!!

The many wineries vary in size with a lot having dining available as well as tasting.  We had lunch at the Cheeky Monkey Brewery and on the second day of touring the northern region stopped at the Berry Factory and had scones and coffee.  Some wrens also came and enjoyed the jam & crumbs!

Laurance Winery, set overlooking a lake and beautiful gardens

Wrens at the Berry Farm
Margaret River is also know for surfing so could not leave the area without stopping by some of the many surf beaches, like Gracetown and Yallingup.

Hels counted 40 surfers in this area at Yallingup Reef

After a great stay @ Big Valley Campsite, reluctantly moved on towards Perth via Bunbury, Mandurah & Freemantle.

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