Perth to Dunsborough to Margaret River to Pemberton to Walpole to Bow Bridge to Denmark to Mount Barker to Kojonup to Perth
07.02.2009 - 07.19.2009 68 °F
Only a few days left of this wonderful Australian adventure. We’re happy to be going home but sad to leave such an awesome country behind. We’ve barely scratched the surface in the four months we’ve been in Australia, and the month in New Zealand was never going to be enough.
One of the things we’ve said several times over the past couple of months is that we need to do more travel in the US and, will hopefully, see things with different eyes now that we’ve seen so much of Australia. As awesome as it’s been, we’ve realized that there is so much to see on our own door step.
We flew from Broome to Perth, the largest city in Western Australia (population 1.2 million) and the most isolated city in the world. Perth is the only city in Western Australia - imagine the equivalent in the US of Perth being the only city west of the Mississippi. Hard to imagine that this vast country is so sparsely populated.
Perth is a vibrant, beautiful, diverse, easy to navigate city. We stayed in the city center in a quaint hotel called Miss Maud’s Swedish Hotel. Miss Maud migrated to Perth from Stockholm, Sweden in 1971. She established Miss Maud Swedish Pastry House then expanded to include 13 pastry houses, the boutique hotel and restaurant in the center of Perth.
We enjoyed a tour around the Perth area and a boat trip on the Swan River from Perth to Fremantle. We wish our time in the Perth area had been longer - maybe a reason to come back to Australia sometime to enjoy this area a bit more.
We then (on recommendation from Karolyn Wrightson our Australia connection in Asheville who can be found at EssentialDownUnder.com) drove through the wine region of southwestern Australia, The Margaret River and The Walpole Wilderness. After the bleak, red, sandy desert of the outback, the south western area of Australia was like an oasis.
Rebecca thinks it’s the most gorgeous area we visited in Australia. Think Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley times 100. There are wineries, olive groves, hiking trails, gorgeous coastal scenery, green rolling hills, ancient eucalyptus forests and stunning views every turn of the road, and very, very few people.
We took a walk through the tree tops in The Valley of the Giants in the Walpole Wilderness. The tingle forest (eucalypt family) are some of the most enormous trees in the world (170 feet). The tree top walk was built to allow you to walk at the tree top level (125 feet) to give you a different perspective of the giant trees. It was a bit disconcerting in that the steel structure swayed (quite a bit) even though there were few people on the walk when we visited. We couldn’t wait to get back down to solid ground.
From our base in Bow Bridge, at Tree Elle Retreat, we enjoyed the Southern Ocean in Australia’s south west, where the sea meets the forest. Tree Elle was a perfect getaway to celebrate the end of our journey. We particularly enjoyed our wine country villa, the gardens and animals at Tree Elle, and the hospitality of the owners, Trina and Elle. We took a particular shine to Shawn, the friendly sheep, who is a bit skittish now that she’s “with sheep” and sounds like she has a really bad case of indigestion! Click on the video below and be patient as Shawn was a bit camera shy - make sure your volume is turned up.
Then back to Perth and facing several VERY long flights back to Asheville.
The only way to end is to include a picture we took in that sums up our visit here:
See you soon,
Trevor and Rebecca