Quick trip to Bunbury & back to Perth

Trip Start Apr 09, 2009
Trip End Aug 30, 2009

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Where I stayed
With family

Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Sunday, April 19, 2009

A quick update - three days in Bunbury included a visit to Margaret River area which is famous for its wine, very pretty too. It boasts a chocolate factory, as well as a cheese factory, tasting was delicious to say the least - its going to be difficult not to put on a few kilos on this trip!

That was my rather rushed introduction to Bunbury and it deserves more .....

The port city of Bunbury is the third largest city in Western Australia after Mandurah and Perth, the state capital. It is situated 175 kilometres (109 mi) south of Perth.  The port services the farming and timber industries of the south west originally connect via an extensive rail network.
Bunbury was the birth place of Western Australia's first Premier and explorer, John ForrestI

I stayed with Margaret and Paul who were so kind to me and Margaret drove me around the area to Margaret River and the Wine area.    We stopped at the chocolate factory for a taste and also the cheese factory, what temptations.  Another interesting outing was a visit to the caves, Margaret and I had to climb down 350 steps to the cave entrance, on the way down  through the trees its like an open cave, unusual and beautiful trees.

A little info from the internet  .....

Lake Cave is an incredible natural attraction situated 25km south of Margaret River, on the right hand side of Caves Road (before Forest Grove Rd turn-off), next to CaveWorks.   The journey into the cave begins with a descent of 350 steps into a huge doline, which was once the largest cavern of the cave. With impressive limestone cliffs, the doline has the atmosphere of a primeval lost world.   At the halfway point, an experienced guide will join and prepare you to enter the cave. While on tour, the guide will explain the history, geology, hydrology and ecology of the cave – and you'll also witness a light show which highlights the magnificent features of the cave.

Originally discovered in 1867, Lake Cave is a place of timeless beauty, renowned for its treasured 'Suspended Table’ and boasting a reflective lake which mirrors the delicate formations above.       The clear waters of the lake are incredibly still, only disturbed by continual drips of water riding down the stalactites, echoing sporadically in the surrounding silence.

The Suspended Table is actually a massive calcite, weighing in excess of 5 tonnes, which seems to hang precariously from the ceiling - defying gravity and hovering a few centimetres above the lake.  Lake Cave is a crystal wonderland which can awaken the child in all of us.

The guide did meet us as the blurb states, it was very interesting and I took far too many photos, as usual, but the stalagtite and stalagmite formations are amazing.

Margaret and I took Tara the dog for a walk every day I was there, we walked along the beach the first evening with the sun setting, really beautiful and also warm.  On another occasion we walked around the local park, I was very impressed with the parks everywhere and this one no exception, areas for children, birdwatchers, doggie walks or just a place in which to sit and relax.

My daughter's childhood friend Colleen had invited me to visit her as she lives in  Bunbury with her husband and two children.  Margaret kindly dropped me off at her house and we had a lovely day catching up on  news and memories of Port Elizabeth where we all lived many years ago in South Africa.  Norman, Colleen's father came to lunch and as we hadn't met for some twenty years or so we had lots of catching up to do as well.   It was a very memorable day and lovely to meet Wesley and Aisla, Colleen's children too.

Next afternoon I took the bus back to Perth, and cousin Gill met me.    The following day she kindly took me up the coast to Cottlesloe, and on to Hillary Harbour, quaint and interesting. It reminded me a little of the waterfront in Knysna and also Gun Wharf in Portsmouth.  From the website ......
''Since opening in 1988, Hillarys Boat Harbour has been a premier recreational destination for Perth locals and visitors. In addition to boat pens, the Harbour offers a wide range of restaurants, attractions, activities, shops, and services catering to fishermen, boaters, beach goers, tourists and local residents.   Hillarys Boat Harbour was named after an early settler, Bertram John Hillary (1895-1957), who had fought in Gallipoli during the World War I. He came to the area during the Great Depression while fishing for a living with his brother Harry, and built a boatshed on the beach in 1930...Subsequently, he expanded it to accommodate himself, his wife and four children. For many years, they were the only residents of what is now Hillarys, and the nearest store, at North Beach to the south, was a 5km walk away. During the Second World War, the Australian Army used the area, and named it "Hillary's Beach" on their maps. Bert Hillarys died in 1957 and the shack and 14 others nearby were destroyed in a fierce storm in 1964. ''

An interesting piece of history ..

Gill and I drove back to their house in Canning Vale, a suburb of Perth and it was my last night.  It has been so lovely staying with Gill and Dave and catching up on the seven years since we had seen each other.  

A few more photos added before the flight to Brisbane on Wednesday. More soon ......
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