Cape Lodge and around.December 12, 2017 in Australia
We have spent our final two days in Margaret River at Cape Lodge some 20 miles north of the town. As you might imagine from the name the buildings are in the Cape Dutch style, which whilst very attractive, are somewhat incongruous in a Western Australia setting. The Lodge is set in 40 acres of natural bush and lakes and is quiet and peaceful. The restaurant is also pretty special both for its setting by a floodlit lake and the food. it It is probably just as well we are only here two nights! However, one other reason why this venue will remain in my mind, is that we hadn't been on the property an hour, when there came the unmistakable cackling laugh of a Kookaburra from the nearby trees. I couldn't see the bird in question, but just to hear it in the wild was enough.
We visited some beautiful wineries, more for their setting and accompanying gardens than the wine in truth and of course the superlative coastline.
I am no beach afficiando, but those running up from Dunsborough to Cape Naturaliste have to be seen to be believed. It is a series of bays, the water is clear turquoise blue, natural bush comes right down to the fine white sand and the rocks create a fabulous coastal vista. This is of course a protected area, so everything remains unspoilt by over commercialism. The sun was hot and you literally couldn't walk down to the sea without shoes, but boy was it stunning. I can see why in Australia it is all about the outdoors and the coast. They can of course rely on the weather, which makes a huge difference. Plan a Christmas beach picnic here and it will no doubt be a perfect day. They will to up at dawn to grab the best spot on the beach; (it's not just the Germans you know!) the awnings and the barbie will be out, the drinks will flow and it is all so laid back and as far from an English festive season as you can imagine. I spoke to a lady who has lived here for 30 years and she said, whilst she would never want to return to the UK, she still misses a wintry Christmas and all that goes with it. After the past weeks weather, would you agree with her my friends?!
The east coast of the Peninsula is a complete contrast; much more rocky and spectacular, crashing waves and towering cliffs. At Canal Rocks we encountered what I think was a juvenile albatross of some type (I'm unsure exactly what ). He was bobbing about in the sea close the the jetty where we stood. To our surprise he swam right alongside us and hopped out of the water and sat down next to us. He was a big lad. There was no fear, which is perhaps worrying, but it was certainly another experience to savour. Peter was also hopping about a bit, as he is not over keen on anything that flaps, until I reminded him that if he backed up any further he would be in the water on the other side of the jetty!
This morning we said goodbye to the glorious Margaret River area with regret and headed north back to Perth, stopping at Busselton for a coffee. It is a lovely town set on the fabulous Geographe Bay and has the distinction of the longest jetty in the world. We arrived in South Perth in the afternoon and have settled into an apartment overlooking the River Swan and Perth CBD. I think we will be very comfortable for our final week.
There are parks and walks along the river bank with the Perth skyline forever in your sight line. We hope to have a quieter week, but are not of course renowned for that, but will try! 'Speak' soon.Read more