We’ve fallen behind on our travel blogs and, in truth, it’s because we’ve been a bit busy socialising and catching up with old friends of late. Sorry about that!
We planned on spending a month or so exploring Western Australia’s south-western corner, starting with Perth.
WA’s vibrant state capital is home to more than two million people. The city is beautifully situated on the banks of the Swan River and bordered on the west by magnificent beaches that stretch along about 80 kms of coastline.
As we both lived in Perth for a few years back in the mid 1980s, this visit was less of a touristy sightseeing trip and more of catching up with friends and reacquainting ourselves with favourite old haunts.
Our first challenge was reversing the van up and around our friends’ steep driveway and parking in the front garden of their inner suburban home. Not a problem!
We haven’t always been successful over the years at catching up with our Perth friends, Chris and Heather, thanks to our respective busy lives and conflicting schedules (not to mention living at opposite sides of our vast country!). In fact, the last time we caught up was eight years ago (almost to the day) in the Italian lakes district town of Sesto Calende on the shores of Lago Maggiore – we just happened to be in northern Italy at the same time!
So, finally catching up in our own country was a feat worthy of celebration.
Most days were spent in and around the city and Swan River, lunching at Mount Lawley and South Perth, brunching at East Perth, and enjoying the balmy late winter sunshine at Perth’s beautiful Kings Park.
Perth’s stunning Kings Park has always been a favourite place for us. At over 400 hectares, it is one of the largest inner city parks in the world.
And the view of the city and Swan River from atop Kings Park is simply breathtaking.
Kings Park is also home to the Western Australian Botanic Gardens – which also included the Roe Gardens.
We had further cause for celebration on our final night in Perth when another friend flew in from our home town to meet us. Deb is hiring a campervan for the first time and becoming an honorary member of the Roe’ving Australia team as we explore WA’s south west over the coming weeks.
But first order of business was a glass of celebratory bubbles while overlooking the sunset on Perth’s Scarborough Beach, for Deb’s 60th birthday.
180kms south of Perth is Bunbury, WA’s third largest city. The city’s population is around 33,000, and 176,000 people in the surrounding region.
Like so many of Perth’s coastal cities and towns, Bunbury’s foreshore is beautifully developed with parks, playgrounds, walking and cycling paths, and barbecues and other community facilities.
Less than 40kms south of Bunbury is the seaside town of Busselton, home of the famous Busselton Jetty. The 154 years-old Heritage listed jetty is 1.8km long.
We can’t help noticing that the weather is a lot cooler down south. Gone are the T-shirts and shorts; now it’s beanies and woolly jackets! Brrrrr!
Just a little further along the coast is Cape Naturaliste and its quaint lighthouse which was built around the turn of the last century. It was the last lighthouse on the Australian mainland to be operated by lighthouse keepers, which continued until 1996 before finally succumbing to automation.
Next stop was the dramatic Canal Rocks, where the constantly pounding waves from the Indian Ocean have sculpted a network of canals into a headland, forming a small patchwork of rocky little islands.
After two days exploring the Bunbury region, we will head to the nearby Margaret River region for some serious food and wine frolicking! Stay tuned. 🍷🥂