Time to take a break from doing all the trip planning and arrangement and now go on a tour in the southern part of Western Australia. After all, I am still going on a solo trip and all of my travel plans had been planned and pre-arranged, including meals, accommodation and places to visit.
There is a total ten of us in the group from different countries: one Malaysian (me, of course!), one elderly Australian couple and six ladies, one from Taiwan, two of them from Melbourne, three of them travel all the way from Germany and most of all, our Aussie guide.
The adventure was very chilled and relaxed. We travel, eat and chat together throughout the trip. While taking the long journey and killed our boredom in the van, we took turns to share our interesting travel stories. The lovely couple also talked about their love story and joke along with us.
We gathered in the heart of Perth city and hit the road to the southern part of Western Australia. As the sun rises at 7 a.m., we drive and made our first stop at Ludlow Tuart Forest, an open reserved forest with the world’s only tall tuarts covering the area of 2,000 hectares. Wild western grey kangaroos can be seen roaming free and taking shelter from the bright sun under this rare forest.
After passing through this 15 km stretch of the forest, we made it to the famous Busselton Jetty [i] that overlooks the Indian Ocean. The jetty is the world’s longest wooden pier, stretching 1.8km out to the sea. It was built in 1865 to transport cut timber to the ships due to the restriction of ship movement.
The jetty now features a rail line to take visitors to its underwater observatory and a relic of the railway line from Bunbury to Busselton. Visit the Culture Heritage Museum and Interpretive Centre and discover the jetty’s rich history and exciting future.
Driving down to the northern part of Yallingup and visit the ancient Ngilgi Cave [ii] along Geographe Bay. An Aboriginal legend tells a story of the battle between the good spirit (Ngilgi) and an evil spirit (Wolgine). The cave was first discovered in 1899 and is home to the stunning stalaclite, stalagmite, helicitite and shawl formation. We follow our guide as she takes us through this amazing place and there are dozens of stairs to walk through. Up and down, up and down…..
After a long walk inside the cave, the only thing that comes in mind is food. We stopped at the park along Margaret River to have lunch: sandwich with chicken and turkey ham and salad. We manage to get a place right under a tree, very shady and windy.
Done with our lunch. We go to one of Margaret River’s most famous wineries named Evans and Tate. We tasted red, white and even dessert wines and I would say Shiraz and the dessert wine (forgot its name) are my favorites.
Who does love to eat chocolates? I walk into the Margaret River Chocolate Co. [iii], one of well-known and famous chocolate factory and got the strong chocolate smell from the entrance. It is very crowded that attracts kids and adults, tourists and local as well.
They served breakfast and light lunch, coffee, desserts and cakes other than selling chocolate itself. We tasted a variety of chocolate- more than 10, yet can’t decide which one to buy. So when it is about time to leave, I bought three different flavors.
So, we leave for Margaret River and drive to Augusta to stay for a night. We are all exhausted, considering waking up earlier in the morning around 5 a.m. and taking our first 200 km journey. Thereafter arriving at the town, we had early dinner and went to bed right away.
As for our second day of the trip, we explore the Valley of the Giant [iv] to get close to nature. This old forest known as the Ancient Empire is located between the west of Denmark and east of Walpole on the Southern Ocean Coast. This giants are so tall and huge, standing more than 40 meters and estimate about 400-years-old.
It was divided into two sections and start off from the first section called Grandma Tingle, or the Gatekeeper. And the second section with a 600-meter boardwalk and earth paths. It is amazing to find such a place still existed, like I’ve been shrunk smaller! It is so quiet and peaceful, I can hear that birds singing and other insects rattling in the forest.
Later, we get to visit Torndirrup National Park to view at The Gap and the giant Natural Bridge which looks just like a giant rock bridge. It is truly stunning to watch strong waves crashing into the granite cliffside and rushing under the bridge.
Taking just a few meters along its sealed path and it gets us to the lookouts of the coastline with an extraordinary natural feature. Now, I am falling in love with this picturesque and no place I rather be than here.
So, there goes another incredible experience for the day. We stop and rest up in one of the motels in Albany after watching the sunset.
To see the Part 2 of Down South of Western Australia, click here [To be continued].