It’s been a while since I’ve had time to update my blog, but now Covid-19 self isolation is in full swing I’m sure I’ll have plenty of time to catch up and update everyone on how our new life in Margaret River is going.
The last few months have been our busiest since settling in here in February 2019. My work started getting much busier last November as two of my projects at the Margaret River Dairy swung into action and kept me busy right up to Christmas. In mid January, Manassen asked me get involved with a new project in Perth so I have been driving up and back nearly every week since February. It’s been pretty tiring but good to still have some work.
Christmas heralded the start of a run of visitors that continued until the end of February. We were very lucky to have all our family visit, as well as my brother and good friends Cheryl and Steve. These visitors kept us very busy over summer and it we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves showing them around the beautiful Margaret River region.It also made us realise that you need way more than a week to really see the region and explore the best it has to offer.
Our first visitors were our daughter Nic and her husband Trent, who come over to spend Christmas with us. It was lovely to share Christmas dinner with them and we all enjoyed some beautiful local food together. The highlight was some beautiful Exmouth Prawns in Garlic Butter sauce, sourced from our local fishmonger.
We enjoyed perfect weather during their visit and managed some beach time, plenty of coffees and picnics, glorious WA sunsets, a visit to the Chocolate Factory and the Margaret River Distillery and a few wineries. We even managed a short hike along the Cape To Cape Track and introduced Nic to a couple of local Dugites! After a busy week it was time to return them to Perth and await our next visitor.
Alex arrived a few days later and we continued to enjoy great weather as we relaxed and visited our favourite spots. Alex had visited us back in June so we could take him to a few new places. More hot sunny days meant we could get him down to Contos Beach and Hamelin Bay as well as Yallingup for a surf. We also ttok the opportunity to visit another of the local caves, this time Jewell Cave which was beautifully preserved and quite spectacular. More prawns and local wines were also devoured, as well as a visit to the Miller Ice Cream factory in Cowaramup. Alex even enjoyed chasing some marron in the Margaret River, a bit out of the strictly controlled marron season, so the idea of a $5,000 fine stopped him bringing one home!
Next up was my brother John, who lives in the Hunter Valley in NSW. He managed to get a chance to take a short break from his accomodation business and was keen to see what all the fuss was about Margaret River wines. Of course, we visited a few wineries so he could sample the local product and a few of the local eateries. Vasse Felix, Voyager, Redgate, Clariault Streiker and Cullens were all visited and wines tasted, as well as Cheeky Monkey Brewery and the divine Gabriell’s Chocolates for some delicious ice cream. A delicious Espresso Martini at Sea Garden while we enjoyed a WA sunset was essential too. We saw Canal Rocks on a perfect sunny day, hiked to the top of Willyabrup Cliffs on a very windy day, and swam at Contos and Gnarabup. We even made a visit to Instagram-famous Indijup Natural Spa, a natural rock formation near Idjup Beach that allows the ocean waves to spill perpendicularly into a beautiful little rock pool.
Our daughter Michelle and Deb’s Mum were our next visitors and it was nice to have plenty of time with them. Deb’s mum is not as mobile as she once was so Michelle kindly offered to fly to Sydney and escort her over here. We decided to book a few days in and AirBnb in Perth as soon as they arrived so we could show them our favourite places in town. We found a small flat in Mosman Park, close to Cottesloe Beach and it was perfect for our short stay. The weather was perfect, if a bit hot, and we all enjoyed outings to Kings Park, Cottesloe Beach and Fremantle. The staff at Kings Park were very helpful and organised a wheelchair for Deb’s Mum so we could take her for an extended stroll around the gardens. Michelle enjoyed a couple of swims at Nth Cottesloe Beach and we also discovered a great new cafe/bakery at Cottsloe that made the best cinnamon scrolls!
When we returned to Margaret River we spent our time lazily showing them around. Boranup Forest, Surfers Point, Yallingup, Canal Rocks were all visited and enjoyed. Their visit also coincided with peak tomato season so Michelle and Nanny were enlisted to help out with “tomato day”, passata making! Michelle also enjoyed some wine tastings and a few swims at Gnarabup. Nanny loves her ice cream so a visit to Gabrielle’s was essential and she also loved the gardens at Voyager Estate.
After a fabulous two and a half weeks we sadly took Shelly and Nanny back to Perth for their return trips home. After a short break we hosted out final visitors, Steve and Cheryl from Melbourne. Steve works as a FIFO in the Pilbara so decided to take his work break in Perth and Cheryl flew over to join him. They had a busy schedule, but were able to come down to Margaret River for a night to catch up. We managed to fiti n a visit to Vasse Felix Winery and the Margaret River Distillery before enjoying a BBQ dinner at home. It was great to see some of our Melbourne friends again after so long away.
It was a very busy period, but we loved having so many people over to show them our new home and share some of this beautiful regions attractions with. we look forward to many more visitors in the months and years to come.
Over coming weeks, while self isolating, I hope to bring you more updates from Margaret River and share some of our experiences in our new home with you.