Breakfast at the Three Anchors Middleton Beach was generous and set us up well for a day's hiking, although the day started cool and damp, which took a while to clear. A short distance out of Albany brought us to the Gap and the Natural Bridge in Torndirru
It takes about 3 hours to drive straight from Pemberton to Albany, but we chose to break the journey at Walpole and visit the Valley of the Giants Treetop Walk. Walpole Visitor Centre gave us a very helpful map which helped us navigate our way there via the scenic route which gave good views of Walpole and the coast.
A short(ish) drive to the coast brought us to Salmon Bay in the d’Enrecasteaux National Park. The view from the lookout is truly stunning. From the headland, crystal clear deep blue water, rolling surf and miles of deserted, golden sand stretches out before your eyes, beckoning you to discover it at close hand.
The Karri Valley Resort is good place to stopover for a couple of nights in Pemberton. There are self catering chalets and lakeside rooms. The lakeside rooms are not overlooked - well - unless you count a duck and four parrots perched on the roof and the odd canoe paddling gently past. You can see your neighbours a bit, but the angles are good.
Time for another great day in WA! Today, we travelled from Margaret River to Pemberton taking a short detour to the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse en route. This is where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet (although they didn’t make much of a splash in the process today). It is the most southerly point in Australia - it is 5435 kms to the South Pole from here.
Exploring the Margaret River Region. Kaya Wadandi Noongar Boodja - Aborigini for “Hallo and Welcome to Wadandi Noongar country. This morning, we took the short drive to Ambergate Reserve and Walk Trail and walked through the bush in search of wildflowers.
Cape Lodge, Margaret River is a very well appointed hotel with lovely gardens big enough to take a nice stroll around. Spacious, light and airy rooms have lake or garden views and spa baths big enough for two.
Today, we had pre-booked a tour of the Voyager Estate . The tour included the Voyager Estate Tasting Menu - a 7 course degustation gourmet lunch.
Seashells Mandurah is a comfortable apartment style hotel with a spa bath and kitchen facilities. There is a small infinity style swimming pool and easy access to coastal walks and the waterfront.
The road from Mandurah to Margaret River has one of the best places to see kangaroos in Western Australia - G'Day Skippy! Our journey south continued today via Dunsborough to the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse in Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. The road from the lighthouse to Ngilgi Cave passes close to the Petra Olive Oil Estate where a quick detour to Sheoak Drive rewards you with easy sightings of kangaroos.
We picked up the hire car this morning to drive from Perth to Mandurah and were a bit disappointed to find it had no sat nav as we had requested. Fortunately, our 'phone plans cover Australia, so we could plug them into Apple Play and get by on Google maps. Perth is not a busy city by any means and was easy to navigate our way out of. We were quickly out into the country and driving on deserted roads. There is so much SPACE here! It is also much greener than we expected, although the earth is deep red underneath.
We pick up our hire care today. From my pre-trip research, these are my top 10 tips for driving safely in Australia that I thought it was worth sharing with you to make sure we all have a hassle free trip:
We pre-booked a day trip to "Rotto" (Rottnest Island) - the family holiday playground of choice for Perth locals - with Rottnest Fast Ferries. This car free island is an off-the-grid slice of paradise about 30kms into the sea off the coast of Perth. The trip includes a shuttle bus collection from your hotel, which makes things really easy.
The Pan Pacific comfortable hotel well located in the centre of downtown Perth a short walking distance from the lively Elizabeth Quay area, the (free) bus to King's Park and the Swan River.
Arrival in Perth We left home in the UK at 10.45 on Friday morning and arrival in Perth was at 5.30 on the following Saturday afternoon losing several hours, some…
What I'm Watching - Western Australia Films Reading is great, but sometimes, you just want to kick back and relax and let someone else do the work for you. That's…
Western Australia What I'm Reading I always get so much more out of a big trip when I make the time to do some reading beforehand. I also love to…
Western Australia - What I'm Packing - My essential packing list for a 4 week road trip to WA.
Another exciting road trip begins. 4 weeks in Western Australia - the road less travelled - will take us on a journey through a land which offers so much: national parks, Aboriginal culture and the closest fringing coral reef. We will take a month to travel over 5,300 kilometres going South from Perth through the Margaret River region and then travelling up the coast to the North as far as the Ningaloo Reef before heading back home.
A city full of surprises - here are 10 surprising facts about Amsterdam you might not know ...
The Pulitzer was a perfect choice of hotel for our short break in Amsterdam. The Pulitzer is a comfortable hotel and ideally located right in the centre of the city. Everywhere you want to visit is within easy walking distance. The rooms are nicely decorated with a modern feel and every effort is made to provide you with everything you need for your stay including a shopping bag, a brolly and even a bike repair kit!
3 days in Amsterdam is a challenge. There is a lot to see in this city - although we saw most of the major sites and walked through every part of the city - we were both left wanting more.
Amsterdam Day 3 - Museum Het Grachtenhuis, Albert Cuypmarkt Stroopwafels and a Canal Cruise with Those Dam Boat Guys.
Amsterdam Day 2: Anne Frank's House, Van Gough Museum, Vondelpark and - after dinner - an Evening Canal Cruise
I am travelling with my daughter on this trip and we have three days to get to know Amsterdam and appreciate the best it has to offer. I am looking forward to sharing the journey with her and seeing a new city through her eyes as much as my own. We have based ourselves at the Pulitzer Hotel right in the centre of Amsterdam so we don't waste too much time getting from A to B (see accommodation review for more detail). We have 3 days in Amsterdam - how best to fit everything in?
The Posada el Corcal de Liébana nestles beneath the beautiful Picos mountains and provides guests with the warmest of welcomes and Spanish hospitality.
Colletts delivered a well organised wildflower walking holiday with expert guiding to ensure you could locate all the best examples of the Spring flora in the Picos de Europa.
The Spring flower season in the Picos de Europa is short but spectacular. There are around three weeks between 20th May and 7th June when the mountains burst into life with a wide array of colourful alpine plants.
Our Deep South USA Road Trip has been such a great experience. Good music, food with soul and one warm welcome after another. never had much time for history at school, but I really enjoyed seeing modern history being brought to life in the Deep South and appreciated how important it is to an understanding of the world we live in today.
These days there is a growing appreciation for the traditional cocktails of the Deep South. Here are my absolute favourites, where best to enjoy them and recipes for re-creating them when you get back home*. The Deep South USA Cocktail Trail will take you on a winding course along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River all the way from New Orleans to Nashville, discovering the fascinating history, toe tapping music and all the fun that this vibrant region has to offer along the way. It is for sure one of the USA's best road trips. Are you ready? "Cheers!"