As the end of our first full year on the road approaches, we continue having a fantastic time in Margaret River, WA. Kaz finished working at Brown-hill Vineyard having gone from picking to sorting the grapes inside before they are then processed in to wonderfull wines. The 2022 harvest has been really good and a suggestion was muted to name one the wines Kaz Shiraz.
Helen who owns Olive Hill Farm took us out for a treat. First stop was a winery of course. This one being Mongrel Creek which is just outside the fantastic town of Dunsborough. The winery has a real laid back relaxed feel to it. The main building resembles an old shed and is surrounded by a lovely deck area with tables and chairs set out. We had heard this place produces a sparkling red wine and couldn’t wait to try it. Unfortunately for us there were no tastings today due to this being harvest time. Slightly annoyed by this and promising to return, we got back in the car where Helen drove a short distance on the same road before arriving at the Goanna Cafe. Before we entered Helen had a brainwave. She turned the car around and drove back to Mongrel Creek where she purchased a bottle of said sparkling red. We would devour the bottle with our lunch as the cafe allows byo. So once again we arrived back at the cafe where we were shown to a nice spot outside with lots of sculptures and artwork around the place. The cafe is owned by chef Duncan Timmons a fellow Scot who moved to Australia years earlier and has worked hard to build the business in to what it is today. The menu was mouth watering and includes only what is in season locally. I couldn’t resist the scallops to start before moving on where Helen and myself ordered the. Chiken Tikka and Kaz munched in to the Rump of Beef. All the dishes were just magnificent with the bonus of being washed down with the delicious Mongrel Creek sparkling red. We will definitely return to this place before we head north.
Before heading back to the farm, we decided to drop in on Gabriel chocolate which we looked around but stayed strong and managed not to consume any. Instead we had a look at the adjoining restaurant ‘Mr Chow’s’ menu. This looked fantastic and again it looks like a place we should visit before we leave. The final stop was the winery ‘’house of cards’ on the grounds. We sat outside taking in the surrounding views as well the wines on offer.
Talking of heading north. We had a meeting with Karen and Ross the owners of the house we will be looking after in Cue. We planned to meet at a local cafe but the day was unusually wet so Karen asked us to come to the family farm for a chat. It was great to meet the family and let us and them get to know each other. We then spent a good hour chatting before heading back happy to have met them. Next time will be in Cue.
Helen gave us a day out together by looking after Max for the day. We took up the offer and headed the short drive north to Busselton. We lucked out as the weather was spectacular, not too hot and very sunny. We had visited the town previously intending to walk the Busselton Jetty. This was a huge failure as the first sign we saw was “NO DOGS”. This time we wouldn’t be denied. We headed straight for the booking office and purchased two tickets. The tickets allowed us to ride the train to the end of the jetty and back. It also included the underwater observatory.
We were lucky as we boarded the little train we managed to get a carriage all to ourselves which was welcome in these COVID times. The train trundled along and included a wee commentary on the history of the jetty on the carriage speaker. Pretty soon we arrived at the end and walked straight in to the observatory. A guide then took us down the spiral staircase over three levels explaining each level with the bottom level being below the water. It was really great to see so many different species swimming about of all sizes and no sharks around. With the talking part completed we hung around whilst families with kids departed leaving us with a bit of quiet. With microphones placed in the water around the observatory we could hear all the different sounds as the fish munched on some coral pieces.
Soon after we returned upstairs and took the short walk to the very end of the jetty before deciding to walk all the way back.
By now it was time to satisfy our hunger with some lunch. A guy who worked with Kaz at the winery had recommended a burger restaurant in town and we arrived just as the closed sign went up, great. Luckily we walked across the road to the Vass Tavern pub who were still serving food. Kaz ordered the steak sandwich and I ordered the burger. Of course a couple of cold beers accompanied the food and the whole thing was delicious. We then drove back down to the jetty area for a cool swim. This time as it was a bit later in the day, we would swim between the shark nets. It was fabulous to cool off from the heat. We then returned to the car and not wanting to take too much advantage made the drive back to Olive Hill to relieve Helen of Max. Tuns out he had been no trouble at all which was great news.
As I write this we have just over two weeks before we leave Olive Hill to get back on the road and make our way north to Cue. It will be hard to leave Margs but we will return here for sure, we just love the place. To facilitate our departure, Kaz placed an advert online for a couple to replace us until season end. Long story short, a lovely couple came down from Perth for a chat and glad to say they have now arrived in Margs ready to take up the helm. This will allow time for the handover with a small amount of training in the systems used for bookings etc. Barry and Janine will handle it with ease due to their great calm personalities.