Having made the final drive to Cue, we arrive in the town around one o’clock then have a short look about the town. The town centre has some amazing buildings that have been restored to a very high level and others which have a bit more of an original look to them. In the middle of the street is a restored bandstand that sits in the middle of the road across from the original bank building. There is also a visitors centre next to the rather grand looking police station. Across the road is the local shire offices in an equally impressive condition.
Although early in the day we decide we will head straight for the house sit that lies a couple of streets back from the Main Street. The house is a weatherboard clad single level house which sits on a large site, that has been extended and has a huge garage at the rear. We park up at the front of the property before we are met by Ross and Karen. Ross tells us to drive round the rear where we can drive the van in where it will be kept in a large plot under lock and key.
With the van secured we get in to the house where we get the tour. The house is a good size with three bedrooms, kitchen, bathrooms, a toilet and the real bonus of having a spa. We enjoy a good catchup and a laugh then before too long it’s bedtime. The following morning at seven am we hear the rear gates open as they get ready to leave. We get up in time to say our goodbyes and the two caravan convoy (Karen’s sister and brother-in-law are joining them) drive out and head north.
All of a sudden we are left on our own to enjoy the house, Cue itself and the surrounding areas. To demonstrate how remote Cue is, we are six and a half hours from Perth in a north east direction and four and a half hours from Geraldton to the east. The slowest town is Mount Magnet at eighty kilometres south and Meekatharra at one hundred and twenty kilometres north. We will be here for the next four months but luckily we have great internet coverage and a massive curved screen tv complete with all the apps and surround sound system. The weather is also great in the mid twenties most of the time and sunny. Max our Border Collie will enjoy the freedom, because we are looking after ‘Muddy’ the cat we will have to be careful.
More later as we get comfortable and start to move around the place. Photo’s on the following.
Having spent four months at wonderful Olive Hill Farm and having made a commitment to a house sit in Cue. It was time to leave Margaret River finally.
We had covered the crazy busy periods and helped out around the farm which we loved doing.
We enjoyed a fantastic final night with wonderful Helen (the farm owner) and kids Emma and Jack, not forgetting Ollie the dog.
We felt strange leaving next morning as we hadn’t planned on being camp hosts never mind staying for that amount of time. We did have the most magnificent time however. The time away will tell us something about our love for the area and the farm.
We headed north where after a relatively short drive and without issue, we arrived at our first stop in Fremantle. This was at the Fremantle Village caravan park a camp we previously stayed at and is a great location to shop for our stay in Cue.
We head to Dan Murphys to purchase four months worth of drinks before heading to Aldi and repeating the process this time for food. Since we had downloaded the 7eleven app allowing us to lock in the cheapest fuel price across Australia for seven days. We looked up the nearest 7eleven and running on fumes we end up in downtown Fremantle only to find the nearest 7eleven is only a store. Once again we look for the closest fuel station and started out in that direction coasting downhill when available before finally arriving at the pumps only just.
With a mix of relief and joy we filled the cruiser to the absolute brim which stung us $230.00 and included a large saving via the app.
It was then back to the park where we enjoyed some food and a wine or two before being in bed and asleep by 9pm. The intention of having a long deep sleep was ruined by Max tapping on the bed requesting I take him out. This happened a couple of times before the night was over but we are happy he tells us.
In the morning we are ready to get back on the road having loaded all our food in to both the van fridge and the cars. We head out of the park in to the Perth traffic heading north east where we have a couple of stops planned.
Having navigated our way from the south west of Perth through the many roadworks we make it out on to the north east road For Cue.
Later we arrive at our stop at the town of Miling where we are staying at the sports centre caravan park. This is a real nice spot with power. Water, showers, bins and a huge grasses oval which is good for Max to enjoy a run.
We stay here for one night and without rushing in the morning we head back on to the road north. Today will be a bit of a long drive as we head to our next stop at the town of Mount Magnet. This will be our final stop and sets us up for an easy drive of about 80k to our destination of Cue.
On the way the traffic is light the sky a beautiful blue with a scattering of wispy clouds and no wind. There is however a large number of wide loads heading south. Luckily we have our uhf radio and the lead vehicle radios us and tells us to pull to the side of the road to allow the wide load through. This occurs several times before we clear the last one and we make great progress stopping only once at the Payne’s Find Roadhouse for a bite to eat, walk Max and swap drivers. We arrive at Mount Magnet and locate the caravan park, book in before taking up our spot. The park is reasonably good but over the road we can hear a bit of noise from a few of the local people shouting at each other. This is quite a regular thing with locals but tonight we will lock everything up securely and have one ear open for chancers during the night.
Tomorrow we will make the final drive arriving in Cue where we will meet up with Karen and Ross the owners of the house we are looking after for them whilst they travel for a while.
Our last night @Olive Hill Farm Sad to leave but have to get back on the road. Had an amazing time and have made lifelong friends whilst here. Thanks to Emma for the amazing cake. Four months has passed so quickly. We will return here for sure. ❤️ ❤️ ❤️
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.
We are continuing our stay in Margaret River at Olive Hill farm. Helen, the owner has been more than accomodating and we have a great working understanding of everything and consider Helen a friend. Ollie the dog is a recent addition to the family and is super friendly, runs like a whippet and can bounce like a four legged Kangaroo.
Helen has been really kind in taking Kaz out riding on one of her two horses. Helen rides Mardy whilst Kaz rides Patsy. They are two quite different horses with Patsy being the boss between them.
Kaz is now several weeks in to her new position of vineyard worker. This entails getting up at 5am, driving to Brown-hill vineyard to pick grapes during harvest. Soon she will change to starting later and being inside, sorting the grapes before they are made in to wonderful wine. Kaz is loving this new position.
one evening we went out for a change to the local cinema and watched the Shakespeare movie adaptation of Macbeth starring Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand. it took quite an effort to understand but we got there and the acting was amazing.
In the campground things started to get busier as we headed in to the Labour Day weekend in WA. The entire campground was busy with lots of vans from all over the country descending on Olive Hill Farm. We managed to get everyone settled in and most importantly, happy. The weekend went off without any drama and we enjoyed chatting to various visitors.
On the Sunday Kaz helped Emma (Helen’s daughter) drive round the camp offering Emma’s delicious baked scones with jam and cream. The scones were offered for a gold coin donation and by the end they were all gone. A tremendous effort by all.
The weekend ended and people started to depart out from Sunday through to the Tuesday. A few nomads stayed on and it was weird having been so busy to see it now half deserted. It really was a lot of fun and fantastic to see the place so busy. It was really pleasing to go round the camp noting that everyone had left the camp as they found it with no rubbish or damage recorded.
With the quiet comes opportunities and we spent some time carrying out some pruning on various plants whilst removing some killed by the unusual heat Margaret river has had. We also replaced the bay signs with new versions as the sun had faded them, making them hard to read. It’s not much but it freshens the place up a little.
Whilst Kaz has been grape picking, I have been pottering about up at the farmhouse carrying out chores to help out whilst enjoying the scenery.
We have also been enjoying many days cooling off at the beach or in the river on the property.
We finally made the effort and visited the Margaret River market which is run every Saturday in town. it features amazing local quality produce including fruit, veg and cheeses. Not the largest market but makes up for it in the food on offer.
Later this week we will head north to the town of Busselton to finally walk the Jetty. This time we will go up without Max as dogs aren’t allowed on the jetty. We will then enjoy some lunch and a nice swim in the ocean.
Amazingly, we are starting to slowly make plans for our departure, although it is still in four weeks time. We will head back north to the town of Cue which is east of Geraldton in WA. Here we will be house sitting for three months. I will also celebrate my 60th birthday in Cue which will be interesting. It will be sad to leave Olive Hill but it gives us the chance to get back on the road and will definitely return here again.
It’s been several weeks since we took the reigns as camp hosts at Olive Hill Farm. With the Xmas holidays ending the camp has been a bit quieter but the weather continues to be hot. We are spending time between the farm and the beautiful beaches that surround the area. We have also began a fitness regime that we try to do most days depending on how we feel in the morning. It’s mostly stretches and includes a bit of weight training. We continue to offer Helen help around the place and have managed to carry out a few improvements around the camping area. Helen has generously opened her stunning house to us and we are enjoying great nights relaxing whilst watching movies on Netflix. We also enjoy a wee wine or two at the same time.
We had said our goodbyes a while back to our Tassie mates who were the camp hosts when we arrived. We got lucky as they came back to Margs to enable the purchasers of their motor home to collect it at the farm. They hadn’t even told us and sent us some pic’s sitting in our chairs and on Karen’s bike. We were so happy they were back and we all enjoyed some great times out in Margs as well as over at the farmhouse. They are a great couple and we will definitely be catching up with them when we finally get to Tasmania next year. We will definitely miss them and they’re happy demeanour.
With the school holidays ended there was an exodus of people heading back to their day jobs. The camp is a bit quieter and this gives us the chance to help Helen out by doing some easy tasks around the place.
We are now over nine months on the road and from the start it has been fabulous. It’s great meeting some of the characters that come and go at the farm. Spending time with them and getting tips and tricks along the way. The laughs we have had have been brilliant with some folks trying out a Scottish accent. The swims in the river have also been amazing and is a top spot to cool down in.
Thankfully we still have quite a bit of time before we have to move on. We are certainly in no hurry to do so.
The last few days have been challenging. Our Tassie mates moved on as they make their long way home. We were now on our own as camp hosts. This week has been getting hotter as the week went on. Tomorrow (Friday) is set to be 40 degrees. This has already made a few leave camp as they wanted to run their generators when they liked. Since the shire put in a complete fire ban, this is not possible. we just head for the beach with our tent and swim and snorkel in the ocean.
We have got on well as camp hosts and it’s always interesting meeting people from everywhere. Can’t wait till Monday when it will drop below 30 degrees.
We continue enjoying our stay at Olive Hill Farm. So much, that we have decided to stay till April. We have secured a caretaking role here as the current caretakers have to move on. They are an amazing couple and we have big shoes to fill.
We had a visit to the Margaret River Dairy Company where we tasted and purchased a couple of beautiful cheeses then enjoyed two ice creams.
We have enjoyed several days out around the area with both Kimbra, Andrew and Helen who owns the farm. We were all then invited to Helen’s beautiful house for dinner. It was a great night with great food and wines and seemed to be over very quickly. Next day we all enjoyed visiting a few wineries with Andrew kindly doing the driving. We ended it by visiting our local, the Colonial Brewing Company for beers and eventually a couple of bowls of chips. Today (Sunday) we are off to the Wild Hop brewery for lunch with Andrew and Kimbra before they leave very soon. It will be very sad to see them go but that’s life on the road. We will definitely keep in touch though and will definately catch up when we take our wee journey to Tasmania. This week is forecasted to be 30+ increasing as the week goes on. That equals, beach beach beach.
The bus is called Trevor and is kitted out for glamping. living on a dirt road means the cruiser will not be clean for months.
Thanks for following us. see – Facebook Group – our wee journey.
With the Xmas and new year festivities over, it was good to get back to our version of normal. With our COVID booster jab now due, we managed to get a booking at the pharmacy in Margaret River for the thirteenth of January. Hopefully this will be the last one we will require. We are lucky to be in WA at the moment as COVID has been relatively kept under control. This will change early February no doubt when the border re-opens.
Margaret River is a great base making touring the area easy. We have managed to visit all the surrounding towns. Coweramup, Dunsborough, Busselton. Vasse, Gracerown, Yallingup to name a few. we still have the southern towns to visit but we have plenty of time.
Each of these were fantastic and had the the bonus of amazing beaches. We also visited Canal Rocks which was wild, with massive ocean waves crashing against the huge rocks surrounding it. We then took a stroll along the walkway, we watched as several youngsters were jumping off straight in to the deep water below. As usual it was ‘No Dogs Allowed’ so our time was limited but we managed to get down to the boat ramp in time to see a huge stingray swimming just off the ramp.
We found ourselves back at the Colonial Brewery next to the farm for Reggae n Ribs Sunday. We enjoyed a few hours here with the camp hosts and our new friends, Andrew and Kim who are great company. These guys will leave soon as they make their return trip to Tasmania. They are due to leave the day before us on the seventeenth and eighteenth of January. Today Tuesday the 11th, we are off to the Prevally beach for a few of the hottest hours of the day. today and tomorrow will be in the mid to high thirties. Happy New Year to everyone. Hope 2022 finds you healthy and happy.
Been some time since we put up a post on here but since we arrived at Margaret River we have been pretty chilled. We spent quite a fast time to get here whilst covering lots of ground and states.
First up for me was to get prepped for Karen’s birthday two days before Xmas day. I tend not to plan ahead but do what appears at the time. This year it was the usual Mimosa breakfast and opening cards and presents. Complete with French toast and Maple syrup, lovely.
Then it was in to Margaret River where Karen was booked in for a Thai Massage. Not the soft relaxing type but a deep tough tissue massage. A real beat up to get the tension out after the long drives. Kaz limped out of the place sore but loose and revived. We then walked down the hill to the Main Street and entered what can only describe as a hippy shop. As Kaz wondered what was going on, everyone in the place wished her a happy birthday. Still with no clue, she was introduced to a lady who was a psychic. She would be telling her fortune and giving a tarot card reading as well. I then left Kaz there with an astonished look on her face.
Afterwards made our way to the Margaret River Brewhouse where I had booked a table for 1pm. Once there with Max in tow, we were given a great table under cover on their huge deck. This was very welcome as the sun was beating down? The food was great although we did leave with a full carton of chips to go. This was due to Kaz ordering chips with her muscles, only to discover they came with chips already. We shared some chilli squid to start and I had Mackerel and chips. All washed down with some wine of course. It was then back to the van for more champagne and birthday cake. I was pleased how it all went considering we were far from home. More importantly Kaz had enjoyed a great day.
Xmas day was a bit weird being on our own but we headed of to the beach for a Xmas day swim. The water temperature was amazing as was the white sand.
We had a Xmas meal of, eye fillet steak in a pepper sauce, chat potatoes and broccolini. Yes and a two nice bottles of sparkling red wine. It was peaceful and we had lots of laughs.
The following day we got up about 9am and as usual took Max for a walk before cooking up a fabulous breakfast. The plan today was to chill. Kaz reading books as ever, with me continuing to write my book whilst having a play with the guitar.
As we sat there relaxing, a new couple arrived. They came over to us and asked if we knew anything about the huge smoke cloud rising up behind the farm. We had no clue and got up to have a look. Across a paddock and behind some trees we could see a massive amount of smoke rising. It was clearly getting worse and as the wind was blowing in our direction, we started to see some ash falling and the smoke haze started to block out the sun.
The caretaker Andy then appeared. He instructed us to pack up everything just in case we have to leave in a hurry. In near forty degrees temperature we had to remove our awning which we had spent a bit of time and effort to put up, before packing everything else up. There were quite a few people who we believe were Perth residents who left to return home as the temperature was forecast to remain around forty degrees for the next few days. They said they would return once things got better. We of course had no such luxury of returning home being full time travellers. With everything packed up and the van hooked up just in case we had to flee, the caretaker returned with an update. He said the wind had changed direction and the helicopters had managed to get on top of the fire rapidly. We could now relax as the danger for us had passed. We weren’t that worried really, more concerned as to where exactly we were meant to go if the wind hadn’t changed.
For the next few days we headed for the beach and spent the day swimming in the ocean. Max with his frisbee and us enjoying some snorkelling.
On New Year’s Eve wee had the fun of welcoming in 2022 three times. Once for South Australia, then Western Australia before the UK. It wasn’t a late one and we were in bed pretty early.
We have enjoyed some day trips around the region. Dunsborough was nice with a fantastic beach. Coweramup was also a nice spot with sculptures of painted cows everywhere. We also took in a couple of tasting sessions at a few wineries. Yesterday we headed up to Busselton where we intended to walk the two km jetty. We arrived there and the place was pretty busy with heaps of people swimming and sun baking. There was lots of things for kids who were everywhere. We rocked up to the sign and our plan on walking the jetty was killed off. Our most seen sign as usual read, “NO DOGS ALLOWED”. So once again Max had unwittingly put paid to that experience. We then returned to the car, collected our picnic bag and returned to the ocean from, found some shade and people watched. Busselton was a real surprise to us and we will return without Max and walk that jetty. To finish off the day we found a dog friendly beach and Max enjoyed a nice swim and run around with his frisbee to cool off.
It was then back to Olive Hill where hopefully it would be cool. On the way we decided to have a quick cider in the Colonial Brewery, two minutes from Olive Hill. With Max being bugged by bugs we had to help him. He seemed to like the fly net.
As I write this its the fourth of Jan 2022 and we still have a couple of weeks to go here before we once again hit the road. We have now been on the road for eight months and absolutely love it.
Happy New Year to all and hope you keep following Our Wee Journey.