We’re All Jammed in the Car and We’re Going Really Far – Southwest Coast Roadtrip

by Melissa on March 23, 2011 · 0 comments

So I’ve been slacking on the updating.  Well… deal with it.  In the past 10 days, I’ve slept in a proper bed once, and have had access to the internet for maybe a total of 5hours (MAYBE?).   Anyways, back to the blogging…

I arrived into Perth on March 3rd from my Western Exposure tour to Exmouth and back (see the last entry).  After spending a few days at the very gross Old Swan Barracks hostel (I may or may not have gotten bed bugs… ugh, so itchy, so annoying, also resulted in me having to spend nearly $15 on laundry in one day!), I knew that I wanted to get out of Perth.  After already having explored the north, I chose to do an Australian southwest coast roadtrip.  One day while checking out the notice board at my hostel I ran into Paul, an Irishman, also looking to rent a car and head down this way, but he wanted to round up a few more people to help split the cost of the trip.  After another few days of scouring the notice boards at various hostels, I decided to put an ad up on Gumtree – Australia’s equivalent to Craigslist.  Within a few hours, Kim – an American girl- sent me a message saying she was interested in joining me on my adventure.  Kim and I met that evening, hit it off and ended up meeting with Paul, and before we knew it plans were becoming more finalized and the Australian southwest coast roadtrip was becoming a reality.
station wagon

The next day I went and rented a station wagon, and Paul let me know that he had found another girl – Annelies from The Netherlands – who was interested in joining in.  Tuesday, March 8th, the four of us were meeting at Traveller’s Auto Barn, ready for our adventure.  Well… a small hitch in our early start plan happened, when our car wasn’t ready for a good 3 hours after we had booked it to be ready.  JOY.  Alas, by noon, we were on the road and heading south.   By 2:30 we had arrived in Bunbury to have a nice little picnic lunch by the ocean. cape naturaliste

After about an hour or so of gorging on sandwiches, we washed up and were back in the car, and back on the road, headed to Cape Naturaliste – just west of the town of Dunsborough to check out what was supposed to be a really nice lighthouse.  Well, we couldn’t get anywhere near the lighthouse, but just down the road, we stumbled upon Bunker Bay which was home to one of the prettiest beaches I’ve ever seen – definitely in my top ten.  After exploring the beach and now fighting daylight, we knew it was time to make our way to Gracetown, just outside of beautiful Margaret River, where we’d be setting up camp for the evening.  Once the tents were up, it was time to head into town to get some dinner and drinks to tie us over for the rest of the night. vasse felix

We all woke up bright and early, with the sun, and enjoyed nice hot showers at the caravan park.  We then all piled into the car, headed off to Margaret River for some delicious coffee, and then it was off to the wineries for some wine tasting for the day.  We hit up Vasse Felix, one of the oldest vineyards in MR and one of the best.  Their shiraz was to die for.  Too bad it was $37/bottle, or else I would have gone nuts.  Our second stop was Knotting Hill Vineyard, a family run vineyard with a very different type of wine.  Their wines were sweeter and they had one particular type of red called Ruby Red that is served cold and tastes like sangria.  Would be delicious on a hot summer’s day.  After Knotting Hill, we went across the street to The Liqueur factory.  When we arrived, there was a tourgroup getting their tasting, so the three of us actually enjoying some drink that day, were overlooked.  Finally a woman behind the bar started serving us, although she made it seem like a big hassle.  Definitely didn’t appreciate being treated like we were a giant inconvenience to her day, and didn’t like that the tastings weren’t free.  But beggars can’t be choosers, and as I’ve chosen to do on my numerous tours through smaller towns, I took on the motto “support the local economy.”  I’m not going to lie and say that I disliked their liqueurs, I didn’t appreciate their lack of customer service, but their product was quite lovely – not generally my type of stuff as it was rather sweet, but they do have good stuff for those who like easy drinking type drinks. liqueur tasting

Next we hit up a brewery (which the name totally escapes me) and had a delicious – but expensive—lunch.  After hanging out in the beautiful weather on the lawn under an umbrella, we all piled back in the car and drove over to every woman’s version of heaven on earth.  A chocolate factory.  Complete with little sample chocolate chips!  Oh my, it was absolutely delicious!  We ate so much chocolate in a short period of time… so much that our tummies hurt and we had an awesome sugar rush going on.  Then it was off to our last stop for the day… the cheese factory.  Probably one of the least impressive places of the day, but it did have good cheese.  We lined up and received our samples of the cheddar, romano, and different types of feta… and after debating splurging on fancy cheese, we decided to go on without and get back on the road and head through the great tinglewood and karri tree forests and make our way to the southwestern most point in Australia – Augusta. the gang

Since this post has gotten pretty long, I’m going to split it up… so stay tuned for the remaining few days of my southwest coast roadtrip!  Click HERE to read part 2 of my Australian Southwest Coast Roadtrip

Now Playing- Cabin in the Woods from the Evil Dead: The Musical Soundtrack


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