Saturday, October 11, 2014

6th Oct 2014 - Caversham Wildlife Park/ Swan Valley/ Matilda Bay Boathouse/ Claisebrook Cove

The cold did not make my night a comfortable sleep as I was shivering throughout..hoping that sunlight will arrive soon! Fortunately, the following day was a warm sunny day with occasional winds to my relief.

Getting some breakfast from the nearby IGA, we set off for a 2.5h drive to Caversham Wildlife Park..a place where you can see all the animals in Australia..ranging from Koalas, Kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, wombats etc..I have been looking forward to visit this place! You can get to touch the Koalas and feed the kangaroos..there are also interesting farm shows and interaction times with the animals..

This little one attracted my attention instantly although I forgot its name!

Agile Owls Wide Awake

Below are some interesting birds which I have never seen before...

Rabbit in its hideout!

Even their rooster looks different and elegant!

This peacock was simply too proud to look at us but just sang away!

You can never miss Koalas when visiting Australia. They are simply lovely animals that are soft to touch...

Kangaroos in Caversham Park were rather lazy. They were either sleeping or faking to sleep with most of their eyes closed.

You see what I mean? Haha..

An awkward Itch in the afternoon

Bats!! I know there is plenty of research on bats going on in Australia, but I'm kinda wary of them.

 After spending 3 hours at this Park and visiting all the animals, we drove off to Swan Valley Duckstein Brewery for our lunch. This restaurant is famous for German food, hence we chose their in-house specialty, the pork knuckles.. As expected, the serving size was HUGE! The draft beer was great too..overall we enjoyed the German cuisine at this little hideout.

Ignore the Knife. It looks a little daunting but the meat is really good!

Swan Valley is famous for its vineyards, beautiful scenery and great the Margaret River Chocolate. We hence popped by to get some icecream and I must say the Chocolate is really good! There are many products on sale as well, ranging from chocolate lip balms to various flavors of chocolate..some very exotic flavors too!

Our next stop is to Windara Honey. We originally wanted to drop by House of Honey, but it was closed on the Mondays. We had a chat with the boss at Windara Honey and understood about the various flavors of Honey. In the end, we bought several bottles of the Jarrah Honey, which taste quite good and is known for many health benefits. It is definitely ideal for a honey-flavoured drink. Honey in Singapore is usually sold more expensive, so getting them from Australia as a souvenir for folks at home make a great gift haha

These places in Swan Valley are usually closed at 5pm. So we didnt stop at every attraction..particularly at places that we know what we wanna get. There are factories like the Mondo Nougats, the Yahava Koffee etc..which we didnt check them out..of course the wineries like the Black Swan..

Feeling very full after the heavy meal at Duckstein, we drove off to find the boathouse at Matilda Bay and we finally found it! Boy, it is indeed a notable attraction among photographers and tourists. I waited for some time before getting a chance to shoot the following :)

My Take on the Boat House

Before ending the day off, we decided to pop by Claisebrook Cove. I chanced upon this place after sourcing for some night photography spots in Perth. Fortunately, we reached there just after sunset. The accomodation around this place look very posh, which I believe belong to the rich. A river in within..I am not sure if it is natural or man-made haha


Overall, this has been a refreshing trip for this was my first time to Australia. No doubt short, we took the pace rather slow and the driving experience was a great one. Looking forward to more self-drive holidays at other parts of Australia!

5th Oct 2014 - Yanchep National Park/Cervantes/Pinnacles/Jurien Bay

We woke up to a different breakfast today..This time I opted for the english breakfast while Shane opted for the salmon with eggs. Both tasted equally good and I must commend Helen for her effort in making every breakfast meal so fantastic!

We bade a temporary farewell to her as we would be going back to Como B&B the following day. Our itinerary today is quite packed. We set off to our first spot: Yanchep National Park.

Weather wasn't great that day with heavy rain and strong wind. When we reached Yanchep Park, the rain was quite heavy. We waited for a while before it stopped and we saw the Koalas hugging the trees along the Koala Boardwalk...sleeping of course. They are active in the night though.

Saying Hello to us at Koala Boardwalk

We also signed up for a Crystal Cave tour in Yanchep Park. It costs AUD11 for adult. I must say this tour was very informative as the guide brought us down together with other people, explaining interesting insights about the formation of the cave and had been very entertaining. The tour is about an hour. Well worth the time!

Inside Crystal Cave

And then, something happened to our GPS. It suddenly require a PIN number to unlock the system before we can use it. This kinda caught us off hand although I have printed out some maps on the Google Map. GPS wasnt working and there is no WIFI in the vicnity. We finally saw some light when we dialed an emergency number to AVIS and luckily managed to unlock the GPS. Goodness! Little did we know that the GPS has a PIN to lock the system. It never happened to us during our trip in South Africa!

After making sure everything is fine, we made our 1.5h drive to Cervantes. Along the way, which is called the Indian Ocean Road, the scenery was stunning despite the light rain. We didnt see any wildlife along the way, no kangaroos..nothing..

When we reached Cervantes, it was already 2pm. I read that the Sea Breeze Cafe is well known for its fish and we drove there for our lunch.  As expected, the serving size was really generous with huge slabs of fries and fish on our plate. We had a hearty meal!

Now Cervantes is a laidback fishing village that boasts of several lookouts like the Now Cervantes is a laidback fishing village that boasts of several lookouts like the Thirsty Point 

and also Lake Thetis, which contains stromatolites, or known as the living fossils.. We took a walk around Lake Thetis and experienced the strong wind from the Indian Ocean at Thirsty Point Lookout.. what a way to relax!
En route to Lake Thetis

At around 430pm, we drove to Nambung National Park, to visit the famous Pinnacles.Now this attraction is one of the must-see when you visit this part of Western Australia. We know from pictures that it is a desert with many natural formations but we are not sure how these come about..And along the way, we saw rainbow!

In brief, those formations at the Pinnacles are limestone formations and over time, it creates what we are looking here now..

Us At the Pinnacles

The Rainbow!

Spectacular Sunset!

The weather was great with gentle winds..You gotta pay a fee to drive your car into the Nambung National Park. Then you follow the directions to the Pinnacles Drive where you see all the formations. I took reference from this website which offers a great map on where are the better photospots for sunset photos since this is such a huge desert. True enough, the sunset was lovely with shadows spread across when the sunlight hits the formations.

Just key in the GPS coordinates and you be able to find your way there. So we spent some time doing some crazy stunts in this big desert and due to the rain, rainbows were formed.

Our sunset at Pinnacles ended when the rain comes by again. At that time,the sky has darkened and we've decided to head to Jurien Bay for our accomodation which is about 40mins drive away. Fortunately, there were no mishaps. We heard of dangers like kangaroos jumping out to the road during dusk and were very much worried about this. But it didnt.

By the time we reached Jurien Bay Tourist Park, it was pitch dark with no street lightings. As our accomodation is right next to the sea, you can imagine very strong winds with heavy rain. That night was a super duper cold night brrr.....

4th Oct 2014 - Rockingham Wildlife Encounters at Penguin Island/ Fremantle/ Matilda Bay/ Kwinana Freeway

We had a booking for the Dolphin, Penguin, Sea Lion Cruise at 1030am with the Rockingham Wildlife Encounters Company to Penguin Island. But before that, let me share with you our wonderful breakfast made by the lovely lady boss in the Como B&B, Helen!

We opted for pancakes that morning and the choice was a good one. The pancakes was really nice and filling for our breakfast before we embarked on a 40min drive to the jetty to board our cruise.

The sea was beautiful that day with great weather. Everyone was enjoying themselves by the beach or on the waters.

We waited shortly for our cruise and we saw snake and some reptile while waiting!

Our ferry came and we began our adventures. 

Our guide brought us around to locate dolphins, sea lions, pelicans, and some other wildlife around various islands or in the sea..


I just love this Blue Blue Sea..

Weather was excellent that day and we spotted all wildlife that we can see..



Coming out to Say Hello!

Sea Lions!

After about 90min, we alighted at Penguin Island to catch the feeding show. Penguins breed in Australia were really small, as compared to what we saw in South Africa. No doubt small, they were very agile and swift in swimming. It was quite fun seeing them posing around and swimming around freely.

Getting Ready!

Patiently Queuing for Food

Visitors to Penguin Island can choose to do all sorts of sea sports like kayaking with the sealions etc but we didnt go for that. There was no food outlets on Penguin Island itself. As it was nearing lunch time, we made our way to Fremantle Markets.

We had lunch at the Fishing Harbour.

This is a yummy squid appetiser

Look at the serving size!

Yummy Oysters 
 Now the markets are only open during Friday and weekends,which hence explains the crowd when we were there on a Saturday. We had a seafood platter at Kailis and we finally had a taste of the fresh oysters, lobsters, fish and squids. THe portion size was very huge for 2 of us. Eating out at Australia is not cheap I must say but their serving size is quite overwhelming.

After a hearty meal, we walked around Fremantle to explore the markets and shops. It has several interesting shops and the streets are full of nostalgic atmosphere. We saw street performances around the market and did some shopping at the various shops too..

We made our way to Woolsworth to get our stock of Timtam cookies as requested by folks in Singapore haha..

After exploring Fremantle, we went to Matilda Bay, looking for the reputable boathouse that has been one of the top photographic spots in Perth. However, we didnt manage to locate it after walking the entire stretch.. but the sunset that day was quite spectacular with the boats to make up the picture..
and just as we were about to give up, we finally saw the boathouse! but it was too late to shoot anything we decided to make a return trip on the last night we had in Perth..

Us with the Sunset at Matilda Bay!

Kids Out at PLay!

Even the Moon is Out

It was just 7pm by the time we finished Matilda we decided to hang around and stopped around Kwinana Freeway to take some of the night shots.

Beneath the Freeway

At the end of shooting, the temperature have drastically dropped that I was practically shivering, so we hopped on the car, purchased take-away pizzas and went back to Como B&B for a good rest!