The weather for the next few days is predicted as either storms, showers or overcast so we are trying to plan sightseeing around that in a very picturesque part of West Australia, the Margaret River region. Margaret River is a river, a town and a region in this south-west corner and the region stretches from Cape Naturaliste, north of Dunsborough to Cape Leeuwin at Augusta in the south and stretches inland 30 km or so. It is a well know wine region but also a coast and surf destination in the warmer months. Dotted throughout are galleries, small shops, cafes, restaurants as well as natural attractions such as beaches and caves. There is a lot to see and we are trying our best to divide it into sections.
Our morning started with showers and then sprinkled rain so we didn’t head out until 11am. Being in the one place for five days it is nice to relax and not rush to pack up. Our aim today is the northern portion so we drove out to Cape Naturaliste lighthouse passing through Dunsborough while the weather held. We entered the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park and made our way along the road through the forest with glimpses of the ocean. The national park is not simply an allotment of land area but runs all of the way down the coast to Cape Leeuwin and there is a Cape to Cape Walk which can be completed over four days.
The Lighthouse commenced operations in 1904 and while it is still operational today, the last lighthouse keeper retired in 1996 and the precinct is run by a not-for-profit organisation today. You can pay to access the Lighthouse Precinct and also to do a tour but there are various walks available and we chose the Lighthouse loop walk. The walk covers 2km over fairly flat ground through coastal heath and provided views along the way of the lighthouse, the ocean beyond and many flowering shrubs.
We also saw up close these lovely lilies which have dotting the farmland over the past couple of days. You can imagine the winds here by looking at the way the trees have been blown.
As we made our way back to Dunsborough we stopped off at the beaches along the way.
Sugarloaf Rock which is the world’s most southerly nesting site for the red-tailed tropic bird.
After lunch at the Dunsborough Hotel (had to have parma for a farmer) and a look around the shops, we drove the short distance to Yallingup back on the coast. The little town is all about surfing and Smiths Beach is just one of more than 50 surfing spots along this coastline.
In the park above the beach there is a surfer statue, the tribal laws of surfing and even the outdoor showers are in the shape of surfboards. Imagine the view the people have each day living above the beach.
By this time it was getting late so we turned inland at Wildwood Rd and made our way through the boranup forest stopping only at Anniebrook Wine, Flowers and Farm Café. We were too late for coffee but could still take in the beautiful silk flowers sold here.
Driving back in to Busselton we were amazed at the size of the town and very glad we had a map and directions to BCF to fill the gas bottle and then pick up a few groceries at Woolworths. It has gotten quite cold in the late afternoon and rain and thunderstorms are predicted for tomorrow morning.