Category Archives: Australia

Rottnest Island – Western Australia

Day 3

Up relatively early today. Went outside and took some black and white pictures of the wonderful cottages which epitomise the accommodation which has been on the island for decades.

They are not flash but have everything you need. It is a very relaxing and an easy place to stay.

Vincent Way looking South
Vincent Way looking North
Looking out towards Perth – early morning
Looking South towards Stark Jetty and main jetty beyond

Before I headed out to the salt lakes I went north to see the lovely lighthouse. It’s not particularly special, it just looks nice. It looks well built and solid. The white walls contrast beautifully against the blue, blue sky. It never gets old for me, this classic shot.

Bathurst Lighthouse
The view looking North
The view over Pinky’s Beach

Later in the morning, I ventured out, on the chariot, towards the salt lakes to photograph birds and habitats around there.

A salt lake with ‘Rottnest Snow ‘

I found a small group of Pied Oystercatchers,

There are Bridled Terns and Welcome Swallows, zooming around so fast, I can’t photograph them. Some Welcome Swallows roost in our eaves in our accomodation here on Rottnest Island.

I also saw a Rock Parrot near the settlement.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_parrot

There are also Ravens and Seagulls throughout the settled areas.

https://goo.gl/images/y4EJ4P

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gull

They are great scavengers and the seagulls, are ruthless. They ‘take no prisoners’.

A family of Mountain Ducks, and Fairy Terns.

Three Ruddy Turnstones visiting the Fairy Terns in the ‘Rottnest Snow’

For lunch we decided to go to Geordie’s. Cycled to the settlement and parked my bike in a rack near the general store. We caught the bus to the north side of the island to Geordie Bay. We ate lunch at Geordie Bay Cafe and Gallery. I shared fish and chips, and marinated Fremantle octopus.

Marinated Fremantle Octopus with crusty herb bread and lemon

Very yummy and the other dish was a sweet potato salad with grilled chicken – there were three eating!

‘Rottnest Snow’ – salt froth from the lakes after wind

Wildflowers

Weather beaten tree

Salt lake

Our cottage is the one sticking out next to the vacant lot.
Colours of the bush.
Advertisements

Taylor’s Art and Coffee House, Swan Valley, Perth, Western Australia

Well here is a quirky, interesting and warm and friendly venue for eats, nostalgia, sculptures, prints, and art both new and old. The yard is filled with relics of the past and objects of great importance once – like a typesetting machine, an old till, a sculpture full of plastic from the sea. There is machinery so big, it makes one wonder how it was put where it was.

We usually book, in the winter, near the very efficient and comforting pot belly style firebox.

The whole place is interesting to look at and the staff are friendly, polite and well trained.

The food is reliable and tasty. We had the ‘carnivore’ this time and shared it for $23.90 Good value for two – plus a lovely pot of tea for two.

Piano books, high chairs, cushions and toys – and an empty birdcage.

Once I was there when there was an Ella Fitzgerald fan, playing some of her music which was a wonderful sound to listen to during our meal.

Silver coated nature and additions
Coffee, local honey and tea from Toodyay!

Taylor’s has been there awhile and its owner and namesake Jude Taylor is renowned for her artwork depicting Western Australian wildflowers.

There are pictures, cards, clothes and other nick knacks laid out around the old house.

There are some wonderfully quirky things at Taylors, like the water tank around one of the tables, and the lovely door handle on the outside door where the toilets are.

Worth a visit if you are in the Swan Valley, and there is Whistler’s Chocolates next door. Also, the wineries for which the Swan Valley is famous, in Western Australia.

Rottnest Island; off the coast of Western Australia

Day 1 & 2

This place has many fond memories for me. I have not been as often as the rest of my family but the times I come, have created gentle, happy memories which bring a smile to my face to remember.

The little furry marsupials which inhabit the island and for which it is famous, are lovely, quiet little creatures, who attract all comers.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quokka

Quokka: Marsupials – stand about 20cms high.

Rottnest island is not large – Rottnest Island (known as Wadjemup to the local Noongar people, and otherwise colloquially known as Rotto) is an island off the coast of Western Australia, located 18 kilometres (11 mi) west of Fremantle. A sandy, low-lying island formed on a base of aeolianite limestone, Rottnest is an A-class reserve, the highest level of protection afforded to public land. Together with Garden Island, Rottnest Island is a remnant of Pleistocene dune ridges.


The life here is slow and peaceful. There are plenty of places to eat and a day trip really doesn’t cut it. You should stay for a few days and really enjoy the peace and quiet. You cannot drive cars or other vehicles here. The only vehicles here are those used for work or the bus transport – The Explorer – around the island. You can get a hop on and hop off  bus pass which does a continual loop all day from 8:30am until the last route @ 3:00pm returning at 4:00pm. There is a Shuttle that goes to and from accommodation on the other side of the island and to the Airport, and Kingston Barracks. You can drive ‘gophers’ and segways on tours. However, most enjoy the bicycles available for hire. Or if you’re a local you can bring your own bike to the island. Bikes for hire come in a range of styles. Electric. Manual. All are solid well made bikes which can handle the use they get. It’s a very slick and easy system to hire your bike from #pedal&flipper.


There is a plethora of birdlife on the island and due to the 15,000 visitors who come each year, they are not flighty and can be observed or photographed easily.

Pied Oystercatcher

Life on the island is wonderful, mostly. During the day when the ‘day trippers ‘ arrive there is a growth in the population and it is not all good. Some of the population is uneducated when it comes to a Class A Reserve. The animals here need to be left alone and observed. There is an on the spot fine of $150 fine for feeding the quokka. I would love to see that enforced.

There are a lot of different species of birds here and I will add some photos when I have taken them.

There is a ‘settlement’ with a bakery, pizza shop, subway and clothing. There are historic buildings, some built by prisoners held here and a museum housing the historic records of the island.

The #Rottnest_Bakery is renowned and is often the first place people go on arrival.

There are several eateries, like Dome, and the Rottnest Hotel or pub is affectionately called the #Quokka’s_Arms.

The outdoor eating area of the Quokka’s Arms, – photo effect – painting

We ate at Rottnest Hotel yesterday and I had a pumpkin and beetroot salad with goat curd and pepitas. It really was lovely. There was a lot of spinach and rocket but the rest with quinoa on the pumpkin was very nice. Also a Lime and Soda – very refreshing.

Pumpkin and beetroot salad with goat curd.

One word of warning for those eating outside at the pub, Seagulls! They will go for your food at the most unexpected moments. It seems they love it when you look at your phone – they swoop and steal any food they can. Chips are a favourite. Also its a good idea to tell the wait staff when you are leaving, because the birds attack as you leave. We covered our leftovers with napkins and put a couple of glasses down on top – so they weren’t knocked over. Oops, left a glass standing up and it crashed to the ground when the birds arrived – we kept walking. There was nothing we could do.

My suggestion to management are buttons, blue tooth, battery operated – whatever – on the tables with corresponding numbered lights on a display board, where the staff are, and when you are leaving you push the button – light comes on – staff come to your table and collect plates etc to avoid bird breakages.

The local Pizza joint is Frankie’s on Rotto. Haven’t been there but it is well presented and looks spacious and inviting.

The pizza place, Frankie’s on Rotto

There are all sorts of choices, vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options at The Lane Cafe.

Another is Geordies Cafe and Art Gallery, I’m hoping we can go there for breakfast tomorrow. It is rated 3rd on Trip Advisor for restaurants on Rotto.

The weather has been great so far. Predicted rain today, it came and went very quickly. Yesterday was 21C and sunny. Gorgeous.

The Ferry ride over was with Rottnest Express – excellent – no dramas – 30mins. Amazing.

Rotto Express Ferries passing.

They deliver your luggage to your door too. We arrived before the cottages were available so went straight to the pub for lunch. I collected a very cool electric bike and rode down to the accommodation centre to collect the keys.

View from our balcony – looking south towards the Thompson Bay Jetty
Our home- front door and courtyard.
The view from the kitchen window looking south

Once we had moved into our accommodation – we realised we were short two towels. So I jumped on my bike and rode back to get some. It is so quick with the ‘assisted’ control.

My magnificent chariot

As I was about to return with towels in a bag, I moved the gear lever on my bike and the chain dropped off – it may have been on the way down but the pedal just went round and it had come adrift. So I slowly backed it back to release the chain. That did not happen so I parked, and fiddled and eventually released the stuck chain and refitted it onto the large front sprocket from whence it had come. But, as a result of my being so capable, my hands and fingers were covered in grease. So I returned to the accommodation centre (Rottnest Island Accommodation) and as I walked into the reception area I raised my hands, asking for tissues or something to use to wipe off the excess oil.

Out came the paper towels and later some hand sanitiser which cleans quite efficiently. The lovely staff at the RIA were brilliant. None thought it was strange that a woman my age would be replacing a chain on a bike.They must meet a lot of very capable women on this island.


Went for a few walks yesterday with camera in hand and found some amazing scenes of tranquility and feverish foraging.

Thompson Bay at dusk
Thompson Bay looking north east
One of the interesting visitors, out for a free feed.
Black ducks on water’s edge, Thompson Bay
Spinifex growing on the beach
Paths to follow
Quokka – foraging in the early evening, near the beach
Beautiful spinifex – love the texture and the patterns
Thompson Bay, late afternoon
A view from the road
Another view from the same road
A place to enjoy the companionable silence

Swell: For breakfast in Perth. Mullaloo Beach

Today was a ‘wild and woolly’ day. The sea was rough and the wind strong, blustery and constant. It made standing on the beach hard for taking photographs.

The breakfast was great. The outside section of the restaurant was closed today, and it looked like a terrible move financially. The manager/owner turned away about 8 potential tables while we were there, due to the space not being available.

The food was good, the service could have been a little better but on the whole all our needs were met. We chose this particular restaurant because it was in our Entertainment Book – which is a book of discounts. The choice was a good one.

The prices were good, and the food tasty. The triangular toast was fun and a novelty. The hash browns were soft mashed almost potato inside long triangular wedges. Now, I love potato any way you want to cook it, but those hash browns were nice, but not what I call a hash brown or a potato rösti.

This is the hash brown. We shared between two THE Swell breakfast, below. Plenty each.

The venue was new, clean and attractive.

I ordered a black tea and this time, that’s what I got. I would say 80% of the time I get milk too. Now, I’m ok with drinking milk, on its own, but I don’t have it in my tea. It would be good if all places could ‘hear’ the order and bring what has been asked for the way Swell did today.

Sydney, Australia and surrounds 2018

Central Coast and Return.

Took a drive to Umina Beach and Woy Woy and back today. The motorways are fast and efficient when not crowded, but the trucks can be very intimidating! And the engineering involved in creating the motorways, is awe inspiring.

5B5D23E2-23F1-4A4C-B5B6-9A486A1B901E
The M1 – Central Coast. The sheer rock faces you drive between are amazing, and beautiful.

Once I arrived in Umina Beach I went to visit my 93 year old Aunt, who is astounded that I bother to see her. As I assured her, a trip to Sydney must have a visit to her, or it would not be a trip to Sydney.  I have a cousin of my mother’s who also turned 93 this year who lives in Sydney who will have a visit on Friday. So looking forward to seeing him too.

23225578-2033-4D54-9144-EE913DFAC92E
Near Fisherman’s Wharf Woy Woy, New South Wales
lrg_dsc09520.jpg
“Fishermates” in retro effect style. Brisbane Waters, Woy Woy. Reflections
lrg_dsc09515
The American black duck is prolific on the central coast areas. These ones are well fed by humans and as a result are very likely to wander over to look at you, looking at them. Beautiful plumage.
lrg_dsc09499
The Indian Myna Bird. Wonderful trill and a neatly, well ‘painted’ little fellow.
lrg_dsc09505
Mallard duck. One of the most dramatically coloured of the ducks.
lrg_dsc09541
Fisherman’s Wharf at Woy Woy, Central Coast, New South Wales

Freshwater

Today I have driven east to the coast and will meet up with my cousins for lunch. It is a beautiful day at the moment but by 1pm there are forecasts for thunderstorms- I hope they are wrong – make it 4pm – I’ll be safe at my digs by then.

I was early, as usual, so proceeded to the beach to see the surf at Freshwater Beach.

lrg_dsc09568lrg_dsc09574lrg_dsc09571

It really does look inviting. Lots of grommets out and about and older surfers. It is a moving tide of black rubber covered humans with long wet hair – in some cases -and a board under their arms. Not a bad way to spend your time.

Bella Vista Farm

F4066654-4B13-4CA3-A542-ADC1E09E464C

https://camdenhistorynotes.wordpress.com/2017/04/16/bella-vista-farm/

https://preview.tinyurl.com/yd6rmbnt

Today we visited one of the first farming properties in Australia. In 1799 Joseph Foveaux was granted 980 acres which, in addition to other purchases, he sold to John Macarthur in 1801. John Macarthur enlarged this through additional purchases until it comprised around 2,000 acres. John and Elizabeth Macarthur farmed sheep on this property in addition to their properties at Camden and Parramatta. For much of the time that the Macarthur’s owned this farm John was overseas and it fell to Elizabeth to manage the various Macarthur properties and flocks.

The farm is being restored and maintained and it is used for a range of activities and community happenings.

Chatswood

We left our first home of three days and drove east towards the north shore.

Well now we are on the north shore of the city in a leafy suburb called Chatswood. It has huge numbers of retail outlets in the streets and in the malls. Westfield, Chatswood Chase and stores all around them. Eateries are everywhere. Very Asian influence around here with heavy emphasis on Korean. This morning we wandered down to #Crazy_Uncle_Frankie’s where we had a lovely breakfast between us with the addition of an orange juice, tea and coffee. lrg_dsc09621

It was a birthday breakfast – did you see the candle?? We ate at Crazy Uncle Frankie’s 1/405-419 Victoria Ave, Chatswood. Terrific service and food. We were welcomed warmly and we ate at an outdoor table.

After breakfast we watched children chase bubbles on the expanse of green outside the Chatswood Library under the only tree in the vicinity, but a good one.

We then ventured off into retail land through the doors of the Westfield shopping complex.There are some great stores and some great décor.

After the walk through and a couple of useful purchases, we returned to our apartment and readied ourselves for a 20 min drive to see one of my cousins who is 93 and thoroughly warm and amazing man, who continues to live life to the full, working 3 days a week at the office of the firm, established by his father Edward (Ted) way back 1929 with his brother Hector (Bob). My cousin joined the Law firm with his brother in the 1950s.

Great to see him. Great Man oh and an MBE too.

That’s it for now – end of post for now.

Dunsborough – South Western Australia – and surrounds

This is a place we visit often. It brings peace and quiet to our lives. We work hard and need ‘down time’.

We have some very restful things to do here like;

Bird watching, photography.


This small bird is a Blue Wren, male below and female above. The male is losing the brownish summer plumage which is making way for the blue, almost iridescent blue, which will dominate autumn and winter. They are lovely to watch and very plentiful here.

And walking on the beach

Eating outside and shopping for stuff we really dont need but are fun to have.

Dunsborough, Western Australia is about 15 mins south of Busselton, a well established seaside town.

More info here: https://tinyurl.com/ya7vront

Cruising!  Fremantle to Fremantle via Albany and Busselton, Western Australia 4 night cruise on the Sea Princess.

Never done it. Thought about it, but have never actually taken the plunge until now! Love, love, love it. Sure there are lots of people, but they don’t get in the way much.
We boarded the #PrincessLine #Sea_Princess.  It’s a lovely little cruise ship. 857 feet long, 77,000 tons, 1950 Passengers. We decided we don’t think it is full, but how would we know – we are first timers in this cruising thing.

It’s been extraordinary already. The mood on board is ‘buoyant’,(pardon the pun!) expectant and everyone everywhere on staff wants to help you. The crew are an eclectic bunch of nationalities. More Phillipinos than any other group, but we’ve met a man from Trinidad and Tobago who lives in Winchester, England, and a Welshman who claims his name is Robbie Williams.

We mustered this afternoon so we could be told how to put in our life jackets and how to leave the ship if it is required. All done with people moving all over the ship heading for their Muster Point.  We have a letter on the front of our life jackets so the people checking can identify where we should be or should have come from.

The ship has 14 decks which can be found by stair or lift. Stairs tend to be quicker sometimes but the lifts are efficient. The carpet is thick and springy underfoot.

The pools look lovely and inviting and they are heated so if you wanted to, you could swim. The food is fresh and delicious and the presentation is excellent.

There is a library, Internet cafe which charges like a wounded bull for access. Not going to bother until we get to Albany.

It’s a cruise ship. It has an outdoor theatre and bars, a gym, a casino, restaurants and decks for strolling on.


Day Two

Today we woke to a calm sea, blue as far as the eye could see. The stateroom is perfectly adequate and the bed is wonderful. The shower is terrific, great pressure and hot. The cabin is so quiet, sometimes you can hear people in the corridor but generally nothing. Very peaceful.


We had breakfast around 7:30 this morning at a window table facing west. The food is good and plentiful and the walking needed to get places helps with the calorie burning required. We have both had heavy colds so sleeping was necessary today.  I read for a while and later we had dinner in the Rigoletto. This is our pre-booked table with other people.  We had a great group on our table and have enjoyed lovely meals and conversations.

After dinner we went to the Princess Theatre to see the #Scared_Weird_Little_Guys perform.  They were great, professional, well practised, clever, funny, irreverent and comfortable. The harmonies were tight and beautiful. Good show.  Just 30 mins.​ 


Day Three

We started early today after an reasonably early night. Slept pretty well, in spite of the continuing cold. Disembarked and found our hire car. We drove directly to the #National_Anzac_Centre. 

I was able to take some photos before anyone arrived. We were they around 8:30 about half an hour before the venue opened.


After that we drove through Yorke Street, Albany on our way to Denmark. Once there, we parked and found a cool cafe called #Chilli_Lime_Salt. Had a pot of tea and I had a most wonderful, Date Slice. Beautiful. After our refreshments we meandered in and found the Denmark_Co-op. There I happened upon some #Sloggers. Own some purple ones already but bought some with chickens on them. So cool!

We returned to the National Anzac Centre and had a proper look around. Very moving, very detailed, very informative. Beautiful sculpture of a man using his upturned hat to give his horse a drink of water.

We skipped our arranged table, for an early night in our stateroom.  The sea was getting a little more active. It’s an interesting feeling when you are sleeping. It was rougher last night than it has been the whole trip. But not in an upsetting or unsettling way. The rocking of the boat while you are lying in your warm bed is almost comforting. I slept through it all, and having heard In the lift from a well travelled woman, with much cruise experience, said it was rougher than any she had experienced before.  Well, if that’s the worst, cruising looks like a fairly good idea.

The parts I like the most are the fact you can run your own timetable. The only thing you need to do at a specific time is dinner but that is also option really. There is entertainment provided all day and night. Take it or leave it. Also our stateroom has a balcony and just being able to, open the door and feel the fresh air and stand outside and look out is wonderful. Today we saw a whale in the distance. It is one of the most relaxing holidays I have ever experienced.

If I was doing a cruise to places I had never been, I may do more ‘shore time’. Having the option to stay on board is lovely.

Have had a great time.  

Breakfast at Tropico – North Beach, Perth, Western Australia

Poached Eggs with bacon and hash browns.  The presentation was magnificent.  The attention to detail was marvellous. The Hash browns were the best I have had, and inside in the soft mashed potato, I happened upon mustard seeds’throughout the soft white deliciousness.  The sprouts on the eggs were a nice touch, and the bacon was beautifully crispy. The meal wasn’t the hottest, in fact the eggs were a little cool, but the yolks were golden and the food was scrumptious.  I really enjoyed the meal, completely.

The restaurant was not very full when we arrived at about 7:40am. It filled quickly and the sun shone through the large windows on the north side. The seating was good, right height for the tables and the noise was abated with clever wood and fabric around the large room.  It was cosy in our area without being cramped. There were different height tables which added interest and the casual nature of the venue lends itself to a relaxed atmosphere.  The staff were very good and attentive, but I did notice a pair beside us went and got their own menus.

Overall we had a terrific time and stayed almost two hours.  A beautiful morning, great food, terrific service and a nice vibe.  We will be back.

Thanks.