Category Archives: South 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.
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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

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.

Adelaide, South Australia

image
Moreton Bay fig tree on Plane Tree Drive, Adelaide at Botanic Garden

 

Had a great day yesterday wandering around the Botanic Garden in Adelaide. The most beautiful day and the surroundings were very peaceful and relaxing. It is important for us to ‘get back to nature’ away from phones and work stresses and just be!

 

We went through the Conservatory full of rainforest plants we continued on our day of peaceful meanderings and discovery.

Next we happened upon a female duck and her five ducklings foraging in a man made waterway nearby. Also, on the same path was a sculpture made of glass sheets in the shape of a wave. Very impressive.

The sun was out the birds were everywhere, and we trundled along towards the Santos Economic Botany Museum. Wonderful place which was probably fairly dated looking until, it was restored recently.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE MUSEUM

The Museum of Economic Botany in Adelaide has its origins in a previously existing museum in the Botanic Garden. Without a formal name, this building was generally referred to as the ‘rustic temple’ due to its façade being modelled on the Parthenon of Athens, and was built in 1863. It operated as a museum, though it was rather small, and entirely inadequate for the vision for the Botanic Garden held by Director Schomburgk. By 1870, when it had acquired 1500 objects, the building was significantly overcrowded. When it reached 2000 objects by 1876, Schomburgk concluded that the situation was untenable, and a new building was required. In 1877, he petitioned the Government for funding for a new Museum of Economic Botany, to bring Adelaide in line with other Australian colonial capitals which already had their own. His pitch was expressly economic in nature, arguing that the knowledge brought by its construction would encourage diversification in rural South Australian planting patterns, and thus grant a significant boost to the local economy. As this request was made at a time of economic prosperity in South Australia, the Government readily endorsed Schomburgk’s plan. Construction of the building began in 1879 and finished in 1881, and was explicitly based on the example of Kew Gardens. It had sixteen windows of eight feet height, designed to allow in a large amount of sunlight to illuminate the exhibition cabinets. It was built in the Greek revival style, and cost £2900. After the transfer of museum items from the rustic temple, it became officially known as the Wood Museum, hosting a variety of Australian and foreign examples of timber.

#Globe_Coffee_House_Patisserie and Restaurant

Globe Coffee House Patisserie & Restaurant
Globe Coffee House Patisserie & Restaurant
Had lunch here, with two of my workmates and one beautiful 4 year old. He wasn’t some random child, he belonged to one of my people.

While I waited for my mates to arrive, I set about writing – as I do – about thoughts that whirl through my head.

Here’s what I wrote today:

The crisp air bites at my ears as I cross the road, looking towards my destination but completely missing the crosswalk at my feet. I wondered why that car had stopped for me.

Sometimes, I think I am so in charge of my life and I am enjoying my freedom, but I am apparently away with the fairies at times. Ah well, ’tis real life n’est pas? Pretentious? Not at all. Everyone understands the context, if not the words. The rhetorical question, oft used to pique the reader’s interest. I am currently 8% fluent in French, and my phone app encourages me to add it to my LinkedIn profile. Now, that would be pretentious. How could 8% fluency be an asset in my employment. I am certainly aware of my increased understanding of the language but I am not sure if that would ‘translate’ into a useful addition to my resume.

Just received an email with a list of 14 foods that boost my thyroid. Oh, the constant desire to lose weight, manage weight, spend money on losing weight etc etc.

The venue I am in now is not air tight but not unpleasant. I have covered my bases with four layers of clothing and a scarf. L’ escarp. I think that is the word. Asked a guy in a shop in Paris what the word was and he said ‘escarper’ but that was just the pronunciation. He didn’t seem fazed by my question. I did buy a lovely jumper in Paris. (Made in Bangladesh and its washing instructions were a plastic book attached onto side of the jumper.) So fine and soft and I tried on some pants but nothing was quite right. The shop assistants were not around so I had to make all my rash decisions alone.

The day was just perfect, and I was swayed by the romance of just being in Paris. I loved it and I want to go back and spend more time in France in general.

 

 

 

 

Back home – Perth, Western Australia; The Hardware Store – Brighton Cafe and Eatery

The Hardware Store is one of my favourite places to eat.  I have not had an evening meal here but have covered most others several times.image

The vibe here is contemporary and trendy.  Not pretentious but fun.  The water jugs are watering cans. The cutlery is housed in toolboxes, and the sauces in an old fruit box.  The staff are young and friendly and do their job well.  The food is delicious and brought quickly and with a flair for decoration.  The fresh fruit juices are served in the currently fashionable jars with handles.

The building is part of a group of shops which has been in Brighton Road Scarborough for probably more than 50 years.  This particular space was – along with the now Patisserie next door, a hardware store for all of that time before it became a cafe.

It was a terrific place with the owner, knowledgeable and with all the stock required.  You could come to him with a nail, screw or piece of tubing and he would say – which tray it was in or take you to it.  The doorway which has now been bricked up, took you through to the paint section.  The original floor has been covered by aged wooden floorboards which rises up in a ramp at the doorway beside two walls covered with white tiles – the style (subway tiles).

The tables are too high, I always get sore shoulders writing here, and I like to write here.  There are pallets on top of regular tables, with a sheet of glass on top.  They look great, but they are too high. In between the wood panels of the pallet the menus are stored.

The choices are fresh and interesting.  My favourite is the smashed avocado.  Will see if I can get it for lunch today.  Fingers crossed. But if that is not available the Zucchini and Sweet corn Fritters are beautiful – it’s the tomato salsa that makes that dish.

Back Home – for a short time- Thanks to our house-sitter

We arrived back at home on the 19th October and have been home now for 10 days. It is so nice to be home and so pleasing to come back to healthy happy hounds and a wonderfully overgrown garden. It looks great. It’s full of beans, purple and green, and broad beans. There’s Kale and spinach and silverbeat. Sweet potatoes and onions, and spring onions and strawberries. 

image image imageOh and the mulberry tree is producing too.

image

My garden is lush, overgrown, healthy and I love it.

I am so grateful to our wonderful house-sitter Marg.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.  You did a wonderful job. You’re worth your weight in gold.