Geographe Bay is no exception. A 2-3hr car ride south of Perth, this region offers a wide array of attractions and activities from calm waters and white sandy beaches, to limestone cliffs and surf breaks, skydiving and whale watching, to a rich diversity of art, culture and history. It is famous for wine production, fresh regional produce, gourmet foods and is the perfect getaway to recharge and relax. It's perfect for couples, friends, families and the best part is that it's so close to Perth!
We only had 2 and a half days so I stuck to Busselton, Dunsborough and Yallingyup. There was more than enough to do and see, and most of this area is pet friendly which meant I could bring Caileag along. I wanted some dog bonding time since I am leaving for the US for a month and dogs deserve holidays too!
The accommodation we stayed at was the Dunsborough Rail Carriages, which is pet friendly. This is a quaint quiet place just off the town center few minutes up from Simmo's Ice Creamery. They offer several old railway carriages that have been converted into long studio rooms with bed, kitchen and bathroom as well as cottages for larger groups. I really enjoyed staying here - you have plenty of space and each cottage is spread out enough so that you wake up feeling you're by yourself in the middle of the bush listening to birds and seeing all the lush greenery around you, and it's close enough to everything so easily accessible.
Two minutes down the road is Simmo's Ice Creamery, an iconic must visit place in Dunsborough. With over 30 flavours, including the good old classics and then some rather unconventional ones like cinnamon ginger, coconut choc fudge, burnt caramel with salty caramel swirl and many more.
For those who are lactose intolerant, there's a selection of sorbets from lime, to blood orange, green apple and a few others.
Here's me and dog sharing a raspberry one, and yes, she is actually gentle enough to take it from me without licking my face in the process!
As for the beach scenery... well I've traveled to several amazing beach locations around the world and I still believe the West Coast has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The water is clean and clear, the sands soft and of course the sun... Heaven on earth.
There's a few that are a must see in this area. Below are some of the best photos from my trip.
1. Busselton Jetty - this iconic jetty spans over 1.8km in length with an underground water observatory at the end. You can either walk the length or take a small train, be sure one night to watch the sunset from the rocks, it's an amazing view, some of the best photos I got was where it looks like the sky is lit up by flames over the water
2. Smith Beach and Canal Rocks - Smith's Beach in Yallingyup is more of a surfer's beach, however the views are spectacular, especially if you're chasing after a sunset. The canal rocks are an unusual rock formation with a small water canal running between 2 sheet of rock. There's a small boardwalk you can take to stroll over the waters to reach the other side of the canal
3. Injidup Point and Wyadup Rocks - Southwest of Dunsborough, Injidup Point and Wyadup Rocks offers fanastic views of the beach as well as being a photographer's dream as there's amazing rock formations from all different angles with waves crashing down and trickling in between the cracks. Popular especially during sunrise and sunset, this part of the coast is not to be missed.
4. Meelup Beach and Eagle Bay - Eagle Bay and Meelup Beach border each other and it's the perfect calm still waters with white sandy beaches. It's perfect for families as the waters are shallows and crystal clear. There are large picnic areas with benches and grass behind the beach and you can spend all day out here relaxing, tanning and soaking up the sea breeze. Further down Meelup Beach are these beautiful dusty orange coloured rocks and whoever is feeling adventurous can spend an afternoon climbing over them following the bay.
These creatures are magnificent and seeing them come up out of the water, everyone was like woah! We were lucky enough to see two of these creatures breaching, and it is amazing seeing that much mass leap out of the water so gracefully. The tour roughly takes around 2 hrs so you get some nice sunning time as well as a nice wind-in-your-hair boat ride around.
One of the must stop by places to eat at in that region is Samudra. This raw organic eco friendly cafe is surrounded by lush greens and small gardens, and has an clothing store as well as a wellness center all in one.
The food here is absolutely fantastic, here's a sample of their new Spring menu. It really is vegetarian food at its best, made with care and thoughtfulness. They offer breakfast, lunches, smoothies, an array of desserts as well as their own Elixir chocolate and other delicious healthy snacks.
My friends who normally eat meat rave about this place as well, it is definitely one of the highlights about heading down south, as well as unwinding and relaxing, you are also in for a treat while being good to your body from the inside out. Head into the center for a yoga class and massage to alleviate stress, and make sure you keep an eye out for their many retreats and workshops on offer throughout the year.
I have never even considered skydiving, always categorizing it as something people do for an adrenaline kick but Anthony had gone before in Dallas and was keen and I was not going to be sitting on the beach waiting around. So the day before I decided I would go to. He chose 14,000ft which gave roughly 60 seconds of free fall, while I chose the 10,000ft, which meant I had about 30 seconds. I think it was better I didn't plan on doing it because I had no time to get nervous about it, instead, we turned up, got suited in, watched a video and off we went, enjoying a 20min flight over the Busselton and Margaret River region.
Then it was ready, set, go! It was an amazing rush and what I loved about tandem skydiving was that I didn't have to do a single thing other than enjoy the view. 30 seconds of whizzing around in the air taking in the blue greens of the ocean and the widespread lushness of the region, then we pulled the parachute and another 5 mins of quiet bliss seeing the world from a totally different perspective. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the pictures were amazing.
So there you have it; 2 days packed full of action and excitement as well as moments of blissfulness and relaxation. Never a dull moment and plenty to see and do. If you are visiting Perth or even if you live in Perth, take the plunge, spend a weekend exploring the beauty and wonders of the South Coast!