Wining and Dining on the Farm

Those of you who personally know Mike and I, you know that we are real foodies and also love our wine. For many places we have visited, food is a big factor in our exploration and enjoyment of the country, incorporating culture and custom of a foreign land. Indeed, most of my most memorable travel stories revolve around food. So the Margaret River region is built on a trade close to our hearts, wine and fine food of many and varied styles.Mike's witchety grub snack

Rhys joining in the tasting.I have written an extra long piece about one of the best food and wine experiences I have ever had in Australia. It was a wine tour around the Margaret River region with Bushtucker Tours. Rave, rave, rave. The Bushtucker team have been running wine tours in this region for 21 years, so have perfected the tour to accommodate everyone, including families with young children. Being locals themselves, they know their wines and everything the region has on offer as well as any expert should. The itinerary is mixed up on a daily basis to keep it fresh, and the tour is so much more than just about wine. To read all about our FABULOUS day, click here. We highly recommend this tour to anyone visiting the region, whether or not you have children.

Whilst in Margaret River, we stayed at Big Valley Campsite, where we yet again caught up with our fellow travellers the O’Callaghan’s. They had already stopped there for a few days, and had spent some time chilling out and enjoying the beaches. The campsite was actually on a sheep farm, with sheep, rabbits, chickens and guinea fowl. But what I loved most about it was the camp kitchen. There was a large shared kitchen with picnic benches and a dedicated campfire. One of the nights we were there, we had a big communal dinner with both families and a couple we had met on the wine tour. We started off with some of the cheese we had collected during the wine tour. Coby had requested spag boll for dinner and Jayne made pizza and garlic prawns. Chris showed us how to make damper using a cast iron camp oven over hot coals, which was eaten with butter and jam for dessert. We also toasted marshmallows over the dying fire, and enjoyed some local port. So thoroughly enjoyable, but meals like this every day will warrant more than just my customary hour walk.

In honour of Autism Awareness month in April, we had the opportunity to visit our first Playconnect Playgroup in Margaret River, which supports families with children in the entire Autism spectrum. You can read all about this positive and enriching experience here.

Busselton Jetty TrainKids on Jetty TrainBusselton Underwater ObservatoryFrom Margaret River, we also had a daytrip to the bustling town of Busselton. It boasts the southern hemispheres longest wooden jetty, and comes complete with a tourist train (Happy Days for Rhys). At the end of the jetty is Busselton Under Water Observatory, which is a unique natural aquarium of the living ocean in an environment where the cool seas of the Southern Ocean meet the tropical seas of the Indian Ocean. The underwater pier grows some species of tropical coral and supports some tropical species, where some cold-water species, such as herring and leatherjackets, also exist. It is fascinating walking down levels into the observatory. You see marine life varied from tidal adapted species down to krill and schooling fish, as well as bottom dwellers. We heard from a reliable source, a young Grey Nurse Shark had also been hanging around for a few days, although we were not lucky enough to see it.Yallingup Sunset

We are making our way slowly to Perth. With the school holidays just about to start in WA (and everywhere else I imagine), we have had to book a campsite in advance for the Easter long weekend in Perth. We really dislike being restricted to a place and time more than a day or two in advance, but such is life when a five day public holiday approaches.

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