Cape Naturalist to Cape Augusta

Cape to Cape.

The decision to do this trip was made, but the plan was very loose. All that was sure was we were going south. To Margaret River to see what all the fuss is about. We left home on Tuesday 27th January 2014 in the car with the box trailer full of bikes, boards and other must haves. After visiting the orthodontist for The Drummer we headed down the Kwinana. The Piper can never go far before the moaning for food starts, so a minor row between mother and son was had around the Australind turnoff. We cruised into Bunbury and found an ocean front motel for the night and unloaded our gear.

Unpacked, we rode our bikes up to the breakwall and saw the first of many dolphins. A magic sight. Around the harbour we found fish and chips for dinner, completed with ice cream before we headed for the lighthouse to watch the sunset. Many many steps later, we caught the sun as she sizzled into the Indian Ocean. After riding home the kids enjoyed a quick and cold dip in the hotel pool before settling down for an evening of tv and a good nights sleep.

Wednesday

We got up early and rode our bikes south along the ocean foreshore path until it ran out. Check out by 10 is always a pain but The Piper got a quick ocean swim in before we packed up and continued south. We found Peppermint Grove beach, and had it to ourselves. It was completely deserted except for some dolphins and something huge that swam in very close to shore. Perhaps a big manta … Moving on we made for Bussleton and walked the full length of the jetty. It’s a really fabulous place and if I’d known how great it was we would have planned it a little better and done the underwater viewing thing. The Piper did jump off the jetty! Its a long way up. A lot further than Lancelin Jetty that’s for sure. Next stop and our overnight stay, Dunsborough and checked into the Vedhelo room at the motel. Appropriate for me, don’t mind if I do. The Piper, determined to swim in every pool on our way so he had a dip before we took a drive to Cape Naturalist and walked around the lighthouse. As usual, we were too late for the touristy stuff but we had a good walk, followed by a swim in Meelup Bay. What a great spot.

Our drive home gave us our first glimpses of wide open Indian Ocean, full of waves and cliffs and treacherous seas. This is what I’ve been looking for since arriving in WA. Our drive home was via Sugarloaf and Bunker Bay. Dinner was some good Chinese, always suitable for the veggie Drummer but I vowed there and then that I would never have honey chicken again!

Thursday

Dunsborough is a nice place but it’s probably not really my sort of place. I’m not really a boutique shopping sort of person. But the foreshore area proved to be a nice spot for a morning paddle (not of the kayaking kind) while The Drummer had a go on her skate board. Back in the car we headed the very short distance to the Ngilgi Caves. We apparently walked 11 stories underground as we did the self guided tour. A lot of fun and the children both enjoyed the slipping and sliding. Returning to ground level we headed into Yallingup and had coffee while watching the kite surfers. The Piper decided to fly his kite which took off and had to be rescued by The Drummer who was scratched and torn from bush bashing to retrieve it. After a swim for The Piper we headed to Smiths where we discovered our favourite beach for the trip. The three of us had a fabulous swim, tossed in huge and fantastic waves. Lots of laughing and playing. Driving further south we found every bay, cliff, beach and township including Canal Rocks, Prevelly, Gracetown, Hamelin Bay and more. Another holiday highlight was definitely seeing the rays feeding at Hamelin Bay. If you’re down that way it is a must do! They almost beach themselves to take food from human hands.

Finally we rolled into Augusta ready for a meal and rest. We found a great hotel for the night, straight out of the 70s, but comfortable and more than adequate. We had a meal in the pub and saw the Dolphins in the river. A great end to the day.

Friday

Today we found the Southern Ocean. Very cool to see where the Indian Ocean meets it. The Piper swam in it and we spent a good hour or more wandering around the lighthouse that protects the boats entering it. We can thoroughly recommend the lighthouse. The Piper loved the audio tour that we used and it kept him very engaged in the attraction. There’s heaps to see and do around the lighthouse too. We enjoyed a walk to the beach and a drive back to town via the coast road.

Back on the road, we headed for Bussleton via Cowaramup where we stopped for a look around and few pics with the cows (of course). It’s amazing what little places do to attract people to stop their car. Cows in Cowramup. The Tin Horse Highway. The Big things all around Australia including the Big Banana where we lived in the east. Underground living in White Cliffs and Coober Pedy. So, cows in Cowaramup on the way to Bussleton. I have to say I was very underwhelmed by Margaret River township despite finding my Mecca at the mouth to the Margaret River the day before. And then we are in Bussleton, the boy wonder has his swim in the pool of course, we rode our bikes south along the foreshore path and then we strolled down for dinner in town at the pub.

Saturday

Up early with a plan to attend the save our sharks rally in Bunbury. Now I have to admit I’m very scared of sharks and I don’t want to be eaten by them while I swim, but I don’t think we humans should kill them just because we want to swim in the ocean. Nor do my children. So we dashed into the shop, bought white tee shirts and a marker pen, designed the message on the shirts and joined the rally. It was the first protest the kids have ever been to and they were happy to stand up for what they believe in. They joined the human SOS on the beach before our final journey leg home. For a last minute holiday decision it turned into a great 4 nights with heaps of distance travelled, new places found and memories made. We still laugh about Tyler riding his bike with his sore wrist, the fly away kite and the dumping waves of Smiths. … I hope you enjoy the photos. Tap each one to see them in their full glory.

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