Holidaying like it was 1990 in Western Australia
Early childhood holidays were in a remote beach hut community, surrounded by sand dunes, daily encounters with kangaroos and emus, and stories of a haunted hut. I made it once to the window at night before hastily running away because the oil lantern and wood rocking chair freaked my wandering imagination into thinking a ghost would appear any minute. The excitement was playing with the kids next door and running through the settlement in the evenings to see the fishermen’s catch for the day. Once it was even a shark! We climbed rocks on the beach, held jumping competitions off some hills behind the hut and played some serious hide and seek. Showers were ‘kettle showers’. A kettle heated up on a metters stove and then bought into the bath. There was no electricity and the residents rejected the local councils offer to run power, so we used kerosene or gas bottle lights. I know now this made the holidays even more interesting. The fridge was an oil lit one. We fell asleep in bunk beds to the sounds of crashing waves, only a sand dune away from us.
I know now that holidays like these were slow, peaceful and liberating. At home we weren’t allowed to go to the park by ourselves but on our holiday we could explore and adventure! When I think of those early holidays I wish and hope every kid experiences the same. Even now as an adult I seek a similar experience (but maybe with a flowing hot water shower). The sense of adventure and waking up in the morning with no plan or schedule. When I hit the age of 18 I favoured international destinations, feeding my desire to discover new cultures and foods in more of a rushed style of travelling. For a while I forgot about those slow holidays. It wasn’t until we started cycling and exploring once more that I’ve been reminded of how special Western Australia is. Even a night or two in the forest or by the beach is incredibly relaxing and peaceful. It keeps life grounded and I feel so much gratitude that Western Australia so far has protected large pockets of forest and coastline just for us to enjoy! National Parks and coastlines is what I am referring too. The Bibbulmun Track and Munda Biddi trail are prime examples of locals and travellers coming together to maintain that experience of nature. Having seen countries overcome by tourism development and often ignoring the surrounding ecology and environment because they make more money creating an artificial one within the gates of a resort, it’s nice to find no frills camping grounds like Honeymoon pool or Warren campground where you can go out and discover the area on your own. Listening to birds, hiking a trail or fishing. Riding a bike.
While I think I may have talked myself into venturing to the south for a weekend again what is your favourite holiday style? Or destination?
Below are a couple of holiday snaps of D’Entrecasteaux National Park, located south of Pemberton in Western Australia. Of course when you visit Western Australia you must buy a bottle of the local red to end the day!
Quick and Easy Meal Suggestions
Pizza and salad (BYO the pizza base)
BBQ and hot dogs
Beef and avocado salsa nachos
Sausage and mash potato with Sauerkraut
Toasted steak sandwich
Thai green curry and white rice
Slow holiday locations in Western Australia
Wellington Forest Cottages – 1920’s cottages set in a pocket of Jarrah forest close to Ferguson Valley and Bunbury
Windy Harbour camp site – You’ll need a tent or a caravan for this wonderfully remote camping ground by the beach.
Ferguson Farmstay – My friends stayed here recently with their toddler and loved it, so I’m including this for families with very young children. Every day there are ‘farm activities’ for the kids. Set high on a hill outside of Bunbury in Ferguson Valley.
Jilba Cottage – a self contained cottage on a working farm run by Jim and Joan. Set on the side of the Porongurups.
Donnelly River Holiday Village – an old mill town re purposed into a holiday village where there may possibly be more kangaroos and emus than residents! No television or wireless internet – perfect! A great place for hiking and biking. Bring your own linen or hire.
Wooleen Station – Camping in the outback, a place to see the night sky in perfect form
Evedon Park Bush Retreat – Stay in a cabin by the lake and awaken to noises in the Jarrah forest. In winter cosy up to the fire.
Caroline Thomson Cabins – Hopefully still the same as I experienced in year 7 camp, these cabins are on Rottnest Island. Spend the day cycling and then fire up the BBQ. Be sure to keep the cabin doors closed as the quokkas also like to explroe!