We spent a couple of days on a working farm in the great southern region of Western Australia, however, there was no working for Derek and I, it was holiday time. There is something about the country, I always return back to Perth wanting to move and set up a life on a farm. For me, I love the outdoors and as much as I enjoy blogging, I also appreciate the time away from the internet and computer. Here are a few highlights and photos from the Porongurup and Albany trip over New Years.
Where we stayed
We booked our accommodation on the airbnb website, staying on Jilba Farm. Our cottage was located at the rear of the working farm property with beautiful views across the farm and a large decking area where we drank wine and ate cheese every evening.
The peaks rising from the Stirling National Park and walking to the summit of one of them known as Bluff Knoll was without doubt a terrific experience.
The noise created from waves crashing into naturally formed crevasses, creating a blowhole effect. The blowholes are located on the coast in Albany in the Torndirrup National Park.
And, lastly, the expansive views across paddocks and bush from the suspended walkway on Castle Rock.
A meal we ate
We bought all of our food down from Perth in eskies cooking meals at the cottage, purely for convenience and budget reasons. However, we did lunch at the Happy Bull Café in Mount Barker chowing into a large a chicken kebab and steak sandwich, the most commonly found meals in the area.
Joan from Jilba produces wonderful olives picked from the trees on the farm and given time to soak in natural brine. Our was the red wine vinegar ones.
The wine at Castle Rock Winery is outstanding and to back these words, the winery has been awarded a five-star James Halliday rating. The richly bodied Della Sparkling is a favourite of mine.
On the drive down to the area you’ll spot sheep and cows grazing in the sunburnt paddocks. At dusk and dawn you may spy a kangaroo or two especially if you are near bushland. One evening we returned to the farm to see a group of kangaroos in the lower paddock. There. He was. The biggest kangaroo I have ever seen. Clearly the leader. While the rest of the group retreated into the fringing national park, he remained back and puffed up his chest getting a good look at us before turning and bouncing way
In Porongurup you must
Porongurup is a small town and all of the sights and wineries can be found on the same road! Intimate wine tasting and the hiking trails through the Karri and Jarrah forest in the Porongurup Ranges is a must. Panoramic views on the granite boulders in the park is a real treat.
In Albany you must
Head straight to the tourist bureau in town, because, there are so many activities in Albany from history to nature to idyllic beaches. Most of the activities are free like the wind farm, blowholes, beaches and the Desert Corps Memorial which boasts an amazing view, for a second I thought I was back in Koh Samui. Discovery Bay is worth a drive, it’s the location for the historic whaling station, botanical gardens and a small zoo. A café overlooks the bay and the gift shop sells tickets for the 3 areas. To left is a pretty beach and fine for swimming. Families can really make a day of the area.
My fear of heights was momentarily squashed when I climbed the ladder to the suspended skywalk on Castle Rock. And then, I went and bought a bottle of the Skywalk Riesling from Castle Rock Winery.
Big Kangaroo on the Farm
Outback view from our cottage
Castle Rock Winery and the Stirling Ranges in the background
View from Castle Rock
Steak Sandwich from Happy Bull Cafe
Emu Point Beach
Trail down to the blowholes in Torndirrup National Park
Being funny at the Wind Farm