My brother and his gorgeous family moved to Bunbury for work a couple of months back, and when family do such things there is absolutely no better excuse for a road trip than to visit them.
Come Sunday morning, we were up at 5:30am, showered, coffee’d (yes, I deem it a word!) and on the road, watching the sun rise over fields of dewy grassy and herds of cows, as we drove down south.
We arrived in Bunbury, with the morning still crisp and fresh, the skies bright and blue, and the whole family there in time to make early Mass.
Post-Mass naturally comes brunch. We made our way to Dome on the coast, where I got snap happy with the ocean views.
We sat ourselves outside, under the trees.
And before we knew it, we’d ordered up a storm!
Eggs benedict for me.
Baked beans with toast, and pancakes with berries, maple syrup and mascarpone cream for the kids.
Breakfast wraps, more eggs benedict, with salmon this time, big breakfasts, plus coffees, a chai latte, a pot of English breakfast tea, babycinos and a mocha – in short, enough to cover both our tables.
(A bit of advice, if you’re ordering a big breakfast from Dome: to get a variety on your plate, I suggest ordering the vegetarian breakfast and then add a side of bacon. It’s the best idea I’ve ever had!)
Thoroughly satisfied, we decided to take a walk along the shore.
For a small city, Bunbury has a definite pride in its presentation. Everything is clean, fresh and new. It’s lovely and modern, with some serious sea-side appeal, and not too far from Perth.
Plus, there’s some pretty cute places to sit and soak up the sun and the views.
We walked as far as the boat yard, before doing an about turn and heading back to the cars.
We spent some time looking through my brother’s new place and having a little rest (or more like playing with the kids on a giant new bean-bag), before it was naturally time to hit the road again for some more food! This time, switching from a sea-scape to a tree-scape!
That’s what is beautiful about the south-west of Western Australia. There are stunning world-class beaches and beautiful farmland, forests, caves and countryside existing side-by-side. Oh, and don’t forget about the top-class wineries! It’s the best of both worlds!
We ventured past Gnomesville, a total treat for any kid.
Once started as a protest against a T-junction and roundabout, it has now become a true man-made attraction, with thousands upon thousands of gnomes, all set up shop along winding little paths amongst the trees. Anyone can add a gnome to the sight, and there’s some funny little themes and scenes that will make you chuckle. Like I said, it’s a total treat for the kids…and maybe the not so kid alike. Find it at 74 Japonica View, Dardanup.
Onward we went, along dirt roads, tree-lined and blanketed in smoke, as it was burning-off season.
We emerged onto a small road to find a restaurant in the forest and old historic cottages, all within a clearing in the bush-land, and with lounging kangaroos galore!
We made friends with this very tame local, before heading over to the restaurant, Wellington Food and Wine.
We pushed a bunch of tables together, set ourselves down on the deck, and ordered the most beautiful gourmet cheese platters, filled with quality local produce. I’d show you a picture, but I didn’t take any, as everyone, including myself, starting munching away too fast for me to take any aesthetic snaps.
We ordered the Forester’s Platter, with HaVe Cheeses Blue OMG, smokey savoury, cumin Havarti, chicken and pistachio pate, bacon jam, tomato chutney and beetroot relish, and seasonal greens. Served with focaccia, 5 seed mini loaf, pepper, fennel and rosemary biscotti.
Full with cheese and an extra bowl of crispy hand-cut chips, we sat back a little deeper into our chairs and soaked up the view.
Mustering up some energy, I took the kids for a wander down the hill.
We explored here and there, and had a snoop through the guest houses and the wood shed, as well.
Before long, it was time to leave. With hugs all round and little ones buckled in their car seats, our family had to go separate ways.
Hitting the road once more, we made our way back to Perth, as the sun started to set.
Another trip down south is definitely on the books, but ‘when’ is the question…