Cervantes, WA.

A family wedding gave us the push to get on a place and fly across the country to the beautiful west coast, giving us a not exactly a taste of Western Australia, but rather a slight lick that triggered pangs of desire to get back as soon as we can, and again, and again. But for the first visit in many years, here is my first impression. Oh i wish i could have stayed longer and travelled further!!!

Landing early, we had heaps of time to get to our accomodation in Cervantes, so we made a couple of stops along the short two and half hours drive from Perth to Cervantes.

First stop was Yanchep National Park. A beautiful parklands with wetlands and lush grass. There are many easy walkways for those with mobility issues. Neat manicured gardens contrast with natural landscape. You need to purchase a pass to enter, as this is a national park. Fires have recently ravaged the area but there are beautiful green signs of regeneration amongst the blackened trees.

There are heaps of kangaroos, and roo poo is impossible to avoid. A koala enclosure makes viewing of the cute little fellows easy. I was told Koala’s are not native in WA. I was surprised to hear this.

Lunch was nagging at our empty bellies, we chose to check out Two Rocks. A town with quite a bit of influence from Alan Bond, who purchased land with the aim of building a theme park and a residential area, streets which were named after Yachts from the America’s Cup. Atlantis Marine Park was a huge area with Dolphin Pools and sculptures, some of which still remain. The park is lost in overgrown scrub, temptingly enticing us to try and break through the fencing that keeps people out. I peeked and peered, seeing decomposing sculptures, and left with a sense of loss that i couldn’t get close enough to see more of what was once there. King Neptune stands high above us, grinning at people who cannot get anywhere near his lost kingdom.

Lunch at Neptunes Cafe was good, the toasted bread crunchy and super delicious. Sitting outside the view over the little marina is lovely, and a small King Neptune keeps you company while you eat. Beware the huge crows, apparently they pick up and fly off with cutlery, l milk jugs, sugar packets and anything else they can lift.

The town of Lancelin boasts the Big Blue Chair. I had to stop and take a photo and add it to my blog on ‘Big and Quirky Aussie Things.’

Arriving in Cervantes, we were lucky enough to be upgraded to a very comfortable suite at the Pinnacles Edge Resort. Overlooking the main street, i can assure you, we had no issues with traffic noise. A walk around town was delightful. Many front yards had quirky artworks and sculptures that made for fun walks. Locals waved at us from cars and they yards as we passed, and several took the time for a chat.

Bougainvillaea and Frangipani were just beautiful. There were also bountiful banksia’s along the highway. The colours were extraordinary. This was at the end of February.

Cervantes is well known for its rock lobster fishing. The bay was full of lobster boats bobbing about in the water. We arrived when the area was under the influence of cyclones from further up north, but the wet weather did not detract from the beauty of the area.

Not every catch is a prize. These little fellows were sadly dumped at the end of the pier.

We drove to Jurien Bay and had to try the vanilla slices. My blog ‘The Great Vanilla Slice’ has the details…

One of the reasons i picked Cervantes as our destination was it offered some rather interesting places to visit. The stromolites at Lake Thetis were accessible via a flat path and boardwalk with a viewing platform. For those who need a walk, a sandy track circles the lake, but the flies are a nightmare!

It was extremely windy the day we were there, and the salty foam build up was thick and blowing all over us.

Jurien Bay Marine Park has firm packed sand. Many of the beaches in the area can be driven on. The clear water was incredible, shallow water warm and impossible to resist. We watched stingrays swimming past us as we stood shin deep in the water, ready to bolt if they came too near!

At this time of year, the balmy evenings mean fabulous evening beach walks.

The Pinnacles delivered much more than i expected. The landscape is incredible. I can understand why Billy Connolly was inspired to dance ‘nekked’. There is a marked walking track or you can drive through and stop in the many parking bays to get out and take photos. This is in the Nambung National Park and requires a pass. We purchased the five day pass which works out cheaper than paying per park entry.

Not dancing ‘Nekked!’

Birds on the beach.

Beach walking is pure joy on these pristine beaches. Not sure what this is, but it captured my interest.

Ooooh so pretty.

Our final night in Cervantes we had dinner at Cervantes Bar and Bistro. They serve a local ‘Pinnacles’ wine that wasn’t too bad. I chose two entree as a main which were very good. Prawns and Octopus. Very yummy, and came with a lovely crusty bread to dip in the delicious sauce under the tender prawns. The octopus was very tender. He who sat on the other side of the table chose the FOD? which i realised meant Fish Of the Day. This was a little disappointing. A serve of salmon with chips and salad as he didn’t want vegies set us back $44. A bit rich for a very basic meal. Shame, when my food was super.

On the way back south, i was once again struck by the incredible whiteness of the sand. I really am looking forward to coming back this way.

Next stop Joondalup for the wedding. We stayed at Joondalup Resort, a golf course and reception centre that is extremely busy. It’s a little dated but solid, with nice gardens and a great shower.

We had lunch at Overboard Cafe, Hilarys Boat Harbour which was a little grotty and very busy with families, not really a comfortable environment and it all felt a little grotty. Our shared platter was huge, but fatty and we felt a little erg afterwards. There were mainly chain eateries and very little of a decent quality. Great for families with little kids but i don’t recommend it for couples. the water play area in the harbour was popular, but again, it all just felt sticky and yucky and i wouldn’t have put my kids in that water. Saturday night we attended a rock’n’roll night with Let’s Rock on. A great night and well attended. Check out the ice bucket!

The wedding was both lovely and lively. The Macedonian church in North Perth is a beautiful building. A Serbian dance ensemble entertained us at the reception and it was a suitably joyous occasion with much dancing.

Back to Perth CBD for the last two days before we head back to Melbourne. We spent a couple of hours walking around Fremantle, 45 minutes of which was watching three tug boats turn a container ship and guide it out of the port to open sea. Pretty impressive.

We took a look at the round house, a gaol built in the 1830’s, the oldest building still standing in WA. Worth a visit, gold coin donation. The chaps at the door are a wealth of knowledge and tell a good story. The market didn’t ring my bell. But have a stroll through.

We chose to stay at Crowne Plaza because we had no idea where to stay, and you can’t really complain about the view, or the generous serves of bubbles, however, it getting a bit tired and shabby and the showers are in the bath with a swinging glass door to get in. Difficult if you are mobility impaired. A little overpriced and they take $50 per night bond!!! Seriously?

Walking the streets of Perth CBD. This alleyway was tour bus territory but still an interesting walk.

My fascination with plants and patterns keeps me happy.

And our last walk was through Kings Park. What a fantastic place to walk, experience incredible views and gardens, and just sit and enjoy the carpet of grass. Definitely a place everyone should visit when you come to Perth.

This poor Boab tree suffered when it was uprooted and delivered to its gaol in unfamiliar surrounds. Lots of pretty trees are however looking delightful.

A brilliant raised walkway.

And who doesn’t love waterways? Heaps of tadpoles.

And to finish off…more amazing plants. Check these little babies out. Really worth a visit.

WA you are a ripper and i can’t wait to get back.

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