For foodies and wine lovers Margaret River is one of the best places in Australia, for a teetotaller visiting on a wet day the attraction is somewhat less. Thankfully there were a few places of interest in the area, starting with Hamelin Bay. It’s a popular place to see large stingrays right by the beach, and had the added attractions of a pod dolphins swimming by, and surreal sand encrusted limestone cliffs.
The day started at Quinninup Eco Tourist Resort, home to a rather extensive collection of gnomes…
Nearby the Diamond Tree was used as a fire lookout, with metal spikes allowing access to the top of the 52m Karri tree.
In Margaret River the Old Settlement was worth a quick explore.
Canal Rocks were mildly diverting.
The undisputed highlight though was exploring the quite stunning Ngilgi Caves, with Josh from Koomal Dreaming. These caves have been attracting tourists for nearly 120 years, understandably as they are beautiful and pleasingly free from the usual effects of caves open to tourists. Afterwards Josh demonstrated a wide range of aboriginal tools, an insightful cultural experience.
The final stop on my six day loop of south west Australia was the seaside town of Busselton, home to the longest wooden piled pier in the Southern Hemisphere, some historic buildings, and an amazing playground.