Followers of this blog will have realised by now that the length of the blog entry, video and number of piccies are in proportion to the fun and enjoyment we had in the place. We had to be ruthless in culling our coverage of Margaret River as we had such a good time. So much so we are returning next week!
We stayed with the Kirsops – Dougie (Nicky’s cousin), Beth, Georgie and Paddy (the dog). Visitors to our Cape Paterson beach house will be familiar with our wonderful Kirsop painting – we stayed in the studio, with all Dougie’s current and recent paintings and we can sense another little purchase coming on!
The Kirsops are in the process of selling their wonderful house and moving to a smaller block of land just around the corner (see video). They have been in Yallingup for 20 years and though things have changed over that time it still retains its amazing charm. At dawn and dusk large mobs of roos pop out to get stuck into the grass. Ring necked parrots are beautiful creatures, even if they are not the most popular with rose growers like Beth! The Kirsop gardens are full of birdlife in the morning – the twitchers didn’t know where to point their lens.
We popped out for a couple of nights – the first on a day trip down to Cape Leeuwin. We did the tour to the top of the lighthouse which was informative, spectacular and a good workout for the legs. The road back passes through a wide range of country include Karri forests and some of the best surf beaches in Australia, for example Hamelin Bay.
The eagle sanctuary allowed us to get up close and personal with most of Australia’s type of raptor. Many of these birds are being rehabilitated, to be returned to the wild. The flying display featured a black kite (even though she was brown) – Stuart is looking particularly chuffed to have the glove on.
But all the wonderful tourist attractions mentioned above serve one purpose – to give the palate a break between tastings at Margaret River vineyards!! We went hard but didn’t really scratch the surface. Many of the household names (Vasse Felix, Leeuwin, Cullen, Moss Wood etc) have wines available back home in Melbourne, so we focussed on the smaller and up and coming vineyards. It was great to be able to pick the brains of the locals, especially Mitch, who really knows his wines. He brought round a Moss Wood and E&E Black Pepper Shiraz to dinner at Dougie and Beths – for readers who don’t know that much about Auzzie wines, these are very serious top shelf bottles. You will not find them at Woolies or Tescos!