Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Western Australia Day 2: Tour to Margaret River (6th July 2007)

Another early start of the day for our tour with the same bus company from Day 1 (the coach was under Gray Line Sightseeing Day Tour - guess it must be an affiliated company to the Australian Pinnacles Tour). We had another Malaysian favourite for breakfast that morning - roti canai with the previous night leftover curry. Yum!

Day 2 was a tour to Margaret River, heading south of Perth. It was another long day of sitting in the bus (and more snooze time for us, again!). I sat with a 13-year-old girl named Tuk from Vietnam who was travelling in Perth with her family.

We arrived at Xanadu winery for wine tasting around midday. Sandra and I didn’t like the wine very much as we felt it tasted somewhat diluted. The Chardonnay Merlot Semillon blend was quite nice – a rose-coloured wine with a hint of watermelon (very light taste). We then hopped back on the bus to the Eagles Heritage Wildlife Centre, which was located just across the street from Xanadu for a lightning quick tour of the property with natural bush housing (I'm not kidding - probably like 10 minutes and we only managed to see about 3 species of bird) and lunch provided by the tour (same stuff as the day before). The wildlife centre has Australia's largest presentation of eagles, hawks, falcons and owls. Hey, did you know that the peregrine falcon is the fastest animal on the planet? This little birdie can dive (the stoop) down to speeds of 320 kmph. Impressive! There was a flying display after lunch - fantastic commentary by the tour guide but too lengthy and the gang didn't stay on watch the whole show. Oh yeah, this is also the only place in Australia where you have the opportunity to have a raptor sit in your arm - I wasn't too keen in case I get crapped on...hehe. Photos from Perth to Eagles Heritage: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157600834480632/detail/

At 2.20pm, we arrived at Mammoth Cave for another informative guided tour. There were many interesting formations and an ancient fossil remains of an extinct animal in the cave. See photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157600854351477/detail/

Back on the bus and further down Margaret River we went. We were quite lucky to see a large whale on the surface near the shore just outside of Augusta. The bus driver parked up at the side of the road for us all to whale-watch (what a bonus!). Sadly, we didn't have binoculars for a better view and the photos didn't turn out very well. We continued on to Cape Leeuwin, the most south-westernly point of Australia. The light stands at the exact point where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet. More photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157600869766468/detail/

Dinner was at Busselton at The Equinox. I personally wouldn't recommend you the steak meal if you like your steak medium rare - it was a fillet steak, grilled nearly well done and I didn't have a choice how I liked my steak cooked :( . It was a pity we couldn't walk the jetty as it was already pitch black outside. Oh well, at least we got a nice supper back at Sylvia's house - she made pig stomach pepper soup (er, none for me, please - you girls can fight for it) and bubur cha cha (Malaysian sweet dessert made of coconut milk with sago and sweet potato). Sylvia, you are the best!!

Come to think of it, we've inspected all the toilet stops in both the day trips (we were warned not to use the bus's toilet)...we've visited more toilets than places in Western Australia in 2 days!

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