Day 3 in Perth: Swan Valley and Fremantle (7th July 2007)

Ah, finally a day we could sleep in…This morning, we woke up to a scrumptious Aussie breakfast of bacon and poached eggs followed by a nice stroll around Sylvia’s housing area. It was probably about 18-20 degrees outside. Nice and sunny. 2 photos taken from our morning walk:

Today, Lily took us all out on a Swan Valley tour. Swan Valley is about 20 minutes from Perth and is one of the first wine producing regions in Australia, consisting of some 30 wineries in the area. We first headed to Guildford to visit a pottery shop and watched a lady making a bowl from a piece of clay. Doesn’t look easy to me and I believe it’s a real test of patience.

Our next stop was The Margaret River Chocolate Company where we had free chocolate tasting. Each patron was allowed 1 spoonful of dark, normal and white chocolate to taste (but I suspected the ladies went back for more helpings…). There was a viewing window to watch the chocolate products being made with a sign outside that stated one can distinguish the quality of chocolate much like wine tasting. And you thought chocolate was as simple as popping it into your mouth!

Brunch was at Duckstein Brewery (a German restaurant and brewery house), also located in Swan Valley. I would have liked to try the German beer but it was only around 11am – too early for beer for me. Ooo, but we had very yummy pork knuckle, first time I ever tasted one. It was a big chunk of pork with bone and skin, and Lily kindly did the honours of cutting through it for the table. We also got to try sauerkraut (sour salad) and German sausages but I still like the pork knuckle best :)

After brunch, we stopped by a small house in the valley and had honey tasting. Food, food and more food! We bought some Jarrah honey - we were told that it was better and cheaper than the NZ Manuka honey. We continued on our way back towards Perth to Sandalford Wines and did an AUD2.50 wine tasting courtesy of Sandra – me, mum and Sandra tried about 7-8 types of wine and my favourite was the 2007 Element Late Harvest (wine white that’s Pinot Gris-like) and the Port. Mum felt somewhat tipsy and sleepy after the tasting. How strange…Back into the car and stopped by a little antique shop where Jan picked up another frog figurine (she bought one at the pottery earlier – it turns out she’s got a collection of them at home).

Hey, if you’ve not tried liquorice ice-cream, give it a go! Lily took us to this ice-cream shop along the way where I tried liquorice ice-cream (surprisingly very nice – looks purplish with a minty taste). Photos of our day at Swan Valley:

Lily decided to take us to Fremantle after Swan Valley. Fremantle is a living and working port city, a charming destination with rich maritime and cultural heritage. Before we arrived at Fremantle, we briefly stopped by Lily’s house - a huge house at the upper-class suburb of Dalkeith with the most beautiful sea view of Perth. Lily was a former Miss Malaysia and I got the opportunity to see her photos she took when she was crowned. One of her daughters too participated in the contest and was runner-up in 2006.

We then headed to Fremantle Markets and it was packed and bustling with small stalls and lots of people. Didn’t see anything of interest though but it was interesting to see such a sight of colour and noise. To finish off our day tour, we sat outside the market for coffee and fruit crepes before returning to Sylvia’s house for a rest prior to dinner at Jenny’s place. Photos from Perth city to Fremantle:

Dinner at Jenny’s house was a feast of western and eastern food – Aussie roast, green curry with coconut rice, keropok (fish and prawn crackers), cheese platter, vege stir-fry, salads and dessert of her famous durian fudge cake (very nice!) and Sylvia’s nonya kuih-kuih (sweet cakes). We were so full and there was still enough food for most of us to do a take-away! The cook and her feast:

I saw some photos of Jenny’s taken when they were younger in high school. Most of them still have their look from their younger days. It’s amazing to see them getting together, sharing, laughing and reminiscing life from the past to the present. Every one of them has a story to tell of their lives. It has been 35 years since they left Convent and some haven’t seen each other for that long but yet it felt as if they had been in contact all these years (as if they were still in high school actually). I sat and watched them chat – it’s refreshing to hear their stories and experiences, especially those who came to Australia about the same age I went to NZ. There’s just so much to learn from them and they could understand how I feel at this moment, finding my calling and discovering myself. The gang also reminds me a lot of my girlfriends from Convent and I can’t stop laughing when I hear their stories and gossip mixed in English, Hokkien and Malay. So typical of us Malaysians to rojak-speak (our sentences with a mix of several different languages)!


  1. G'day mate (with the OZ accent)!

    I'm very happy that you're enjoying your trip. Yummy dinner! Can i steal the recipe?

    Hope to catch up with you in December, I'm still stuck in Wellington....

    Enjoy the rest of your trip.

    Warmest regards,
    hew, edmund and Jonathan


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