My Recommendations for Ms Ong

Ms Ong will always remain a special person in my book of memories. The details are not irrelevant to the post. The purpose of this is that Ms Ong will be coming to Perth for a holiday while I'm away for a returning visit to Singapore to attend Tucky's wedding. Smart lady as always. Nonetheless I've been asked for recommendations of place worth visiting during her holiday here. I promised I'll get back to her and she told me to take my time, probably half convinced I'll forget it cleanly. I hadn't, but it is an annoying prospect to tell her the grandfather story via whatsapp. That's why it's appearing here, bigger screen, higher resolution and faster to complete.

The problem is, Ms Ong had already booked a trip down to Margaret River. In short, she had cast her itinerary in stone! The only thing I could do is to comment on the highlights that will probably appear on her tourism brochures and leave her to decide which are the best places to visit for her family.

The house rule: minimize animals visiting, since Caversham Wildlife Park will be one of her destinations during her Perth City stay.

1. Key activity - Have a Barbie

How a typical BBQ pit looks like in Perth
Ms Ong said, 'No!' but I say, 'No, No!' If you haven't done a barbecue in Australia, you can't consider yourself having visited it. So what's the fuss about? The significance can be better understood by comparing what both countries do on their respective National Days. On National Day in Singapore, we show off their military to the world and set off fireworks. On Australia Day in Perth, we do BBQs in the city.

So why not give it a go?

Instructions to use a BBQ station in Perth as follow:

a) Buy pre-marinated meats, sausages. bread and salad in any supermarket, a pair of tongs, sauce (if desired) some disposable plates n forks/spoons/cups and hand towels, a bottle of coke and drinks.

b) Visit any public parks. Most, if not all parks have adequate BBQ stations for hungry park visitors. On a weekend, pits at popular parks will be occupied. On a working weekday, the chances of finding an unused pit are high. At any of  the 'neighbourhood parks', it is a certainty to find a pit available for use. I'll recommend Garvey Park, Lake Monger, Point Walter, Sir James Mitchell Park as possible choice around Perth City and any nearest park to your accommodation in Margaret River.

c) No bookings are required. Don't bring along charcoal or starters too. Press the button (follow the instructions) and hold until a light comes on. The pit is in heating mode. While waiting pour Coke over the pit and throw a couple of hand towels over and clean the surface with your tongs. Most pits should be in great condition to start off with.

d) Start cooking.

e) Remember to clean up the place and pit before you go. The reason why the place is clean when you use it is because the previous user cleaned it up.

f) Enjoy the scenic experience, hopefully you'll not get too many rainy Spring days when you come.

2. Visit King's Park

Since everyone does it. So should you.

3. Visit Swan Valley

On the Caversham Wildlife Park day, you can consider dropping by Swan Valley nearby and visit the Margaret River Chocolate Factory for the fun of it (but don't stop too long). Yahava KoffeeWorks if you are into coffee tasting. Windarra honey for Nadia to watch bees at work in a transparent hive on the wall. Unfortunately the grapes vines in the farms are off-season in Spring so most vines will be bare.

4. Visit Habourtown

If you are into shopping.

The Road Trip

Rule #1. Do not google any of the places I listed. There is nothing better than to see it in person the first time. So Don't. Set off early. I meant waking as early as 5am, wash up, get dressed and go. In Spring, the first light is earlier than Singapore and the sun set much earlier. So it is preferable to make adjust to make the best out of the daylight. There will be adequate places to stop for a rest or toilet ala N/S highway, Malaysia. 

5. Have breakfast in Mandurah City Centre

No recommendations for which eatery. Just find something to eat, stretch a bit and move on. Pack along lunch if you want to (eg. Subway)

6. Stop at Busselton

Stroll the jetty if you can. I mean stroll, no need to rush this. I was lucky enough to see a whale during my first walk at the 1km mark. Very low chance but everything else about it is still worth the walk.

7. Stop at Yallingup Beach Road End

Yallingup is an aboriginal word for "A Place of Love". So spend some time having lunch with the people you love here. Walk down the beach for a few minutes before you set off. 

8. Stop at Yallingup Maze

If you reach 7) too early or are not feeling hungry yet, you may want to have lunch at the maze instead. Regardless, take some time to rest and relax here before you move further south to your accommodation in Margaret River.

9. Check in

From here, decide between shopping for food (if you are not eating out for dinner and the breakfast next day) or cheong more places.

10. A few places...

I'll share a few places I found lovely to my own tastes. You can try them or visit other places on the brochures (can easily find them at Info Centres on the way)

a) Gracetown - lovely little village on the hills by the sea. Great for couples, still great for families.

b) Ngilgi Cave - It's a bit annoying to drive back northwards but it's worth the trip, in my opinion. Nothing like that in Singapore. If you rather save the effort, you can try the following;

c) Lake Cave/Jewel Cave/Mammoth Cave

d) Hamelin Bay - Good rest place

e) Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse - see the century old lighthouse and watch the intersection where two oceans meet.

Remember, a Perth trip is a holiday for relaxation. I'll always advice anyone who ask for my opinion to take it easy and not to 'interest-rush' like how many of us Singaporeans do in our overseas trips. Don't do that here because there are places in the world designated for that. WA isn't one of them. To get your money worth for this trip - relax.

1 comment:

  1. Adding to the author's list: Yahava Koffeeworks originates from Margaret River. There is a neat gourmet chocolate place called Gerald's in Margaret River. Also, if you are into olive oil, you must check out 34 degrees olive oil nursery or orchard in Margaret river. They sell very good quality olive oil.