Monday morning came around and I filled up my travel coffee mug, plugged in my ipod with a playlist on shuffle and off I drove down to Bunbury for a three day retreat.
I made a de-tour via Australind to explore the Featured Wood Gallery- a tourist attraction which I discovered while browsing TripAdvisor.com. The gallery showcases a personal collection which took the owner over 25 years to put together. Entry into the museum is $5 per adult and is worth the price. The collection is well presented and is divided into historical times.
After my de-tour, I continued the drive to Bunbury and wandered around the City Centre. I decided to listen to my stomach and purchased a late brunch from Benesse Coffee & Kitchen. I ordered the granola w/greek labna, blueberries, raspberries & slice apple with a pot of peppermint tea and the meal didn’t disappoint! I’ll admit, I have become rather fond of brunch meals and the granola was delicious, one of the best brunches I have had to date. The service, atmosphere and setting was wonderful too. (I went there for lunch on my second day as well- I ordered the ‘raw pad thai’ made with zucchini noodles, freshly made sauce tossed with cashews & the service and food was faultless)
The cafe is located on Victoria Street- their cappuccino strip which is bursting with cafes, restaurants and locally owned shops on both sides. As an aside, if you park on the main strip, you have to pay for parking but if you don’t mind a small walk, you can park on the corner of Blair Street and the first 2 hours are free.
I wandered up to Rocky Point and took in the sights and sounds of the ocean. It’s a pristine setting and up the hill, there’s a lighthouse (you cannot wander inside/up it though). I had a stroll through the Art Gallery, they’re currently changing the exhibition locations so the upstairs gallery wasn’t complete. Entry is free and it’s a worthwhile gallery to visit if you’re interested in the arts. I also wandered up the street to Houlter’s Heights lookout and at the top of the staircase, you can see the inlet, the beach and the city.
Once I checked in and unpacked, I decided to walk back down to Rocky Point and watch the sun set. It’s incredible how the things we take for granted are the things that can bring you such happiness. I had a front row seat of the sunset as the sun went down over the horizon through the clouds- I felt like I needed a bag of popcorn as I sat there on a rock with my camera at the ready, eyes open and a smile from ear to ear.
Day two, I drove down to Busselton via the scenic route thru Tuart National Forest- which was very picturesque! I hadn’t been to the Busselton Jetty in too many years to count so I decided to go back. You can purchase an all day jetty pass for only $3 or you can purchase tickets for a return jetty tram ride and tickets to the underwater observatory.
I spent the afternoon admiring the gnomes of Gnomesville before watching the sunset at Leschenault Inlet.
On my last morning I re-fuelled ready to make the drive back to home. I decided to drive up to the Rotary Lookout tower and even though the winds were strong, I still managed to be in awe when I got to the top of the staircase and stand still enough to take a few photos. A perfect way to end a few days of relaxation.
During my visit, I stayed at the Quality Lord Forest Hotel. The service and rooms are great, you have your own balcony, there’s free under cover parking, access to free wifi and there’s a number of television channels including foxtel. You can also get room service, there’s an indoor swimming pool and a restaurant with a buffet breakfast set up every morning.
So, if you’re looking for a cheap yet relaxing visit to Western Australia’s South West region, I recommend visiting Bunbury. The city has the charms of a country escape, friendly people, pristine beaches and delicious food with the comforts of home.