2nd December 2012
Day Two (Bunbury – Donnybrook – Walpole), overnight stay at Rest Point Holiday Village @ Walpole.
Woke up bright and early this morning to head for Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Center. The husband said we should really try to reach there early as the dolphins usually appear early in the morning. So by 8.30am we have already washed up, breakfast-ed, checked out, and headed for some dolphins encounter!
After spending some time at the ticketing office wondering whether we should go on a cruise to guarantee at least some dolphins sighting (and then deciding not to to save some money…), we got the entrance tickets which actually allow for 3 visits so you can keep trying your luck if you don’t see any dolphins… or if you want to see them again and again sometime later!
But we needn’t have worried. Immediately after we bought the tickets and walked in, the whistle started sounding… DOLPHINS SIGHTING! We rushed to the beach and true enough, two dolphins were making their way inshore! And then the volunteers gave us a briefing… that we had to stand in a row together and move into the sea towards the dolphins so they can come up to us.
SERIOUSLY?! I wasn’t prepared for this. My tour-guide-aka-husband didn’t tell me about this either! And I was wearing my 3/4 cargo pants! (He said later on that he didn’t think I would be interested to get myself wet so he was prepared to just bring his girl in himself) HELLO?!?! I didn’t travel all the way to Perth to sit on the beach while you guys go “hang out” with the dolphins!!!
So into the water we all went… and this was how close the wild dolphins came up to us!!!
We went deep enough until the water reached up to my hips. And my daughter stayed safe and dry in my arms… and my husband the taller one stayed relatively dry, happily taking photos now that he had his hands free… and we totally forgot about his iPhone in his pocket and the electronic car key in mine!!! Yap, we were so excited at seeing the dolphins that we literally dropped our bags, kicked off our shoes, and ran into the water eager to go up close and personal!
Thank goodness the electronic car key still worked else we’ll just be stuck in Bunbury. As for his iPhone… well, if you were trying to contact him for the period we were away in Australia and can’t get hold of him… you know why now.
As we weren’t prepared to go further out to sea (any deeper and my girl will start getting herself wet too), we made our way back to shore. That’s when we made our way into the Discovery Center itself to experience the Touch Pool where the girl picked up a sea-star… a star-fish… a sea cucumber…
… and even a sea urchin…
When we were done exploring this small little center, we moved off south towards Donnybrook. Well, the main reason why this was made a stop in our journey…
Was because of this HUMONGOUS playground – Apple Fun Park! My daughter saw it and almost went crazy!!!
In… and out… Up… and down… and all around my little one rocketed… Until she really couldn’t stand the summer flies any longer and sulked, “Mommy, the flies are disturbing me!”
So we asked for a final photo moment (and even this had to be coaxed), before moving to our next spot. We had intended to do some fruit picking here initially… but alas, it being Sunday, nothing was opened. Not even the Visitor’s Center where we had initially planned to ask for some help on where to go to “Pick-your-own”.
So we decided to try our luck at the Old Goldfields Orchard and Cider Factory which was listed on a travel brochure. We had no idea what there was… but from the sound of it, maybe fruit picking and watching the production of apple cider??? Well, whatever it was, the fact that they were open on Sunday was good reason enough for us to visit!
And the place was… well, not exactly what we expected. “Old Goldfields” cos they really had gold mining there ages ago… “Orchard” cos there really is a small fruit orchard at the back, though nothing for picking. “Cider Factory” cos they have a cafe that sells homemade cider? But that’s pretty much it. They do have some farm animals too but not for interaction. But since we were allowed to roam around the area, we just allowed the girl to pick up some strands of hay and feed the sheep.
And then the little one saw bees picking nectar from the little flowers on the ground and found that fascinating. And the mommy found it fascinating that things so simple can bring so much joy into a 3-year old. Truly simple joys of life.
And since this is, after all a cider cafe…
… we bought a bottle of apple cider to try. Both of us have not tasted apple cider before (YAP! suaku us), so we decided to lose our “first time” in a cider factory itself…
And my little busy-body daughter demanded to be part of this party too.
She: Mommy! I want some apple juice oh please~~~~~!
Me: This is not apple juice…
She: I want some of this one oh please~~~~~!
Me: This is sour, not yummy. Are you sure you still want?
She: YES YES YES!
So one sip after, she decided she liked it (!!!), and asked for another… and yet another… And then mommy decided it’s more than enough! A 3-year old drinking alcohol?!?!
No wonder she totally knocked out on the car immediately after.
We moved off to the Old Cheese Factory Craft Center next… and it was even more misleading than the Old Goldfields Orchard and Cider Factory!
I had totally expected to see a cheese factory… or at least perhaps some craft made from cheese… but it was really just a shop that sells furniture, knick-knacks, souvenirs etc. And the only remnants of the “old cheese factory” were those equipment and cheese boxes outside the shop!
But since we’re here now, we made the best of it… did some shopping while the drunk daughter continued her nap…
… and bought a fly swatter! HAHA! A great souvenir this summer in Australia with the netting in the shape of Australia’s map…
… and it comes complete with directions on how to use it! Forehand… Backhand… etc.
After a quick battle with the pesky flies out in the open, we drove down to our next accomodation… Rest Point Holiday Village!
The girl awoke to a great mood once we reached. And it was a beautiful place! Kudos to the husband for finding it! Our “bungalow” faces the lake where this beautiful pavilion sits, with pelicans swimming around…
One of those bungalows in the background is ours!!!
With long summer days, we dropped our bags and decided to take advantage of the sunlight by rushing down for some sightseeing.
It was either the after-effects of the apple cider, or the girl is super happy with her new weapon (aka fly swatter)… cos she was on a mega chirpy mood that whole time!
And the thing that tickled her most were these weeds along the pathway! So happy was she that mommy picked a few from the ground and gave it to her, which she guarded like treasure for the rest of the day!
And then we moved off closer to the Green Pool, thus named cos… well, the lagoon was kindof emerald green! Alas we left our bathing suits back in the bungalow so we couldn’t allow the girl into the sea even though the beach was so gentle that she could probably walk into the sea far enough and still keep her knees dry (but we’re not risking it)…
Although it was summer, it was still pretty chilly, which pretty much explains why mommy and daughter were wrapped up in their jackets! (Mainly cos the mommy was super cold and insisted on wrapping the daughter up too )
Running on the beach together… I really have to remember it’s really so easy to make my little girl happy. Not the iPad… not the S3… but just spending time together.
Hey Daddy, shall we plan for our next holiday soon?
The Green Pool… but to be honest, the husband actually planned on checking out the Elephant Rocks. Supposedly named cos they resemble a herd of elephants… So we went trekking a little, and found them on the other end!
Can you make out the “elephants”?
After the family photographer went off to do a quick hike and take more photos while the mommy and daughter hung around playing with the weeds (whatever makes her happy, remember? ), we spent some time walking around admiring the beautiful silvery sunset.
The girl on her favourite royal sedan as we make our way back to the car, and headed off to possibly the only restaurant at the Tree Top Walk Motel that was still opened at 6pm serving dinner. It was probably the MOST expensive meal we had in Australia… but it was SO YUMMY that we decided it was totally worth it.
Hey, beggars can’t be choosers, okay? Plus the fact my daughter finished the whole bowl of soup was testimony and reason enough for us to return for lunch the next day… … only to find out that it doesn’t serve lunch!!!
Anyhow, after a super filling dinner, we drove back to our bungalow by the lake to recharge for another exciting day tomorrow!
Day 1: Singapore – Perth – Fremantle – Bunbury
Day 2: Bunbury – Donnybrook – Walpole
Day 3: Walpole – Pemberton – Margaret River
Day 4: Margaret River
Day 5: Margaret River – Busselton – Mandurah
Day 6: Mandurah – Penguin Island – Perth
Day 7: Perth
Day 8: Perth – Singapore