Hello there Taste Master fans, I’ve just come back from a motorhome exploration of the Great Southern region (Albany, Denmark, Mt. Barker and Walpole) and I tell you what, they’re not short of things to do down there!
The Great Southern is the largest and most diverse region within Australia’s South West. It has wild, untamed coastal scenery created by the sheer force of the Southern Ocean, idyllic seaside towns that remind me of Cornish fishing villages back home and national parks with some of the world’s rarest species like the endangered Malleefowl.
There’s also significant historical importance linked to the area, with King George Sound near Albany being the first European settlement in Western Australia, and the city of Albany itself being the departure point for the majority of ANZAC troops leaving for Europe in World War 1.
Now, do you remember at the beginning of this blog me saying they’re not short of things to do down here??! Well here’s a photo gallery of my first 24 hours in Albany, hold onto your hats.
Wow, what a mammoth introduction to the city of Albany, but it warranted it because there’s loads happening down here. Look how tired I got though.
Before heading off for the shire of Denmark (about 50km west of Albany) I’d like to say thanks to the Three Anchors restaurant on Middleton Beach for feeding us. We couldn’t find anything to eat due to a power cut affecting part of the city, but the Three Anchors managed to knock us up a great steak sarnie. Thanks folks.
I’m starting to get a feel of the Great Southern region now. Amazing culinary experiences with renowned restaurants and wineries, great local seafood, farmer’s markets and regional events like Grapes and Gallops (wine meets equine). There’re self-drive gourmet tasting trails dotted everywhere and because of it’s mild climate, is home to the largest wine producing area by region in Australia.
It’s testament to the rich diversity of produce on offer in the area that Taste Great Southern, a festival of world-class gastronomic entertainment, marks its tenth anniversary this year. It’s a six week not-to-be-missed food fiesta in and around the vast Great Southern region, and I got to try many of the food trails, wineries and restaurants on my way to the charming town of Denmark, located on the banks of the Denmark River.
I’ve been consuming so much food on my trip into the Great Southern that I fear I’ll soon need a doctor, and guess what Taste Master fans, my prediction came true! But it wasn’t a normal doctor mind you, but The Adventure Doctor, Dr. David Bomba from Out of Sight Tours.
He’s officially Western Australia’s top tour guide, picking up the accolade at the recent tourism awards held in Perth and he took me out to experience the wonders of West Cape Howe and the Bibbulmun Track.
I didn’t think I could fit anymore into this trip down south, but how wrong I was. You can read all about the town of Walpole and Operation:Dolphin in my next blog. Until then, safe travels and have fun.
Tips and Tricks
Getting to Australia’s Great Southern
- Journey to and explore the region in a four to five day self-drive trip
- Virgin Australia also operate flights into Albany
Where I stayed in the region
- Middleton Beach Caravan Park, Albany
- Ocean Beach Caravan Park, Denmark
- There are brilliantly located caravan parks if you’re campervaning into the region like I did, or a huge array of accommodation options
My Insider tips
- Make sure to give yourself enough time on the drive from Perth to stop over and visit the Porongurup Range National Park (if you are into walks, try Castle Rock) or the Stirling Range National Park.
- Don’t rush your journey.
Events to keep an eye out for
- Grapes and Gallops, January 2014
- Taste Great Southern, February – March 2014
- Porongurup Wine Festival, March 2014
- ANZAC Albany, October 2014
For a full list of events in the region visit: www.westernaustralia.com