Last week we had a mini midweek break with our good friends and drove from Perth to Porongurup for two nights followed by a night in Yallingup. The drive takes around 4 hours and 30 minutes. On the way down we stopped at a small town called Williams that sits practically on the Albany Highway. We had a bite to eat in the small cafe there and a quick wander through the woodshed after. Of course we felt we ought to buy something to bolster the economy. Hubby bought a very smart Merino wool sweater and for me a Merino cardigan.
As we gradually drove further away from Perth the sky was darkening and we could see heavy rain clouds ahead, the weather was not looking good for our first night.
We also stopped at a winery in Mount Barker to pick up some wine from the cellar door to have with dinner that night. Plataganet Wines is actually named after the English Royal House, although it doesn’t date back that far! Inside there is a fantastic framed Plataganet family tree.
Finally arriving around 4.30pm in Porongurup we checked in and went straight to our cottage. Our friends Cheryl and Vaughan were already there having beat us by at least an hour!
By this time it was very bleak! Cold, wet and windy. There are no restaurants in Porongurup, although there is a bar and restaurant at the place we were staying, Karribank Cottages, but sadly didn’t open until Friday. So a BBQ it was on the verandah of our cottage. We had brought with us all sorts of goodies, plus a few bottles of wine and no-one had to drive anywhere.
The morning after the night before I woke up with a bit of a headache! Then Anthony tells me that he’s forgotten one of his medications, which is ironic as when we left Perth he said “do you remember the last time we went away and I forgot one of my meds and we had to phone the chemist in Perth and find one locally to have the script faxed”. “Well you won’t do that again in a hurry”, I said. Sure enough we did exactly that! We drove to Mount Barker to find a chemist and arrange for the script to be faxed, so while we were waiting we had breakfast and a wander around.
Things didn’t seem to be going plan at all. We couldn’t find any wineries open with a restaurant and it was still raining. So we decided on a drive to Albany and have lunch there then try to get to the Porongurups in the afternoon.
Albany is the oldest colonial settlement in Western Australia and is home to the old whaling station. A convoy of more than 40 ships, with 30,000 troops and nearly 8000 horses from both Australia and New Zealand, sailed from Albany on November 1 1914. There are so many historical buildings and churches in Albany dating back to the 1800s.
The famous Liberte Restaurant and Bar in Albany. First built in 1909 in a style reminiscent of an English mansion. It has been bought and sold a number of times over the last century and is now a restaurant/bar serving Asian fusion food.
We had lunch at a place called Garrison, no surprise that this was located where the army was stationed up on the hill. It has beautiful views overlooking King George Sound. Here we had a fabulous lunch with great service.
Happy to see they didn’t feature Pie of the Day on the menu!
We had a short walk around through the old barracks and buildings.
Porungurup National Park
One of the reasons for our drive to Porungurup was to walk on the granite skywalk, I really hadn’t done enough research to know this was beyond my capabilities. Firstly we had left it too late to do anything more than just have a look around at ground level and secondly it was at least an hour’s walk and a “scramble over rocks” to get just to the first level. Well at least we had a look around and saw troops of kangaroos.
I was warned not to get closer as you never know with wild kangaroos whether they will take a swipe at you or not!
The photos below are ones I have taken from Pinterest just to show everyone how fantastic it would have been!
Another “stay in the cottage” dinner with more wine that night as there is really nowhere to eat within a reasonable driving distance. We had stopped off at a supermarket on the way back to stock up with cold meats, pate and cheese.
The next day we checked out at 10 am and had breakfast at the very cute Porongurup Tea Rooms just at the bottom of the road and then headed to Pemberton with a stop at Lake Muir and then Manjimup for lunch. At Pemberton we said goodbye to Cheryl and Vaughan and drove onto Yallingup for our overnight stay at Caves Hotel.
Pemberton, the home of the Gloucester Tree. Something I had never heard of before until Cheryl mentioned it. It is the world’s second tallest fire-lookout tree and stands 58 metres high. There are rungs all the way up if you feel inclined to climb it. At the top there is a steel and aluminium cabin and viewing gallery.
And then it was onto Yallingup for our overnight stay at Caves House.