It seems only fitting that Australia’s Extra.Ordinary. West tours the South West since this much-loved region features so prominently in the book. Starting at the Crooked Carrot in Myalup, this quick pit-stop was once used to break up the trip down south and has now emerged into an iconic gourmet outlet and unique playground. Next time you’re whizzing down the South West highway, stop and find out why there’s so many cars parked out the front.
I’m a little embarrassed to admit to this considering I’m born and bred in Perth, but it wasn’t until the production of this book that I discovered the Ferguson Valley. A moveable feast of food, wine and art and located about 15 minutes inland of Bunbury, this wine region is a miniature version of the Margaret River Region, except that at only two hours south of Perth its an easy day trip.
We stopped off at the gorgeous Green Door Winery and Willow Bridge Estate and couldn’t resist making a pit-stop at the quirky Gnomesville if only to admire how well the book’s cover blended into this pint-sized neighbourhood.
From there we headed into Bunbury and visited the Bunbury Seaview Apartments and the recently renovated Dolphin Discovery Centre, which was established in 1994 originally built as a Living Windows Eco Museum so the public could come to the foreshore of Koombana Bay and interact with the 50 dolphins who are residents of the Leschenault Inlet, not to mention another 100 dolphins who come to visit.
Private Properties was our next stop, who are famed for their glamorous beachside mansions and wilderness escapes, and no matter which of their 100 properties you choose, you’re guaranteed to have a unique holiday.
We ended our road trip at Clairault Streicker Wines and the owner and New York businessman John Streicker gives an insight into what inspired him to invest in the region in the early 2000s. When asked by his friends how he manages the long trips to Margaret River, his response is: “It takes some people a lifetime to get to Paradise. I can do it in 28-hours.”
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