fluffy towes
Carmen

Carmen Jenner is a copywriter, journalist, travel writer, communications consultant and the founder of travel blog Fluffy Towel. She specialises in many industries including tourism, hospitality, aged care, health, real estate, property, business, charities and not-for-profits. Carmen is also the editor of Menu Magazine, catering to the Western Australian hospitality industry and hungry foodies.

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Perth, Australia

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Star-studded nights at the Pinnacles

filed27 Jul 2020 from

Cast your mind back to a simpler time when seaside holidays were all about family and friends. Where a splash in the surf, board games and fish ‘n chips at sunset were the makings of cherished memories.

There aren’t many places left in the world where you can enjoy unadulterated holidays among natural wonders and expansive beaches in relative peace. That is until you drive a couple of hours north of Perth along Indian Ocean Drive to the Turquoise Coast. At which point, you’ll wonder why you mightn’t have considered Cervantes as a getaway before, a town which might even test the geography of the most dedicated of Perth-ites.

The Pinnacles Desert is one of the state’s most mysterious natural phenomena’s and intrigues about fifteen kilometres south of Cervantes. While visiting at any time is a special experience, the true magic happens at sunrise or sunset. The star-studded night is a spectacle to behold as the pinnacles morph into shadowy peaks and valleys, especially as kangaroos, emus and lizards bask in the afterglow.

Pinnacles Edge Resort Manager Jennie Nuttall works alongside her husband Sandy who recommends, “Sunset is the best time to visit. Enjoy 180-degree views of the sky as the sun slips away and the moon rises behind you.”

 

To truly enjoy the Pinnacles in all their glory at sunrise or sunset, staying for at least one night is essential. That’s what the brochures will tell you, but then you’d be missing the point of the Turquoise Coast. Besides, there’s always the danger of hitting a kangaroo when driving at dusk in the outback.

“Many first-timers come for the night and sleep so soundly. There’s no pollution, and they realise it’s such a beautiful town that they then come back and stay longer,” says Sandy and adds, “There’s not too much regulation and you can drive your car along the beach. And the locals love letting their dogs off the leash to run beside their cars.”

Jennie and Sandy didn’t think twice about leaving Mandurah, which had been home for 12-years when Jennie was initially offered a job managing the local caravan park. Jennie then became the Tourism Manager at the Lobster Shack before taking a casual role at the resort, which eventually led to her landing the management role.

With a variety of self-contained suites, studio hotel rooms, the onsite Europa Anchor restaurant and pool, the Pinnacles Edge Resort has every amenity required for families, groups and couples on short or long-term getaways. Located in the heart of town, the complex also houses Cervantes Pinnacles Motel and is in staggering distance of shops, cafes, including the iconic Lobster Shack, country club and golf course and of course, that glorious coastline.

Still a fishing town, one of the top tourist attractions in Cervantes is the Lobster Shack. A tour of the factory provides a unique insight into WA’s lobster industry as do the fishing charters (where you can actually catch fish), sea lion tours and lobster pot pulling. The fresh menu featuring lobster, prawns and abalone feeds a staggering 700 people a day.

Some of Jennie’s favourite things include, “The beautiful beaches, pristine water, kicking back on a boat and spending time with the close-knit community. Living here is just lovely.” She also recommends exploring the lookouts and basins, wildflowers from June to September, Sandy Cape 13km north of Jurien Bay, admiring the snow-white sand dunes and the forest of grass trees, officially named Xanthorrhoea (formerly known as blackboys) in Wangarren Nature Reserve when approaching Cervantes.  The ancient thrombolites at Lake Thetis and the extensive cave system in Stockyard Gully National Park have on more than one occasion further delayed the return to reality.

Despite the many natural wonders of the region, it’s the turquoise and sandy white hues that stay with you. Jenny adds, “Sometimes you can go to the beach and can have the entire thing to yourself.”

In complete juxtaposition to its exotic surrounds, the luxurious Pinnacles Edge Resort makes the rugged landscape just that little more hospitable and accessible to any traveller.

Cervantes might well be the ultimate Western Australian beach getaway.

 

Side bar/separate page

Situated in Nambung National Park, the Pinnacles Desert contains thousands of limestone mounds in varying heights, shapes and widths. As the sand shifts, eerie shadows appear in stark contrast to the variation in soils and luminous sky. It’s yet to be confirmed when the pinnacles emerged from the desert floor, but a trip to the architecturally designed Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre sheds some light with estimates as long ago as 500,000 years.

If you’d like to read more about Western Australia, please click here http://fluffytowel.com/shop/ for a copy of Australia’s Extra.Ordinary. West

Skydive Australia and Rockingham

filed02 Jul 2020 from

 

My friend flies through the air 14,000 feet above me and the turquoise coastline of Rockingham. Even from the ground I can hear her screaming. Screams of delight, she later assures me.

I suspect her joy also had something to do with the charismatic instructor strapped to her back.

 

With 25 years of jumping experience and over 20,000+ jumps under his shoot, she’s in very safe hands. “What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done?” I ask. “Jumping naked. …

Why You Should Visit Lovely Lombok

filed02 Feb 2020 from

A lean man in speedos staggers towards me, heaving. Sweat clings to his olive skin as he puffs, “Whatever you do…don’t go to the second waterfall…it’s not worth it…it’s dangerous…I almost didn’t make it.” The man is accompanied by a dwarf, presumably his tour guide who rolls his eyes and marches ahead leaving the shattered man to his misery.

Although we had done our research, I was getting the impression that perhaps the trail to the waterfalls wasn’t as easy …

Put down the bison

filed18 May 2016 from

Bison Eyes-ID10737-1920x1280

The other day as I popped into the shops I noticed a toddler locked in a car alone. I paused wondering if I should intervene. The window was ajar and it wasn’t a hot day anyway and the little girl seemed pretty content with her doll. Who’s to say her mum wasn’t simply returning the trolley or just a short distance away keeping a watchful eye. I decided to not interfere, especially as I had made it through my childhood …

Kimberley cravings: celebrating Shinju, the annual pearl festival

filed05 Jan 2016 from

Schmicko Pedicab

It’s easy to spot my ride when I land at Broome’s International Airport. The pedicab and Schmicko’s appropriately tropical shirt gives it away. His name derives from his former life as a tradie (hence the “o”) and because he always does a good job. He’s full of tales about his beloved town as we whizz past old homesteads with lattice windows in Brunswick red and green.

Japanese cemetryWe make a pit-stop at the Japanese Cemetery, one of the largest Japanese cemeteries …

Why you should visit Launceston

filed12 Jul 2015 from

Hollybanks Reserve

As Big Ben chimes in the background and the autumn colours adorn Launceston, you can almost pretend you’re in the UK. Teeming with art and architecture, some of the freshest produce I ever tasted and the kind of scenery which will turn even the most cynical of travellers snap happy, I can write with complete sincerity that Launceston should be added to many a travel list. And I haven’t even mentioned the locals. Everywhere I went I was given advice …

ANZAC centenary Western Australia’s Great Southern Drive

filed22 Apr 2015 from

The approach into Western Australia’s Great Southern region is a mix of weathered scrub bordered by the rugged peaks of the Stirling Ranges hovering in the distance. This idyllic scene has been a fixture on the landscape for over one million years, but is a world away from how our ANZAC troops left the region to fight for Australia’s future.

The 25th April 2015 marks the ANZAC centenary and the 1st November 2014 marks 100 years since the first …

Wagin: An outback gem

filed06 Mar 2015 from

paddock art

Almost exactly halfway between Perth and Albany, the dusty outback town of Wagin toils away beneath a vast expanse of nothingness except for clouds swirling on a background of blue.

Wagin Little GemAs the outback scrub gives away to hills of faded gold, the Southern Wheatbelt region is dotted with cattle languidly grazing in paddocks while lorikeets and galas nibble on roadside picnics of seeds. The quintessential outback town of Wagin is at the crossroads of the Great Southern region; with Albany …

What Melbourne Cup race?

filed04 Nov 2014 from

donkey

I had lasted 11 hours in my silly shoes, but there was no way I could wear them for the twenty-minute hike back to the car. As my sandals dangled from my hands, the cool tarmac had taken a velvety texture beneath my bleeding feet.

The brisk air itched my sunburnt shoulders and ached every muscle as my hangover kicked in. However, I was healthier than many of the other punters we passed along the way. Some were in vomiting …

Uncovering the Peel region of Western Australia

filed27 Oct 2014 from

Just an hour’s drive from Perth and you can lose yourself in amongst the rugged scrub, a stunning coastline, rolling farmlands, majestic native forests, the languid Murray River, one of the world’s longest walking and cycling trails, waterfalls and Lane Poole Reserve; one of those special spots the locals would prefer you didn’t know about.

Uncover more here Uncovering the Peel region as published in Horizons Magazine August/September 2014

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24 hours in Brisbane

filed08 Sep 2014 from

do not disturb

The Brisbane River weaves around the city’s peninsulas as freely as the friendly vibes float along the undulating streets. Brisbane is one of those cities which embraces its visitors immediately on arrival. Ask any local for recommendations and they’ll probably be able to list enough activities to keep you entertained for much longer than your intended stay; which in my case is just 24 hours.

I flew out of Perth early with Virgin Australia ensuring I have the maximum amount …

Stay fit and travel

filed22 Aug 2014 from

Staying in shape while on vacation can be difficult especially with the changes (and temptations) in your eating habits, environment and sleeping schedules throwing your usual routine out the window. Although a departure from the norm is kind of the point of travel, you can still stay healthy. Work-out sessions can be difficult to squeeze in while on the road, high seas, mountain ranges, hot air balloon or exotic waves, but these tips by guest blogger Gavin Apter, innovator of …

5Pointz(less) act of destruction

filed20 Nov 2013 from

In what is deemed as a spiteful act on the owners part, 20 years of graffiti art has been wiped clean at 5Pointz. The sprawling warehouse in Queens has been a graffiti mecca for artists all over the world. The dilapidated building complex has been earmarked for demolition for the end of 2013 to make way for luxury apartments. Perhaps the whitewashing of the artwork is a humane approach to the art-clad walls being pulled down, but I’m in …

Bunker Bay, takes my breath away

filed13 Nov 2013 from

bunker bay

 

I recently had a glorious stay at Pullman Resort Bunker Bay and all the words and photos in the world can’t do this part of the world enough justice. No wonder all Western Australian’s get a dreamy look on their faces whenever you mention the Margaret River region. Read the full article published in Qatar Airlines inflight magazine here Pullman Resort Bunker Bay

 

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Finding Perth

filed29 Oct 2013 from

I’ve landed a great gig writing for Findery where I get to “find” cool stuff in my hometown Perth, Western Australia.I’ve seen dead animals at the Natural History Museum in Guildford, got my girls out with a Breastique Art workshop, braved a storm in a campervan in Denmark, discovered some great coffee at Love Thy Neighbour, unearthed why honeymooners once flocked to Ngilgi cave in Yallingup and even did some of my research in the horizontal position at Hidden Valley …

Feeling porky

filed29 Aug 2013 from

Some of you Perth-ites might have attended the Butcher’s picnic back in March. My husband competed in the Home Cook Competition and although he didn’t win, his pork chops were a hit with the crowd and so popular the West Australian published his Crumbed Pork with Corn and Sage Pancakes recipe.…

Truffle Time

filed29 Jul 2013 from

On the 28th July in 2003 the first ever (well, the first documented one) truffle was found in Western Australia’s Manjimup. Ten years on, the Wine and Truffle Co. is so successful they now export to the US, Germany and France.

I went on a truffle hunt last week and I can still smell that earthy aroma. And as you can see below hunting for truffles is a very simple process…once you’ve selected the right plot of land, inoculated the …

BBQ-ing US style

filed07 Jun 2013 from

After the sun had long disappeared I pondered on how I ended up in a field in Lexington’s North Carolina passively smoking a beef brisket and drinking the local moonshine. RV’s with palatial proportions steamed into town for the BBQ-ing version of Woodstock at the Annual Capital BBQ Cook-off 28th-29th April 2012.  Heaving with 50 competing teams vying for the $15,900 prize money, many of the competitors were probably conceived at such an event, except for the …

Sri Lanka’s wet ‘n wild south

filed28 Jul 2011 from

Some of the finest, least populated beaches anywhere can be found on the newly peaceful island of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean.

beach swirls

Foreigners, burquas, and children bob along to the rhythm of boats along the curvaceous bay of Unawatuna. The scents of coconut oil, incense, diesel, sunscreen, salt, and curry flirt with abandon in the gentle breeze. The idyllic scene is complete with swaying palm trees and sauntering bikini-clad bodies glistening in the humidity. Yet, the very sea that …

Buskers of Fremantle: The Freo All-Stars

filed28 Dec 2010 from

THE BLUE STAR OF FREMANTLE

Fedora tipped over blue

Seductive plucking of tune

Street-side superstar

Freo presents Ivan Zar

Travel Photography Workshop 068b_edited-2

In amongst the throng of bohemians languishing along Fremantle’s capuccino strip, I’m immediately drawn to the man sporting a suit and fedora in mid-night blue. Oozing 1960’s glamour evocative of the Cuban time warp, I learn his name is Ivan Zar. A master of blues, the haromonica, and his unique metallic slide guitar, his style is gutsy yet unassuming. Influenced by …

The hills are alive: getting back to nature

filed18 Nov 2010 from

“Beep, beep, beep,” drones the forklift. It reverses up and down the salvage yard next door, just a few metres from our lounge room. A grunting semi-trailer pulls up with a delivery of wood to be unloaded throughout the entire afternoon. Soon, the rubbish truck will arrive to empty the enormous bins with its noisy hydraulic lifts. A plane thunders above and if I run outside I can wave to the passengers. A train “toots”. On the other side of …

Broome Vroom

filed11 Nov 2010 from

Broome Vroom was a finalist in The Purple Passport travel writing competition. If you liked my story please vote http://diary.thepurplepassport.com/global/other-global-cities/cast-your-vote

“My name is Roger and I’ll be your guide today. Welcome to the Mango Tango Tour,” drawls our driver as he caresses his white Harley-Davidson trike, our mode of transport. We climb aboard the curvaceous blonde and hit the highway to sip wine at a mango plantation.

This is our second trip to Broome and I can see why so …