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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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

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 …

8 discoveries on Western Australia’s Public Silo Trail

filed15 Nov 2019 from

 

Newdegate on the Public Silo Trail

Western Australia’s Public Silo Trail is a 1000km self-drive journey linking six towns in the Wheatbelt all the way through to Albany in the Great Southern region.

While the silos themselves are worth the drive to admire the artworks created by world-class local and international artists, the journey reveals an abundance of culture, tasty cuisine and luxurious accommodation. The road might be long and dusty, but the welcome is always warm and intriguing.

1. Public Silo Trail

The juxtaposition …

Smiles from the Teardrop Isle: Family Travel in Sri Lanka

filed15 Aug 2019 from

Like a jewel dropped into the ocean, Sri Lanka sparkles bright. Tamer than its Indian neighbour, the spicy isle is heaving with culture, wildlife, gems, adventure, welcoming locals, and exotic beauty every which way.

The figurative doors have flung open and tourists are invited in as one might welcome a long lost friend, or in this case a young friend.

Accommodating restaurant owners cater well to your cherub’s exacting food requirements. Often compared to Indian food, Sri Lankan curries use

Petite Paris

filed10 Jul 2019 from

THERE are few places as lively, vibrant and stimulating as Paris. I’m not entirely referring to the city either as my daughter is named after the City of Light. It seems fitting that the two should meet. But if you shudder at the thought of dragging young children around vast museums, consider these tips on how to toddle around the French capital.

1. Cafe culture: Sip hot chocolate together as you watch people and dogs. Discuss, write, draw and photograph …

Loads of giveaways at the East Fremantle’s George Street Festival

filed24 Nov 2018 from

 

East Fremantle’s George Street Festival has slipped into the last weekend of Spring this year on the 25th November 2018. Food, drink, competitions, live music, buskers, interactive displays, kids and teen activities, and a local art exhibition continues to draw crowds in the thousands.

Entry is FREE and there’s loads of chances to win prizes:

COMPETITONS

  • Coffee Cup Count ($150 value) – guess how many coffees Ari & Esmay have served since opening 1 year ago… like & guess

Spirited Living at Trinity Gardens, Ubud

filed13 Sep 2018 from

Calling all you devoted Eat Pray Love fans, Spirited Living will set you on a path of self-discovery, or at least a bohemian stay in their rustic Trinity Gardens complex comprising of joglos (a traditional Javanese dwellings), The Den which is ideal for a couple or small family or The Mansion perfect for a lengthy gathering of like-minded souls.

Access is gained by a beautiful 15-minute walk along the Sari Organic path depicting rural life with a smattering of organic …

Culture with Como Uma Ubud

filed13 Aug 2018 from

No matter where you are in Ubud you’re never far away from an artisan whether they be painters, carpenters, weavers, musicians or those crafting batik patterns. Even the wafting incense in the open dining room at Uma by Como seems to sway in time to the smoky jazz playing in the background.

But beyond the handcrafted villas and lush grounds, are entire villages dedicated to creating exquisite art. Batuan Village is famed for its painting style of the same name …

Conscious travel with Kano Sari, Ubud

filed13 Jul 2018 from

Symphonies of cicadas and spine-tingling chanting echoing across the ravine come as part of the package at Kano Sari, along with the meditative snipping of grass by hand; the staff preferring tradition over convenience.

There’s no mistaking where you are as owner Karen Lewis helps support Kutuh Kelod village, where Kano Sari is located, by contributing to the community, embracing Bali’s seemingly endless ceremonies (she even has outfits for her guests to use), placing offerings around the property and hiring …

Have child, will travel

filed27 Jul 2017 from

 

 

As soon as my daughter was born, I knew her arrival would alter the shape of my life for all eternity. Determined to continue travelling amid the routine, tantrums, sickness and fatigue, I figured the sooner I introduced her to the joys of travel the easier it would become. But no amount of planning can prepare you for the inevitable stance a young feisty lady can take. Little Miss Manhattan, indeed!

While there is plenty of information available …

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 …

The Not-so Amazing Race

filed23 Mar 2011 from

 

WELCOME to The Not So Amazing Race. The first part of the Joneses’ challenge is to gain access to an apartment for their stay in Paris. The Jones family comprises of husband and wife, Jason and Simone, and three-year-old Jessica.*

None of the Jones family will speak French on this leg of the race. The final challenge is teamwork. Will Jason and Simone make it to the end as a married couple? Their prize is a month’s use of …

Paris at the Hilton

filed08 Nov 2010 from

 

The harpist serenades us as lady-boys shoo away flies with white cloths, or are they merely surrendering to the scorching heat?  Celebrating our daughter’s sixth birthday, we’re having lunch at No Problem Restaurant in a wooden structure suspended on stilts over a mangrove on Mactan Island, one of the 7,000 islands in the Philippines.

We’re sampling the traditional dish of Sutukil, a term derived from three words Sugba (SU), Tuwa (TU), Kilaw (KIL) meaning to broil, …

Holy Cow! Five Reasons to Not Bustle Past Cowaramup

filed28 Oct 2010 from

If you’re moo-ving around the Margaret River region three hours south of Perth, you may notice some life-size cow sculptures left-over from the CowParade Margaret River, an international event held in over 50 cities. The competition saw local artists hussling up the bovine creatures in all kinds of attire and positions. It seems only appropriate to start your cow hunt in the charming dairy town of Cowaramup, situated on the Bussell Highway and just 10 minutes north of Margaret River.…

Death of a Suitcase

filed28 Oct 2009 from

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The unthinkable has happened. Like a down-trodden wife, my beloved suitcase, has reluctantly been disgarded for a newer, shinier model.

Clad in navy blue, she was the ideal size for a quick getaway or an extended trip, and very popular among family and friends. I didn’t mind, as I saw this as an opportunity for my suitcase to getaway, even when I didn’t have the chance to myself. Although well-travelled, she didn’t look too shabby considering her lifestyle.

My old …

Reversing the Rite of Passage

filed13 Oct 2009 from

My mother used to have a sticker on her car that read, “Live long enough to be a burden to your children.” By the age of 31, she had six daughters giving herself plenty of time to fulfil this quest. Twenty three years later my parents departed from the Perth International Airport for the very first time. It was obvious they were virgin jet-setters because they didn’t turn and wave as they sailed down the hall to immigration. Everyone knows …

This Parisian Life

filed20 Sep 2009 from

THIS PARISIAN LIFE – PART I

French Beauty

 “One is not born a woman; rather one becomes a woman.”  – Simone De Beauvoir

The French model wears a petticoat crafted from balloons. The model behind her flaps wings styled like a bird of paradise. Men sit rigid in their seats during this Parisian couture fashion parade, admiring these heavenly beauties.

Cameras flash, flattering some of the models and insulting others, who sneer at the audience. We are engulfed in wall-to-wall …