Yes, we have turned the corner and are now on the way UP the west coast of Western Australia.
One observation from many of us ‘Easterners’ whilst travelling across the south western Western Australia (WA) is the amount of townships and properties all ending in the two words – UP.
Examples along the drive have included: Marbellup, Nanarup, Nornalup, Dombakup, Manjimup, Kudardup and Quinninup – so you get the idea.
When we asked a local they said it was to do with being “near water”. However, this turns out to be incorrect (thanks to Wikipedia). It turns out that the ‘UP’ is a suffix originating in the language of the Noongar, a local Indigenous people based around the south west. It means “place of”. Places tended to be named after the distinctive features, whereby the place names could be used to create a ‘mental map’ which allowed Indigenous Australians to determine whether water, food or other raw materials could be found. Fascinating to know. There are almost 100 of these names ending in UP down in the south west.
Last night at Margaret River, we decided to try some quality food at a local gourmet seafood restaurant, as we heard that this town being a world renowned city for birthing some of Australia’s top wine making farms (25% of all Aussie wines are exported from Margaret River). We were all very impressed with the local food and now know why it has such a great reputation. The weird part is that neither Julz, Ron, Bet or I drink any alcohol, let alone wine. But the food was still great with our mineral water, soda, lemon, lime and bitters. 😜
Needless to say we have extended our stay for three nights, as there is plenty to see and do here. Underground caves are prolific along the coast here, so we decided today to visit the Ngilga Caves. 350 steps down into the earth and then we got lost deep in the bowels of the earth. As you can imagine it was stunning.
The national parks are plenty and there is so much space without homes or high urban density. The surf beaches at Margaret River are looking amazing, even though the day we visited with huge winds and grey skies, a few surfers were still out in their wet suits. Impressive I must say.
Today we drove down to the very far tip of Australia’s south west, below the town of Augusta. We went also to check out the fishing spots, as there have not been anything of interest along the way as Ron is a seasoned fisherman and wants to catch some fresh, live fish. Looks like the salmon are running, so we went to throw a line in, however, it was just too wild and windy. The weather has been very overcast and windy, with rain at night, however, our last day today visiting north of Margaret River was Dunsborough – and the sun came out to greet us some more.
We pack up tomorrow night to set up a new camp at Mandurah, just south of Perth, for 3 or 4 nights.
We have been blown away by the endless grape crops and quality restaurants dotted around the whole district (which spans 100 kms). We ate lunch today at a beaut cafe at a local winery which was 10/10 for quality local sourced delights.
Onwards and UPwards we head…