Perth, Australia 2014 – Margaret River

Next day after Penguin Island, we made another road trip to Margaret River, a tourist spot about 2 1/2 hours away.

One of the main attractions of Margaret River is the wineries. However, we didn’t manage to enter any wineries but instead we visited a chocolate factory, a cheese tasting house, nougat factory, olive farm and a coffee roastery.

Since the journey was so long, we made a few stops by the roadside to attend to a screaming #LiviaFoong. Like many babies, she hates the car seat. Most of the time we would leave her to cry but sometimes mummy couldn’t stand it.


Here’s a picture of a signboard I saw while walking #LiviaFoong at a random stop.


First stop! The Margaret River Chocolate Factory. You can get free chocolate pastilles here. There was a queue of people to get to the free chocolates. The chocolates are divided into milk, dark and white chocolates.


Western swamp tortoise shaped chocolates.


Salty caramel peanut cake and iced chocolate. The cake was really salty. Iced chocolate was so-so. Koko Black’s iced chocolate beats it hands down.


There was a small window to watch the chocolate making process. It wasn’t engaging at all.


“So much chocolate so little time” is a very apt slogan. I don’t know what chocolate to buy hence I bought the pastilles which was given free.


There was also a garden behind the cafe. Livia hung out here for a bit until the flies keep disturbing her.


Saw this lizard outside the chocolate factory. It looked like the flatten lizard we saw at Canal Rocks. It was biting on the grass and wasn’t afraid of us.


Next stop, Bettenay Wines. We actually came here for the nougats. It wasn’t very sweet and quite addictive. This small little building is situated next to a lake and has a hotel above it.


Got #LiviaFoong a ladybug here. Didn’t get any nougat or wine though.


All sorts of flavour.


There’s also a small window to watch the nougat making process. It was also like watching paint dry.

This is how the journey looks like around Margaret River. Narrow lanes with forests or wineries along them.

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Cheese tasting was next. I thought it was a factory but it’s just a small house.


It was however packed with people. The cheese tasted okay but the dips were nice.


William and Livia


Olive farm, Olio Bello was next. I’m not a big fan of olive hence I dreaded going there for a bit. I was hoping we could quickly rush to the coffee roaster to have coffee.


But I enjoyed the free dips at the place. The place smelled good too as there’s a restaurant there.


This is how the shop looked like. I was surprised that there were no hoards of Chinese tourists.


Olive trees. None of us was interested to go see the trees upclose.


The Mediterranean Relish was excellent. I bought a bottle of this sourish dip.


Olio Bello has an awesome baby diaper changing room. It comes with free baby wipes, disposable changing pad and nappy bags.

I was looking forward to visit Yahava Coffee throughout the trip. But we left it last on the itinerary. By the time we were done with the olive farm, we had only 15 minutes before Yahava closes it’s cafe. We rushed there but got lost halfway. We ended up in a housing area.

Fortunately, we found it when we were about to exit the housing area. Melvin and I ran to the place once we got off from the car.

I was telling Melvin that I’ve accepted our fate that we won’t make it. It was scheduled to close at 5pm and we were there about 450pm.

Fortunately, the cafe was still open! The coffee tasting section was closed though. to celebrate, I bought 1kg of coffee beans and drank 2 piccolo latte.


Loads of beans to choose from. A staff was there to recommend their beans which suit our taste.


Romeo 5 was highly recommended by them. It’s their standard house blend.


My piccolo latte was made from this Kahava beans. I’ve never tasted coffee beans from India. But the piccolo latte was good!


Black Gold – Another recommendation by them. I’ve also never tasted PNG beans.


Generic name. It was labelled as strong by the staff.


The roastery. This machine is what you use to roast coffee beans. I wonder how many KGs can this machine roast per round.


The shop has many coffee making accessories and related products.


French presses, knock box (that’s to knock off the espresso “cake” off the handle) and pitcher (generally used to warm milk or make froth).


All sorts of mugs and flasks.


Interesting mug. There was a test unit and I can attest it doesn’t topple easily. It uses a suction to attach itself to the surface.


Background info about Yahava. I don’t think we have a roastery that is open to the public and have free tasting sessions daily. Everything is just hipster cafes in Malaysia.

It get a bit annoyed when someone who only drinks lattes complaining that this and that coffee sucks. That’s not how you rate coffee.


There’s a coffee plant outside the roastery. No, the plant doesn’t smell like coffee.


Xanadu Winery was next. I didn’t care much about winery after I had my coffee. Heh


Most of the wineries are open for free wine tasting. However, we were pretty late and most of them were closed.

#LiviaFoong clearly enjoyed herself at Perth. She was very eager to get off the car whenever we made a stop. She was in big smiles whenever the wind gets to her face.

Surfers Point was next. It’s where the actual Margaret River meets the sea.

We had an unobstructed view of the sea. I didn’t see any surfers though.

It was very cold and chilly due to the wind. I didn’t bring a jacket and #LiviaFoong and wife only had a cardigan.

#LiviaFoong braving the cold. She was staring at the sunset.

We had dinner at Margaret River town. It’s just a small street but seems pretty self sufficient. It has a tourist centre, bookstore, pharmacy, toy store and many restaurants including a Thai restaurant that serves AUD20 noodles.

AUD 23 Pizza at Goodfella’s. It was pretty good and the crust, which I usually don’t eat, was soft and doughy. I liked it.

I remember it being AUD23 because the cashier had to return us AUD23 for charging us an extra pizza which we didn’t order.

We also had wine. This particular wine attracted us because it claims to have coffee beans. There was no coffee beans inside nor it had any tinge of coffee in its taste.

We went home straight after dinner. It was long journey home. Livia was sound asleep most of the time. Glad we made a trip to Margaret River.

Perth, Australia 2014 – Penguin Island

On the 1st day of 2015, we visited Penguin Island. It’s just 15 minutes drive from Melvin and Tania’s place.

We also met up with wife’s friend Lisa who married a local here. They brought along their 2 kids.

Penguin Island is just few minutes away from the mainland. It’s so near that you can actually walk there through the sandbank. However, walking is not recommended as some have lost their life using the sandbank.

The boat ride to the island costs us AUD23 + entry to the penguin feeding show.

The main attraction of this island is the penguins. They usually live by the beach. The little penguins can be seen on the left.

Frankly the penguin feeding show is a little bit boring.

Highlight of this island to me is the crystal clear water and beach. We could see fishes swimming by the shore.

#LiviaFoong’s first time at the beach! She loved it. She even crawled towards the water and started tapping on it.

The island was inhibited by a person in 1917. He turned the caves into his home.


More info about the first settler.


This is how the caves look like. At some point, the settler had visitors and turned the island into some form of a resort. He even had a shop and library here.


The caves from afar. I wonder if they ever get flooded.


Seems that some people decided to follow Seaforth’s footsteps and stayed here in the 1930s.


The island is relative flat. You can walk up to the look out point. It takes about an hour to explore around the island. Loads of vegetation here. The penguins live and travel underneath this vegetation.


The other side of the island. Seas more choppy here.


There’s a basic toilet here. There’s no flush and all “deposits” are left to be decomposed.

Facilities are scarce here. There’s no rubbish bins and visitors are required to carry their rubbish back. There’s even a table of rubbish found for anyone to take back to the mainland for disposal. I took some back.

Also there are no shops in the island. Everyone has to bring their own supplies.


We had super late lunch at 530pm. Mel cooked tomyam fried noodles.


We got hungry later at night. Mel made kangaroo and beef burgers!

Perth, Australia 2014 – Burrington and Canal Rocks

We made a road trip to Burrington and Canal Rocks on our 4th day. It took us about 2 1/2 hours to get to Burrington which is another city with a very lovely beach.


We had lunch at a place called Zen at Burrington. #LiviaFoong slept half of the journey.

The food at Zen was not bad and the coffee is alright. They even have piccolo latte. The place is a little bit dirty though. Food was scattered all around the floor.


The gang all smiles at Zen.


Some local business cards at the cashier. I guess it’s a way to support your mates.


First time seeing a chimney cleaning card. Amused that such business still exists.


Simmo’s ice cream was the only recommendation on Wikitravel. It has many interesting flavours. I had the Old English Toffee and wife had the Rum and Raisins. William got the licorice flavour and it was black in colour.


The portion was huge. But I think this is the fastest melting ice cream I’ve tried. Probably due to the hot weather. I had ice cream all over my hands.

William’s licorice ice cream melted on his hands and his hands turned black. He looked like he just fixed a car.


Another attraction is the 2km pier. You can take a train to the end of the pier and enter their underwater centre. We were late and we missed the last train.


The end of the pier on the right. It was extremely hot and sunny. Also there were flies everywhere. They always attack our faces.


#LiviaFoong was asleep by the time we got into the car.


Canal Rocks was the highlight of the day. Water was crystal clear and there were no flies! I guess it was because of the strong wind.


#LiviaFoong drove us there. We got there in one piece.


This is the actual Canal Rocks. It’s a formation of rocks. You can actually walk on it and explore the small rock formations. But don’t expect to be saved if anything goes wrong. One wrong step could send you off to the seas.


One dude snorkeled around the rocks. He was fishing there too.


Yada yada. Background about the rocks..


This is where we parked our car. I hiked up the highest rock to get a panaromic view of the place.


The other side of the rocks.


Crystal clear water. I didn’t see any fishes though.


At the small and shallow strait between the rocks


Water was extremely cold. I wonder how could the guy snorkel in such cold water.


Violent seas on the left.


Pier to catch a boat.


This is how the Canal Rocks look like from the top.


Looks like a flattened lizard.