Tag Archives: Australia

The Government House

The public can view the Government House only twice a year.  Visiting it is like visiting the Buckingham Palace to see how the Queen lives.

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The Government House can be found in the heart of the Perth City.  It has an extensive history which starts with Governor Stirling back in 1839 and ends with the current location of house.

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The Open Day tour starts with a walk through the magnificent gardens.  This is the home of Her Excellency the Honourable Kerry Sanderson AO.  I could not help but wonder if she ever had the time to wonder through the  garden, swim in the pool or even just sit momentarily to reflect on her journey to that very point.  I later learnt that she walks the gardens every morning with her dog.

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The property was well guarded with armed forced and house staff.  I could just envisioned the protocol, together with detail meetings, going over every scenario and curve ball that could be imagined.

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Besides the array of vintage cars and outdoor activities, the Open Day was magnificently coordinated with indoor activities that would only have many stop in awe … if only for a minute.

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As one wandered through the house, one could not help but imagine whose footsteps walked the halls. From Kings, Queen, Princess and Princesses to prime ministers, ministers and governors – these floors and carpets had trails left over hundreds of years.

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If walls could talk, I wonder what stories they would say as the elite discuss everything and nothing all within the same breath of the day?  I further wondered if most of the rooms were displayed purposefully for the average person to see, or was this how the rooms were set for day in to day out.

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One of the more famous features of the house is the living room which was lined with royal photos.  Everything seemed to be perfectly in place and every placed seemed to have the perfect thing.  Yet, I once again wondered, is this really how the governor and the royals would enjoy an evening dinner?  Would these photos be displayed in the same manner or would more meaningful paintings of grandeur take their place.

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The stairway to Her Excellency rooms was closed off.  At the top of the stairs was a display of a magnificent stained glass artwork.  I was instructed to take a photo with the chandelier but unfortunately I found this experience to ruin the whole display. [what are your thoughts?]

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The trail soon took us through the State Secretary office.  There was a desk with a small dinning table ready for guest.  Once again, is this always prepared in this fashion – or was it just on display for the open day.

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My attention was soon drawn to the  shelves decorated with an array of books.  I always believe that a bookshelf can tell you a lot bout a person.  Of course I could not have a proper look but I was given permission to take a photo of some books dating back to the 40’s.  Of course I could not help but question when the state secretary was last in ‘office’ as the calendar was set on the date of 09 February 2016!  Then again – we are in the technology era so why need a paper diary to keep you in the loop of state matters!!!!

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A day of this nature could not finish without a proper English ceremonial tea and sandwiches.  Of course I would have preferred a scone but they were all sold out.  Imagine that!

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I made my final rounds through the gardens taking snap shots of roses that were perfectly in bloom.  I knew how hard it is to ensure a perfect bloom, so I quietly congratulated the people responsible for the outdoor display of spectacular fauna.

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While I could write many more lines to describe my experience, I can only say this.  An event like this is well worth the visit.  Of course, if you are like me, and wonder if everything is in its place for a purpose, then take the time to see the next Open Day!  Of course compare photos – and let me know!  Is this the real thing – or is it just for show! Enjoy!

 

 

Kayak on the Sea – Just a Weekend Thing!

I used to sit on the beach, look out over the water and watch kayaks glides effortless across the water.  And, I thought “Wow that must be an amazing experience”.

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For years I have struggled to get into the water.  I could handle just walking through the water, but swimming was stopped by a massive fear of sharks.  Of course I wrote about how I handled this illusion, however you will still not find me swimming in the deeper side of the ocean —— yet!

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A few years ago I gave both SUP and kayak a trial.  Both of them were easy to do but in the end I felt I could travel further in a kayak than I could with SUP.  (maybe I feel safer – not sure)

This year, I was given a Kayak for my birthday.  Of course, it helped with selling all my cycling gear which I felt I probably will not be using for a while.

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My first kayak experience was a short one.  If I had a heart rate monitor it would have been close to 200.

A little support - and then off I go!
A little support – and then off I go!

I took the Kayak to Whitfords Beach where I went to the first marker and back.  It was no more than about 50 meters.  However, I had to travel further and deeper than I have in the past.  My first trial did not count as I kayak along a very shallow coast line.  This voyage took me from turquoise blue to very dark blue, with no idea what would be underneath.  I returned – safe and no sharks to be seen!  (Fear of Sharks hiding in the water and waiting for the opportunity is now fading into a myth)

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The second time I went out, I paddled from  Sorrento Beach.  The water was again perfect – not a ripple to be seen.  I stayed close to the shore line but far enough to feel ‘independent’.  I could see sand and some seaweed underneath me and the moment was amazing.  (Fear of Sharks hiding in the water and waiting for the opportunity to eat me – fading into a myth)

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After this, I was hooked.  (no pun intended)  I have spent most weekend mornings and so

And WHERE do you think you are going?
And WHERE do you think you are going?

So – this weekend I suggest you hire a kayak if you have never experienced this, and kayak along the ocean or Swan River.  Make sure you have a life vest.  People think I am crazy but I have thought about every curve ball in this situation so if I am swept out deeper I have a BRIGHT pink vest which they can see me!  I also have a line attached to the oar in case the winds picks up….. and it rips the oar out of my hands.  And I have a little ‘hub’ where I can store things like a spare shirt, a phone and a few other knickknacks in case of emergency.  (The phone proved handy to take photos)

You can hire a kayak from a number of places, the the one I know is along Riverside Drive right on the  Swan Valley Edge.  They are called About Bike Hire.   However – have a google to find a place!  And if you see me out there with a yellow kayak and a pink vest – then you may as well introduce yourself.  There just might be a chance I will give you a go (of course I may have to look after you keys or something – LOL)

Sandy Cape

Sandy Cape can be found north of Jurien Bay which is about 25 km north of Cervantes.

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While you can access this beach with a normal 2 wheel drive, I would recommend a 4 wheel drive due to the uneven road surface on route to this secluded beach side.

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Sandy Cape offers camping opportunities for both mobile homes and tents.  It has toilets and this location is quickly snapped up over weekends and holidays.

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If you are looking for a private little beach with transparent turquoise water then you have found it.  Unfortunately there was an abundance of jelly fish which put a question mark on swimming!  As it was a particularly hot day I decided to brave the bloom (a name given to a group of jelly fish) and maze my way through to the deeper side where there were apparently no jelly fish.

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Much like the story of Little Red Riding Hood, I used a snorkel and mask to see better with!  To everyone’s surprise I found the deep end had about the same amount of jellyfish as the shallow end, which created a quick evacuation of the swim area.  However, in hindsight, the observation of the jelly fish was quite spectacular as I saw long tentacles with a box type shape at the top that pulsated to create a forward motion.  I guess I could tick that off the ‘unknown list of adventures – swum with jelly fish and did not get stung!

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Sandy Cape offers one the opportunity to venture up its dunes.  Of course a little stamina is needed, however once at the top – the view is spectacular!

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With every uphill travel there is always a downhill thrill, and these dunes are not exception to the rule.   This little bay is perfect for SUP (Stand Up Paddle), kayaking and fishing.  I would love to say swimming but I can’t hang my hat on that hook for the moment! 😉

 

Cervantes Beach

There are a number of beaches in Cervantes.  The most popular are by the caravan park.  However, there is another beach at the Look Out Point which offers you great views, great swimming and of course the opportunity to go to a secluded island if you have the right equipment.

The beach at LookOut Point

 

With fires raging in the distance, we could feel the temperature on the shore.  After setting up tents, a swim was a much needed prescription.

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There was not a soul in sight.  We felt like we had just inherited our own little island.  The water was cool – the perfect temperature for swimming on a hot day.  However, as soon as we wandered just a few seconds from the water we soon feel the heat which I would guess was close to 40 degree Celsius.

The Beach at LookOut Point

Apart from our own little inheritance of uninhabited beachland, the water was clear and shallow.  If it was not for the thought of sharks in the darker water, I would have been tempted to swim to the nearby island.  (note: take a kayak with you)  Unfortunately I did not take a pic of this little island in hopes to save this adventure by kayak.

This beach should definitely be on your ‘bucket list’ of things to do.  It can get windy, however the early mornings and late afternoon are generally calmer.  Here is to you enjoying your piece of paradise! 😉

 

 

Cataby (Part 2)

While the first Cataby Roadhouse was interesting in regards to fixture and native birds, the coffee (unfortunately) was barely drinkable.  I was extremely disappointed because the young lady behind the counter was pretty abrupt with taking orders and I was hoping the outcome would be completely different.

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Luckily, I spotted another Road House only 2 minutes down the road – the ‘Glassy’s Hat Hotel and Roadhouse’.  Apart from the hotel, it was well maintained and it begged me to have a quick stop to see if there was a “REAL” coffee machine.  As soon as I spotted the machine I knew my luck had changed because either they could make a great coffee OR I would climb over the counter and make myself one!  (LOL)

One Awesome Coffee in the Making

The staff were extremely friendly, and while there was an absence of wildlife and figurines to pose with, there was a beautiful rustic garden with custom crafted tables to sit at.

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Rustic View

 

The outcome to this adventure was an 100% AWESOME coffee which meant that everything from that point on was going to be 120% AWESOME!  It is amazing what a cup of good coffee could make to a day! (That should be a bumper sticker)

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Personally, when you see a wishing-well to raise funds for the Flying Doctors, you know this place has their heart in the right place.  No pun attending.

Of course our journey continues in search of the turn off to Cervantes.  But, with GREAT coffee in hand – no distance is too great or too far! 😉