Deciding to pay homage to Australia Day in our own way and head away from the crowds, we went on a magical mystery tour and drove south to Cape Naturaliste in support of Aussie businesses.
Heading away from Dunsborough we turned onto Cape Naturaliste Road which leads towards the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse. A few winding kilometers and then a sharp turn right onto Eagle Bay Road and you’ll find Wise Wine Estate on your right. Be prepared for an amazing view.
We started the morning with a frothy cappuccino sitting in the restaurant with its huge windows and viticulture vistas down across the hills to Eagle Bay, and then had a mooch around the cellar door which apart from the wine (ranges include Sea Urchin, Bead Sparkling, Leaf, Lot 80 series and Eagle Bay wines) also sells a variety of gifts and local produce. The courtyard outside is reminiscent of Italy, and that view, oh my, spectacular.
Then we headed to Wills Domain in the hills of the Gunyulgup Valley high above the Indian Ocean near Yallingup, where Lance Eerhard, the front of house manager, gave us an informative wine tasting session and introduced us to the Estate’s range of wines.
“You can really feel the love in the wine,” he said and indeed we could, not going away empty handed, me with some Semillon Sauvignon Blanc (which displays gorgeous hues of passionfruit, grapefruit and gooseberry) and Dave with a bottle of 2009 Bitza (a more traditional Bordeaux blend of Petit Verdot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon).
The Tres Jolie Gallery has some interesting pieces of art and home décor for sale.
Wills Domain is located off Abbey Farm Road, 1.5km east of Caves Road in the isolated Gunyulgup Valley (Aboriginal for “resting place near water“) .
Carrying on with our quest we drove back towards Yallingup, and turned off Caves Road and onto Gunyulgup Valley Drive, where after a few twists and turns you come to Lamont’s Restaurant and cellar door sitting in a picturesque valley.
Much of the menu at Lamonts comes in 3 sizes, so you can graze or feast depending on how hungry you are. The food is simply prepared and full of seasonal flavours. Expect Tapas sized plates from $5.50 to $12.50, medium from $16 to $25.50 and large from $35.50 to $44.50.
We particularly enjoyed the local Marron!
And as it was Australia Day we couldn’t NOT have PAVLOVA! Lamont’s make the best ever!
As we sat at the lakeside the heat turned up a few notches and we guestimated that it was nudging 40 degrees celcius. Time for the beach.
Back to Caves Road, we swung a left, then first right onto Canal Rocks Road and right down the hill to Smith’s Beach Road (the beach is about 4kms south of Yallingup) where the colour of the sea had to be seen to be believed. The sand was stinking hot (thank goodness for good old Crocs) and the water was refreshing – no stingers, small waves, ideal for a laze and cool off.
If you’re wondering what to do in Western Australia, I can recommend that these places shouldn’t disappoint.
What a way to spend Australia Day!
What did you do?