Tag Archives: Swan River

The one with kayaking on the Swan

After a busy few weeks of travel, things have been a tad slower on this side of the island…not that I am complaining! The weather has been incredible over the last month or so, and there is no shortage of fun stuff to do outside here in Perth.

One of those activities was organized by my friend Ashlie. Last week, she booked a few of us kayaks for a little boating fun on the foreshore of the Swan River. Ashlie and Lauren both have little ones who got to join in on the fun too!

The two little buddies taking on the Swan and Perth by kayak!

The two little buddies taking on the Swan and Perth by kayak!

Of course the morning we booked in, it was was bit windy and the water a bit choppy, but the sun was shining and little K even managed a wee nap on the kayak with his mom…wish we had a picture of that – it was the cutest thing! Although I don’t know how he managed to fall asleep as there were several mini “crashes” (Lauren said it was like bumper cars in kayaks), and by the end, all of us were pretty much soaked, but it was still a fun way to spend the morning!

Americans conquer kayaking on the Swan River

American gals conquer kayaking on the Swan River

Ashlie booked the kayaks at XXX in South Perth on the foreshore of the Swan River, just off the running path – you can’t miss it. The guys working there (I believe one was the owner) couldn’t have been more helpful and kind – I definitely recommend it and will hopefully be back again for kayaking…or sailing…or stand up paddle boarding – they have a lot of water fun! 🙂

Happy skippers

Happy skippers, B & K

Happy Hump Day, and until next time…

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The one about the adventures in the Swan Valley

Happy Monday, party people! I hope yall had great summer weekends (well, autumn in our case) – we went on a little adventure to the Swan Valley, just east of Perth. Here’s a map for a little perspective:

A quick day trip from Perth

A speedy 30 minutes outside of the city center one can find a beautiful little hamlet (actually it’s referred to as a shire) called the Swan Valley, full of gorgeous views and vineyards.

The shire of the Swan Valley

The shire of Swan

 

While not quite at the same magnitude as Western Australia’s wine country, Margaret River, the Swan Valley offers a number of small/intimate wineries, a smattering of microbreweries, and an abundance of local produce stalls.

Houghton Estate

Houghton Estate

So come Sunday, Barr and I decided to drive (in our electric blue Toyota Corolla, I might add) east for a bit of hiking and wine tasting (it’s not quite like Napa insofar that reservations for tastings arent really necessary – we stopped at the “most commercialized” winery, and it felt quite the opposite when you compare it to the Napa Valley). Anyway, I googled around and found a cute little hike called Bell’s Rapids trail – it was an easy 5.5k loop around the Swan River, offering some nice views of the river’s rapids along the way. It was 75 and sunny – doesnt get much better!

The Bell's Rapids of the Swan River

The Bell’s Rapids of the Swan River

Picture perfect day

Picture perfect day

Barr trailblazing!

Barr trailblazing!

A little fairyland

A little fairyland

Fairyland take 2

Fairyland take 2

We didnt see any sheep on the hike, but there were plenty of horses in the area!

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And we werent the only folks making the most of the gorgeous weather and hike – there were a number of people picnicking and playing in the shallows of the river. Love this mild winter/autumn – hopefully it sticks around for a bit longer 🙂

My little adventurer

My little adventurer

photo 22So after our little hike, we stopped at a winery with a large cafe attached – we didnt do much research ahead of time, but figured we couldnt go wrong with the place with the largest sign. Houghton Wines was tucked back from the main drag, but had a huge open space/park where another slew of people (with tons of kids, too!) were enjoying lunch/wine on the lawn, listening to a little 3 person band.

Houghton Wines & Cafe

Houghton Wines & Cafe

The menu had a section for gluten free pizzas, so as soon as I saw that, I was sold 🙂 Wish I had snapped some more shots of the yummy food, but we had worked up an appetite:

The remnants of my prawn and bell pepper pizza

The remnants of my prawn and bell pepper pizza

Houghton Cafe menu offered a great selection of high quality nibbles

Houghton Cafe menu offered a great selection of high quality nibbles

And if you wanted to have some wine with your meal, you could walk up to the little cellar door bar, have some tastes, and order by the bottle or glass – cheers!

Great autumn day

Great autumn day

It was a nice little day trip outside the city – I would definitely recommend the hike, and while I really enjoyed the ambience and food of Houghton, we have since heard that the wineries “off the beaten path” also have cafes and a more extensive selection of wines – a challenge for next time!

And finally, happy (belated) Father’s Day(s) to all you dads out there, and extra special wishes to my dad, father in law, and two wonderful grandfathers – I miss yall more than words in a blog can describe, and am forever blessed to have you in my life!!

Until next time…

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So what’s up with Perth?

Touch down in Perth! We arrived to Western Australia earlier this week and were struck immediately by three things: the vast amount of green space (park after park and plentiful grass isnt exactly Dubai’s forte), the public holiday for Easter Monday (a nice reprieve for Barr upon our arrival), and the chillier weather (65-75 degrees Fahrenheit is a far cry from the 90-100 temps we left behind). We’ll definitely miss certain things about Dubai (especially the wonderful friends we made there), but are really excited about “our” new city 🙂

So let’s get acquainted with Perth, shall we? Here is where Perth can be found in the grand scheme of Australia – the city is the capital and largest city in the Australian state of Western Australia (the other Australian states are Northern Territory, South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania, just as an FYI).

There she is!

The population of Perth is just around 2 million and has really experienced a population boom in the last 5-10 years or so as the energy/mining industries have expanded in the region. Honestly, since we were here 7 years ago, things have really changed and grown – the airport terminal we flew into seemed brand spanking new!

Perth is built primarily along the Swan River (named for the native black swans found here in Perth), expanding westward to the Indian Ocean coast:

Perth Metro map

The black swans sunning themselves on the Swan River

We found a great home to rent for the next few months – I’ll post a few pictures of it as well as the cute little village nearby once we move in next week!

I’ve been exploring downtown (where we’re staying until we move into our place) by foot and few of the outlying suburbs via the great train/metro system – couldnt have been easier to use and runs throughout the city. I have a feeling we’ll ultimately lease a car during our time here (yikes – watch out, Perth, as the Blantons navigate driving on the opposite side of the road!), but this absolutely fits the bill in the meantime.

Public transportation in Perth

I’m bringing my “big girl” camera around with me today, so tomorrow I’ll definitely have some photos of my own 🙂 Australia is also celebrating ANZAC (Australia New Zealand Army Corps) Day (similar to the US Memorial Day – the day honors those “…who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations and the contribution and suffering of all those who have served”) on Friday, April 25, so we will get to enjoy another long week, hopefully full of lots of pictures and exploring. Until next time…