International TravelWining/Dining


When one is already in an area of the world (in this case, the Indian Ocean southwest of India), adding on another segment in the “area” makes a lot of sense.  At least to me and the hubby…
To clarify — and if you’ve been “virtually” traveling on this trip with us — you know we spent 10 days in India and four days in the Maldives.  Why not head southeast to Perth, which is then a straight shot north to Hong Kong, the last stop before heading home?  But that wasn’t the only reason for the visit.
Having traveled in 2010 to Australia’s east coast (Sydney, Cairns & Melbourne), we knew a return trip was inevitable.  What sealed the deal was the gracious invitation to stay at a winery in the Margaret River (Eagle Bay) region of Western Australia.  How did that come about? The hubby’s L.A. client hails from Perth and the winery belongs to her parents and, ultimately, our generous hosts.
We spent the first night in the country in Perth proper before heading south to the wine area.  Como The Treasury Hotel (which I highly recommend) converted an old building into a multi-level complex in the heart of downtown Perth.  Of course, when in Australia, a koala visit is a must — this one at Caversham Wildlife Park — where one could also interact with plenty of kangaroos as well.
Breakfast at Como The Treasury in Perth.
Clockwise from above: The irresistible koala — up close; family of sheep — the one on the right is just 10 days old; kangas in various states of repose.
And then it was on to the raison d’etre.  Wise Wine has been operated by Sandra & Ron Wise since 1992, and is just a gorgeous location.  We arrived in the evening when it was quite dark. While looking for the home, we happened upon wedding festivities (the winery is ideal for this) which garnered more than a few glances. We finally found our way to their spectacular abode where they met us a short time later, got immediately acquainted and settled in for the weekend.
Talk about a “play on words” above;
At right a winemaker is crushing Cab Franc grapes at the winery facilities.
On the property and for the wedding.  More about Crown later.
In addition to the wine making facilities, there are two wonderful restaurants (Lot 80 — that is their divine raspberry dessert below — and Wise Vineyard where we had amazing breakfasts) and some accommodations, not to mention a fair amount of kangaroos.  The hubby encountered large groups during his morning walk!  I nearly collided with one during a (pitch black) night drive — the thing was the size of “Harvey,” Jimmy Stewart’s imaginary companion in the movie of the same name — probably 6′ tall.
Clockwise from upper left: Entering the property; classic “fish & chips” at Lot 80 along with a fabulous raspberry dessert; stonework along one of the paths on the property.
The Wise family home (and our accommodations) left; above is their view of Eagle Bay

Sandra showed us around the area while Ron golfed.  We loved seeing galleries, the spectacular beaches (prime surfing spots) and some wineries.  As with Napa/Sonoma, one could easily spend several days absorbing all there is to do. The hubby and I spent a day driving around ourselves, going to the very southwestern tip of the country (below).
Amelia Park Wines, Margaret River


Magnificent piece of art at the Gunyulup Galleries in Yallingup
 (try saying that fast …)
Above, at the very southern tip of WA, where the two oceans meet. 
The sun sets over Surfers Point in Prevally.
Lots of folks come with their dogs and wine to this scenic spot.
We headed back to Perth for our late evening flight to Hong Kong and saw a bit more of the city before hanging out at the Crown complex — hotels, restaurants (including Rockpool and Nobu), shops and casino.  The Perth skyline is shown below. Next and last stop of this journey:  Hong Kong.


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