Summer holidays in Western Australia has become a regular date marked on our January calendar since meeting Ted. His family lives there and he himself is a Sandgroper. It’s the colloquial name given to people from the west. Those from New South Wales are affectionatley known as Cockroaches, Queenslanders – Banana Benders, South Australians – Crow Eaters, Tasmanians – Taswegians and Victorians – Gumsmakers. It’s said that people who flocked to the western colonies in search for gold wrote back to their relatives in the east describing Western Australia as a land of sand, sin, sorrow and sore eyes and out of that got known as sandgropers presumably because there is so much sand over there. That said the little creature called a sandgroper, burrows into the sand and produces a pungent odor from a gland on their abdomen as a defence mechanism to prevent birds from eating them and are cannabalisitc! Birds also being a slang word for a female!
We have been doing this for about ten years now and I have quite an affection for the West. Its a four hour flight from Melbourne and a 3 hour time difference in summer when Melbourne is enjoying day light savings. Melbournians put their clocks forward on a designated October date to maximise the warmer, brighter sunnier days. The hotter states don’t do this and I’m not exactly quite sure why. I think they get so much sun they don’t want their days to be any longer but I’m merely guessing. We usually head west for 2 weeks in January and stay in Cottesloe.
One of the things I like about Perth is that there are fantastic beaches within about 30 minutes drive from its CBD. The type of beaches you see on mind teasing ads where some amazing model in a bikini is walking along the beach or loved up couple frolic on the water’s edge.
The WA beaches is one of the reasons I love going there. The expanse of white powdery sand and clear ocean water truly is as beautiful as those teaser adds depict.
I love to stay in Cottesloe. A dream would be to have a beach house on Marine Parade opposite South Cottesloe Beach where we rent an apartment for our stay. Over the past ten years the old homes have been replaced by multi million dollar homes. I fear we will be outpriced on having the luxury of the option to stay on Marine Parade as the real estate development continues. I fear we’ve missed our opportunity to purchase a place along the beach road at a price we could afford.
This is a home on Marine Parade. It’s value would be 2-3 million.
The South Cottesloe Beach is a dog beach. Everyday there’s dogs being walked by their owners. The dogs frolic in the water and I sit watching and wish I could bring our dogs with us knowing how much they would love it. I bathe in the sunshine and feel so blessed to stand at the door of our apartment and look across the road to the ocean and the glorious colours in the sky as the sun goes down and then rises each day. To have the good fortune of walking across the road to relax on such world class beaches in a country that values democracy and freedom.
Ted and I get up early around 6am and make a coffee, head over to the beach and relax, for a bit before moving on with our day.
I like to watch the kite surfers and wind surfers surf along the water on windy days.
I have my go to eateries. The Hamptons at City Beach and Vans in Napoleon Street Cottesloe are favourites.
The Indiana has such a presence on the Cottesloe shoreline. Bread in Common in Fremantle is a great eatery
The Orange Box Leighton Beach North Fremantle has a great outdoor cafe vibe and is situated next to the North Fremantle life saving club.
We often when in Fremantle pop into the National Hotel or the Sail and Anchor Hotel for a cold beer after a walk through the Fremantle Markets and local shops.
A day trip into Perth CBD and walk through the Western Australian Art Gallery and lunch at Elizabeth Quay fills in the day before making our way to the new Perth Stadium for a 20/20 night cricket match.
There are so many places I enjoy that it’s impossible to list them all. I never shy away from an opportunity to go to Claremont shopping complex.
The sun sets over the Indian Ocean and is beautiful to see.
Western Australia still has an unspoilt feel. It hasn’t been ruined by tourism and high rise shoreline accommodation. It remains how I remember Australian beaches as a kid. A great beach, toilet block and a few local shops across the road and near by. Small family owned eateries, surf shops and a grocery store.
Nothing stands in a time capsule and development will occur. My hope is that this iconic Australian beach lifestyle doesn’t become commercialised.
Australians love water. They holiday along rivers and beaches. I would love my kids and generations to come to be able to experience family beach holidays as I knew it. The great ocean road beaches or Victorian Penninsula is where most of my summer holidays were growing up. Swimming in the bay and body surfing at the back beaches ( always between the flags.) The Australian life guards, surf rescue are an iconic presence on our beaches in their yellow and red uniforms.
If you ever have the opportunity there are some fabulous mural art work on a shop wall at South Cottesloe. We had a lot of fun with these photos and have shared a couple with you
The two below were taken in Subiaco. I love this type of street art
If you are ever in Perth for Australia Day I recommend watching it from the river banks of the Sir James Mitchell Park. The fire works display is impressive over the Swan River. Sometimes we like to stay at Crown Towers and soak up a bit of luxury.
I have not yet been down to the southern areas of Western Australia and that is definitely on my list of places to go. Albany, Esperance and other such places are an extraordinary part of the world. I’d love to do a road trip and explore these areas sometime in the near future.
There is so much yet to be explored in my own country. A country with bright blue clear skies, sunshine and powdery expansive beaches.
Love Lucy x