There’s something comforting about sitting in front of a fireplace on a rainy day, listening to the birds chirping, rain falling…peace and quiet.
Growing up in the little fishing hamlet of Augusta, I didn’t appreciate the tranquility; the silence and peace that such a sleepy town can offer. Now, having lived in the “Big Smoke” of Perth, Western Australia for almost 30 years, I long for a weekend to my hometown, to do absolutely nothing. Sit in front of the fire, read a book, talk to friends, play a game of Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit…enjoying the simple things in life.
That usually lasts until midday the day after I arrive and then I start feeling the cabin-fever set in and I know it’s time to brave the outdoors and go exploring.
With the ever-popular tourist towns of Margaret River, Dunsborough and Busselton less than a hour away, it has always amazed me, that travellers (and locals alike) rarely venture that extra distance to experience the very best that the South West has to offer; Augusta….where the River meets the Sea! Settled in 1830, Augusta is proudly one of the oldest towns in Western Australia, sitting at the mouth of the beautiful Blackwood River as it pours into Flinders Bay and the Southern Ocean.
A short 16 kilometres south, you come to Cape Leeuwin which is the most south-westerly part of Australia and where the Southern & Indian Oceans meet. Here stands mainland Australia’s tallest Lighthouse opened in 1895 and still servicing the shipping industry as it rounds the corner of Australia through treacherous waters. Nearby you can still see the Waterwheel that once provided water to the Lighthouse Keepers and, although it is now calcified, water still trickles over it from a freshwater spring found inland and home to a rare species of water snail.
Within striking distance of Augusta you will be thrilled with attractions such as the incredible Jewell Cave, Boranup Forest, Hamelin Bay, countless galleries, wineries, secluded beaches, fishing spots & hiking tracks such as Australia’s longest coastal track; the famous Cape to Cape Walk Track.
In spring, you will find rare wildflowers such as the Deep Blue Karri Hovea, Cowslip, Common Donkey and Pink Fairy orchids, the Augusta Bee, Funnel Web Spider and Vanilla orchids to name a few.
For the adventurous (and fit), there is the Annual Adventure Race and Festival or you can raise some money for the Luekaemia Foundation on their Life Ride from Augusta to Cape Leeuwin. Hire a canoe and paddle up the Blackwood River or over to East Augusta and the Swan Lakes. Take a boat trip up the Blackwood River with Augusta River Tours or head out with All Sea Charters for a whale watching trip you’ll never forget.
After all that…I’m ready to get back to the fireplace with a book and a nice glass of local red wine from one of the many nearby wineries…and fall asleep to the sounds of birds chirping and the fire crackling.
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