Le Chic En Rose

Diaries of an independent traveller

It has been unbelievably hot here in Perth for the past few days – in fact we are in the midst of an unprecedented heatwave (in terms of duration). The mercury has been hovering around 40 degrees centigrade (C) maximums and it’s been well over 20C overnight.

This is the second such heatwave this summer (the first was over Christmas when it got to about 43/44C on a couple of days). We are used to the occasional day hitting 40C in the summer months here but not for such extended periods of time. We do have air conditioning in the upstairs part of the house and also a pool so are fortunate in that respect. Still the heat has been relentless and enervating.

Monsieur has been walking Winston le Schnoodle first thing and I also managed to get a walk in early this morning. For the most part though we have been staying inside and trying to keep ourselves and the pets cool.

These photos were taken a couple of weeks ago down by the sea at Hillarys Boat Harbour when we came across a yacht race – the wind was up that morning and in fact it was rather cool. Very refreshing! I’ve posted about our local coastal strip on several occasions previously see here, here, here , here, here, here and here).

The ferry you can see in the photos was setting off for Rottnest Island . Known colloquially as Rotto, it’s just 19kms off the Perth coast and is a car-free protected nature reserve. Most people either hire bicyles or take their own over there on the ferry (or their own private boat if they have one)!

It’s particularly well known for the quokkas, an adorable little marsupial, which got its name from a Nyungar word (a dialect of the local Noongar people), which was probably “gwaga”.

Rottnest Island though was named by Dutch mariners who sighted the marsupials back in the 2nd half of the 17th century and mistook them for giant rats (Rottnest Island being a translation of Rat’s Nest Island in Dutch).

The Noongar name for Rottnest is however Wadjemup, which means “place across the water where the spirits are”.

We are looking forward to the promised cool change and return of the sea breeze in the next couple of days!

Copyright © 2022 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose

Happy New Year to everyone! Let’s hope that 2022 brings happier and positive times ahead.

I thought I’d start the year off with a post about our trip a month ago up to Ledge Point and Lancelin.

Although under an hour and half’s drive north of our home on Perth’s coastal corridor, we have only visited this area once. That was way back in the early 1990s when our daughters were still small – in fact I seem to remember Mlle toddling along the grass near the ocean! The “Big Chair” in the photos above is a new addition!

Our friends had been renting in a house at Ledge Point, a small settlement just to the south of Lancelin, so we drove up to see them and they showed us around.

A small fishing town situated on the aptly named Turquoise Coast (I didn’t know this before I looked it up!), Lancelin was rather quiet and sleepy on the day we visited. However this was midweek and it does get far busier on weekends and holiday times. As we drove back to Perth, we passed convoys of cars and caravans heading up north for the weekend.

The beach was more or less deserted – vast expanses of golden sand and the beautiful azure waters of the Indian Ocean stretching out to the horizon.

There was one small piece of drama when we were approached by a couple of young girls who had got bogged down in the sands – note it is never a good idea to drive a vehicle onto a beach unless you know exactly what you are doing! Fortunately a workman with a tractor saw their plight and came to the rescue, pulling their car out of the shifting sand with a chain.

We also had a nice walk along the boardwalk, which we couldn’t remember from our first visit, and enjoyed some glorious views from the lookout. The walk had made us hungry so we repaired to the nearest eatery, The Dunes Bar & Restaurant, part of the Lancelin Beach Hotel, and had an enjoyable lunch on the terrace overlooking the ocean.

Our friends were keen to show us the Lancelin sand dunes, situated behind the town, where you can quad-bike and sand-surf down the ever-shifting whiteness. I wasn’t game to do anything that dramatic, but we did climb up to the top of one of the sandhills.

All in all we had a throroughly enjoyable day out – it was pleasant without being hot, the wind and the fresh air was invigorating and it was easy drive to and from Perth.

Finally a few photos of the spectacular West Coast sunset courtesy of our friends!

Copyright © 2022 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose

We are the midst of a heatwave here in Perth this Christmas – it was 41 degrees earlier this afternoon so we have stayed inside with the air conditioning doing its best to cool us down! By contrast I’ve been exchanging messages with a good friend who lives in southern Norway. There they have been experiencing heavy snowfall – 80cms in two days last week and still snowing!

Fortunately we always have our main family get-together on Christmas Eve – we started the tradition years ago soon after we moved “Down Under’ as it seemed more sensible to eat later in the day when normally it is far cooler. This sultry Christmas has been an exception though and the evenings are continuing to be hot and sultry.

I must apologise for my absence on the blog of late – life just seems to have got very busy. However with the searing heat continuing into the middle of next week and Perth in the midst of a Covid scare we will be staying close to home for a while so I will have plenty of time to catch up on the blogosphere.

In the meantime here is a preview of some photos taken on a day trip to Lancelin recently (about an hour and a half north of Perth).

Wishing everyone a very merry Christmas!

Copyright © 2021 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved.

Just to finish off my series of posts on our trip down to Denmark (Western Australia), here are some photos I didn’t include in earlier articles but which I wanted to share.

We stayed in the settlement of Shadforth, which is a few kilometres out of Denmark town centre. The road out of town wends its way up a hill dotted with homesteads and trees – the pretty scenery had been hit quite badly by the fierce winter storms and part of the road had been washed away, but fortunately for us it was still accessible.

Our base for our few days stay was was the Chimes Spa Retreat on Mount Shadforth Hill Road. We had a very comfortable and cosy chalet room overlooking the rolling hills, with views of the bay and ocean in the distance. If the weather had not been so gorgeous (the first fine spell in weeks) we would have taken advantage of the spa facilities but we were busy enjoying being out in the open air and visiting the Denmark attractions. It was the sort of rural ambience we love, a roaring wood fire in the welcoming reception area, breakfast supplied each morning in the dining room/conservatory and our own private balcony where we could watch the sun go down each night. We also made friends with the resident dog and cat although the dog didn’t pose for photos!

Chimes is just down the road from the Lake House Winery, which I featured in a previous post (see here). There is an arrangement between the two venues whereby you can order platters from the Lake House to be delivered to your room at Chimes in the evenings. We found that worked well – we could eat out for lunch then come back to our room later in the afternoon. The roads are quite dark and unlit and we preferred to do that rather than drive back from town in the evenings.

Another walk we did, albeit quite a short one, was out across a new boardwalk built along the inlet just down from Ocean Beach. The area is a wetland area, which has been designated an Ocean to Channel Recreation Zone. There were a few people enjoying a picnic on the little beach plus one hardy swimmer braving the cold waters of the inlet!

So that concludes my Denmark series for now – wish it was a little nearer to Perth (about 5 and a half hours drive) but that adds to its attraction as it isn’t really possible to just pop down for a weekend so it tends to be quieter than the busy south west region round Margaret River and Busselton. We will certainly be back though especially as it’s far safer to stay within our home state at present! You can find all the Denmark series of posts here. Au revoir!

Copyright © 2021 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved.

A few of the friendly locals we used to see each night as we drove back from town up the hill to our accomodation in Shadforth .The kangaroos were very tame – obviously must be used to tourists as well as locals passing by!

Copyright © 2021 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved.

There are so many beautiful coastal walks and recreation spots dotted along the coast near Denmark (Western Australia). One place highly recommended by our daughter Mlle (see here for her guest post) was the beautiful William Bay National Park, about half an hour’s drive out of town to the west.

The two best-known attractions are Greens Pool, a popular spot for families as the rock formations provide shelter from the force of the Southern Ocean and the nearby Elephant Rocks and Cove. However there are also a few other beaches and viewing spots such as Waterfall Beach and Madfish Bay (more how the latter got its curious name in due course).

We visited the park on a crisp winter’s day – the sun was darting in and out from the clouds (a harbinger of the rain to come). The car park and facilities had recently been extensively renovated in an eco-style to protect the fragile environment. We needn’t have worried about finding anywhere to park as, midweek and out of season, we had this unspoilt corner of the world practically to ourselves. The moody light highlighted the greys and soft greens of the vegetation and the sandy hues of the rocks.

It was such a peaceful and tranquil spot though the photos don’t tell the full story as the sea breeze was really starting to pick up.

There were several information boards, which told the story of the area and also the history behind some of the more curious names such as how Madfish Bay allegedly got its name (subsequently it has lent its name to a local winery).

We didn’t see any seals in real life but this photo seemed too cute not to share.

We walked along the path to Elephant Rocks where you can climb down a staircase through a chasm in the rocks to access the cove below.

There are warning signs here as you don’t want to get stuck at the bottom with the tide coming in! I would be especially careful too if we had had young children such as our granddaughters with us – it would be quite easy to slip especially on a wet day. We didn’t linger too long as the tide did indeed appear to be coming in quite fast so we headed back up the staircase the way we came.

We had also planned to visit Lights Beach at the eastern end of the national park. Unfortunately we soon came to a road blockade – the area was inaccessible due to renovations being carried out on the car parks so we will have to save Lights Beach for another day.

However we still had a very enjoyable afternoon in the William Bay National Park doing plenty of walking and savouring the outstanding beauty of the region.

Copyright © 2021 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved.

Lunch overlooking a lake, beautiful food platters and delicious wines – it was worth the slightly bumpy road down to The Lake House nestling in the rolling countryside of Shadforth on the hill above Denmark. The recent winter rains (we were there in early August) had damaged the unsealed road further – no fault of the owners who have been trying to persuade the local council to seal the track for some time.

We were able to sit out under the patio area enjoying the view and ambience whilst wondering if our holiday would be over before it started (rumours had reached us of a potential Covid lockdown in Perth). We had visions of being confined to our room wearing masks but thankfully that didn’t eventuate. Nevertheless we decided a detour to the cellar door and produce shop would be a wise move so left stocked up with some essential supplies.

The Lake House enjoys an excellent reputation and is also a popular wedding and function venue – can highly recommend if anyone ever finds themselves in Denmark (the West Australian one that is!).

You can find my other Denmark posts here (still a couple to come).

Copyright © 2021 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved.

Springdale Beach, on the east side of Denmark, was originally situated along a now disused railway track. Back in the day trains used to trundle along the track bringing holidaymakers to the local beaches and providing a way for local farmers and smallholders to transport goods. You can walk and cycle from the Heritage Railway bridge (part of the Mokare Trail I covered in my last post here).

We drove round to Springdale Beach after lunch and had a walk along the beach. It was so quite and peaceful – we had the place to ourselves apart from a few water birds. The waters take on a slightly ochre hue, which seems to be distinctive of the soil in this area.

At the end of the beach we came across a small wooden hut, which housed an interesting collection of information boards put together by the local historical society. The history of the Springdale Beach area was fascinating – there used to be a guesthouse there and the place was once a thriving tourist resort. There was something a little poignant about the stillness and the loss of the railway track – it harked back to a bygone era. Nonetheless the Denmark area is still a very popular tourist spot – just in a different way (people travel down by car for example though some do hike the whole way down from Perth along the Bibbulman Track).

There was also an interesting board identifying the wildflowers and birds that can be seen around the inlet.

Our lunch, by the way, was at Mrs Jones’ Cafe (recommended by our daughter Mlle see here for her take on Denmark). You can probably tell by the photos what I had for lunch and what Monsieur did!

Copyright © 2021 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved.

The Mokare Heritage Trail is one of the many trails and walks found in the Denmark region of Western Australia. Approximately 3 kilometres long, it wends its way along the Denmark River between the Denmark traffic bridge (on the South Coast Highway) and the Denmark Heritage Rail Bridge, which crosses the river just before it opens out into the waters of the Wilson Inlet.

The trail takes its name from Mokare, an Aboriginal leader from Albany, who assisted Dr Thomas Wilson on his 1829 expedition to the Denmark district. 

It had been raining heavily for several weeks when we visited Denmark earlier this month and parts of the trail were quite water-logged. We even had to cross the path at one point with the aid of some large sticks, clinging onto the trees and hoping not to fall into the water! Normally that wouldn’t be a problem, though in the warmer months keep a look out for snakes (there were several warning signs!).

With the wetlands teeming with the sounds of birdlife, no doubt happy to have some fine weather at last, and a canopy of beautiful trees (mainly karri and paperbarks) skimming the water, it made for a very pleasant and peaceful walk.

The Bibbulmun Track intersects with the trail at the Heritage Rail Bridge, a perfect vantage point for taking photos of the pristine waters of the inlet.

Trails WA has comprehensive information on walking trails throughout Western Australia. You can find out more about the Mokare Heritage Trail and other walks here.

Copyright © 2021 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved.

We’ve recently returned from a winter’s break down in the pretty southern coastal town of Denmark (the Western Australian town not the European country!). You may remember our daughter, Mlle, did a guest post on her trip to Denmark earlier this year (see here)?

After a gap of nearly 20 years since our last visit (on that occasion a day trip with friends from nearby Albany) we decided it was time for a revisit. Set a few kilometres inland from the Southern Ocean overlooking the peaceful Wilson Inlet, Denmark enjoys an idyllic location. Forests surround the town and the Inlet, which in turn wends its way out to the open ocean at Ocean Beach. There are plentiful walking trails, including a section of the Bibbulmun Track, rolling hills, vineyards and boutique farm and craft shops and cafes. All in all a perfect place to relax and get away from it all.

We arrived early evening after a 5 hour or so journey from Perth including a food stop. After weeks of heavy rain and winter storms we finally had a few days respite, which coincided nicely with our trip. We made the most of the opportunity to get outside and enjoy the fresh air.

I have several posts to write up but here are a few photos taken on our first day out and about near the Wilson Inlet and Ocean Beach. The latter had been heavily eroded from the winter storms and local workmen were in the process of shoring up the Surf Club and the pathways leading down to the beach. A few days later the beach was closed to visitors so we were glad we took the opportunity to visit on the first day of our trip.

Copyright © 2021 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved.

%d bloggers like this: