Saturday, December 1, 2018

Around Australia Cruise - Sea Princess - Busselton Margaret River Region

It was another day that dawned cloudy and looked like rain but we lucked out again and the skies cleared as we started our tour.

For our stop in Busselton, I had arranged a private tour with Dirk of Margaret River Nature Tours. I posted the tour on our Roll Call and two other couples joined us. This was a tender port, so we met our tour companions at 8:30 to make sure we got on a tender together. Since they were Elite, we ended up getting off the ship a lot faster than I thought we would.

We were ashore by 9:00 and then had to wait for Dirk. Our arranged pickup was 10. We spent our time browsing through the visitor's center. (And for those that don't want to go far from the pier, there are some very interesting options. There is a tram that runs along the VERY long jetty and also an underwater observatory, accessible from the jetty.)

We had a list of possible things to do and see which I received from Dirk. Putting our heads together via email, the three couples ( the ladies actually ... the men seem to just go along for the ride) narrowed the list down and I had emailed it to Dirk. We stopped for olive, wine, and chocolate tastings. Along the way, we saw kangaroos in the wild.

We went to Hamlin Beach which is supposed to have a school of stingrays swimming near the shore that you can hand feed. But the water was rough and they weren't there. :(   Still, I got to put my feet in the Indian Ocean, a first for me.  :)

Dirk is very knowledgeable about the geology of the area and the Hamlin Beach dunes and cliffs were a perfect place for a lesson about the ice ages and the resulting land formations.

We drove through magnificent forests where, at stops, Dirk pointed out various plants including several types of orchids. 

He took us to lookout points with stunning views.

We stopped to see one of the many caves the Margaret River region is known for.  A delicious lunch with local wine at Dirk`s B and B broke up the day.

And after a long, exhausting but most enjoyable day, we were dropped back at the jetty at 5:10 pm, in plenty of time for the last tender at 5:30.

Then we managed to finish our wonderful day with a beautiful sunset.

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