Monday, May 29, 2017

Perth Adventure - Full Day Wave Rock, York, Wildflowers & Aboriginal Culture

[Media Fam Trip]

It was our first time to Perth, and because I do not drive, some places of interest would be difficult for us to visit on our own especially when they are so far away. Luckily for us, we signed on with ADAMS Pinnacle Tours for a few day tours to make this Australia bonding trip with Stacci totally worthwhile! For the first tour, we headed East from Perth city to Hyden to visit the beautiful Wave Rock formations. Although we had to wake up pretty early to catch the free hotel pickup by the company, it was no loss as we managed to catch up on our sleep during the trip that clocked 792 kilometres in total! I really cannot imagine myself driving for so many hours!

We first alighted at York, the first township founded in the Avon Valley for a short break. I felt as if I was walking into another Universal Studios theme park when I stepped into the town. Except that this time everything from the streets, the buildings, the retail businesses and the people were real, and not just props or actors. And if you find Perth City a little slow and relaxed (like myself), this place would have been the epitome of a sleepy town! Having said that, the town does exude a certain old charm that visitors will appreciate as well, and I must highlight that this is an excellent place for photography buffs with its many beautiful vintage buildings!

As we continued our journey further East along the Wheatbelt Highway towards the agricultural towns of Corrigin and Kondinin and stopped by the Dog Cemetery. It is the final destination where men's best friends, the working dogs were laid to eternal rest. On one hand it was kind of sad reading some of the tributes on the tombs but it also goes to show that the dogs were loved.

It was lunch by the time we finally reached Hyden, and we had ours (included in tour) over at the Wave Rock Cafe. It was buffet-style with lots of greens and a nice hot tray of chicken in spiced gravy and rice. The chicken was tender and flavourful, and Stacci finished up her plate with nary a complaint. Depending on how fast one ate, you are free to explore the mini wildlife park within the same compound, or  the Antique Lace Collection as well. We loved animals, so we chose the private park and Stacci got up close to the different birds, rabbits and we even spotted koalas in the park!

After the hearty meal, we finally made our way to the rock formations at last, which was the real highlight of the tour. One may have seen photographs of the wave rocks but nothing beats seeing it in person. To the left of the wave rocks, one can also find the Hippo Yawn, which looked exactly like a hippo yawning as the name implied! For the adventurous, scaling up the wave rocks on the left of the wave rock, or climbing up the stairs on the right to reach the top for a breathtaking view of the horizon, would be a great option for sure! Enjoy the view and the breeze at the top, and find great instagrammable photography spots for that awesome photo as well! If you like plants, look around closely at the patches of moss on the rocks and you can also find some pretty sundews too!

Before we made our way back to the city, we also paid the Mulka's Cave a visit. Knowing that someone had made this cave home, made this visit meaningful and even spiritual to a certain extent. And to be there and imagine how it would be like to be exposed to the elements made me appreciate our modern comforts so much more. The drawings and handprints were made out to us by our friendly guide, who also explained how the inhabitant would have spent his day and retired in the cave for the night. It was great that we were allowed to get into the cave, get close to everything and even feel the stones and walls, but unfortunately it also meant that other less civic-minded visitors can as well, with some of them vandalizing the artefacts and leaving their writings in the cave too. What a shame!

To be absolutely honest this tour felt a too rushed for me, with lots of stuff packed into a day. But it was like any other day tour packages offered elsewhere, everywhere that I had ever been to. It also doesn't help that Australia is so HUGE with places of interests spread out across the land. My view is that if you love to take things slow and savour everything that a place had to offer, this may not be for you.

Having said that, unless you wish to drive the few hundred kilometres yourself and explore places at your own pace, this "quick" tour would have to be your best bet for a well-organized and comfortable ride to learn more about the history of early human settlements in Australia, and view the wonderful works of nature along with great commentary by the coach driver cum guide.

Do note that you can actually opt for a 2-day tour that comes with almost the same itinerary with the exception of a night's stay over at Wave Rock Motel on the first night. This package will allow you to take it slow and easy, instead of having to rush back to the city on the same day. Find out more about tour here!

This post is part one of our Perth adventure and brought to you in collaboration with ADAMS Pinnacle Tours.

Check out our Pinnacles visit and Valley of The Giants tour too!

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