Swan Valley

John and Diane live in the Swan Valley. It is a haven for wine lovers and wineries stretch right along the river. The flat plains of the Swan River produce highly drinkable wines, the main varieties being Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Semillion, Merlot and Shiraz.

We picked the first of many wineries just after breakfast for a wine tasting. Not a bad time for a tasting (I think we were hoping we could fit another in later). After trying several including one very expensive dessert wine we settled on a couple of bottles of Semillion for drinking later that evening.

We drove through the beautiful green valley and stopped for coffee and a cake at the nougat factory.

By chance we came across Tranby House which is run by the National Trust and what a find. It is run by two lovely ladies who spent far too long with us telling us many tales both funny and informative. They are also researching some information for us about the possibility of a family connection.

Tranby House was one of the first settlements of the Swan River colony. The Hardey and Clarkeson families were farmers from Yorkshire and came over on the brig Tranby leaving Hull in September 1829. They had with them 370 passengers, livestock and equipment and were initially given 102 acres of land known as Peninsula Farm in a beautiful spot overlooking the Swan River. The original 2 houses they built were swept away by floods but the third is still standing and has been restored by the National Trust. It still has some of the original furnishings and there is the original log from the ship detailing their journey over.

It’s been said that there is not much history in Australia but this is history that you can actually relate to and we hope to find much more of this over the next few weeks.

Later we had dinner with friends of John and Diane. As caravanners themselves Dave and Sue were able to give us lots of hints and tips about places further north that they thought we should visit. Initially they thought that south of Perth would make for a much easier trip but both agreed that north, though harder would be more rewarding (but you know us – anything for a challenge). Dave brought some maps for us and we’re sure they will come in very handy. Our very rough new itinerary now is the coast road to Tom Price returning inland visiting some remote sheep stations. It could change but we’ll see!

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The Campsite

The campsite is based near Beccles in the Waveney Valley in Suffolk.

Dove Cottage,
Waterheath Road,
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