The Traveling Steve's

Touring Perth and The Swan Valley

On our second day in Perth, we met our new friends Tracey and Michael at our hotel, the Hyatt Regency Perth, for breakfast. Tracy and Michael are friends with Manuela, and we quickly all got along well. As we were all staying at the Hyatt, it made it easy to coordinate our touring schedule with them.

After breakfast, we headed out of the city in the large rental car Jenny had gotten the day prior at the Port of Fremantle when we arrived there after our P & O cruise from Adelaide. Since our luggage was not occupying half of the car space while we were staying in the hotel (seriously, no joke!), we had three rows of seats to spread out in on our journey to the Swan Valley Wine region.

Mike doesn’t drink alcohol and volunteered to drive us, so the rest of us could freely sample wines from the different vineyards we went to along the way.

The drive to the Swan Valley Wine region was less than an hour away, and we passed what would become familiar landmarks along the way leaving the city, such as crossing the Swan River, and a couple signs for Jurassic Kingdom, before reaching the Swan Valley Vineyard region.

The first winery we went to was Ugly Duckling Winery, and headed there mainly due curiosity about its name. While this was billed as a boutique winery, it was in fact a small winery, but with huge lawn and outdoor seating, and hosts live music bands on the weekends. There is also a beer tap for the beer lovers if that tells you anything about the party crowd they expect. On the weekends this winery gets very busy, even suggesting to people (via a sign displayed) who want a quiet experience to come on a weekday! We went on a weekday fortunately so the winery was quiet. Our wine server was a nice lady, although she admitted she had only been there less than a week and knew nothing about wine or even liked it! Not a great testimonial for the winery, but this didn’t seem like a place for serious wine connoisseurs, so I’m sure she’ll enjoy working there when the party crowd arrives on the weekend. She essentially read us the tasting notes for the wines she poured, so we just followed along and sipped the vino.

The second winery we went to was Sandleford, which we had passed on the way to Ugly Duckling winery. Sandleford was a much more modern and more typical of an upscale winery. Sandleford was beautifully landscaped and felt quite luxurious with a large tasting room, and private rooms for special events and tastings as well. DOS, Tracey, and me had a tasting here which was very nice.

Later the six of us had a wonderful lunch in the covered dining room, which overlooks the vineyards.

A couple at the adjacent table to us were celebrating their 60th anniversary with their grown son and wife, and after they were presented a special cake, we went over and congratulated them.

The third and last winery we went to was Nicola Winery.

After going to the three wineries, we made two last stops at two different chocolate factory in the area. The first chocolate stop was at Whistler’s Chocolate Company.

The second and last chocolate stop was at the Margaret River Chocolate Company, also located in the Swan Valley, despite the Margaret River name.

After the chocolate stops, we made our way back to Perth, with one final and wonderful last stop at the Whiteman Park, a 4,000 hectare conservation area in Perth, that features many different venues and natural habitats for the wildlife there. The park itself is free to the public, while there are other attractions available for a nominal charge. We had a delightful time exploring the park, and at one point we parked and found a couple picnic tables and benches where we sat and saw dozens of kangaroos in the wild! It was such as relaxing time just sitting and observing the kangaroos having their dinner among the grasslands of the area. They didn’t seem bothered by us being there, and seemed as curious about us as we were about them!

I even made a short video I called “Tiptoe thru the Roo Poo” as DOS is cautiously walking to the car, looking down not to step in the kangaroo poo! LOL!

After stopping by the park area, it was getting dark and we headed to dinner at an Italian Restaurant near our hotel that Tracey and Michael go to when in the area. We had a huge Italian meal (DOS and I had chicken parmigiana) and were more than full when we left.

We headed back to the hotel around 9:30pm, a bit tired from the long day, but loved every minute of it!

So ends another fun-filled day in beautiful Perth!

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