Porongurups & Albany

Since we started house sitting near Mt Barker we have had a couple of day trips around the area. We took a drive to the Porongurups & Stirling Ranges, east & north-east of Mt Barker. As we had Jeda with us going into the National Park was out but we saw enough from the roads surrounding the Ranges.

We enjoyed visiting two wineries there – Dukes and Castle Rock Estate. I went a bit overboard at Dukes and bought 5 bottles, they are yummo! Now where are we going to store them??? We enjoyed a chat with Duke after interrupting his morning coffee being the first visitors for the day. There isn’t much to the Village – a small tea room/general store and a caravan park. The wineries are the main attractions, along with the views of the Ranges.

We drove northward to the Stirling Ranges – we drove thru then around. Yep, that was it. Then headed back to Mt Barker. I’m sure if you were a bush walker the ranges would be excellent for hiking.

Another day we headed to Albany for a restock but mostly to do some sight-seeing. Our first stop was The Old Farm, Strawberry Hill. It was established in 1827 as part of the first European settlement at King George Sound. The first Government resident Sir Richard Spencer built the two-storey house in 1836. It went into disrepair, but has been restored and run by volunteers and the National Trust. We brought our own lunch and enjoyed it on the veranda of the miners cottage as it was a very hot day.

Then we checked out a couple of camp spots further east, Norman’s Beach and Betty’s Beach. We had heard Betty’s Beach was lovely but small. We arrived mid afternoon and it was packed! And yes it was small, only 6 sites. Being school holidays this is what is expected. It would be a great spot to beach fish off the rocks. Norman’s Beach was lovely too but too small for our rig. Might go back for a day trip and wet a line!?

House Sit near Mt Barker

With Christmas coming on we were having trouble finding somewhere to stop over the holiday season, so whilst I was browsing The Grey Nomads site I came upon a house sit, so applied and within a day or two we had a new abode!

Our campsite at Mt Barker house sit

Mt Barker is only 50+ kilometres from Albany, so handy for retail therapy! It has worked out well for us and the owners. 100 acres including a vineyard, house and beautiful gardens. Our camp spot is under some old shady trees which has been handy since the temperatures have been up and down in the extreme the past few weeks. We have been able to sample a few cellar doors in the area and we find Mt Barker a lovely town with friendly locals.

Christmas and New Year came and went without much fan fare and we will soon be venturing out further to do some day trips to see the sights in this region….more to come.