IT'S JUST WIZARD IN OZ! A Wild Ride through Western Australia, Perfect for a Long-Haul Family Adventure

Daily Mail (London), April 3, 2010 | Go to article overview

IT'S JUST WIZARD IN OZ! A Wild Ride through Western Australia, Perfect for a Long-Haul Family Adventure


Byline: by TIM KNOWLES

WESTERN Australia? They're all a bit backward there. At least, that was the opinion of Alex, a builder from Sydney to whom I was chatting at a party in Edinburgh a week before we were due to fly Down Under.

And just how up to the minute was Alex? Let's just say that, while certainly a nice bloke, he sported a mullet hairdo. With blond highlights.

Not the most promising of previews for the most ambitious holiday my wife and I had yet undertaken with our young family. The plan was for Margaret and I, along with Tommy, three-and-a-half and Tess, almost two, to fly out to Perth, Western Australia's capital city.

After a few days gentle recovery with my sister and her husband, we'd pick up a campervan and spend ten days exploring the south west corner of this enormous and varied state.

Our trip would take in primeval forests, a lush wine growing region, lovely seaside towns, the endless plains of the 'wheat belt' and contrast the deep turquoise of the Indian Ocean with the white-topped waves of its Southern Ocean neighbour. But first, we had to get there. To keep the number of flights to a minimum, we took the most direct route possible - Glasgow to Dubai and then on to Perth, all with Emirates.

That is 19 hours in the air. With two pre-school children, it could be 19 hours of hell. But in the event, it all went pretty smoothly.

And what of Alex-the-Mullet's warning? Well, yes, there were bits of Western Australia which did feel like Britain 30 or more years ago. Like miles of empty roads and shops that shut at 5pm and noon on Saturdays.

But they drive on the left like us, just to make getting around easy. And Alex wasn't entirely wrong. Western Australia has for many years been something of a backwater compared to its more glamorous, richer neighbours, who disparagingly call residents of the state 'sandgropers' after a small local insect. And the mullet still has its fans. And they're not all men.

All that has changed in recent years with the discovery of massive mineral reserves. Australia has 40 per cent of the world's unmined uranium - and Western Australia has a quarter of that.

Perth reflects that new-found confidence and prosperity, with lines of g l e a m i n g n e w skyscrapers along i t s Swan R i v e r waterfront. Endless suburbs are springing up, with every luxury bungalow boasting its own swimming pool.

And its civic leaders are able make bus travel around much of the city free and to fill their parks with free-to-use gas barbecues.

But Perth hosts 1.6million of Western Australia's 2.2 million population, meaning the rest of the state, an area 33 times the size of Scotland, has just 600,000 people. That's an awful lot of open spaces. And it was into those spaces we were headed.

We hired a six-berth motorhome, complete with air conditioning, a hot shower, toilet, a gas stove and microwave. The children loved it.

We began with a two-hour drive south, turning into the wooded hills around the town of Dwellingup.

Hacked out of the forest and built from the jarra trees which surround it, Dwellingup was once the centre of a thriving logging industry. Disaster struck in 1960 when almost every building was destroyed by a forest fire.

It's a story vividly retold in the local visitor information centre, complete with charred exhibits.

The forest itself can be explored through a five-mile ride on the Hotham Valley Railway, during which you learn more about the hard lives of the loggers, who'd stay out in the forest for months on end.

We then took a threehour drive to the seaside town of Busselton. The big attraction here is the Jetty, a mile-long pier leading out to an underwater observatory. Busselton also boasts a huge, white sandy beach, an amusement park with all the usual seaside attractions, and whale watching trips.

From Busselton, we took a 35-mile drive into the Margaret River winegrowing region, one of the highlights of our trip. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

IT'S JUST WIZARD IN OZ! A Wild Ride through Western Australia, Perfect for a Long-Haul Family Adventure
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.