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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Day 1 - Settlers Rest Farmstay

We were so lucky that all of us had get aboard on the flight to Perth on the 5th-Feb.

The in-laws were seated in the business class, Vincent & hubby were seated in the premiere economy class, and William & I were seated in the economy class. We were happy with this arrangement that we have no complaint though the flight was delayed for more than 1 hours due to some technical problems.

It had taken us 7 hours to fly to Perth. By the time we reached Perth International Airport, it's nearly midnight time. Then husband took the rented car from Avis and drove straight to our 1st destination, a farm located in Swan Valley, Western Australia's oldest wine growing region.

It's good the farm is located just 20 minutes drive from Perth Airport.

We didn't get to see much of the outside environment by the time we finally reached the farm. However, the master bedroom had given me a good impression though.

The furniture in the room are old fashion type, feel so nostalgic.

It's like we have gone back to the 40s or 50s....

William especially likes the mosquito net which is for decoration purpose only. The whole house was sealed with mosquito net, so there isn't any mosquito flying around the house.

The 2 brothers had taken this room happily, while the in-laws had taken another room with a single bed & double bed in it.

After a quick shower for everyone (except William), we went to bed at around 2.30 am.

Husband & I woke up at around 7am. The kids and in-laws were up before us, hanging around the living room.

I went to check the kitchen.....it has full cooking facilities for preparing meals. Great.

the dining room....

and finally, outside the house....

That's the farm house we were going to stay for 3 days...

There is nothing too fancy about the house, but I like the wide open spaces and clean country air all around the place. 

Settlers Rest Farm Cottage is the only cottage on the property for guests. Built around the turn of the 20th century and rich in local history, it is the original farm cottage and one of the few cottages of its kind left in the Swan Valley, where comfort and character go hand in hand.

The cottage has been fully restored and is a true example of Australian architectural of that era, modern facilities have been added so that guests can enjoy a taste of yesteryear but with all the comforts of today. Settlers Rest Farm is TOURISM ACCREDITED.

There is a grape yard just outside the cottage. We can pick them and eat them as we wish to. The grapes taste quite sweet and juicy. In fact, I have ate a whole bowl of it as breakfast for the 1st morning.

Husband said this grape is more for red wine...

and this one is more for eating...Well, I have no idea about wine.

Later then we know from the owner, that they have suffered a huge loss in growing their own vineyard. After investing 6-7 years in it, the supply of grapes in the Swan Valley region had become more than sufficient, made this business no longer a profitable one.

End up, the owner had given up this business and their vineyard has merely become the attraction to the guests of the cottage.

Setting our foot here, the pace and pressure of everyday life seemed worlds away.

The tranquil country scene of the farm...

with many friendly animals.....

and the sheep has been very curious all the time....

I was testing if those animals will eat grapes....

and prove they love grapes.

It's a great discovery, so the kids know what should they bring to feed the animals.

They said in thrilled that they like all these...husband and I were happy to hear that too.

Being the only guests, we have the exclusive use of the farm and its animals, giving us plenty of time to enjoy the tranquility. We just love the farm is private and is not open to the public.

Here comes my favorite animal in the farm, alpacas.

Looks very cute and cuddly, yet it will spit to the guest when it get annoyed.

Later then Vincent warned us not to touch on the fences in front of the alpacas, cause it will spit. He had tried that, haha....

The alpacas is about the kids' height, and totally not afraid of them.

The barrier between human & animal...

At 10am something, we drove to a nearby shopping mall in Midland for brunch. Also, to stock up some foods that we can use for dinner & breakfast. The dinner that I would prepare for the night was spaghetti + bake salmon steak + broccoli +  vegetable soup.

When we returned to the farm, it's nearly 1pm. The in-laws was tired that they wanted to take a nap. In view of this, husband had to postpone the visitation to a wildlife park. He said we could go there some other time. Fine for me.

While the in-laws were taking their sweet nap, we continue to hang around at outside.

This hanging net under the tree is a good place to take a nap too.

I asked William to take a nap...

but he woke up, like in a minute time.

After the 1st sleeper had gone, the 2nd sleeper took his place, and he slept for a longer time, like 10 minutes.

When the in-laws woke up at 3.30pm, husband drove us to some nearby "attractions". The first stop is OGGIES ice-cream cafe. He said the homemade ice-cream which is sold here are quite famous.

I saw the varieties, and there is nothing too special to me.

William had chosen the mint + chocolate chip. It's quite good.

Vincent had chosen the strawberry flavor. It tastes natural too, not something chemical.

Then, we went to Mondo Nougat shop.

Through the big window, we could see the workers making all sorts of nougat in the kitchen. But it's nothing too special about it too.

Nougat is typical Australian food. We bought a few packets as small gift to relatives. 

To me, it's more fascinating to see all those grapes trees lining along the road side.

In Swan Valley, there are quite many vineyard open to the public, but we visited none of them. This is simply because none of us are wine lover, and we won't know what to do inside there.

Nonetheless, looking at all those grapes can make me feel happy already.

There are also some honey factory around the area, where free tasting is welcome. We wanted to visit a factory which seems bigger scale, but it was closed on that day. As we continue to drive around, we stopped by a road side stall to buy some organic grapes & rock melon with cheap price. The fruits taste absolutely sweet & fabulous.

We went back to the farm just before 5pm, as we didn't want to miss the feeding time the owner will do it for everyday. 

Later then we knew this sheep is just 10 days old, and she got a twin sister too.

That's the mother sheep.

Later then we knew this cow is called Xena. She is more like a pet, and the owner called her as the big boss in the farm.

Also, she is the only cow here.

Even before the owner show up, those animals would automatically gather here at 5pm, like they know it's time for dinner.

At 5pm sharp, the owner arrived. All the animals follow her at the back.

It's quite amusing to see those animals following their master wherever they go. Apparently, the owner got to look out for some missing sheep before she started to feed them and lock them up.

Every evening at around 5pm, horses will be walked from their paddocks where they have been happily grazing during the day and will be stabled for the night. The owner's 2 teenage daughters are fully in charge of those horses. 

All of the horses here are competition show horses. The owner have their own stud called Leeara Park Riding Ponies too. 

We are very welcome to hand feed the animals at our leisure anytime during the day. The boys love this so much.  

The longer they played together, the more friend they become. 

After some time, William was not even scared of Xena the cow.

The lady owner of the farm, Corinne is a very friendly woman. She & her husband (Roy) & 2 daughters have been living in the farm since 1987. Judging from how their farm is fully booked even at this low season, I think they are running a very good family business here. 

I wish I can start up a family business too....will seriously think about it. 

Learning how to become a farmer....

The boys were so thrilled when Corinne told them that they could collect the fresh eggs from the barn at anytime they want. For the following days, they really dare to go in the barn to get the eggs when I needed them to make breakfast. Boy, they really beat me on this.    

Feeding time was over...

They engaged in their make-believe play again. This time, the little one played as a king and his brother a slave who fan him at one side. 

Even though we have just arrived at the farm, I could see that the boys had had some wonderful time here. To them, the farm is full with so many excitement and they are free to run around to burn off their energy. 

And I'm also glad to see that both of  them are not so city-boy after all. In other words, they are not so clean-person.

Before sun set, we took a short walk through the vineyard to river side, past the horse paddocks.  

To the boys, that's the way go fishing. 

Before reaching the river, we had had a little problem to open up the fence....

Then the boys showed us the direct way to go over it.

Ok, that's the end point. 

The middle part of the Swan River.

It's very quiet here....

We don't think there is any fishes here, but the boys don't think that way. Grandpa didn't want to disappoint them, so he fished with them anyway. 

At first, they were very enthusiastic.....

but soon, they had lost their patience already....

They kept asking annoying questions like : Why there isn't any fish? When we will get the fish? etc...

Husband and I had lost our patience too, plus it was the time to cook for dinner. So, we walked back to the cottage first, left the boys to their grandpa. 

On the way back, I played with these horses for a while. 

Horses at the other side. They work for the Polo Game. 

Back to our farm again....

Our cottage, as seen inside the farm.

This is the watch dog that Corinne had kept for years. She said it likes to ride on any vehicle. 

After a simple yet delicious dinner (cough cough), we all washed out and went to sleep quite early, before 10pm. I think I fell asleep before finish counting to 10.


tasy said...

Ooh.. how nice the cottage!

your cny is definitely more fun than mine!


Jessy Lee said...

everything is nice, except using money like water...sob.

My Family's Memoir said...

Nice family vacation and a good way to spend your CNY hols.

Jessy Lee said...

Juju, the vacation is nice, but have to tighten up the belt for the money we have spent in this, again. *sob sob*

My Family's Memoir said...

That's true, vacation==fun==spendmoney.. :) :)

Irene Chong said...

Hi, chanced upon this very informative article / blog. I m intending to self drive when visit Perth in Nov for a week with my family. Would you able to share with me your itinerary? Thanks!

Jessy Lee said...

Hi Irene, thanks for contacting me.

For more info, please read my other entries under the label "Australia" (total 12 of them). Basically, those are the places we have gone for the whole trip.

Here, I wish you and family a wonderful and safe vacation.

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