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 What's wrong with Western Australia?

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Pete Roper
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PostSubject: What's wrong with Western Australia?   Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:38 am

Richard might be able to explain?

Everything is extraordinarily expensive and almost universally disappointing.

Apart from one, still very expensive, meal in Northam, (Of all places! It's only industries seem to revolve around servicing a huge immigration detention center!) almost every other meal we've had has been on the borderline of 'Awful' and 'I think I'm going to end up with a *Cramping Disease*'!

WA is the richest state in the federation currently but everything seems overpriced and spiralling into a black hole of dreadful! It's a great shame. The southern forests around Margaret River and Cape Naturaliste are stunningly beautiful. Even the Wheat Belt where we are at the moment has a spartan majesty. (we're in Hyden visiting Wave Rock and staying in the motel where the food is 'Dysentry City'!) but it's all ghastly in terms of eating and accommodation!

In an act of desperation we're going to lash ourselves in to the Mighty Suzuki Jimny, (1,400cc's of dynamic throbbing gristle!) and drive down to Albany tomorrow. Five or six hours I think! Maybe they'll have a restaurant worth going to and a room that doesn't smell like someone has just performed an autopsy in the bathroom!

We live in hope!

Pete
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beetle
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PostSubject: Re: What's wrong with Western Australia?   Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:56 am

Tee hee.
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GUZ21
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PostSubject: Re: What's wrong with Western Australia?   Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:28 am

Yup. Have ranted about the hideous food available at roadhouses before. And its hard to find a good restaurant that's not overpriced. We tend to stick with ones we know, because being adventurous doesn't pay off. The city is full of trendoid cafes that serve pretentious rubbish that starving idealistic students like my daughter think are marvellous. Mexican and Indian are better value.

WA is cashed up bogan central, and costs and standards seem to reflect this. That's my only explanation. Plus a Liberal government with no imagination or sense that have been in power far too long.

Wave Rock ffs? Long way to go for sfa. Albany is a lovely spot. Used to live half way between Albany and Denmark. Still have a place overlooking the harbour. The Earl of Spencer is a good pub for lunch. They may even have Moreland's Old Speckled Hen on tap. Eating places come and go, so can't really recommend anywhere. Maybe Nonna's or the Mean Fiddler at the lower end of the main street. Lots of B&Bs. Motels are all the same. There's a B&B across the road from my place, View St Lodge, where old Lou would make you welcome.

There are no roadhouses that serve anything edible between Perth and Albany, but you could try the Williams Woolshed or the Mount barker bakery. There's a really bizarre gothic place, Creepy Hollow, at Beaufort River that I stopped at recently which is good home cooking, and might appeal to your sense of humour.

The old wheatbelt towns are sadly very run down, and the interesting bits are south west only. Draw a line between Perth and Esperance and stay inside it. The forests and southern coastline are great. I try and get my fix of eastern states every year to put things in perspective. Then of course there's Karratha and the Pilbara. Don't even mention prices. When my current stint expires I shall never return.

Then again, there's the Kimberleys. Awesome coastline.
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Oz1200Guzzi
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PostSubject: Re: What's wrong with Western Australia?   Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:41 pm

Some years ago I found a fairly decent fish n chips at the Busselton Wharf - sweet lip snapper I believe - straight behind the restaurant on the southern side of the jetty, near all the crying parrots.

Our daughter lives over there and they struggle with good food, value and atrocious service - no-one gives a shit anymore - there's more money to be made in mining. Although these days, the mining boom is barely a whimper.

Certainly some "adjustment" is needed but I don't see it anytime soon. Fortunately my son-in-law is Thai and he and my daughter cook up some fantastic home style Thai dishes when we are over there - probaly do the same for themselves too, every day.
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Blue
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PostSubject: Re: What's wrong with Western Australia?   Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:20 am

Arrrgghhh...... Don't be saying this. We are over to Perth for 3 weeks in December 2016!
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Oz1200Guzzi
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PostSubject: Re: What's wrong with Western Australia?   Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:05 am

Blue it'll be all different again by then - nothing stands still in Australia, except for time...
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ghezzi
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PostSubject: Re: What's wrong with Western Australia?   Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:49 am

Bugger Perth, just come to Brizzy instead.
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http://www.biketowbrisbane.com.au
Blue
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PostSubject: Re: What's wrong with Western Australia?   Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:09 am

Gotta be Perth to start as that's where the future sister in law lives. Not sure after that, but think we have been offered a beach house 3/4 hours away? Probably be the last time I manage to get away with my kids. Daughter is off to uni and son has a social life that makes me jealous!

We will have a good time I am sure......
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Blue
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PostSubject: Re: What's wrong with Western Australia?   Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:13 am

Back on topic.....Pete, hope your holiday and mood improve. Just a couple of days of decent stuff should put you right! Very Happy
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Pete Roper
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PostSubject: Re: What's wrong with Western Australia?   Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:45 am

The holiday is fine. Jude and I live for travel. Even places others think are boring we love. Let's face it the West australian Wheat Belt isn't one of the great geographical beauties of the world but it's there and it's different from home and the people, like people everywhere, are interesting.

What I find so dispiriting is, as Richard, (GUZ21) sez the mining money has turned great swathes of the land and particularly the coastline into 'Cashed-up bogan central'. HUGE, ugly, built off a plan vulgarian's mansions with ostentatious displays of 'Wealth', (Read 'DEBT'!) parked outside. They can't all be drug dealers selling to each other? But that's what it looks like!

At the same time the food is shite! I mean really 'Not Good', overpriced and served and presented by utter wankers and accomodation, even of the most basic standard, is EXPENSIVE!

Albany seems a nice enough little town and has some great old colonial buildings. There are some 'Emporia de Wank' like the 'African Drumming School', (Fer fuck's sakes! This place can't have more than 50,000 people! Sorry, just checked, 30,000!) what does it need an African Drumming School for? It's probably run by skinny white vegan hipsters with dreadlocks! I vomit on their pleather sandals! Some sense of humour though, there is a girls clothes shop called 'Eclectic Ladyland' we liked that! Very Happy

It's not unattractive though and the centre of town hasn't been gutted and filled with office buildings and the aforementioned vulgarian's mansions. The usual WA absence of town planning though makes the approach to town one long, hideous 'Strip Mall'. They really gotta do something about that.

Blue. If you get a chance to come East on this trip make sure you let us know.

Pete
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tocino
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PostSubject: Re: What's wrong with Western Australia?   Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:59 am

Pete Roper wrote:
and the people, like people everywhere, are interesting.

Well said!

Pete Roper wrote:
I vomit on their pleather sandals!

You sure they aren't hemp? Wink
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Blue
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PostSubject: Re: What's wrong with Western Australia?   Thu Jun 04, 2015 7:04 am

You should hang up the wrenches and write 'honest' travel books..... Cool

Thanks, I will let you know. Same goes if you are ever over.
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mark111
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PostSubject: Re: What's wrong with Western Australia?   Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:57 pm

Blue,
In spite of Pete's experience with the food with which I concur, there are lots of things to see in WA and if you are north of Perth and have transport check out the coastal beaches which are quite beautiful, although never ending.
Also places such as the Pinnacles and the country around the village of New Norcia which is a settlement started and still populated by Spanish monks in the mid 1800's, worth a look.
Pete's comments on the wheat belt are spot on, as the area was one of the things that had a real impact on me on an across Australia trip I did a couple of years ago on my old GRiSO. (11,500km trouble free in 5 weeks, some of which was at high speeds for extended periods, there are a lot of straight roads in rural Australia especially in WA).
So much so that I am reprising the trip later this year with my wife although this time in the car. I had a difficult job getting her to agree to do some camping which is all part of the experience of crossing Australia but she is finally on board and will get to see the countryside in some of remote Australia which makes this country truly special.

Just make sre you don't sit on your arse in town, get out and explore the country you will either love it or hate it but at least you will being experiencing a bit of life instead of vegetating in the Cities/towns as many tourist to our shores do.

Any holiday even a bad one is better than being stuck at work.
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GUZ21
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PostSubject: Re: What's wrong with Western Australia?   Fri Jun 05, 2015 1:06 am

Blue wrote:
Arrrgghhh...... Don't be saying this. We are over to Perth for 3 weeks in December 2016!

Don't be put off, Blue. Its mostly desert in WA, but its all interesting in a different way. Hell, tourists go to Timbuctoo, don't they? When I'm touring on a bike, I love the wide open spaces, and the novelty if you are used to something else, is an attraction.

Outside the south west portion of WA, you have the wheatbelt, which extends south east from Geraldton to Esperance, and beyond that is desert and mining towns. Sadly farming suffers extreme changes in climate, with mostly drought punctuated by the occasional bumper year that balances things. However farms are 4-8000 acres, supporting one family. What it costs to produce wheat, supplemented by sheep, takes sometimes 90% of their income. Most farmers have massive debt, and their sons don't want to take on their farms. Hence the once attractive country towns are dying, as people move to the city. The only thing that keeps country towns and a lot of farms going is cheap back packer labour. To get a long visa, backpackers must work up to 6 months in country areas, and there's thousands here, from all over the world, filling in on jobs the Aussies don't want. Most restaurant staff are backpackers, in the city too. Inexperienced, and causing a high turnover of staff that reflects on the service.

Perth is just another Australian city with a tight CBD and sprawling suburbs. Fremantle next door is the old port, and the interesting bit. Hell, there's African drummers galore! But the question of whats wrong with WA is Perth itself. 90% of the population lives there, and produces nothing of value to the economy. Perth dwellers have little interest in the countryside, except to fly in and fly out to work, if they have to. It is conspicuous to eastern staters like Pete that its far from perfect, but its just the way it is. There's as many positives as there are negatives. The place is just different, that's all.
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Blue
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PostSubject: Re: What's wrong with Western Australia?   Fri Jun 05, 2015 8:34 am

Mark111 & GUZ21

Thank you. We will be travelling around a bit for sure. Thanks also for the honesty and pointers it really helps. Ruth's sister moved to Oz about 14 years ago so has travelled around a fair amount. It's a shame about the farming communities and not any surprise really. New Norcia sounds interesting.

This is a while away yet so we have a chance to plan in a few things. One thing is for sure, we won't be in Perth the whole time.

I just keep hearing sisters talking on facebook and these are the things that have been mentioned so far.

A ride out on KTM400 onto some trails [ this is happening for me as they know i need a bike hit to keep me going ] Ruth's sister has bike license and a friend with 2 KTM's

Beach house somewhere? Camping too has been mentioned.
Have heard names being chucked around - Kalbarri, Bunbury, Yallingup?? Question
We got a seven seater and a four seater to drag us all around. I reckon the biggest challenge will be keeping the peace between 5 teenagers! 2 are living there and we are taking 3 with us. It seems we are staying on almost a farm. As it is a bungalow in the Perth suburbs with a pool and 2 cats, a dog, a horse, and a donkey?!?!!?

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Glen Forrest
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PostSubject: Re: What's wrong with Western Australia?   Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:26 am

If you're still in the west, try Mandoon Winery for a meal.

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There's a formal restaurant where the food was beautifully done. There's a range of set course menus or degustation menu.

At the front there's also a casual eatery combined with their brewery. Beers weren't that great, IMHO, but the old vine Grenache was special.
Not sure what you consider expensive, but check out the menus.

Good luck.
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GUZ21
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PostSubject: Re: What's wrong with Western Australia?   Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:02 am

Glen Forrest wrote:
If you're still in the west, try Mandoon Winery for a meal.

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Hullo, um, Glen?

Have passed that place on numerous occasions. I wondered about the name "Mandoon" as it sounds like something Billy Connolly might say when someone fell off his bike. Maybe we should have brekkie there one day?

I distrust anywhere that claims to be a "boutique" winery or brewery, as it seems to be a target for hipsters to drink overpriced rubbish beer and wine. And if they do produce a good wine or beer, they don't seem to be able to back it up with their next brew or vintage.

Have you tried the "Core Cider House" in Pickering Brook? [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Another overpriced hipster hangout, but their draught dry cider is to die for.
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Glen Forrest
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PostSubject: Re: What's wrong with Western Australia?   Tue Jun 09, 2015 10:16 am

Thanks for the heads up, kind Sir.

As much a fan of the Big Yin as I am, we can't give him credit for the name,  Mandoon is a word the Nyoongar people ascribed to the area, meaning " place of many trees."

But I agree with your wariness at the use of the word "boutique".

The wines are good, no doubt. But the beers.
Tried a tasting platter, and if the six beers, there was only one I would try again, and only if they had run out of Coopers.

Speaking of boutique breweries, Feral Brewery, a few clicks up Great Northern Highway is supposed to have won many awards. First time we went there, ended up drinking the wine 'cos the beers were so, (he pauses to choose his words carefully - no point encouraging the lawyers), were so not to my taste.

Went back last year when the wife's brother visited from England. We tried to be fair. We tried to allow the Feral beers to grow on us.
But after two tasting platters, that's 12 beers, we ended up drinking the wine.

Now, what was the question again???
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Pete Roper
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PostSubject: Re: What's wrong with Western Australia?   Tue Jun 09, 2015 10:51 am

Interesting, we went to the Feral brewery on Sunday and I had their American IPA. I have a soft spot for IPA's and theirs was quite good. There were a couple of other breweries that I also enjoyed but as you say, some of them were at best mediocre.

Pete
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Lenz9753
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PostSubject: Re: What's wrong with Western Australia?   Sun Jun 21, 2015 1:59 am

Perth never struck me as anything special although Kings Park is good for a stroll-through. The SW corner is pretty laidback and green however the areas I've enjoyed most were well north of Perth at Kalbarri, Carnarvon and the desert coast to its north, Coral Bay, Broome, Cape Leveque north of Broome, Sunday lunch at the Wyndam pub, Kunanurra and surrounds, Timber Ck . Plenty of places and experiences if the schedule permits.


Last edited by Lenz9753 on Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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Oz1200Guzzi
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PostSubject: Re: What's wrong with Western Australia?   Sun Jun 21, 2015 2:44 am

Little Creatures Brewery is a good place to go at night for some OK food and OK beers. It's at Freemantle - party central with good company.
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MalG
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PostSubject: Re: What's wrong with Western Australia?   Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:43 pm

On my way around Oz, this place was memorable for the excellence of it's food, although to get there is a bit of a hike - on the way into Broome from the crossroads, and off to the right. There are signs along the road. Great place, nice bloke, and as I said, the food was excellent. Most of the ingredients were grown locally. You can see by the name, it's 12 miles out of Broome.

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Hope they are still there,

Mal
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Blue
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PostSubject: Re: What's wrong with Western Australia?   Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:41 am

Cool Nom,nom.
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