Adventures Down South + Turning 30

Published Categorized as Life, Travel

I’m not really big on receiving presents. The Boy and I have come to a comfortable habit of eschewing gifts in favour of travel and nice meals. So to celebrate our 30th birthdays (which are exactly 2 weeks apart!) we drove down to Margaret River, or as us Perthies call the general South West region of Western Australia, “Down South”. Known for its wineries, beaches and forests and generally more of a warm weather destination, in winter the region feels quiet and relaxed without the hordes of tourists.

With a week off of work up my sleeve we drove down on Wednesday morning, armed with just a small bag each, a bunch of unread Monocole magazines and a loaf of freshly baked banana bread to serve as both birthday cake and breakfast. We splurged just a little on a lovely suite with a kitchenette and a huge bath (a luxury when you have only a shower at home!), reasoning that it would be balanced out by the money saved making our own breakfasts and suppers. I was glad of the nice digs when my sneezing on the drive down escalated into a full on cold, which meant that instead of driving around the countryside tasting wine I had a quiet, relaxing (if somewhat sickly) retreat.

margaret river-3
Our nice digs at Gilgara Retreat
margaret river-4

I managed to enjoy an incredible celebratory lunch at Voyager Estate before things got too bad, but the rest of our gastronomic plans were abandoned in favour of makeshift but satisfying meals of banana bread, local cheese, bread and dates.Since my wine tasting plans were foiled we did some touristy things instead, visiting Cape Leeuwin (the most south-westerly point of Australia) and strolling along the 2km length of the Busselton Jetty on the way back to Perth. Most of the time I resigned myself to keeping warm inside, reading my magazines whilst clutching a tissue box and many mugs of camomile tea. Not ideal perhaps, but a break is a break and I was glad to be away from work and wifi.

margaret river-2
margaret river-1
The lovely grounds of Voyager Estate (more on that meal later)
margaret river-6
Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse
margaret river-5
Cape Leeuwin
bussleton margaret river-3
bussleton margaret river-2
Busselton Jetty

I keep being asked how it feels to be 30, but the fact is I didn’t suddenly turn a year older or a decade older – the days blend into weeks, into months and years, and then you are where you are. It isn’t a sudden jump as much as a steady climb, an accumulation of routines punctuated by memorable experiences, both good and bad. That’s why I like to mark the passing of another year by sharing meals with friends and family over material presents – those are the experiences that slow down time and will be remembered.

bussleton margaret river-4


  1. Lovely photos Teresa! Glad you were able to enjoy your little getaway even when your immune system also went on a holiday. I know them feels (as the cool kids say)—I had a fever & bad cough for 2 straight weeks when we went home to The Philippines in January. I guess being sick is our body’s way of saying that we really just need to do nothing now, and when on holidays, we’re totally forced to honour that!

    1. Thanks Camille! It sucks being sick whilst on holiday, but it did force me to slow down and relax (and not over indulge in wine!)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.