Cervantes, Western Australia

01 Oct

I always laughed at advertisements offering “See Western Australia! Pinnacles Day Tour”. I had seen the Pinnacles once before, and they are fascinating, but they’re not worth sitting in a bus for three and a half hours for – especially if you have to sit in the bus for another 3.5 hours to get back.

However, the Pinnacles are worth seeing. So, this school holidays, we booked a chalet in Cervantes (the nearest town) packed ourselves into the car, and zimmed up for a 3 day holiday.

From the moment I booked the accommodation, I got a preview of what the holiday would be like. Don, from the Cervantes Holiday Homes, was friendly and reassuring, and gave clear directions to the place – the first hotelier I’ve ever known to do so.

A View Of Cervantes From A Nearby Lookout

A View Of Cervantes From A Nearby Lookout

We left for Cervantes on the 1st of October. The new road between Perth and Cervantes had just opened. This shaves a big chunk of time and distance off the trip, so these Pinnacles Day Tours are now slightly less of a joke than before. The road, called the Indian Ocean Drive, takes you through some stunning scenery along the West Australian coastline – although the last 10km were still under construction, we had arrived in Cervantes in easily less than 3 hours. We packed our luggage in our room, had lunch at a cafe, then let the kids have some fun in the clean modern playground near the beach. We also visited a nearby lake, which has one of the world’s few living stromatolite colonies.

Lobster Platter At The Cervantes Country Club

Lobster Platter At The Cervantes Country Club

Cervantes is a small town. The main industries are tourism and cray fishing (lobster fishing). When my wife asked around, we learned that lobsters were quickly running out, since the season had ended a week earlier. We were advised to go to the Cervantes Country Club – open from 6-8pm each evening (the bar opens at 5).

Melvin The Fisherman WIth His Two Herring

Melvin The Fisherman

We got there half an hour early, and played frisbee with the kids on the lawn out the back. Another family was kicking a football. We moved to the restaurant just before they opened and chatted for a while with one of the road workers, who gushed praise for the meal we were about to eat. Then, up came the shutters! We ordered our meals, and when they came – oh wow! Yum-oh! The servings are large, and deliciously prepared. We threw to the wind all our plans to cook our own meals, and came back to the Country Club to eat the next night too.

Next was an evening fishing off the boat jetty. Although there were dozens of fish visible in the water, they mostly spurned the gentle beckoning of the anglers on the pier. My son, however, had just the right rig, technique, bait or maybe just plain luck. He caught two herring – and an addiction to fishing that has him asking every day now when we’ll go again.

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