Our trip to the Great Southern…

Coming from New Zealand, I often feel slightly let down when I visit places that people assure are stunning. I don't mean to sound up on my high horse, but lets just say we're truly blessed in NZ when it comes to beautiful scenery! With that in mind, you'll now understand the gravity of what I say when I tell you how absolutely stunning the Great Southern region of Western Australia really is. Si, the kids and I were lucky enough to be invited on a little preview tour of the region in the build up to the Taste Great Southern Festival, which kicks off on the 19th February and goes through until the end of March. The festival is now in it's 11th year and is jam-packed with events ranging from night markets, sustainable seafood feasts, farm tours and celebrity chef demonstrations. For six days we got a little snippet of what's going to be on offer over the next month in this beautiful part of the world, through it's food, it's people and it's mind-bogglingly beautiful scenery.

It was our first time down that far south and upon arriving in Denmark, Si and I immediately started talking about how we could see ourselves happily moving there. Living in the city these past 4 years has made me really miss that small town community vibe and Denmark has that in bucket loads. The kangaroos just casually hanging about everywhere you look is kinda awesome too, and those beaches, well what can I say? I'm pretty sure the photos speak for themselves...

One of the highlights of the our 2 days in Denmark was when we joined the locals at one of the coolest Sunday sessions I've ever been to. Again, this was yet another reminder of why I love small communities. Everyone was there, everyone knew each other, the kids were safe to simply wander off and explore + good music, dancing, food + drinks. Yes.

For the first time this year, Taste Great Southern is highlighting the amazing hardworking farmers of the region too and meeting a few of them was most definitely the highlight of our trip. Call me a farm/food geek or whatever, but I get so much enjoyment out of meeting the people who put food on our tables, chatting to them about their lives, seeing all the beautiful produce in the ground, whilst also getting a few handy hints and tips which Si and I will most definitely put to good use in the future when we move onto our own piece of land. The common thread amongst all these farmers we met was their unrelentless passion for what they do. All agree it's just plain hard work, with often very little monetary gain at the end of it, but I know first hand the undeniable feeling of self-satisfaction of growing your own and I can only imagine how amazing this must feel when you can pass on some of what you grow to the public as well. 

To eat + drink
Petite Villaine (Facebook here). 100% Gluten-free restaurant set amongst the beautiful Rockcliffe Winery in Denmark. They serve tapas-style during the week and during summer they also have the most amazing Sunday Sessions, complete with live music, Mexican tacos + grilled corn and a super cool family-friendly, community vibe.
- Loved the coffee + chai + hot chocolates at Raven's (Denmark) and their raw treats look yummy too.
- Loved the dandelion tea and laid-back hippy-vibe at Luscious Organics, Denmark. It made me miss Byron Bay...
- Super good honey-sweetened ice-cream at Bartholomews Meadery. Along with various flavours such as coffee, cinnamon + passion fruit, they also have a dairy-free ice cream, yay! I dare you to leave without buying all of the honey too...
- Oranje Tractor Wines, award-winning organic winery + paleo-inspired menu. Fruits + vegetables are grown in Pamela + Murray's extensive organic vegetable garden + fruit orchards, or sourced locally. The kids loved hooning around on all of Murray's vintage kids bikes!
- Due South, Albany. Beautiful spot overlooking the water, full-flavoured food made by passionate chefs who are committed to sourcing their produce locally, sustainable seafood (for those who eat it) and plenty of gluten-free options. They even made us special gluten-free pizza's for the kids, which were amazing (I told them they need to be on the menu, so watch out for them in the future hopefully!).

To see:
- Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk, Denmark. A little scary if your not good with heights, but the coolest feeling in the world to be up there walking amongst the tree tops.
- Swim at Greens Pool. You won't be disappointed.
- Albany Farmers Market, sadly we missed it this trip by a day, but I know from talking to many of the farmers who sell at them that they are one of the best of it's kind.
- Anzac museum, Albany.
- Swim at Emu Point beach. So lovely and sheltered.

To stay
- Celestine Retreat, Denmark
- Emu Beach Holiday Park, Albany
- Click on the Denmark + Albany links below for more accommodation information.

Thank you to all the farmers who welcomed us into their beautiful spaces, kept us safe from snakes and sent us on our way with handfuls of gorgeous fresh vegetables! Richard + Velda Stuart-Williams from Box Organics, Denmark. Bev + Howard Shapland, Torbay. Phillip + Sheelagh, Torbay. Andrew + Jocelyn Bathgate, from Bathgate Farms, Cuthbert.

Special thank you to Melissa from Cork + Cheese for organising this amazing trip!
For more information about Taste Great Southern, please click here. To view the events programme, click here or follow along updates on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. For more information on Denmark, click here and for info on Albany, click here.

Disclaimer: I have not been paid to promote any of the events or businesses mentioned in this post, however our accommodation and various meals/tours were complimentary. All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always.

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  • Reply
    Nik Sharma
    February 10, 2015 at 5:15 am

    Such a gorgeous collection of photos, Emma! We are planning a trip to New Zealand next year to visit my family and have been debating on adding Australia to it too. Your post is giving me wanderlust.

    • Reply
      February 11, 2015 at 5:29 am

      Thanks heaps Nik! I think you'd love both NZ and Australia so I'd say go for it 😉 You'll have to email when you know your plans in NZ as we'll most likely be back living there next year xx

  • Reply
    February 10, 2015 at 6:15 am

    That picture of the lady in her floral, blue dress, with the arm full of avocados. Man, she is loving life. These photos are just stunning, lady! Hoping one of our trips takes us your way sometime this year. xx

    • Reply
      February 11, 2015 at 5:30 am

      Oh I'm SOOOO hoping one of your trips brings you downunder this year too 🙂 I tell ya, that beautiful lady in the blue dress, Velda, was one of the loveliest people I've met. Instant friends xx

  • Reply
    February 10, 2015 at 6:21 am

    Wow! What a beautiful post! I was transported to this stunning place with every word u wrote, and now i cannot wait to visit the area! Thanks for all the invaluable info, just moved to Oz last year from Egypt so i have a TON of exploring to do 🙂

    • Reply
      February 11, 2015 at 5:31 am

      You're welcome love! I hope you make it down South West someday xx

  • Reply
    Leanne M
    February 10, 2015 at 6:30 am

    These photos are all stunning, but that last photo just took my breath away.

    • Reply
      February 11, 2015 at 5:32 am

      Thanks Leanne! That pic was taken up on the hill at the Anzac museum in Albany, such magical views up there! xx

  • Reply
    February 10, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Gorgeous photos Emma.

    • Reply
      February 11, 2015 at 5:32 am

      Thank you! xx

  • Reply
    February 10, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    Love all the photos!!! New Zeland looks like paradise <3<3


    • Reply
      February 11, 2015 at 5:18 am

      Thanks Anna, New Zealand is a stunning place… but the photos in this post were actually taken in South Western Australia 🙂 Another beautiful part of this world xx

  • Reply
    Millie | Add A Little
    February 10, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    Such beautiful photos Emma!! I love the beautiful sceneries and the weather looks gorgeous! Seems like you had a pretty fab time!

    • Reply
      February 11, 2015 at 5:32 am

      We had an awesome time for sure Millie! Thank you xx

  • Reply
    The Life of Clare
    February 10, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Firstly, your photos always take my breath away! What a fantastic picture you paint of such a beautiful part of our country. I'm totally with you on my small town, small community vibe! It's the best! And I imagine Denmark is a great one for that. And, AVOCADOS FOR $3 A DOZEN!!! We're paying $4.50 each here!

    • Reply
      February 11, 2015 at 5:33 am

      Thanks Clare! Those avocados were the cutest little ones, but yes, much cheaper than in the stores… and organic! xx

  • Reply
    February 10, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    Oh my goodness, these photos are just stunning, Emma! So much beauty. xx

    • Reply
      February 11, 2015 at 5:34 am

      Thanks Abby! xx

  • Reply
    The InTolerant Chef ™
    February 11, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Such a wonderful place indeed, and you've captured it so well in your stunning photos – just gorgeous! Xo

  • Reply
    February 12, 2015 at 1:14 am

    amazing place, gorgeous pictures!!!!

  • Reply
    Cook Sophie Cook
    February 12, 2015 at 6:21 am

    Bookmarked! For when we hopefully make it over to the other side of the country. Though we are pretty much in love with NZ and hope to make it back over there for a visit again soon (funnily enough its much closer to Sydney than WA….). Beautiful photos.

  • Reply
    February 12, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Amazing i love it.

  • Reply
    london bakes
    February 12, 2015 at 9:34 am

    I love your food photographs, obviously, but you also have such a wonderful eye for people and landscapes. This post is just stunning.

  • Reply
    Leanne Morris
    February 12, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    Thankyou for this blog. We are planning to journey across to WA in the next year or so and you have given me food for thought on things to do and see. Love your photography also. Cheers.

  • Reply
    Cate Lawrence
    February 16, 2015 at 8:19 am

    Such a beautiful post! And yes, I want that beautiful blue dress!

  • Reply
    February 17, 2015 at 11:37 am

    OMG! Your pictures are AMAZING. I stumbled on your blog and I totally love the photos. Australia will be in my bucket list of places to see. Such beautiful pictures and the food. 🙂 What a lovely post and I love the dress. 🙂

  • Reply
    erin {yummysupper}
    February 17, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Lovely lady, I so enjoyed that little vacation with you. It has been too long since we've traveled and I've got the itch to hit the road. Your photos took me on a delicious escape this morning.
    I hope you and yours are well!

  • Reply
    Gourmet Getaways
    February 18, 2015 at 4:33 am

    Stunning to some is artificial, while to others it's nature. Love how close you are to nature with all those fresh and healthy looking produce, and a breath of clean air. We can almost hear the birds chirping!!

    Julie & Alesah
    Gourmet Getaways xx

  • Reply
    March 25, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    Cheers to "green eggs" love the idea they come in a dozen. Happy Trails!

  • Reply
    October 28, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Ahh yes! I love Denmark and my partner and I have been planning for years on how we can afford a house there!! One day even if we have to wait until retirement, we will get there! Such a gem of a area. When u go back that way next look up a place called the cove, such a beautiful place to stay, the cabins have all been hand built by the family that lives there with the wood and stone found on their block. Such bespoke little cabins, also the property back onto the inlet and they have a walk trail to the shore and little row boat u can use to float around the inlet.. It's bliss

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