I hope you’ve all had an amazing break over the holidays and had a chance to relax, contemplate and hit the snooze button at least a few dozen times.
Keeping with tradition we spent our break soaking up as much sun as possible in our home state of Western Australia, dividing our time between family in Perth and Denmark (a small town about 5 hours south of Perth).
There was plenty to see in Perth, with new arrivals from friends and family to welcome, and this year we had the chance to share my home state with one of our closest friends, Aoife, whom was happy to indulge us with a personalised tour of some of our old haunts.
My parents are finally back in Perth, retired and looking relaxed, and as their house is just a few minutes from the stunning City Beach, that seemed an obvious first stop.
Melbourne, in so many ways, is home for us now. We are happy here, but the beach has always been ‘our place’, and as soon as I step on the sand, I also feel ‘at home’. I mean look at that blue sky!
No return visit is ever complete without a morning session at Cottesloe Beach followed by breakfast up the road at John Street Cafe. Of our days spent in Perth, there were none that didn’t feature the beach at some point, whether that be a quick swim before breakfast, or an evening splash followed by Amberjacks fish and chips with friends.
Now that Mark’s parents have moved to Denmark we try to visit them every year a couple of times. They have a small farm property nestled amongst Karri forest, and each time we visit something has changed, whether that be apricots coming into season, or their incredible native garden expanding.
This year the house was full, with almost all of Mark’s family down over Christmas. We spent our 10 days as most of the locals in that part of the world do – picking fruit, sipping wine, eating cheese and visiting the amazing beaches. Each day is a harvest day at the farm, with apricots, peaches and raspberries to pick, avocados to gather and potatoes to dig for.
Boxing Day was spent swimming in the dam and drinking ciders on the deck (as well as more wine and more cheese). It was one of those perfect days that will forever stick in our memories.
Last but not least, when the weather cooled we finally ticked off a long delayed WA bucket list item by trekking to the top of Bluff Knoll (the highest peak in Western Australia) as well as a quick tree top walk in the Valley of the Giants.
Life in Denmark has a kind of natural rhythm that is infectious and hard to tear yourself away from. But all holidays must come to an end.
Happy New Year everyone and here’s cheers to a new year!
Photography by Monique and Mark Welker