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We pulled up in the driveway.
Savannah took one look at the verandah, breathed sharply in at what she feared might be a mirage in front of her, eyeballed me for confirmation, and then clapped her hands and squealed,
“The house. Kalyra we’re back at the BIG HOUSE. We can see the Mummy again. Yahoo.”
Craig and I had done almost the same thing when fate brought us back here for a fun filled Australia Day long-weekend with friends.
We’d stayed at this property only two weeks before as part of our partnership with Airbnb. It was an absolute cracker.
We still can’t believe it was priced cheaper than a cabin in a caravan park, at $250 per night. It felt like a bush retreat mansion for us with the ability to sleep eight people, a toy room, a pool table, and huge kitchen and living area.
As soon as we put a photo update on Facebook, our community were jumping out to ask for the link as they wanted to book it for their holidays. (If you’ve never used Airbnb before, you can join under our affiliate link by clicking here and get $27AUD off your first night’s stay)
We rarely left the house for the three nights we stayed.
We had our friends we’ve been travelling with over for dinner and a game of pool and just enjoyed the serenity of the bush and the huge open spaces.
Savannah lost herself in playing with the doll house and the Mummy and Daddy. Kalyra and her friend Maddie loved climbing over the fallen trees in the bush play area.
I think we all nearly cried when we left that first time, thinking we’d never return. We’d been having a problem since we left. Savannah began to state emphatically, “Mummy I hate the caravan. I want to go back to the big house.”
“Darling, I do too. Mummy would like to live in that house.”
So Australia Day was approaching, and the beautiful campsite, Wharncliffe Mill we were staying at (one of our road trip faves so far) was booked out, so we had to find somewhere to stay. We weren’t having luck and we had friends from Perth and my sister who wanted to come stay with us for the weekend.
We didn’t know what to do.
“I think I might just check. You never know.” Craig said. I knew straight away what he was talking about.
“I don’t reckon it will be available. It’s Australia Day.”
He checked and it was. Holy hell! We couldn’t believe our luck. And because our friends and my sister, Jenny were coming down, it meant the price of staying there split between us for the weekend was so cheap. It was one of the best weekends we’ve had in a long time.
So first step for having an awesome weekend in Margaret River is to rent out a house! This property will be our first choice every time we return here.
Actually, the house is in Hayes Road, Yallingup, which is 30 minutes north of Margaret River, but is in the Margaret River region, and a short 10 minute drive into Dunsborough, our fave town in the region.
Yallingup has awesome beaches, and home of the famous Aussie surfing champ, Taj Burrows!
It was so awesome to spend an entire weekend with people we love all staying in the one house.
Here’s the fun we got up to:
Friday – Bum around in the house and couch chatting
Washing done. Shopping done. Shepherds pie cooked in the oven. Play dollhouse and pool with the girls. Let them play in the outside playground. Sit on the verandah. Girls watch a movie. Girls go to bed.
Ang and Mike arrive at 10pm. Sit down and chat with a few bottles of wine until 2am.
Saturday – Beer tasting and outdoor vineyard concert
Wake up a little dusty. Freak out because you think you drank six bottles of wine. Breathe a sigh of relief when you see it’s only four.
Morning tonic, yoga on the deck in the fresh air with the birds and the wind whistling through the trees. Green smoothies and sausage and egg fry up to help us feel better. Chat and potter in the house.
Ang and Mike have the inside local knowledge that Bush Shack Brewery is the place to go. We all pile into our car – loving that it can turn into a seven seater people mover!
I loved Bushwhack Brewery. It was so unlike the typical wineries and breweries of Margs, which are big, grandiose and possibly a little pretentious. This was just home grown stuff, down the end of a dirt track, in the bushes and set up inside someone’s brick house.
I felt it was the best beer we’d had of the breweries in Margs, Craig wasn’t so sure. Live music had started just before we left. We had a great nachos to share and the kids played in the little playground.
We raced home for showers and drove down to Margs for a quick drink at the Settlers Tavern, grabbed a picnic at the supermarket of cheese, meats, olives and dips and then headed to Leeuwin Estate for the Bernard Fanning concert!!!
Yay. Big fan for years. If you don’t know, Bernard was the lead singer of Powderfinger, one of Australia’s best and biggest bands.
They were one of the first concerts I ever saw at the Metro in Sydney when I was 19. Bernard went solo a few years back and he still creates incredible music. We all agreed that he sounds just as good live as he does in the recording studio.
If you are a newsletter subscriber, you would know how much he inspired me at the concert, showing that success comes when you just express yourself and in a way that moves and inspires others. That’s all he does.
Kalyra did not want to go to the concert at first, but when I played his song “Wish You Well” for her on Spotify, she screamed, “I love that song. Is that who we’re going to see?” I used to play it all the time when we’d drive around in the car.
Sadly, she fell asleep and missed him playing it live, but she did come up with me in the mosh pit for the first couple of songs while I took photos.
The girls fell asleep in our laps, which meant we could relax, enjoy the tunes, sing and jive around a bit. We were all devastated that he only played one Powderfinger song and it was not My Happiness.
I was DD, but enjoyed a glass of Leeuwin Estate shiraz which was orgasmic good. Spewing I volunteered to drive. The rest of the crew enjoyed having a few bottles. We were so grateful we had no red wine left in the house or it could have been a real late one when we got home.
Sunday – Wine tasting, dinner party
The crew felt a bit dusty. Green smoothies again all round. It’s amazing how they can help.
Then we went home to chill for awhile until Jenny arrived with her new man, Steph. Then it was party time.
We all walked 5 minutes down the road to Happs Winery. I can’t tell you how much my soul was zinging to be walking to a fun adventure with a group of friends laughing and talking.
It ended up being our favourite winery of the Margaret River region and Craig and I walked out with six bottles – our biggest stash yet – and the others with another 8 bottles!
We walked home to enjoy dusk on the balcony with nibbles, wine, music and kangaroos watching us from the bushes.
Mike cooked up a delicious pasta carbonara for dinner, paired with those beautiful red wines from Happs. You don’t need to know how many bottles we drank. It just flows unnoticed with good conversation doesn’t it?
The girls sat around the table chatting – so great to have girl conversation! The boys went to play pool (and probably loving the boy talk) until they could not stand being apart from us any longer and begged we come join them in the party room.
And that’s when things went downhill. Or uphill, depending on your viewpoint.
We all competed with Aerosmith for vocal of the night, competed against each other in pool, tried unsuccessfully to work out how to use a CD player (crap have we evolved that much), and discovered we all had way more in common than we thought.
Someone hit play on ‘I’m not ready to make nice,” and in the first opening bars we all shouted at the same time, “Dixie Chicks. I love the Dixie Chicks.” “OMG, so do I!!”
On came the greatest hits and like a great country song we shared stories and dreams and bottles of wine. Thankfully there was no whiskey.
It was so much fun to be sharing moments with my sister again and our new friends.
The singing got a little too loud and at 2am a groggy eyed Kalyra walked into the room and, like teenagers caught sneaking in past their curfew, we all scattered silently into our bedrooms. Party over.
Monday – Beach recovery and movie night
Mike and Ang left us in the morning. Green juices failed to help us much this morning. Jen and Steph stayed with us for the day and we headed to Smiths Beach for a refreshing dip in the ocean.
One good thing about WA waters, the chill factor is good for a hangover.
We headed home to chill out and Jen cooked us a lovely salmon for dinner.
We attempted to watch “”Best of Me” which Jen reckons trumps the Notebook. We all know that’s impossible if Ryan Gosling is not the star of the show. Her dodgy Bali DVD didn’t work, but all of our droopy eyes wouldn’t have lasted through it anyway.
Tues – Coffee and brunch
A final moment with my sister before we departed ways again for who knows how long.
We had brunch at our favourite cafe again, Samudra. It’s been so great to spend so much time with her over Christmas and New Years and the girls have loved having Aunty Jen around. Aunties are the best!
We then went home to enjoy our last evening in the best house we’ve ever stayed in on our Oz road trip. I used the time to shoot my 30 Day Money Cleanse free training videos while the kids went to get Simmo’s ice cream with Craig.
Then we just chillaxed for the evening.
Wednesday –goodbye Margaret River
Goodbye house, do you mind if we shed a tear. I’m modelling my future house on you!
So love ya Margaret River. One of our Aussie faves. We will be back!
More Margaret River and Western Australia posts:
- Best things to do in Margaret River with kids
- 9 beaches in Margaret River
- Consider Bunbury your next getaway from Perth
- 50 things to do in Western Australia
P.S. if you’ve never stayed at an Airbnb property before, we’ve got a $32 credit for you when you sign up via this link!