We headed south of Perth this week, down into the South West corner towards the forests and the Southern Ocean, somewhere I have been wanting to get back to for quite some time. It is a delightful area, tall trees, rocky shores and glorious stretches of sand. Most important though, is the promise of fishing.
I had a destination, somewhere I wanted to explore, somewhere I had heard of as it has a fine reputation and it didn’t let me down. The Bunbury Farmers Market on Vittoria Street is a true delight and certainly lived up to its promise. I love farmers markets and visiting these local markets, which are scattered around the country, is one of the things I and hundreds of shoppers enjoy but Bunbury Farmers Market …. now this is a true treasure.
The huge market store only recently opened at its new location although the enterprise has been around for several years or more. If the custom is anything to go by, it has been a huge success. Providing locally grown and Australia’s own looks to have been a winning combination for the local enterprise and it could well be something other towns could emulate with equal success. Every town should have one of these markets and Bunbury has managed to make a spectacular success of the concept.
It has a clean, fresh feel down through its well laid out aisles and it’s a bustling world of retail at competitive prices. What I liked most though was the freshness of the goods offered. There was none of this ‘cold stored fresh goods’ which the supermarket chains offer these days. We enjoyed a ‘still hot from the oven’, baked herb and garlic loaf along with fresh tomatoes for lunch and it was a delight on its own. We also took the opportunity to stock up on farmers market goods such as very fresh vegies, breads, local meats, Australia’s own cheeses and produce and a sprinkling of imported specialty goods.
If your in the area it is surely a place where you can stop and shop… it is well worth the effort if the opportunity ever presents itself. Supporting ‘Australia made’ has never been a greater pleasure.
As we headed deeper into the south we avoided the coastline largely, mostly because we have made forays into the region and the coastline for some weeks now. We are headed down onto the southern most shores and at the speed we travel that is a two day trip at the very least. An interesting thing which we found ourselves caught up in was the long weekend exodus of the ‘camping’ set. This included a sprinkling of international visitors as well as the camping contingent of Aussies off to enjoy the holiday weekend.
We camped up in a forestry reserve, a freecamp, one of the very few offered near the coast and one well known to the “wicked camper” fraternity. I have long lamented the lack of recreational and rest-stop camps in Western Australia, and my opinion hasn’t changed. There are times such as now, during the holiday period, when these quiet overnight travellers stops are simply essential.
The place by nightfall was crowded… mostly with all manner of campers, vans and cars with tents, people looking for an overnight rest stop that didn’t include swimming pools, play grounds and other Holiday Camp facilities. What was needed is simply a traveller’s rest-stop. Besides, every caravan park within sight in the region is packed to brimming with kids and campers. Here … travellers simply needed an overnight stop and it is the greatest pity they didn’t provide a public toilet as well. Western Aus’ really needs to get its act together and develop as well as improve its free public rest-side stops.
This is after all a vast country, with huge distances to be travelled between towns and settlements. You would think that the powers that be and our governing bodies, would at least realize the necessity in the need for these rest stops. We need them located away from the traffic where drivers can simply get some rest. Forestry reserves, bush camps and park reserves are ideal for this in providing a place where the traveller can park-up. All we need is a toilet at the least and it isn’t as though there isn’t the potential to develop such places. The east coast has come to realize the potential of such rest stops, particularly for country towns and recreation, so what is so hard about this?
Anyway… in the meantime we have found ourselves parked happily in amongst “wicked campers” and it has been an enjoyable experience. The mix of languages, the role of laughter and the companionship has been enjoyable. It is the ‘little white flags’ of toilet paper scattered throughout the forest reserve that is most distasteful. Who in their right mind is going to create a overnight rest stop without a loo… come on guys … get it together.