I have finally gotten my act together to jot down the key highlights of our roadtrip last March, to Bunbury, which is about 2 hours drive south of Perth City.
Clear blue skies and wide open Aussie highways were a constant feature as we drove.
Although some people were certainly more excited about it than others.
Lake Clifton’s Thrombolites
We drove past the Yalgorup National Park on our way to Bunbury, and decided to stop by Lake Clifton, which is famous for its thrombolites. Thrombolites are ‘living fossils’, which are formed by micro-organisms that continue to exist on the surface of these rocks.
These are ancient stones which were formed apparently since the dawn of time, and are therefore are very significant to the earth’s natural history. What a privilege to gaze upon them up close! It was quite fascinating so we lingered there for quite a while just to soak it all in.
Scientists know little about the thrombolites and why they form at Lake Clifton, but one theory is that they form because the lake is associated with upwellings of fresh groundwater that is high in calcium carbonate. The micro-organisms living in this environment are able to precipitate calcium carbonate from the waters as they photosynthesise, forming the mineralised structure that is the thrombolite.
Lake Clifton’s thrombolites are very fragile, so an observation walkway has been built for visitors to enjoy these incredible formations while protecting them from damage.
It was very convenient to get there too, just a 10 minute drive there from the main highway.
Some parts of Bunbury resemble a rich retiree’s village, with ornate homes with docks lining the river…
Quality Hotel Lighthouse Bunbury
We booked a stay at the Lighthouse Bunbury for some variety after our Harvey Hills Farmstay 3 years ago.
Apart from the lovely sunset views and a pleasant walk around a small lighthouse nearby, the 3 star hotel had a small indoor jacuzzi and swimming pool from which we had lots of fun practicising taking hilarious slow-motion videos of our jumps into the pool.
Joe’s Pizza House in Bunbury
The pizza was one of the most delicious we had ever tasted. Freshly made, our kids could watch as they put the pizza together. They were certainly very generous with the ingredients (scattering ham like it was free of charge), with friendly service to boot.
We also tried a ‘pizza dog’ for the first time, and it was wonderful too. The style keeps the pizza hot (it’s rolled into a pizza dough covered tube). We had a great meal there.
Nothing quite like freshly made, piping hot pizza.
Dolphin Discovery Centre Bunbury
We visited the Dolphin Discovery Centre as before, but the dolphins did not come to shore on the first day. So on the second day, as a wedding anniversary treat to all of us, we decided to go on a Dolphin Discovery Boat Tour. And we were so glad that we did! No regrets at all!! The dolphins were out in full force, and we managed to catch them in the midst of a feeding frenzy too, since it was mealtime.
And here we are, on the boat!
I was so excited to see so many dolphins! There must have been more than 20 that we sighted that morning.
The best part was that the boat ride is helmed by biologists and conservationists, so they were very careful not to disturb the dolphins, and made sure that we kept a safe distance away. The guide also made a strong case against keeping dolphins in captivity, and told us of how dolphins commit suicide in captivity. I gained a whole new appreciation for Dolphin conservation once again.
After a while, K & B got really bored though. I couldn’t believe it! They were like enough dolphins already, mama!
We also spent another morning hearing a ‘live talk’ on the two resident octopi (three hearts each!) and watching them squirt water and try to escape from their tanks. Very “Finding Dory”. We also saw this really pretty sea star at their interesting rock pool.
Wonderful times at the Dolphin Discovery Centre, as always.
Corner’s On King
We treated ourselves to a nice lunch at Corner’s on King, which is #1 on TripAdvisor for Bunbury Restaurants. It had a very relaxed ambiance, and the food was good, though expectedly a little pricier than usual.
We decided to visit the Bunbury Wildlife Park en route back to Perth instead of carving out another day to visit the Caversham Wildlife Park, which we had been to before.
This was a much simpler (and thus much cheaper) park but we had just as much fun if not more! We fed a peacock by hand, and later many kangaroos!
Spot my two baby roos.
We had a great time – K is journaling about her day as we drive back, and B is all knocked-out. Till next time, Bunbury!
p.s. Read about our adventure to the Pinnacles (north of Perth) here.