'There's nothing like watching the ever-changing colourful scenery around Busselton Jetty and feeling the cool evening breeze on your face at the end of a beautiful day.'
It was the start of an unforgettable road trip for Wong and his wife, who had flown to Perth from Singapore with their extended family. After time to explore Perth, the couple, along with their son, daughter-in-law, daughter-in-law's parents and two grandchildren, drove south for the Margaret River region.
“There were so much to see and experience - from the stunning beaches, majestic forests, spectacular caves and historic man-made attractions to the varied food experiences, fabulous wineries and great weather,” Wong said.
The family spent their first night in Busselton, where Wong snapped this photo of the historic Busselton Jetty. Stretching almost 2km into Geographe Bay, it's thought to be the longest timber-piled jetty in the southern hemisphere. Visitors can even take a train to visit the underwater observatory at the jetty's end.
The following day was all about gourmet indulgence, as Wong and his family wound past wineries towards Margaret River township. Wong still raves about the lunch that he and his wife enjoyed in a picturesque vineyard restaurant, calling the wagyu beef and glass of cabernet “a gastronomic experience”. An avid painter, Wong delighted in browsing the neighbouring art gallery. The children were more impressed with their next stops, a chocolate factory and an outlet selling fresh nuts and home-made jams.
After a night in Margaret River, the family drove along scenic Caves Rd to explore Mammoth Caves. Armed with a torch and audio headsets, they wandered through the vast underground chambers, learning about the incredible fossils and limestone formations.
“It was a unique experience, especially for our grandsons who had never been into a cave. As we emerged from the cave into a forested path we were surrounded by gigantic karri trees and wild flora,” Wong said.
More enchanting karri forest lined the winding road to Augusta, where Wong and his family visited the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. They arrived at the same time as a dramatic autumn storm, which brought huge waves and howling winds. While their family did the climb to the top of the lighthouse, Wong and his wife watched the wild weather from a nearby cafe.
“Watching the fierce Southern Ocean and powerful Indian Ocean crashing against the Cape made our visit an awesome experience,” Wong said.
Wong recalls a leisurely drive back to Perth, with lots of “last-minute shopping” at wineries and gourmet outlets. A family favourite was the cheese factory, where they watched gourmet fudge, nougat and honeycomb being made by hand.
Summing up their time in the Margaret River, Wong said “every single experience is unique in itself with so many highlights.” He and his wife would love to visit Western Australia's Coral Coast next, though Wong is also drawn to Tasmania.
“I would like to capture Tasmania's beauty on my camera and spend my retirement putting the scenery on canvas,” he said.