Albany to Esperance – Western Australia

Esperance is a resort town situated just over seven hundred kilometres south of Western Australia’s state capital, Perth. It is renowned for its stunning granite coastline, picturesque outlying islands, turquoise water and the whitest beaches you can imagine. The drive from Perth may seem challenging but the scenery along the way is diverse and visually appealing. The kilometres just seem to fly by. Visitors can always overnight at Albany which is a leisurely four and a half hours from Perth.

Albany is a port city in the Great Southern region of Western Australia. It is the oldest permanently settled town in the state. Albany is situated just over four hundred kilometres south east of the capital, Perth. This historic town has a number of heritage listed colonial buildings and is set within a startling beautiful rugged coastline. 

West Beach – Esperance

West Beach is a short three kilometre drive west of Esperance city centre. It is flanked by rocky headlands and is a popular surf and swimming spot.

West Beach, Esperance

Frenchman Peak, Cape Le Grande National Park

Cape Le Grande National Park is a forty five minute drive from Esperance and is my favourite part of the southern region of Western Australia. The park is home to the western grey kangaroo, pygamy possums and a multitude of different species of bird. Cape Le Grande is blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in Australia, including Lucky Bay, Thistle Cove and Hellfire Bay. There are also a number of natural attractions in the park of which Frenchman Peak is well worth the hike to the cave close to the summit. The views from the cave and its surrounds are majestic.

Frenachman Peak, Esperance

South West Wheat Belt, Western Australia

The Southern Wheatbelt region of Western Australia is renowned for its gentle rolling pastures, shimmering salt lakes and expansive golden wheat fields. Wheat production accounts for seventy percent of total cereal production in Western Australia and a significant portion of the crop is exported each year. Export proceeds are in excess of Australian $3 billion each year.

South West Wheat Belt, Western Australia

Thistle Cove, Cape Le Grande National Park

Thistle Cove is protected by granite outcrops at each end of the kilometre long beach. This helps to moderate the waves and keep it clear of rips. The beach sand is snowy white and the water in the bay is crystal clear.

Thistle Cove, Esperance

Mount Hassel, Stirling Range

Mount Hassel is in the Stirling Range National Park in Australia’s South West and has a popular three kilometre walking trail to the peak. The climb takes about an hour and summits at 847 metres. The views from the top are spectacular and well worth the challenging hike up a rocky path.

Mt Hassel, Western Australia

Canola Production – South West Australia

Canola is becoming an increasingly important crop in Western Australia and the estimated crop revenue for the 2016/17 season is in the region of $1 billion. The flowering canola fields along the roads leading to Esperance add vibrant colour to the landscape.

Canola

Cave Point Lighthouse – Albany

Albany is the perfect place for a holiday or for travellers visiting Esperance to overnight. There are a number of attractions and sights in and around the town, including the Cave Point Lighthouse which is a short drive from the town centre in the Torndirrup National Park.

Esperance Lighthouse

Japan – Tokyo & A Little Bit More

I visited Japan few years ago on a skiing vacation and vowed to return for both the skiing and the sightseeing. I had the opportunity to return recently and on this occasion was able to do more than just ski down the wonderful snow packed slopes of Hakuba.

Tokyo Sky Tree

The Tokyo Skytree is a broadcasting, landmark, and observation tower situated in Sumida, Tokyo, Japan. It was opened in mid 2012 and at a height of 634 metres, it is the world’s highest stand-alone communication tower.

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Sensō-ji Temple, Asakusa, Tokyo

Sensō-ji is an ancient Buddhist temple located in the Asakusa district of Tokyo. It is Tokyo’s oldest temple, and one of its most significant.

Sensō-ji Temple, Tokyo

Tokyo Disneyland

Tokyo Disneyland is rated highly by many Disney theme park aficionados. This is due to sensational themes, polite and highly efficient cast members combined with world class rides and entertainment. The 115 acre theme park is split into two separate sections, Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. Many reviews rate DisneySea above Disneyland but my family and I much preferred the latter.

Tokyo Disneyland

Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, Nagano Prefecture

The principle topic of this post is Tokyo, however, a highlight of my visit to Japan (right up there with skiing) was visiting the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park. I will discuss these unique animals plus the quality of the ski slopes of Japan in a later post but I could not help but introduce the snow monkeys today.

Jigokudani Snow Monkeys

Shibuya Cross Junction, Tokyo

Cities such as New York and Sao Paulo have hectic pedestrian crossings but the Shibuya Cross Junction in Tokyo is renowned to be busiest of them all. I can well believe it after having visited the crossing during rush hour.

Shibuya Cross Junction

Traditional Kimono

Two lovely Japanese girls agreed to have their photos taken in their beautiful kimonos. This was taken at the entrance of the Shinjuku temple.

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Tokyo Winter Lights

Tokyo Winter Lights

Singapore – An Increasingly Popular Destination


I have often transited at Singapore’s iconic Changi Airport and have always vowed to spend more than a few hours in this bustling island nation. I recently took the opportunity to stay a few nights taking in the sights of Singapore and am extremely pleased I did so. There is so much to see and do in this vibrant city/island/country.

St Andrew’s Cathedral – Singapore

St Andrew’s Cathedral is the largest religious building in Singapore and is the islands oldest Anglican Church. The current St Andrew’s started service in 1861 after being rebuilt twice between the years 1835 and 1860.

St Andrew's Cathedral, SingaporeMarina Bay Sands Hotel

Marina Bay Sands Hotel is the most stunning hotel and casino in South East Asia. Construction on this integrated resort started in early 2007 and it was officially opened in 2010. At a cost of $8 billion it is regarded as the world’s most expensive standalone casino complex.

Marina Bay Sands Hotel

Singapore Botanic Gardens

The Singapore Botanic Gardens was opened in 1859 and is located at the fringe of Singapore’s main shopping belt. This beautiful lush tropical paradise is a testament to Singapore’s reputation as a ‘City within a Garden’.Singapore Botanic Gardens

Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay is a nature park spanning 101 hectares of reclaimed land in the Marina Bay District of Singapore. The Flower Dome is one of the two conservatories in the gardens and is recorded in the 2015 Guinness World Records as the largest glass greenhouse in the world. The Flower Dome is spectacular throughout the year but even more so over the Christmas holiday period.001 Singapore 272

Supertree Grove, Gardens by the Bay

There are eighteen Supertrees in Gardens by the Bay, of which twelve can be found at Supertree Grove. Each structure measures between twenty five and fifty metres in height and two of the trees are connected by a  twenty two metre high Skyway. These unique tree-like vertical gardens are designed with large canopies that provide shade in the day and come alive with colourful displays of light and sound at night. Supertree Grove, Gardens by the Bay

Orchard Road, Singapore

Orchard Road is just over two kilometres long and is the retail and entertainment hub of Singapore. It is quite simply Asia’s most famous shopping street. During the festive season the whole of Orchard Road and some the streets leading into it are lit up with glittering lights and enchanting displays.

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