I’ve said before on a previous blog how impressed I am by the level of services and facilities these small Australian towns have. We are residing about a 25 minute drive from our nearest metropolis which is Moora. A diverse population of 1,822 made up of indigenous, retired, people working in the agricultural services industry and all other necessary services make this a fascinating place to live. Last Friday I spent the morning walking around taking in all that this little town has to offer and was completely blown away with the energy and resourcefulness of its people. Here’s just a small list of the things I found and in no particular order:
- Numerous shops including two supermarkets, bakery, pharmacy, butchers, Post Office, Tourist office, clothing stores, farm merchants, craft store, homeware stores, at least two DIY stores, cafes, two hardware stores, farm machinery and car dealerships and so on…
- A hospital and separate doctors surgery
- Two primary and one upper school with boarding facilities
- Large sports ground housing an AFL football pitch and indoor sports hall
- Youth club with skateboard and BMX track
- Children’s playgrounds
- Two pubs and two motels
- Public Swimming Pool
- Tennis Club
- Horse racing track
- Speedway track
- Caravan Park
- Parks and Nature reserves
- War memorials (plural)
- Memorials to the pioneers and their livestock (again plural)
- Amazing municipal gardens
- Lions Club, Rotary and Country Womens Association
- Equestrian centre
- Four car parks
- Two public lavs
And the list goes on and on and my apologies to anything I’ve missed out. Here are a some photographs of a few views of this amazing little town.
Last Saturday week, we packed a picnic and loaded the girls into the back of the ute and took off for the nearest beach about a two hour drive away. Cervantes was our destination and Daphne and Margot thought their first swim in the Indian Ocean was utterly brilliant. They splashed and sploshed in the clear blue water, fetching us clumps of seaweed – I wish I could have gone in with them but it was far too cold!
Again the roads there and back were empty save for this echidna crossing the road.
In the space of just a couple of weeks the countryside has completely changed colour from the green of spring to the golden hues of summer. The crops are all rapidly turning and will be ready for harvesting in just a few days. Farming in Australia always has extremes of ups and downs and this year has been no exception. What looked like a promising start to the growing season has resulted in heartache for many farmers with frost being the silent enemy. Nevertheless they all carry on and swathing the Canola (Oil Seed Rape) is well underway. Doing things slightly differently here from their European cousins, here they have machines that resemble combine harvesters but without the hoppers which cut the rape “swathing” it into endlessly long piles, a bit like a hay field. After about 10 days the Canola dries off and the “Header” (Combine Harvester) moves in to collect the crop.
This area is also well known for its large hay production and yesterday we got to see it in action in a paddock just down the road from us. I had always wondered how they made the haystacks with the huge bails – well now we all know!
Before things get even busier than they are we took a trip to Perth yesterday to have a nosey round. It looked like alot of other people had the same idea and we had to take evasive action to avoid a serious traffic jam. And, lucky we did because I was forced to navigate along the slower coast road. We were quite stunned by the extraordinary domestic architecture. It seemed to us that everyone is intent in spending huge amounts of cash trying to outdo one another, competing for the Weirdest Structure Award – well, it kept us quite entertained! I must admit I liked most of what I saw and what I wouldn’t give to have a “sticky beak” inside some of these vast concrete Palaces of Bling!
Avoiding the traffic jam drew us to the delightful and very impressive King’s Park gardens which are the largest urban botanic gardens in the Southern Hemisphere. Another delicious picnic was consumed looking at the view out over the city.
followed by a very pleasant walk through all the different zones of Australian flora. There were so many different plants I’d never seen before and were so inspiring.
Well I told you the weather was warming up and today it’s 33c. We bought the girls a paddling pool but they haven’t got the hang of it – I think I might don-a-cozy and just might take to it myself! It’s just great to be able to wear shorts every day but with the heat comes the flies however I won’t waste space telling you about them suffice to say that everything you’ve heard about them is true. When venturing out I now have a fly net under my hat.