On Day 2 of our trip, we drove down to Pemberton--a quaint town south of Hamelin Bay and Margaret River. Why drive 2.5 hours? For 2 reasons: (1) Pemberton has a train/tram ride that's perfect for the kids! (2) Pemberton has an amazing Lavender and Berry Farm that's got fantastic food!
The Pemberton train/tram ride takes visitors into the Karri Forest on a 2 hour ride. The train stops twice, allowing visitors to get out and wander around in the forest for about 10-15 minutes each time. The kids were so excited! They didn't have trains running that day, so we rode on a quaint old tram instead. Our driver was a lovely old man who had a lot of local knowledge about the forest, the flora and fauna, and the history of pemberton. Of course, the kids totally didn't listen to anything being said--they were too busy looking at the bridges we crossed, the gushing waters in the lakes, the bee collector we passed, the birds we saw, the flowers,... and generally being peachy-excited about simply sitting in a tram!
On the first stop in the forest, our driver pointed us to a walking trail which took us to a lovely water cascade area... there's a picture of us here. On our second stop, we found a hundred year old Karri tree that had a huge hole at the bottom. Quite cool.
I was overall very pleased with the tram ride. It was worth the 2.5 hour drive from Sunflowers Animal Farm, but there was still an amazing lunch waiting for us! The Lavender and Berry Farm serves a fantastic berry pancake with ice cream--it's bigger than the size of a dinner plate! Thick, warm, and with freshly made ice cream on top! I tell you! The chicken pie was wonderful too!
As an aside--there was a Malaysian family on the tram ride. When I first saw them, I said, "They don't look Singaporean." But when we heard them speak, they sounded so Singaporean! But true enough, when we started chatting, we found out they were from KL. Singaporeans just dress and look a certain way, don't you think? =) When we arrived at the Lavender and Berry Farm for lunch, we discovered that the Malaysian family was also there, for lunch as well! HAHAHA. Actually, everywhere we went, we bumped into Singaporeans, or Singaporean-sounding people. At Sunflowers Animal Farm, all 4 chalets were booked up by Singaporeans, including a family of 9--3 boys, 2 parents, and 4 grandparents! Dan and Ben had fun playing with the 3 boys, the youngest of whom was 5 years old. Later on, we bumped into the same family at Fremantle in the Maritime Museum! We also bumped into a Singaporean Indian family in the Chinese restaurant at Dunsborough and at Cicerellos at Fremantle. There truly were Singaporeans everywhere!!
Anyway, I really liked Pemberton. Unlike the town of Margaret River, which had expensive food and seemed like a town built for tourist conveniences, Pemberton had a real, quaint feeling about it. Husband and I were saying that the next time we come back to Western Australia, we should go to Harvey, Pemberton, Augusta.... and avoid Margaret River completely, with the exception of the Sunflowers Animal Farm, of course!