Feb 20 – “Life Is a Beach”-Our Farewell to Dunsborough Day

After two hectic days of gallivanting around the Australian southwest, we decided to spend our last day in the Dunsborough area on its beautiful local beaches. Just vegging out.

Well, almost. We did sneak in a few hikes, too.  🙂IMG_4568

God rewarded us with spectacular weather for our farewell to Dunsborough. The temps were in mid-70s with slight northeasterly breeze. It was a day made for outdoor fun and picture-taking. I thanked the Spirit for such a beautiful farewell gift as we headed out to the beaches.

Appetizer: Panorama Shots

As an “appetizer,” before the full play-by-play account of this amazing day, here are now just some of the spectacular panorama shots, more or less in order in which we went from beach to beach.

Castle Rock beach 2-20-15 IMG_4530 Castle Rock beach_Panorama 1-w Meelup panorama 2 Meelup panorama-w Meelup panorama 1 Bunkers Bay 2-20-15 Bunkers Bay Panorama1-w Shelly Beach 2-20-15

Which one is your favorite? Pretty hard to choose, right? Kind of like being a judge at a Miss Universe contest. Or a kid in a Baskin Robbins ice cream store.  🙂

Play-by-Play Account of a Wonderful Day


Perhaps sensing that this is our last day in the Dunsborough area, my former Aussie home, I got up at dawn. The sun was just rising in the east.  IMG_3085

I threw on some clothes and headed out to Yungarra Dr.  This used to be my favorite hiking and biking route when I lived at the Bolt Hole. Without thinking or planning anything, I set out to do a sunrise hike before Elizabeth woke up.

Unsurprisingly, I was not alone. Many of our native neighbors were already out having breakfast.

Roo breakfastIMG_3082 IMG_3083 Roos in flight IMG_3087Bidding farewell to my beloved Aussie bush & roos

After breakfast, Elizabeth and I went out for a short walk to one of our neighbor’s studio. Sensei Pots is only about a mile away from the Blackboy Cottage. When we went there the last time, it was closed. This time, we were in luck. And Elizabeth bought this beautifully glazed vase from the artist who learned his trade in Japan.

IMG_3092 IMG_3457 IMG_3458

You can see Elizabeth just outside the studio (left) with her pot. And also as it looks now in our kitchen at the Rainbow Shower in Maui with some of our Hawaiian native flowers.


We decided to make this a relaxing beach day. The weather was perfect – mid 70s with slight northeasterly breeze. It was a day made for outdoor fun and picture-taking. I thanked the Spirit for such a beautiful farewell gift.

So we headed out to Meelup Beach, my favorite local spot. We ended up at Castle Rock first. I took a spur-of-the-moment turn off Meelup Rd to show Elizabeth the place where 150 years ago whalers used to bring their catch to.IMG_4524

Today, the beach was as pristine as before the gruesome practices that white man’s greed brought to this country. Only a small plaque reminds a visitor of Castle Rock’s bloody past.



Oh, by the way, while I was taking a picture of Elizabeth at the Castle Rock beach, these two topless sunbathers managed to sneak into the frame…

IMG_4520 IMG_4526 Topless 1 IMG_4527 Topless 2 Castle Rock Bob panoramaCastle Rock beach 2-20-15


IMG_0070We then walked from Castle Rock to Meelup beach along a winding coastal 1.1 km (0.8 mile) path. This brought back memories of doing the same with a group of neighbors, and then watching a moonrise over Meelup on a Blue Moon day in January 1999Meelup panorama-wCastle Rock beach_Panorama 1-wMeelup_Panorama1-wMeelup panorama 1 IMG_4537 IMG_4540 IMG_4545 IMG_4547 IMG_4548 IMG_4551

Elizabeth and I spent some time just sitting on a bench and soaking in the beauty of the ocean and the beach.

* * *


When we returned to Castle Rock beach from Meelup, we went for a swim. Since Elizabeth takes “forever” to get in the water, was done first. So I grabbed the camera and started filming her both as video and still shots.

IMG_4529 IMG_4528 DSCF4798 DSCF4795 DSCF4797

Video of Elizabeth’s  Castle Rock beach swim

* * *


While we were at Meelup Beach, I offered Elizabeth a choice: either go out on a kayak ride or climb the Castle Rock. Being afraid of water, she opted for the latter.

So after suntanning for a few minutes to dry out from our swim, we went back to the coastal trail for another 700m (half a mile) to the Castle Rock. The trail winds along the coast toward Dunsborough, and passes just where this rock juts out into the ocean.

And this is what happened when we got there…

IMG_4564 IMG_4555 IMG_4563 IMG_4556 IMG_4557 IMG_4562 Eliz Castle Rock 2-20-15 IMG_0077 IMG_0080  IMG_0078 IMG_0085 IMG_0086


After spending about three hours at Castle Rock and Meelup beaches, we drove on to Bunkers Bay and Shelly Beach for a retake of the pictures we snapped three days ago when the weather was mostly cloudy.

So here they are now, “picture-perfect” shots of these picture-perfect places…

Bunkers Bay 2-20-15 IMG_4568 Bunkers Bay Panorama1-w IMG_4569 IMG_4570 IMG_4571 IMG_4575 IMG_4581 IMG_4577  IMG_4578 Shelly Beach 2-20-15 IMG_4579 IMG_4582 IMG_4583 IMG_4580

While Elizabeth went back to her shelling encore at Shelly Beach, I filmed this short video of this magical spot. I do believe, though I am not sure, that this is where I first started hearing the “Meditation of Thais” music.  I recorded it upon return home to Hawaii, and used it as musical backdrop to in this AUSTRALIA 2015 VIDEO /SLIDESHOW.


* * *

Dinner with Janet & Peter

We finished this wonderful day with a delightful dinner at the home of my oldest Western Australian friends – Peter and Janet Campbell (nee Allen). I actually met Janet first when I opened my original WA bank account in Perth.  She was then working for Bank West.

I met Peter later when the two of them came down and spent a weekend with us at the Bolt Hole.  I think that was circa 1999.

They were about to get married and asked for a recommendation IMG_2907for a venue down in the Dunsborough area. I took them to the Wise Winery and they loved it.   They got married there Feb 17, 2000. I missed the wedding by a couple of days due to a speaking engagement I had in Sydney.

After that, they bought some land near the Bolt Hole and eventually had a home built on it. Two years ago, they moved from Perth to it permanently.

“You are the reason we are here,” Janet said to me graciously during dinner.  “After that weekend at the Bolt Hole, I said to Peter, ‘I want what he has’.” 🙂

This was also my first time at their beautiful home, though I had seen the land 10 years ago and the shed they had had built first.


Anyway, it was wonderful to reconnect with Janet and Peter and reminisce about some of the good old times. Janet’s dinner was also delicious.  It was a great ending to a wonderful day.


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