A big thanks to our Aussie friends, James and Kate, for directing us to head to the Margaret River Wine Region straightaway after landing in Perth… we’ve had a lovely few days here.   First a little geography… Australia is almost the same size as the contiguous U.S.  
AU (2.97 million sq mi) versus contiguous US (3.12 million sq miles)

AU (2.97 million sq mi) versus contiguous US (3.12 million sq miles)

Western Australia (WA) is one of the six states of Australia, which also has several territories. Perth and Margaret River are both in the southwestern tip of Western Australia.  
Australian regions and climate zones

Australian regions and climate zones

  WA greeted us with some of our favorite wildlife: loads of galahs and parrots (photos from Wiki as our didn’t turn out great),  
Female Galah (Wiki)

Female Galah (Wiki)

Twenty-eight Parrot (Wiki)

Twenty-eight Parrot (Wiki)

and lots of kangaroos.
Do these shoes make my feet look big?

Do these shoes make my feet look big?

"Gee - I guess my feet are pretty big".

“Gee – I guess my feet are pretty big”.

Here’s a video of an early morning visit.   Australia has more than 60 wine regions, one of which is the beautiful coastal region of Margaret River.
At least 215 wineries, producing 20% of Australia's premium wines.

At least 215 wineries, producing 20% of Australia’s premium wines.

It looks unlike any wine region we’ve visited before; many of the vineyards are tucked away behind a profusion of native trees and shrubs, which provide a degree of protection from winds blowing in from the Indian Ocean.  
Beautiful eucalyptus forest in the Margaret River region of southwestern Australia.

Beautiful eucalyptus forest in the Margaret River region of southwestern Australia.

 
Shauna enjoying the peace and beauty of the eucalyptus forest.

Shauna enjoying the peace and beauty of the eucalyptus forest.

We made a quick trip down to the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, the very southwestern tip of Australia, where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean.  
Powder sugar beaches on the Indian Ocean.
Powder sugar beaches on the Indian Ocean.
The lighthouse on Cape Leeuwin which is the southwestern tip of Australia - where the Southern Ocean meets the Indian Ocean.

The lighthouse on Cape Leeuwin which is the southwestern tip of Australia – where the Southern Ocean meets the Indian Ocean.

While we didn’t make a wine tour as Mark was recovering from a nasty virus our first couple of days, we did enjoy a fantastic lunch as the very chic Leeuwin Estate Winery.
Leeuwin Estate Vineyards

Leeuwin Estate Vineyards

Our lunch spot. Lovely.

Our lunch spot. Lovely.

Barramundi and roast cauliflower - yum!

Barramundi and roast cauliflower – yum!

My favorite was the Art Series Chardonnay

My favorite was the Art Series Chardonnay

  We’ve learned some interesting wine trivia… up next post!