Carmel Cider

Arrival Thursday 6th at 12.30 p.m., departure Saturday 8th at about 11.00 a.m.

We were searching for places near Perth to go for a night or two. We loved staying at the Olive Hill Farm near Bussleton and we were looking for that kind of experience, parking amongst fruit trees, with a possible campers’ toilet, no power hookups and a small shop. Carmel Cider appeared to offer what we wanted. We only had a small window of opportunity during our week and even then we had a 3 hour Zoom session on one morning and Stephen had to get to a choir rehearsal on the second day. We went anyway.




We had rather cold and windy weather, especially the second night when there wasn’t enough sun during the day to warm up the van. We closed everything up and went to bed early. We woke later to a very stuffy van and had to get up an open some windows and the skylight. We always switch off the gas before sleeping so we don’t have to worry about perhaps going to sleep forever even when there is no air coming into the van.

When we arrived and were escorted to a possible camping spot we realised that forgetting the levellers was a big mistake as we couldn’t find a level spot. Stephen was able to commandeer some foam slabs which helped a bit, but the slope took time to adjust to and meant I had to watch liquids carefully when cooking. However, our bodies did adjust and we didn’t really notice the slope after a few hours.

We had an ensuite site, sort of. There was a flushing toilet next to a dilapidated house close to us.



We have to take each outing as an adventure, not aiming for a perfectly wonderful experience. There were no walking trails within walking distance of the farm and our walks were quite short. We sampled the cider, and bought some cans for our stay. The owner of the farm was very quietly spoken and we had to listen carefully. He has only been operating about six years and is developing a variety of brews. If only we didn’t mind getting drunk we could have had a great time sampling.

We’ve had some parties around our neighbourhood lately and it was disappointing on our second night (Friday) to have a caravan arrive with people who lit a large fire outside and had thumping music playing. Mind you, that was the night it was very cold and the van was completely shut off. I went to sleep by about 9.00 p.m. despite the noise. It would help to go away during the week as places close to Perth will attract people getting away at weekends.

Unfortunately this van parked quite close to us, so we got the full effect of the music on Friday night.

On Saturday we packed up and left by about 11.30 to head to Bayswater where Stephen had an afternoon rehearsal. We chose a park on the river and when Stephen was sent details of the address it turned out we were parked within 300 metres of where he would be rehearsing. We had lunch and a walk before he had to head off, and also went for a walk afterwards. The park is lovely, with a couple of food trucks, some gazebos, a wetlands, and an off lead area for walking dogs. We had some sunshine and it was altogether a lovely find.




Pelican slide with real pelican in the background




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