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We’re going to Australia this year, this is no secret. Our trip is getting closer every day and every morning H likes to find out something different about the place her father originates. This trip is going to mean a lot to her and I know she will remember so much more than the last time we went. She has changed massively since then, but so has Australia.

Every time we go I find myself taking photos of the bush around the in-laws house, while I get a kind of laugh, asking why I’m taking a photo of the drive. But you can see why.

Toodyay driveway

When we got to Toodyay last time, it was the following winter after some terrible bush fires – ones that missed the in-laws house by a very short distance thanks to the wind changing direction. Others weren’t so lucky. Bush fires are a risk when you’re out in the bush (as they are) and something you have to protect your house against, cutting back trees and wood around your house to make sure there’s a chance to save your home if the worst happens. When we got there the greenery was starting to grow back. It was sad seeing all the darkened trees and burnt areas, but seeing the land regenerate is a part of the nature cycle and often a fire is what is needed to clear the areas and start the cycle again. Us humans mess it up by causing unnecessary fires when there are red alerts. It regenerates so quickly that I’m sure, three and a bit years later you may not be able to tell it ever happened.

Toodyay - wild

One of my favourite trees (I have a thing about trees) is one on the main road, a tree struck by lightning way back when we first went there, and still standing strong when it looks so weak. All it took was one lightning strike, and that’s all that’s left. Every time I want to get the perfect photo of it, and every time the photo isn’t quite the perfect photo I want. I’m hoping it will still be there this time.

lightning tree

The drive along the Toodyay Road from Perth has a fantastic view of the city skyline as you get to the top. There’s an area you can stop to take photos of the view. Our camera isn’t brilliant so it’s blurry, but against the red sky this is one of my favourite panoramic pictures, and a view I look forward to seeing every time we go back.

Perth skyline - panorama

Toodyay is about an hour out of Perth, but a busy little town. It’s great to wander around and has everything you’d need, with the bigger Northam just up the road a few more kilometers. It’s about five kilometers from the in-laws to the centre of Toodyay, a walk we all did one morning in the heat. I only did it once as it was too hot for me, even with water. Back into Perth and more relatives live over in Coogee – right by the sea where the air is clear and you can sit and relax and chat for hours. It’s somewhere I feel comfortable, though most of all I love being by the sea. We’ve sat watching the windsurfers going up and down the coast, catching the wind, so colourful against the clear blue sky and sea, it really is quite spectactular – and fast. From distant black dots they came tearing past, everyone in their own space as they made their way down the Indian Ocean coast.

Indian Ocean - Fast

 

We’re hoping to head to Sydney this time. One of my favourite things is when the bush turns into farmland, when you see it from the sky.

 

Bush to Farmland

 

One thing I’m hoping we’ll catch is a glorious, epic Western Australia sunset. The night the sky turned this colour, readers photos made it into the local paper. It was beautiful. It reminds me of the time we sat out at our friends place in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains just outside of Sydney, sipping away on sparkling Shiraz and watching the sun set after a day touring the area – also recently devastated by bush fires.

 

Toodyay Sunset - epic

 

So yes, I’m looking forward to heading back to Australia. I’m not the only one.