Our Member Famil took place on Wednesday 7th September with 22 attendees and 10 venue visits, making it a fantastic big day out!
The tour took in a range of businesses in Busselton & Surrounds with hosts both getting to share updates on their offering to local operators as well as learning more about their neighbours. Some highlights of the day as reported by members in attendance were:
“It was a great day and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone and making new contacts. I have already had several of the members contact me for ongoing business so it was really worthwhile from our business perspective! “
“Meeting new business owners and managers. Seeing new hidden places about I did not know existed or did hear about but never seen. Loved it and will be recommending them all to our guests”
“Networking with the other members and opening up future business opportunities”
Please read on for some more highlights from the day!
The day began with Nicola guiding the group through the market. The venue has a strong collective of vendors under one umbrella including street-style eateries, artisans, gourmet local food and beverage producers and farm fresh produce. The fantastic in-house bee hive managed by UWA is a fabulous and educational feature and Nicola highlighted an exciting upcoming calendar packed with events, wine and food pairing experiences and supported by their free shuttle bus services over the weekends.
The next stop was at Busselton Jetty Chalets which is ideally located opposite Barnard Park and Geographe Bay. The team showed the group their newly refurbished self-contained accommodation, which is comfortable and affordable and an outdoor enclosed barbecue/picnic area which is perfect for family groups. Centrally located, guests can walk into the centre of Busselton and Busselton Jetty.
Cameron the General Manager of Western Growers Fresh gave an overview of the market which is a beautiful shopping experience of quality fresh fruit and vegetables, WA meats, a continental delicatessen, a fresh juice bar, and a vast range of ready-to-eat meals for takeaway. The family-owned business has 80% of goods coming from within a 300km radius and 2 onsite industrial kitchens with chefs preparing fresh food daily. Catering is available for local businesses and all packaging is recyclable. The market supports the local community with produce donated to a local women’s refuge.
Western Growers staff offered a wonderful morning tea of scrumptious quiches, sweet delights and sushi, which was very much enjoyed by the group!
Farm owners Steve and Deb welcomed the group to the new premises located in Ludlow. The park has a beautifully laid-out walk, giving guests the opportunity to hand-feed a wide variety of animals with generous buckets of food. Visitors have opportunities to pat, feed and cuddle animals with bottle feeding of lambs twice daily at 10 am and 4 pm and an interactive guinea pig area.
Adrian and Abby arranged to land a helicopter on Tree Chalets’ paddock giving the group a chance to view the helicopter up close. KAS Helicopters has a fleet of 14 helicopters across 4 bases, with the Busselton season commencing soon for a range of exciting bucket list experiences. Visitors can enjoy scenic flights and winery/brewery tours departing from Busselton Airport. Or, with a property owner’s consent, KAS can land/take off anywhere for a unique and bespoke experience.
Fran and Andrew, owner-operators of Tree Chalets, showed the group through their eco-friendly and sustainable 90-acre property with chalets overlooking their Bluegum and Rosegum plantation. Their chalets are luxurious and private, including perks such as an outdoor cast iron bath, massages available by request and the opportunity to wander the walking trails exploring the SW flora and fauna.
Ron and Elizabeth hosted the group for lunch on their welcoming enclosed verandah. The venue overlooks magnificent gardens situated on 30 acres of land and lake. The cafe and farm shop feature delicious dishes and products including their own brand, The Fat Hippo, as well as other delights sourced from the local community and region.
Lunch had a marvellous South African influence and the group enjoyed a selection of shared dishes of farm platters, curries, chicken pies, chicken kebabs and Boerewors.
Just down the road, located in a quiet rural setting, the group’s next stop was Whicher Ridge Wines. Owner and winemaker Cathy guided the group through their property which specialises in making small batch, single vineyard wines utilising sustainable farming practices with a philosophy to tread lightly on the earth. Cathy arranged a snapshot of their ‘Pick and Sip’ experience in the Wine Sensory Garden which is a unique exploration of pairing food with wine. The full experience includes tasting and learning about the Whicher Ridge Wines, guided through 4 varietal wine sections, while smelling and picking herbs along the way.
The next stop was After Hours Winery and Distillery with Warwick guiding the group through a range of The West Winds Gins distilled onsite. The label values this land and proudly sources ingredients directly from growers. Some of their environmentally sustainable produce includes honey, bush tomatoes, Davidson plums, lemons, coriander, sole berries and sea parsley. The West Winds is the most awarded Gin in Australia and the first Gin to use Australian botanicals from Kings Park.
The final stop of the day was Aqua Resort and the team there took the group through a combination of accommodation types which included the Grove and the Bay Beach House.
The resort offers luxurious accommodation with the Bay Beach Houses overlooking the stunning Geographe Bay and the Grove Beach Houses featuring private heated plunge pools and landscaped gardens. Accommodation is fully self-contained and guests can enjoy the fantastic facilities which include a swimming pool, outdoor spa and steam room, tennis court, gymnasium and hire equipment and boat mooring.
The group had the opportunity to mingle on the deck of the Bay Beach House while enjoying a glass of sparkling and produce from their Boxed Indulgence gourmet grazing boxes before heading home for the evening.