Ben strolling with his own llama.
A b&b along the way.
Cute little bugger.
Just outside Perth is a place where you can enjoy great food, drink fine wine and take a nice long trek with a llama.
This is a holiday with a difference. Just outside Perth is a place where you can enjoy great food, drink fine wine and take a llama trek from a guesthouse at one end of a valley to a guesthouse at the other end.
Llamas are South American and make excellent pack animals, as altitude doesn't bother them. They love to eat hay and grass, although the owner of South Glen Llamas Wendy Fandry supplements their diet with grain and minerals.
Wendy says her 30 llamas each have different natures and personalities. She has named them all after cocktails there's Gin Sling, Egg Nog, Hot Toddy… The animals are typically aloof but curious. They can be lazy or restless, but are placid and very good trekkers.
The first b&b is Rosebridge House in the Perth Hills, an area popular for its wineries, orchards, restaurants and bushwalks. Rosebridge is close to the start of the bushwalking track called Bibbulmun, which covers 963km from Kalamunda to Albany.
Peter and Rosemary Bridgement have lived in the weatherboard-and-iron cottage for 25 years. Four years ago they built a guest wing which blends with the original cottage. It has four rooms, each with an ensuite, fridge and television, and is separated from the main house by an office. Rosebridge has been rated 4½ stars.
After breakfast, guests meet Wendy and her llamas. A minimum of four couples go on a trip; usually three llamas accompany each group and carry the food. You walk through national parkland and the Helena Valley towards Southglen Estate, through beautiful countryside with heavily-timbered areas, lots of wildflowers and granite outcrops. The valley runs through the Darling Scarp mountain range.
Morning tea is a welcome break, then after another hour of walking it's time to stop for lunch beside a beautiful creek. Wendy likes this to be a delicious, lingering experience, so it lasts around 1½ hours. Another hour's walk takes you to the Southglen Estate. While most people are still feeling the effects of lunch and choose not to have dinner, food is available there.
Southglen is a cottage with shared bathroom and accommodates three couples. Other accommodation on the property is a hacienda for two to four people and a honeymoon suite.
Glen Forest, 40 minutes east of Perth.
Llama Leisure is on the Southglen Estate. Bed and breakfast starts at $435 per double for two nights, including accommodation and a llama trek. They operate from September to November and April to June.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.
Southglen Estate: Ph: (08) 9298 8617www.iinet.net.au/~lamastay/
Rosebridge House: Ph: (08) 9293 1741www.perthguide.com.au/rosebridge