Australia 2014: Harvey - Dairy Days

Welcome to Harvey!

The town of Harvey was our stopover for the road trip to the south of Perth city. But Harvey is not just a transit destination, it is also renowned for its delicious beef and dairy products as well as its fresh oranges. Harvey Tourism has this write-up about the town:

The thriving south west town of Harvey, which is situated on the Harvey River, enjoys a unique Italian heritage. This cosmopolitan influence has resulted in a vibrant community with a relaxed and friendly lifestyle. In 1829, Captain James Stirling (later to become the first Governor of Western Australia) selected a quota of fertile land and called it the Harvey River Settlement, later named Harvey. Harvey is nestled on fertile, irrigated plains beneath the rolling foothills of the Darling Range and is approximately 20km from the coast.
Nearby natural features include tranquil Jarrah forest surrounding 3 picturesque dams, The Harvey Dam & AmphitheatreLogue Brook Dam - Lake Brockman and Stirling Dam. The Bibbulmun Track and the evergreen pastures Harvey is famous for! Today the Harvey Shire is an outstanding region. It possesses a wide diversity of industries, many recognised worldwide. Harvey is also home to the biggest living Jarrah tree in the region.
We have some of the best beef production, citrus growing, dairy farming and viticulture in Australia. Most employment in the area is generated by agriculture, bauxite mining (Alcoa Wagerup & Willowdale Mine Tours), tourism and the industrial parkland, Kemerton, with its production-based industries and timber milling in Yarloop now compliment the shire. We invite you to explore Harvey and indulge in some of the local produce, to delight all tastes!
Look who couldn't resist a photo with the moo moos!
We stopped at the visitor centre but didn't realise it was located at the same place as Stirling Cottage, the home of the first Governor of Western Australia, Captain James Stirling.
The boys enjoying themselves in the cottage garden.
Catch me if you can!
A most delicious brunch to start the day!
Harvey is home to some of the freshest oranges in the country. In fact, the juice company Harvey Fresh is based in the town.

Imagine living in a town famous for its orange juice!
We didn't know that there was so much history in the growing of oranges!
Our older one almost couldn't wait to eat the oranges. 
The famous Harvey Orange.

Say Cheese!

We made what was supposed to be a quick stop at Harvey Cheese, the town's top dairy producer. What we didn't expect was that our stay there lasted very much longer. And by the time we left we had purchased many blocks of the delicious cheese - creamy to the taste, and light on the palate!
Cheese tasting. Both our kids enjoyed feasting on the numerous varieties offered. 
Taking a sneak peek at the making of cheese. Feast your eyes on the large blocks of cheese!
How could we resist such delicious cheese?!
The older one enjoying his cheese with Daddy.
While the younger one believes in savouring the aromas of the cheese
before eating it.

The Best Meats in the Country!

Following the recommendation of a good friend from Singapore, we walked into Kev's Country Meats, a delightful shop based in the main town of Harvey. We were told that the 15-year-old shop, run by a father-daughter team, served the best meat in Australia. And we were keen to test out the suggestion!
Open since 1999, Kev's Country Meats is run by a father Kev and his daughter Candice. Their sausages
and other meats have apparently won numerous awards at the Perth Royal Show and other exhibitions.
What should we get? Two cooks sharing suggestions and planning the meals for the days ahead.
Most delicious fresh meats at extremely affordable prices!
Running the family business.

Harvey Dam

Our accommodation, the Harvey Hills Farm Stay, was just a stone's throw away from the famous Harvey Dam. Harvey Tourism describes the historical significance of this huge project:

The original Harvey Weir was part of the first irrigation scheme in WA, and only the sixth public dam developed in the state. In the beginning The Public Works Department began construction in 1914 and completed the Weir in 1916. About 100 men were employed using horse and dray for all the excavation works. The Weir had a 12 metre high concrete wall and held 512 million gallons of water. In 1931,work began to raise the wall from its original 12 metres to 18 metres, increasing the storage capacity to 2,275 million gallons. In the 1990's with water supplies under increasing pressure to meet the demands of population and economic growth, a new dam with six times the capacity of the Harvey Weir was planned.

The new Harvey Dam became part of the $275 million Stirling-Harvey Redevelopment Scheme. This scheme took advantage of a large, high quality source of water in an area of historically relatively high and reliable rainfall. It delivered a new irrigation dam to the people of Harvey, allowing the Stirling Dam to deliver a 10 per cent boost to the State's water supplies. Did you know....? Facts about the Dam Capacity - 56 gigalitres. Surface area at full storage - 553 hectares. Catchment area - 126 square kilometres. Height of Wall - 45 metres. Maximum discharge - 2100 cubic metres per second. Full supply level - 78 metres above sea level. Outstanding features include walkways, landscaped recreational areas, free electric BBQs, playground facilities, shady gazebo's, picnic tables and toilets. 

The drive to the dam.
"I want to drive just like Daddy!"
Luscious greenery surround the peaceful waters.
A visit to the dam makes for a peaceful walk.
At the foot of the dam.
Perhaps the youngest performers at the Harvey Amphitheatre!

A Walk in the Hills

With its luscious greenery and rolling hills, Harvey is the perfect place to simply sit back and enjoy. We took the afternoon to walk around our accommodation, which is set in lovely settings.
View from the backyard of our chalet apartment.
With a gorgeous hill view, we were able to enjoy the Harvey Dam right from our apartment. 
Watching the world go by...
The cute and adorable pet lambs. Don't you just want to hug them?
With my in-laws taking care of the kids, it was time to steal some moments together.... Here's our attempt at a selfie.
Without a care in the world.
Ever as sweet - just as pretty as the first time we met...
Testing the artistic mode of our camera. This scene captures the essence
of the moment.
The love of my life!

The Great Aussie BBQ

One favourite past-time among Australian families is to take their marinated meats and cook them over the fire. These days it's so much easier with the gas BBQ; and the food tastes just as good as when cooked over a charcoal fire. Most apartments (and even public places like parks) are equipped with a BBQ pit, and all it takes is to bring your food there, cook the meats, and enjoy your meal with your loved ones.
I must admit I was rather apprehensive at first at how to use the BBQ pit.
But once we started it was truly a breeze! 
Cooking the pre-marinated meats from Kev's Country Meats. 
These sausages won awards at the Perth Royal Show. We know why!
We were glad to have chosen Harvey as our transit destination en route southwards. With two kids, travelling is always easier for them if you have a shorter driving distance between attractions coupled with fewer transit points. Looking back, Harvey fit the bill in both accounts.

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