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Dates: 19th – 26th March 2017

Average Maximum Temperature: 25.8c

Average Minimum Temperature: 12.8c

Generally in Autumn the days are sunny and warm with evenings cool to cold.

 

FLIGHTS:

We flew to Perth via Dubai from London Gatwick with Emirates. Overall the service was very good and on the flight from Gatwick to Dubai (A380) we were lucky to have the exit row seats which allowed a little more room to stretch out. However, on the Dubai to Perth (777) flight we were in normal seats but as the flight was not that busy we managed to grab a couple of seats each, which added some comfort on AN 11-hour flight.

 

Perth is the only capital city in Australia where you can choose to either explore a world-class wine region, picnic in one of Australia’s oldest conservation areas or watch the sun set over the ocean, all within 30-minutes from the city.

And with more hours of sunshine than any other capital city in Australia, which ever activity you choose, chances are that there will be a blue sky overhead. It’s no wonder Perth has been voted as one of the world’s most liveable cities.

The beach plays an integral role in Perth’s culture and with 19 in the metropolitan area to choose from, it’s easy to soak up the sun and relax. Why not try your hand at surfing at Scarborough beach….?

If you need some nightlife you’ll find Perth has a lively and original music and arts scene. Northbridge, Leederville, Subiaco, Mr Lawley & Fremantle are full of bars, restaurants and clubs.

 

PAN PACIFIC HOTEL

www.panpacific.com/perth

We arrived a little bleary eyed around 2.30am and of course we could access our rooms immediately and tried to grab a few hours’ sleep. The hotel was located central to the city and just a short walk down to the park and the waterfront. Overall, this hotel did not have much atmosphere and did have a corporate feel to it but nothing wrong with our stay there.

 

TWO FEET & A HEARTBEAT WALKING TOUR

www.twofeet.com.au

On our first morning, we were met from our hotel to take a walking tour of the city of Perth. This company is a company who operates premium experiences and covers cultural, history, arts, food, lifestyle and this is a great way to see Perth.

Point to note: Elizabeth Quay is undergoing some major refurbishment but once completed there will be more hotels located down on the quay along with many bars, restaurants and boat services to various other parts of Perth.

ROTTNEST EXPRESS

ROTTNEST EXPRESS

www.rottnestisland.com

We were collected and taken to Fremantle to the ferry port where we caught the Rottnest Express service to Rottnest island. This service operates daily year-round services from Perth & Fremantle. You can choose fully-escorted and self-guided tours and hotel pick up’s can be arranged.

Rottnest Island is Western Australia’s very own island getaway, featuring a casual atmosphere, picturesque scenery and some of the world’s finest beaches and bays, is just 19km off the coast of Fremantle. With no cars on the island, transport by bike only adds to the more relaxed pace and you can use the many cycle paths. You can also snorkel, surfboard, fish, dive and swim here. You also won’t feel that a trip here is complete without getting a selfie with a ‘quokka’, who is native to the island and friendly!

 

ROCKINGHAM WILD ENCOUNTERS

ROCKINGHAM WILD ENCOUNTERS

www.rockinghamwildencounters.com.au

Around 40km from Perth is the city of Rockingham and this is where the coast comes to life. You can go snorkelling, sailing or surfing at the beautiful beaches as well as crabbing or fishing. We were going to Rockingham to experience our day trip to swim with wild dolphins. With over 23 years of friendship and trust built up with local bottlenose dolphins, Rockingham Wild Encounters offers you the chance to swim with these fascinating creatures. Our tour started around 08.00am and included wet suit, mask, snorkel, snorkelling lessons, light lunch, refreshments and self-service tea, coffee, water & hot chocolate.

We were sailing around the area for around 1.5-hours before we were able to find a group of bottlenose dolphins that we could get into the water in groups to get up close to the dolphins. Please bear in mind the water is cold but you soon get used to it, just make sure you have a towel, warm clothes to change in to.

 

MARGARET RIVER REGION

This region starts from Augusta in the South and continues North as far as Bunker Bay, Dunsborough & Busselton with Margaret River in the middle. This region is well known for its wine but also spectacular for its food, produce & natural beauty in its towering forests, rugged coastlines, caves, sandy beaches & lush green pastures. I found this area very similar to the South Africa Garden Route region as that is also well known for its wine, rugged coastlines, fabulous food etc…..

 

PULLMAN BUNKER BAY RESORT & SPA

PULLMAN BUNKER BAY RESORT & SPA

www.pullmanbunkerbayresort.com.au

We stayed here for 2-nights and what an amazing place this is! This resort is nestled on the stunning, secluded beach of Bunker Bay in the Margaret River wine region. We stayed in a Studio Villa but they do offer 2 & 3 bedroom villas for larger parties but you have a small kitchen area; fridge, kettle, microwave, dishwasher etc. The resort itself has an award-winning restaurant that you have to experience and there is also a spa to indulge yourself. The beach really is secluded with its white sandy beach perfect for a stroll, run, spot of fishing etc and you can be on the beach with nobody else around. You could just spend 3/4 nights here in a relaxing, stunning location with no need to leave or use this as a base to enjoy the local area.

 

KOOMAL DREAMING / NGILGI CAVES

KOOMAL DREAMING NGILGI CAVES

www.koomaldreaming.com.au

From Bunker Bay we drove around 20-minutes to Yallingup where we joined a cultural tour to increase understanding of the Aboriginal people and their culture. You’ll taste bush tucker, learn bush medicine, meet animals & plants around this area. You will go into the caves and share a magical didgeridoo performance amplified by the acoustics in the cave as well as listening to storytelling and traditional fire making in this 2.5 hour tour.

 

BUSSELTON JETTY & UNDERWATER OBSERVATORY

BUSSELTON JETTY & UNDERWATER OBSERVATORY

www.busseltonjetty.com.au

Around half an hour’s drive from the caves will take you to Bussleton that has 30km of white sandy beaches and is an aquatic playground. The tranquil waters are perfect for fishing, water skiing, snorkelling, scuba diving, windsurfing & sailing. Busselton is most famous of the jetty & underwater observatory, which extends around 2km out over the protected waters of Geographe Bay, the heritage listed jetty is the longest timber jetty in the Southern Hemisphere!

You can walk along the jetty or there is a small train that operates up & down the jetty especially handy for tired legs.

Described as Australia’s greatest artificial reef the jetty is host to an aew inspiring ‘forest’ of vividly-coloured tropical & sub-tropical marine life. As you make your way down the observatory you can see different aspects of marine life – great for children.

 

BUSHTUCKER TOUR

www.bushtuckertours.com

From Bunker Bay we were collected by this tour company to experience a day within this wine region including wineries, a brewery and many other delights. We visited a few wineries with many samples to taste, which was lovely but 10am in the morning is a little early for me!

The tour guide created a bush tucker lunch and gave us a real insight to the local area, historical tales as well as wine!

 

 

DARBY PARK SERVICED RESIDENCES MARGARET RIVER

www.margaretriver.darbypark.com.au

We stayed here for 1-night and they offer some great apartment accommodation in the centre of town, so lots of shops, bars & restaurants just a short walk away. Each studio has a private balcony with views of the outdoor pool or the beautiful State forest.

We enjoyed a lovely tapas meal in Margaret River (www.morries.com.au) and also enjoyed a lovely breakfast in the town too (www.thenoshery.com.au)

 

CAPE LEEUWIN LIGHTHOUSE

https://www.margaretriver.com/attractions/lighthouses/

Situated at the most south-westerly point of Australia, Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse on mainland Australia. It is also the point where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean and you can also see whales between May – September. You can go on a tour where you will learn about maritime history, how it was constructed and how it is still a vital working lighthouse for vessels.

 

PEMBERTON REGION

Located in the South West of the state around 3.5-hour drive from Perth, Pemberton is a picturesque timber town. The main attraction is the town’s tall Karri trees that are extraordinary. This area has a fantastic reputation for wines, gourmet produce and many wineries that allow you to visit (more tasting)!

 

VALLEY OF THE GIANTS & THE TREETOP WALK

VALLEY OF THE GIANTS & THE TREETOP WALK

http://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/site/tree-top-walk

This is an internationally recognised nature-based tourism attraction, located between Denmark & Walpole in the National Park. Featuring a stunning walkway positioned 40m above the ground amid the spectacular heights of the forest canopy. The 600-metre walk is fully accessible and it is suitable for children of all ages, wheelchairs & strollers.

 

WILLIAM BAY NATIONAL PARK

WILLIAM BAY NATIONAL PARK

Famous for its windswept rocky shores and sheltered pools, William Bay National Park protects the coastline and forest between Walpole & Denmark on the south coast. Green’s Pool near Denmark is well known for its turquoise water and white sandy beaches edged by granite boulders which create ideal swimming, snorkelling & diving conditions.

 

ALBANY

Situated on the southern coast of Western Australia, Albany is 409km south of Perth, around 5-hour drive. Bounded by the Southern Ocean, the picturesque Stirling Range and the Great Southern Hinterland prepare to be blown away by Albany’s rugged granite coastline, green seas, snow white beaches and a wild beauty. One of Albany’s most stunning seascapes, Middleton Beach is popular for its safe swimming, windsurfing & picnicking. We enjoyed a lovely breakfast at the Three Anchors (http://threeanchors.com.au)

 

THE GAP & NATURAL BRIDGE

THE GAP & NATURAL BRIDGE

The massive power of the Southern Ocean has created the spectacular rock formations of The Gap and Natural Bridge near Albany. See the waves rush in and out with great ferocity and watch the waves surge along the sheer cliff drop.

 

THE NATIONAL ANZAC CENTRE (ALBANY)

THE NATIONAL ANZAC CENTRE

http://www.nationalanzaccentre.com.au/

The National Anzac Centre is Australia’s foremost museum dedicated solely to honouring the Anzacs of the First World War. Set within Albany Heritage Park the centre offers visitors a deeply personal connection with the Anzacs revealed through interactive multimedia displays, unique artefacts, rare images, film & audio commentary. The Centre allows visitors to assume the identity of one of 32 Anzac related characters, follow their personal experience of the Great War: from recruitment, training, embarkation, ship-board life, conflicts and post war……for those who returned.

 

ALBANY WHALE TOURS

www.albanywhaletours.com.au

One evening we all went on a twilight cruise that departed from Albany and was for around 2-hours. The catamaran boat is low on the water and at certain times of the year (June- October) you can see whales from your boat (we didn’t). During the whale-season you can see blue whales, humpbacks & Southern Right whales.

 

STIRLING RANGE NATIONAL PARK

https://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/park/stirling-range

The brooding beauty of the mountain landscape, its stunning and unique wildflowers and the challenge of climbing Bluff Knoll have long drawn bushwalkers and climbers to this National Park. At 1,095 metres above sea level, Bluff Knoll is the highest peak in the south-west of Western Australia. It takes 3-4 hours to complete the 6km return climb.

 

FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON (PERTH)

www.starwoodhotels.com/fourpoints

From The National Park it took us around 4.5 hours to drive back to Perth where we had a freshen up & dinner at this hotel before heading to the airport. Although we didn’t stay here most of us felt that it had a ‘warmer’ feel to it than the Pan Pacific as well as being in a more social area of Perth, close to bars, restaurants etc