What’s better during a long weekend than to go on a little adventure ! In April this year, we landed in Perth, rented a car and drove along the West coast for 4 days… Perth, Fremantle, Rottnest island, Margaret River and Hamelin Bay, all great experiences that will be detailed in this article.
Day 1 – Perth and Fremantle
Perth is 5-hours away from Singapore and can be reached directly with Low-cost airlines such as JetStar and Scoot. We flew on a Friday morning at 3:30AM to arrive at 8:40AM in Perth. Arrived, we went to the Europcar counter to pick-up the car that we rented out online and we also bought a local SIM card to have some 3G along our way.
We drove from the airport to South-Fremantle where we had rented an AirBnb for our first night. The place we stayed in, The mini hub Fremantle, is very well situated in south terrace, few meters from the peer and near cafes and trendy shops and offers private parking spot. After settling-in, we had brunch at Ootong & Lincoln, a hip spot 10-meters away from our Air Bnb, were food and coffee were delicious. We then walked along the street and found a great hairdresser and decided to try it out – so random!
All freshen-up, we drove to Perth to spend the afternoon sightseeing. We walked along the main pedestrians streets of Perth CBD to do some window shopping/people watching. As we reached the Tourism board, we booked our tickets for our day-trip in Rottnest island for the following day. We finally reached Elizabeth Quay over the Swan river, which is a great place to walk around and admire the city skyline. Mid-way, we stopped for an afternoon treat at Isle of Voyage, a coffee place in the middle of the river. We pursued our walk by crossing the Elizabeth quay bridge during sunset (at approx. 6-6:30PM). Back to central CBD, we were pleasantly surprised by the food festival that was happening. We stopped over to enjoy good food, good music and good people!
We drove back to Fremantle and stopped for a final drink at Creatures next door, a cosy bar in a stunning setting – definitely worth a visit.
Day 2 – Rottnest island
Rottnest island can be reached easily both from Perth or Fremantle, with a short ferry ride of about 40-min. It’s about $AUD79 for one person and you can also add the rental of a bike and snorkelling kit for extra $. We took the option of directly having a bike and snorkelling kit. We wanted to enjoy to cycle around the island as soon as we arrived. Before to board the ferry (from Fremantle), we grabbed a breakfast to go near the peer.
Rottnest island is wonderful – clear water, pure landscape, a feeling of happiness and freedom… We cycled around the island most of the day, stopping at key points along the way: Henrietta rocks, Little Salmon Bay, Salmon Bay, Wadjemup lighthouse, Bickley Swamp. Every place we stopped by was spectacular. Swimming, laying at the beach, enjoying the view, taking pictures, cycling more or less fast… This is what we got to do during our day! We also enjoyed to discover the Quokkas, little furry animals only present in Rottnest island! Our day was very enjoyable and we would recommend to visit Rottnest to anyone going to Perth.
We took a ferry at the end of the afternoon to go back to Fremantle. We then drove our way to Margaret river (3 hours) in order to enjoy a full day there the following day.
Day 3 – Margaret river and Hamelin Bay
We booked our stay at The beach Charm villa AirBnb from Robby, a lovely Australian lady. I was in touch with her through email before our arrival and she was really helpful. She even arranged for us to be able to get some diner as we were arriving late in the evening on our second day in Australia. She even prepared a platter of cheese and crackers as well as some wine for our arrival! The AirBnb was Super well located in Gnarabup, in the middle of Margaret River and by the Ocean. We definitely recommend to stay there if you get the chance.
For our lunch in the Margaret River region, we decided to go in the vineyards. We chose the Leeuwin Estate, couple minutes away from our AirBnB and listed as one of the top vineyards in the area. The food was delicious and well paired with the wines. After our lunch we headed to the vineyards to enjoy a little walk and we spotted some kangourous!
We decided to drive to Hamelin Bay, which is famous for its friendly sting rays. Indeed, you can go for a swim amongst them, as they gather there in groups up to 10. They usually come near the boat ramp and Old Jetty, and you can spot them while you have your feet in the water! The view at Hamelin Bay is amazing and very natural. You will enjoy to walk along the coastline and to breathe fresh air.
Day 4 – Margaret river and Fremantle
For our last morning in Margaret river, we went to have breakfast at the White Elephant cafe (in Gnarabup). This cafe seats on the coast line on a little beach and offers you a great spectacle while you enjoy your food. You can spot surfers as well as people doing stand-up paddle on impressive waves. Once again, we enjoyed a little walk on the coast after our breakfast, as there are several paths to take next to the cafe.
In the afternoon we drove back to Fremantle and visited the prison, which is an UNESCO world heritage-listed building. The tour lasts 1h30 and costs $21 per adult. I have to say that it is a bit freaky but also insightful to see the reality of this prison which only closed in 1991. If you are in Fremantle during the weekend, then I’d advise to skip the prison. Instead go for a walk into the Fremantle markets (near the prison)! These markets exist since 1897 and are widely appreciated by tourists and locals.
If you have any question about our trip, feel free to ask them in the comments and I’ll reply to them the best I can !
And if you want to have a better idea of what our trip looked liked, here is the after movie:
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