4 days in Western Australia

Jan 20th, 2008, 11:09 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2008
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4 days in Western Australia

Hope someone out there has some great ideas or feedback on a trip I plan on taking in November ( middle of the month) to Western Australia. I have been to Australia several times but never to the Western coast. What would one recommend to see and do in 5 days? I will be coming from Alice Springs and don't know if i should fly to Broome, then fly down to Perth? Is Broome worth visiting for a day or two or should I concentrate my stay around the Perth Area? I have read about Margaret River,Fremantle and Monkey Mia. Any suggestions about these places? Thanks!
maico2602 is offline  
Jan 20th, 2008, 03:07 PM
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Hi maico2602 -

I'm a big fan of WA and have made three trips there during the past few years.

WA is a vast state and 4-5 days won't give you much time to see it, especially considering the travel distances involved. I suggest you select one area (such as Perth/Fremantle or the Margaret River area) and spend all of your time in and around the vicinity.

From Perth you can easily get to Fremantle, the Swan Valley, Rottnest Island, etc.

It's about a three hour drive from Perth to Margaret River. There are loads of things to see and do in the MR area - incredible food and wine, some nice walks, coastal scenery, etc. You can also easily access spots like Augusta and Busseton from MR.

I haven't been to Broome or much north of Perth, so can't help there.

If you don't mind wading through some detailed trip reports, I have three from my trips to WA posted here on Fodors:




Also have some WA photos posted here:


Please post again as more questions arise.

Melnq8 is online now  
Jan 20th, 2008, 05:05 PM
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Well they've all got something to recommend them, although Monkey Mia itself imho is a tourist trap. The surrounding area, Shark Bay, though, is wonderful. Margaret River did nothing for me - I don't surf and find one winery quite enough. Fremantle has a good vibe and you can take an easy day trip to Rottnest Island which is a highlight of the SW corner - or was for me!

Broome? Probably not. It's interesting in a low key sort of way but I guess the main attraction is the beach, and Nov is start of the stinger season when it's advisable to wear a 'stinger suit' to avoid serious jellyfish stings. So I guess it depends on how you feel about that.

In fact it all depends on what your interests are. So just some thoughts and hope they help.


EverythiSo dependsed
afterall is offline  
Jan 20th, 2008, 07:07 PM
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If you only have four days, I'd concentrate on the south part of the state, around Perth. Monkey Mia is way out of your way and would take ages to get there (plus you can see dolphins easier in Bunbury). Broome has a beautiful beach and an interesting town but not my choice of destination in November.
Bunbury and Busselton are nice towns and within an easy drive of Perth. Lots of great wineries around Margaret River. Fremantle is an interesting place to visit - take the boat down the river one way and come back by train or boat. New Norcia is definitely an interesting place to visit. Plus Kings Park in Perth is a must, for the views if nothing else.
marg is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 04:34 AM
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Hi all -
Thanks for your great feedback.

Based on what you have written and what I have since been reading, I definitely should concentrate my stay around the Perth area; too much to see and do. I didn't realize that Margaret River was a 3 hour drive!

Afterall: My interests are to visit the wineries, do some hiking and leisurely visit the surrounding towns. No agenda really...

Thanks for the links and photos Melnq8!

maico2602 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2008, 09:41 PM
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maico2602...I am in Perth at the moment, after having just come back from the Margaret River region.
There was a good size wave running at Prevally Beach (Margaret River's beach), and we stayed in a beautiful large house in the bush, near Redgate Beach, not far from Prevally Beach. There is a coastal walk from one point to another, with loads of bays/beaches to swim in. There are cafes/restaurants in Margaret River township, which is a little bit touristy, but okay. Augusta has nice beaches, and good for windsurfing. Some of the best Semillion/Sauvignon Blancs in Australia come from the Margaret River region...we enjoyed Voyager Estate one last night. Yes, it takes a little bit over 3 hrs drive from Perth, as there varying speed limits in between, especially around Mandurah (the new highway bypass is not yet finished)
Well, I better go, and have a swim on City Beach, then a wine with our venison dinner tonight, Chow.
tropo is offline  
Jan 24th, 2008, 07:15 AM
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Hey Tropo -
Thanks for the e-mail. Sounds like you're having loads of fun out there. What you are doing is exactly my intent while in the Perth area. Good wine, food and beach! I'll keep your e-mail handy for future reference.

maico2602 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2008, 11:20 PM
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maico2602 - back again. Just back from the City Beach, the waves a bit dumpy, but the water is great. Very hot here at the moment, some days 39 degrees, others around 32 degrees, but the Freemantle Doctor (cooling breeze in the afternoon) usually cools it down.
In & around Perth you have as follows:-
* Perth City
* Freemantle (cafes/seafood/Little Creatures Brewery/Maritime Museum/lots of wreck items from the Batavia shipwreck off Geraldton.
* Most of Perth's beaches stretch from north of Rockingham Bay to Yanchep. I find most of the beaches close to the city are okay, without travelling too far. Some of them have restaurants or cafes overlooking the ocean.
As for Margaret River regionbr /> * You need to rent a car, then spend 3 hrs travelling down, firstly you will come to Bunbury, then Busselton, then go onto Dunsborough, and up to Eagle Bay, a beautiful bay, blue water etc.
Then come south to Yalingup, and Caves House Hotel. There are other beaches along the way, but I prefer Prevally Beach near Margaret River, and also Redgate Beach.
* South of the above you will come right down to Augusta.
In November you may get to see the WA Christmas Tree in this region, covered in bright yellow flowers.
IF YOU ADDITIONAL TIME IN WA, then I would recommend driving east of Augusta, over to Pemberton, and my favourite spot...Denmark region. Then you could go onto Albany, and return to Perth via the Inland Highway.
Well, off I'm off with relatives tonight to a Jazz Concert, held in a Quarry, apparently you take your own chairs, food and wine.
P.S. before I forget - on certain nights in the grounds (called Summerfield) of the University of WA, they have an open air theatre showing various foreign films, and again you take a rug, food & wine to enjoy before the film starts. Tickets $10 each, and they provide seats, a lot of fun.
tropo is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 11:34 AM
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Great info Tropo. I am definitely archiving this e-mail.

Thanks again!
maico2602 is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2008, 12:48 AM
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As per most of the posters, you are pressed for time so skip the Margaret river area (good as it is) and head for the Swan Valley for your fix of wineries, breweries, cheese and chocolate (the Margaret river Chocolate factory has a big outlet in the Swan Valley). Places are all closer together and the valley is just 20-30 minutes from Perth. If you like golf, check out the world class Vines resort. River trips on the Swan are good and definitely visit Fremantle (Freo). There is a good train service from Perth to Freo. Broome is OK for a weekend but as others have said, not in November. Rottnest (Rotto) is worth a day trip, ferries from Freo take under an hour. Rotto has no cars but has a bus service and you can hire a bike to get around. PS I live in Perth.
Chop is offline  
Feb 4th, 2008, 03:24 PM
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Maico2602 - well back home from WA, and enjoying the rain, after a hot/dry time in WA.
A great way of getting an overview of WA, would be to hire a car to drive one of the following routesbr />
Route A - Drive to Kalgoorlie (one day), then days drive to Esperence.
then one day to Albany, then one day to Margaret River, and a day driving back to Perth. Of course, if you had more time, I would add an extra day at the some of the above destinations.

Route B - Drive to Albany first day, with sightseeing around Albany in the afternoon. Then drive to Denmark (good wineries nearby, also have a swim at Greens Pool near the ocean), then drive to Margaret River, and stay overnight (suggest Yallingup), then one day back to Perth.....then on your 5th day do some sightseeing in Perth, perhaps a little bit in the city, or take the launch out to Rottnest Island, hire a bike. If you decide on Rottnest Island, you could always take the train (cheap/fast & airconditioned) from Perth down to Freemantle, get the launch from Freemantle (it starts in Perth, then stops at Freemantle before headding out to Rottnest Island), and depending on what time you get back to freemantle, you may have time to look around Freemantle, old gaol, interesting pubs, restaurants, cafes, old churches, and lovingly restored buildings in & around Freemantle. If you like beer, visit Little Creatures Brewery, down near the marina, gets crowded, but their beers are quite good.
tropo is offline  
Feb 5th, 2008, 01:33 AM
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OMG Tropo, what are you suggesting ? BTW, it's Fremantle.
Maico, I strongly suggest you disregard the last post as the drive suggested is quite ridiculous in 5 days. Perth to Kalgoorlie is 600km in the desert. Kal to Esperance is 400km through nothing country. Don't drive after dusk unless you want to share the front seat with a 180cm Roo. What's next, oh yes, 480km to Albany then 400km to MR and finally 300km back to Perth. Suggestion 2 is almost as crazy. Stick to the many attractions around Perth, the foothills, Fremantle, Swan Valley and Rottnest. No West Australian in their right mind would drive to Albany and back in a day let alone Kal or Esperance. Check out
Chop is offline  
Feb 15th, 2008, 02:46 AM
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We have done the Albany trip many times and its a good 5-6 hour drive depending on stops, we usually only stop once for a meal break. By the time we get there the last thing you want to do is more driving, plus fatigue and driving on those vast country roads is a recipe for disaster. Stick to Perth and surrounds for that length of time. There is plenty to see locally in that time. Sue
onempty is offline  
Feb 18th, 2008, 10:50 AM
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Maico2602 - In regard to the suggested 5 day trip via Kalgoorlie, etc, well I did exactly the same, except I had an extra day at Kalgoorlie & Esperence. Yes its a long drive to Kalgoorlie, but cars do have air conditioning, and driving at 100 kph, the distance is quite dooable. Driving in the desert is beautiful, possibly boring to others, but we thought it was beautiful, and the drive from Kal down to esperence is not a long drive.
Most overseas tourists tend to do the Perth to Albany (1 day easy drive), then Albany to Margaret River, and Margaret River back to Perth. Would suggest if you have the time to spend a least one extra night at each location, or you could allow yourself 5 days for the trip, freelance without any motel bookings, and stay where it appeals to you (the best way to travel IMHO)
as November is a quiet time in WA.
tropo is offline  

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