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Bound for Perth in February

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May 14th, 2011, 11:06 AM
  #1
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Bound for Perth in February

Two senior ladies and some friends are taking a cruise from Perth in February. We are traveling from Canada and need some suggestions on two issues:

1. What is a recommended airline or route? We would like to break up the trip if possible but don't know if Honolulu, Hong Kong, Fiji or any other stops are feasible or if it is better to fly straight through. When we did a search there doesn't seem to be any airline that flies direct from North America to Perth. Any suggestions?

2. How much time should we plan for to visit Perth and what are the main "must see" sites? The cruise leaves from Fremantle, which I understand is close. Would it make sense to stay in Freo rather than Perth? Any suggestions for a reasonably priced hotel or apartment hotel that is clean and safe? We will not have a car.

This forum was very helpful when planning a previous trip to Australia and I hope you can help us out once again.
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May 14th, 2011, 11:50 AM
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I will be interested to hear what others have to say. I will be in Perth in September and am flying straight through from Lax - same day or should I say days. I will have a car so am staying in Fremantle because is was quite a bit cheaper and offered car park. There is a tram from Fremantle into Perth central district which takes appx 30 minutes.
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May 15th, 2011, 04:25 PM
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QANTAS flies from LAX or San Francisco with a change in Sydney. It's a LONG flight so if you can break up the flight with a stop over, that would be more pleasant. There are numerous options in that case, through Honolulu, Japan, Hong Kong etc.

Transport from the airport is poor - it's basically taxi or there's a bus which takes you to central Perth or Fremantle.

http://www.perthairport.com/Default.aspx?MenuID=384

Not sure what "reasonably priced" is. Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle is nice and will be convenient for your cruise.

http://www.esplanadehotelfremantle.com.au/

If you hire a car, you'll have more options. It's a train, not tram that connects Perth and Fremantle. Avoid Northbridge - the only place you're likely to feel "unsafe" if on the streets late. Otherwise, I'd hope anyplace would be clean and safe.

There are no "must-sees" in Perth! Kings Park, the beaches - say Cottesloe.
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May 16th, 2011, 03:46 PM
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I live in Perth and I fly to the US twice a year. I find it more tiring to break up the trip than to just fly directly through, although I do spend a night at the Changi Airport Transit Hotel enroute both directions due to flight connections to/from Perth. I'm flying back to Perth tomorrow and dreading it (it's a LONG way).

I find that collecting luggage, exiting the airport, collecting a rental car, checking in and out of a hotel, and then doing it all in reverse is much more tiring than to just keep on going, especially if time is limited.

Air NZ has flights from LAX-Auckland and then on to Perth, but connections aren't particularly good (we had to spend a night in Auckland at on off airport hotel, which was a pain and not the least bit restful).

Joanne - I'm curious which airline you're flying? Do you have an overnight in Auckland by chance?

Freo makes a good base for Perth and is convenient w/o a car thanks to the CAT buses (as is the Perth CBD, but the CBD is pretty dead in the evenings and on the weekends).

Things to see in Perth include Kings Park, the Swan River, the Swan Valley (if you like wine), Cottesloe and the neighboring beaches. Perth gets a bad rap, but there's really quite alot to do there, and it's one of the nicest cities I've ever lived in.

I highly recommend the 90 minute cruise from Perth to Freo along the Swan River - you'll see more of Perth than most people who live there. You can return via train or vice versa.

Caversham Wildlife Park is also a good option, but you'll need a car to get there or some type of transport (such as a tour).

Resonably priced is relative, but be prepared, WA is not cheap by any stretch of my North American imagination.

Do be aware that February is Perth's hottest month and it can be downright miserable.
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May 17th, 2011, 11:45 AM
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It is the flight from hell. We booked on Q SFO- Sydney-Perth but then Q pulled out of SFO and gave us the choice of flying to Texas or using the dreaded LAX. So we are stuck now with SFO-LAX - 5 hour layover - LAX Sydney 3 hour layover Sydney Perth. then to pick up car and drive to Freemantle. After which point I assume I will either fall into bed or run screaming down the streets
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May 18th, 2011, 11:25 AM
  #6
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Thank you for your assistance. At this point we have not booked any flights. We have to decide whether it is worth it to take the cruise line's flight/hotel package or book independently. The cruise line has come up with a remarkably inexpensive flight but we are locked into staying at the hotels they pick at well over $200.00 per person per night and we are also locked in to their arrival and departure dates.

I have learned that hotel rooms are much pricier in Australia than in Toronto.

The suggestion of the cruise from Perth to Fremantle is an excellent one.

Thanks.
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May 18th, 2011, 04:51 PM
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Can you take their flight and do your own hotel booking? I have done that with Princess before in the middle and near east. I booked the hotel and only took them up on the cheaper air fare
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May 18th, 2011, 05:00 PM
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Joanne - Oh ick, LAX. If it's any consolation though, you'll be too wrecked to run screaming down the streets! I'm currently in Changi Airport (Singapore) awaiting my flight to Perth and wondering why I subject myself to this twice a year. Do take care driving to Freo after arrival - KEEP LEFT!

prinret - hotel prices are indeed expensive in Australia, but serviced apartments are a good option and can be had for about $175 and up per night if you shop around. $200 per person per night is pretty steep, even for WA.

Check out www.wotif.com and www.hotels.com.au for deals, but be sure to read the fine print.
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May 18th, 2011, 07:26 PM
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I have already booked a serviced apartment in Potts Point for $175 per night but the catch is that we have to stay in the cruise line's hotels to take advantage of the low air fare. It is about $1000 less expensive than the cheapest air I could find on the Internet. It is a great dilemma for me as we have stayed at the serviced apartment on a previous trip to Sydney and found it suited our needs. So we need to balance the low air with the high hotel prices.

Thank you, everyone, for the information you have provided. It has helped to clarify our thinking somewhat.
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May 18th, 2011, 07:29 PM
  #10
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Joanne, unfortunately we cannot arrange the hotel independently. We must use their hotels if we want the low air. I will have to cancel my reservation at the serviced apartment hotel if we decide to take the cruise line's air.
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May 19th, 2011, 03:10 PM
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To bad about the Hotel you will just have to figure the $$$ out vrs the nights in Perth. One good point I assume they are offering the transfers as part of the deal. I have been told that there is not a lot of choice from the Perth Airport which is about 45 min+ from Freo which iswhy I lined up a rental car and course I will be in the area much longer than you are so it works for me. So having the transfers would be an added value of no hassle.
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Jul 5th, 2011, 01:23 AM
  #12
 
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Am probably a bit late to the game on this post, but we have done both, flying "straight" thru PER-U.S. round trip, as well as breaking it up for a few days in Honolulu. It's a long trip no matter how you cut it. I did enjoy breaking it up, and I think it was just a little bit easier but worth it only because we wanted to spend time in Honolulu. I wouldn't break up the trip to stay somewhere I didn't really want to see. We have had nothing but wonderful service/experience on both Air New Zealand and V Australia.

Lots to do in Perth though it will be really, really hot. Rottnest Island is an awesome day excursion if the temperatures aren't too high (not a lot of shade on the island). All of the beaches are gorgeous. If you have time take an overnight (or even more) south to Margaret River wine region, it's spectacular even if you're not a wine drinker. Personally I would probably stay in the CBD and then you can take the train from there to Fremantle, Subiaco, South Perth, anywhere you want to go. If you're in Fremantle then you only have the one train line that heads back to the city. Just offers more flexibility. Subiaco, Leederville and Victoria Park are all great places to find good dining and evening entertainment options.
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Jul 27th, 2011, 08:39 AM
  #13
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Thanks for the information, Ardie514. Our little group going to Australia has grown to 26 friends. The last time we stayed in Honolulu, and am thinking we may have to "bite the bullet" and fly straight through this time.

Can you tell me what temperatures we can expect in Perth in February? We have had a heatwave here with record temperatures equivalent to 118 F but know to expect very hot weather, especially as we travel up to the north coast.
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Jul 27th, 2011, 04:52 PM
  #14
 
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Expect upper 30's and possibly into the low 40's in Perth (96-105F). February is our hottest month and the last two summers have been pretty miserable. It stayed hot through March this year - we were beginning to think summer would never end. It can also be humid.

We're planning a trip for February 2012 specifically to get away from Perth's summer heat.
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Jul 28th, 2011, 02:14 AM
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Hi,When we went to Perth we took a trip to Rotnest Island it was a good trip,a coach takes you around the island,and you get on and of where ever you want,take a snack and a drink with you,its beutiful.
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Jul 30th, 2011, 11:06 AM
  #16
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Thanks, everyone, for your assistance. I am really looking forward to returning to Australia.
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Aug 17th, 2011, 07:52 PM
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hi priret. Are you going on Silversea?
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Sep 8th, 2011, 10:57 AM
  #18
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We are starting from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The cruise line is Celebrity, a favourite of our travel group which has grown to 26 people.

I reluctantly cancelled my reservations at the serviced apartment hotel in Sydney in favour of the very low airfare and very pricey CBD hotels. It was too good a deal to ignore. All transfers, breakfasts, etc. are included but I still can't believe the hotel prices per person.

Having been to Australia before, I can't wait to return. I really enjoyed my time there.

Thanks, everyone, for all your posts. Your suggestions are great!
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Sep 10th, 2011, 04:30 PM
  #19
 
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The YYZ to PER is reportedly the longest direct route you can take on a commercial aircraft, and having done it 3 times I sure wouldn't want to do a longer one. Doesn't matter how you go, it is just a long, long way. We prefer Qantas through LAX over Air Canada because of their superiour service. Emirates, which flies the opposite direction through Dubai, is also supposed to be good, and Cathay Pacific is also a fine airline. Prices don't seem to be much different now. Singapore tends to be pricier, but the Changi airport is fabulous and if you can get a room in the transit hotel it's a great stopover. Prices vary a lot but at the moment all seem to be close on Expedia and probably the best you are going to get.
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Sep 10th, 2011, 04:37 PM
  #20
 
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Yes, hotels in Perth are pricey, but the tax is included in the price and service staff are much better paid than in North America so tipping isn't the norm. I just booked one night in Comfort Hotel for January: $145 through booking.com. We stayed at the Marque last year and it was fine but prices have gone up some. Trip Advisor has lots of reviews.
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