Perth, Margaret River, Albany loop

Nov 25th, 2016, 01:17 PM
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Posts: 67
Perth, Margaret River, Albany loop

Finally after months of planning our trip to WA starts soon. Accommodation booked - it will be a leisurely 2 wks starting in Perth and looping down to Dunsborough, MR,Pemberton and Denmark and back to Perth.
Suggestions for: "must dos" "restaurants" "wineries" "hiking trails"
Heath is offline  
Nov 25th, 2016, 03:07 PM
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Lucky you Heath, visiting WA's beautiful southwest!

I've got lots of suggestions for food, wineries and hiking trails, but it'd help to know how much time you have in each place before I launch.
Melnq8 is offline  
Nov 26th, 2016, 04:08 PM
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Climb the Karri Karri trees! See
michelhuebeli is offline  
Nov 26th, 2016, 07:55 PM
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We are 3 nights in Perth, 2 nights in Dunsborough, 4 nights in MR, 3 nights in Pemberton and 3 nights in Denmark. We then drive back to Perth for 1 night before our flight.
Wanted to make this leg of our trip - WA- nice and leisurely so we can enjoy the area and sights. Looking forward to suggestions.
Heath is offline  
Nov 27th, 2016, 07:36 AM
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Perth - Don't miss Kings Park - if you'd like to see koalas, your best bet will be Yanchep Nat'l Park, about a 45 minute drive from Perth. Koalas are not native to WA, so you'll only see them in a handful of places. Pentland Alpaca Farm in Denmark is another spot. Yanchep is also full of kangaroos and has several hiking trails.

If you like wine, you might want to drive out to the Swan Valley for an afternoon - I highly recommend Lamont's for fabulous tapas on their patio - very laid back, no booking necessary. Tell Scotty the yanks who used to come by early on Fridays for a feast and a bottle of that lovely Mt Barker Riesling miss Fiona's fabulous food and his warped sense of humor. You'll need a map, the winery is a bit hard to find.

After lunch, you might want to pop into the tea house across the way for cake and coffee - lovely. I will look up the name.

A walk along the Swan River - there's a paved footpath that makes a loop around and over the Swan River. You can walk a portion or walk the entire loop. The entire loop takes about 90 minutes, longer if you stop for coffee along the way (have a nice flat white). This is a great place to see some of WA's fabulous birdlife too - black swans, ring-necked parrots, rainbow lorikeets, etc.

I highly recommend taking a river cruise from Barrack Street Jetty to Fremantle - a great introduction to Perth. You can then take the train back to Perth or return by boat. Little Creatures is a good option for lunch in Freo. Wine cruises to the Swan Valley also leave from Barrack Street Jetty.

Other options

Perth Zoo -

You can either walk or take public transport to the Barrack Street Jetty, then catch a ferry to Mends Street (directly across the river in South Perth). When you arrive at the Mends Street Jetty, you walk straight up Mends Street and follow the signs to the zoo, which is about a 10 minute walk.

From Barrack Street Jetty(and also from Scarborough Beach up north) you can take a boat to Rottnest Island.

I'm not a fan of Rottnest, but many people are. If you go, be prepared for a rough ride - take sunblock and a hat. The island is very exposed and will be quite toasty in March. Please note that I do not consider Rottnest a must see by any stretch, but I did enjoy seeing the quokkas (which you can also see at the zoo).

Another great winery (not that there is a shortage of them) is Millbrook - it's located in Jarrahdale, a beautiful little town surrounded by Jarrah forests (there are also walking tracks in the area). Millbrook is situated on a gorgeous piece of land known as Chestnut Farm. The winery and restaurant overlook a lake; it’s truly an idyllic setting. Look for kangaroos amongst the vines - you will need to book if you stay for lunch - they get busy.

Do try to visit Cottesloe Beach - accessible via train and a short walk.

Lots more to see and do, but it seems we've already run out of time!

I will be back with some suggestions for down south.
Melnq8 is offline  
Nov 27th, 2016, 07:49 AM
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Dunsborough -

We love this place:

In addition to nice food, the views of the bay are fabulous.

Pick up a loaf of Yallingup Wood Fired Bread right from the source - hard to find, but delicious and well worth the stop. Go late in the day, as that's when they bake. Despite the name, the bakery is actually very close to Dunsborough:
Melnq8 is offline  
Nov 27th, 2016, 07:57 AM
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I've been scrolling through my many detailed trip reports on MR, Pemberton and Denmark - all of which contain a lot of details on hikes, food and wine. There's just so much to see and do.

Instead of writing it all down again, I'll post some of the links and you can take a look, see if anything appeals:
Melnq8 is offline  
Nov 27th, 2016, 11:04 AM
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Great info - thank you!!
Heath is offline  
Dec 5th, 2016, 04:32 AM
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Hi Heath

Melnq8 has some awesome suggestions.

A couple of others I can add are:


Which area of Perth are you staying? I can give you more specific places to eat etc once I know that.

- Fremantle (Freo) is great for something different and little eclectic. The coffee strip is pretty good and there are markets and some great independent stores.
- From Freo you can get a ferry to Rottnest and/or Perth city. As Melnq8 has said Little Creatures is good
- Rotto is a full day (and will likely be hot in March, so perhaps leave that for next time). You can hire bikes and ride around the island and stop for a swim in the many bays.
- If you want to see one of our best beaches, Cottesloe is the way to go. Head down in the afternoon and have an early picnic dinner or grab some fish and chips and watch the sunset - it's magical.
- The Twilight Hawkers Markets will still be running in the Perth City on Friday nights. From here you can pop over to Northbridge (there arts precinct is here)
- The Moonlight movies will still be on in March and if you haven't visited Kings Park during the day, a movie at night under the stars here would be a great alternative.
- Elizabeth Quay. You can catch a ferry from here to the south side of the river (and the Zoo).

Keep an eye out for festivals in March (PIAF is on in early March)

Margaret River/Dunsborough area:
- Temper Temper chocolate factory - they have chocolates from all over the world and so many to taste (and not as busy as the MR chocolate factory)
- Just up the road from Temper Temper is The Berry Farm. They have a good lunch menu, but I can't say I've tried it as I can't get past their scones, jam & cream. They also have a tasting area when you can try all sorts of jams, chutneys, spreads, wine etc
- If you want to splurge on a special lunch - Cullen Wines is just gorgeous (but so is Vasse Felix, Voyager and Studio Bistro).
- I second Bunkers Beach Cafe as a great brekky spot and there are some fabulous beaches here. One great little area is Shelley Cove, you can reach this by same road you go to Bunkers Beach Cafe, but instead of turning off to the cafe you keep driving to the end.
- Best coffee is at Yallingup Coffee House in the Dunsborough town centre.
- If you feel like a massage in the bush - Empire Day Spa is just heaven.
- Some of my favourite wineries are Deep Woods,
- Olio Bello is great for a light lunch and they have lots of different tastings for olive oil and associated products.
- Vasse Virgin (go to the big one on Puzey Road, Wilyabrup) this is a soap factory and also food tastings.

So much to see and do!
rellie2 is offline  
Dec 8th, 2016, 05:51 PM
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Just arrived in Perth after a great week in Port Douglas and Yungaburra. Took an early morning walk thru Kings Park.
Staying in Weat Perth. - restaurant recommendations?
Thanks for the great MR winery and restaurant suggestions- looking forward to the trip.
Heath is offline  
Dec 10th, 2016, 06:48 PM
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Not sure when you're leaving Perth but below are a few suggestions for places close by:

One of my favourites is Opus at The Richardson Hotel - pricey, but oh so worth it. Their steaks rival Rockpool (famous Aussie chef Neil Perry restaurant located at Crown - know for their steak) and are half the price. And their wine is amazing.

A couple of really great places in the CBD (probably a 5-10min drive) are:

- Varnish on King St - a really cool, dark whiskey bar with a great tapas style menu. It can be hand to find, but look for a really small sign above a big wooden door. You then walk down to the basement.

- The Flour Factory - converted warehouse with sharing style food (pork belly is to die for).

- If you like meat and more meat - Old Faithful is great for a laid back, casual "meaty" meal. Servings are very generous. American style food is all the rage at the moment in Perth.

- The Stables - this used to be the old stables in Perth. You can eat downstairs in the bar area or upstairs in the restaurant. Casual, laid back atmosphere and the food is good.
rellie2 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2018, 03:34 PM
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Reading recommendation - Peter Forrestal and Ray Jordan’s just published (Dec 17)

The Way It Was: A History of the Early Days of the Margaret River Wine Industry

a highly entertaining story of the local wine industry - a mix of business and personalities, history and geography - that should appeal to the general reader, WA buffs, and Sandgropers, as well as oenophiles.
farrermog is offline  
Jan 15th, 2018, 05:04 PM
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I'm all of the above! Thanks farrermog.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jan 16th, 2018, 07:34 PM
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Fwiw for the cultured p*sspots, er, oenophiles here (I'm not either, but don't mind a drop), just happened to notice this likely-looking new acquisition across the road (I have the affliction of living opposite a very good public library) -
farrermog is offline  
Jan 16th, 2018, 07:43 PM
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<<cultured p*sspots>>

I've been called worse.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2018, 03:20 AM
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In Pemberton be sure to Salitage Winery. It has sold kinda recently but their wine has been fantastic for years so hopefully not much changes. And yes its worth climbing the Kari tree - but maybe do that before you visit the winery
WineAroundOz is offline  

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