Southwest WA Itinerary Sept 2014

Old May 18th, 2014, 07:13 AM
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Southwest WA Itinerary Sept 2014

Been planning our upcoming trip to SW WA in September...getting excited! Here's what it's looking like:

Perth 2 nights
Margaret River 3 nights (day tour booked - "Margie's Big Day Out")
Pemberton 2 nights
Albany 3 nights
Perth 1 night

We'll be traveling with another couple, renting a large, non-4WD to get around.

Comments, suggestions on things to see and do welcome - interests include walking, nature, birdwatching, scenery, history, good food, good drink and meeting the locals. We are all coming from the USA and have been to Australia before.

(Hope you'll chime in Mel)

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Old May 18th, 2014, 04:25 PM
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Looks like a great itinerary Ralph.


Kings Park (especially as you'll be here in Sept when Kings Park puts on quite a show with its wildflowers)

I highly recommend a Capt Cook cruise from Perth to Fremantle - an ideal introduction to Perth (and its immense wealth). You'll see areas from the cruise that you'd not otherwise see and it's quite informative. Once in Freo, there are lots of shops, the Maritime Museum, the Roundhouse, prison tours, plenty of places to eat. You might be interested in Little Creatures (brewery and restaurant on the water), or trying to play a didgeridoo.

From Freo you can take the train back to Perth - takes about 30 minutes, inexpensive.

You probably won't have time, but Caversham Wildlife Park near the Swan Valley is an excellent place to see kangaroos, koalas, etc. You'll need at least 1/2 a day to do it justice.

Margaret River:

Where are you staying? MR town? Yallingup?

Some of my favorite things to do in Margs:


Lunch at Olio Bello - fantastic fresh pasta, sauces made with local ingredients like MR venison chorizo, etc. Rock up with a bottle of grape and have a nice alfresco lunch (no corkage fee).

MR Farm Shop - Call in to check out the unique products such as venison, emu, etc.

Arc of Iris - excellent option for dinner, right in MR town. Morries Anytime (next door) has wonderful breakfasts, excellent coffee and good service.

The Berry Farm - nice lunches, scones and fruit jams - they have a great little shop with all their jams, condiments and liqueurs - free tasting

Yahava Coffee Roasters - good place for a coffee - there's also a branch in the Swan valley - we buy all our coffee there these days

Petra Olive - Yallingup - nice light lunches overlooking their olive grove

Don't leave town w/o trying out some Yallingup Wood Fired bread - available from the bakery door near Dunsborough, at several restaurants in the region and at IGA in MR.

As for wine...

Cape Naturaliste, Cullen and Brown Hill immediately come to mind, but the options are really endless. The Grove has nice liqueurs.

Don't miss Boranup Gallery - incredible locally made products from Australian timber - prepared to be shocked at the prices.

Hamlin Bay - lovely beach and sea views, great place for photos on a pretty day, easy to combine with Boranup Gallery

Pick up a map at the MR town visitor's center as soon as you arrive and plot your course for you time in MR - attractions are well scattered, you'll need to plan to make the most of your time there.

Lots of walks too, the visitors center has a list.

Will regroup and get back to you on Pemby and Albany.
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Old May 18th, 2014, 04:32 PM
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A few trip lists I've put together over the past few years that might help:

This one on Pemberton is a bit dated, but we'll be going down weekend after next, so I hope to update it then.

More later.
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Old May 18th, 2014, 04:51 PM
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Might I humbly add, the Northbridge region in Perth for some amazing Vietnamese restaurants. It's a short walk from the CBD.
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Old May 18th, 2014, 05:05 PM
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Loads of options here:

Two People’s Bay, a 30 minute drive from Albany. Suggest you walk the Heritage Trail with a detour to Little Beach. Fabulous bay views. Highly recommend.

Waychinicup National Park, which is about 65 km east of Albany...Cheyne Beach, and maybe a walk to Waychinicup Inlet (whales in Sept!)

Porongurup National Park, some 40 kms north of Albany, several nice walks here as well as some good wineries
Stirling Range National Park, some 40 km north of Albany
Mt. Romance Sandalwood Factory (Albany).

Mt. Clarence, which is just east of downtown and home to an ANZAC memorial - great views of Princess Royal Harbor and a 2 km walk.

Torndirrup National Park


Blowholes located off Salmon Holes Road, walk the 800m path and down 78 steps. Also The Gap and Natural Bridge

Albany Wind Farm, which supplies up to 75% of Albany’s electricity. There's an easy 1 km boardwalk which joins the Bibbulmun Track (965 km track from Perth to Albany).

The Luke Pen walk, which follows the east bank of the Kalgan River, an easy 12 km walk.

West Cape Howe National Park (towards Denmark).... you'll find a path at Cosy Corner, which leads the Dingo Beach overlook. This is part of the Bibbulmun Track. Shelly Beach - the views from the Shelly Beach lookout are lovely. Lowlands Beach, a secluded swimming beach with more gorgeous views.

Mt. Melville - there's a 3 km circuit here, with 360 degree views over Albany.

Middleton Beach & Emu Point (pretty beachside town).

The Great Southern Distillery Company on Frenchman Bay Road. Try the Absinthe.

Dylan’s on the Terrace - good place for lunch

Assorted wineries, Montgomery’s Hill Vineyard, 15 kilometers east of Albany, Wignalls, another family owned boutique winery on the outskirts of Albany.

Suggest you purchase a holiday National Parks Pass if you plan to visit more than a few national parks - cheaper than paying-as-you-go, as it's usually about $12 per park.
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Old May 20th, 2014, 07:59 PM
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Hi Mel - fantastic feedback! Thanks very much! Will be in touch.

Thanks for the restaurant recommendation sartoric.

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Old Aug 24th, 2014, 01:44 PM
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Coming down to the wire, leaving in just 6 days. Making final plans for Perth. Can't wait!

Mel: we took your suggestion on the Capt Cook cruise to Freemantle, which we will do on Mon, Sept 8 at 11:30. If you are available that AM before the cruise, we could treat you to breakfast somewhere near the cruise departure spot . Hopefully, there's a suitable place nearby. Any suggestions? It will be my wife and me and another couple from CT we'll be traveling with. Would be nice to meet you and hear first hand some of your recommendations for sight-seeing in the lovely SW.

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Old Aug 24th, 2014, 04:28 PM
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What a sweet offer Ralph, thank you for thinking of me. As usual my timing is off, I'll be in New Zealand while you're here in Perth!

We've had some glorious early spring weather here the past few weeks, if it holds up, you're in for a treat. The wildflowers are out, the grass is turning green, the ocean is sparkling...

I have no personal experience with this place, but I've heard that the food is pretty good and you can't beat the convenience, as it's right next to the ferry terminal:

Although I won't be here during your visit, I should be plugged in, so feel free to post questions as they arise. I'll help if I can.

Enjoy WA! I look forward to a full report.
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Old Sep 4th, 2014, 09:53 PM
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Sorry to miss you Mel. Have a great trip to NZ. Thanks for all the advice.
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