Enjoy the gourmet café culture and vibrant arts scene of Perth’s boho harbourside city, Fremantle. Start your day with a stroll along High Street in Fremantle's West End, admiring the historic buildings housing boutique shops and galleries. Continue south on South Terrace, known to locals as the Cappuccino Strip where you can get a coffee and breakfast from one of the many cafés before heading to the Fremantle Markets - open Friday - Sunday. Discover an eclectic mix of stalls selling homemade and unique homewares, fashion, gifts, souvenirs and produce.
For a luxurious beach experience, book a sun lounge at Bather’s Beach, where you can soak up the atmosphere, sun and sand all while enjoying table service from your lounge with a view. Or, stroll on to the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour and enjoy a fish and chip lunch from one of the seafood restaurants on the boardwalk. Browse the markets and local boutiques for unique or vintage finds and hunt out trendy restaurants, breweries and wine bars for a tasty evening.
Enjoy sunset drinks on the beach at Bathers Beach, try a craft beer at a heritage hotel or pub, dine alfresco along the Cappuccino Strip or sample fresh local produce at an award-winning restaurant. Overnight in Fremantle.
The captivating and emerging wine region of Ferguson Valley has boutique, mostly family-owned wineries. Characterised by diverse micro climates from elevated rolling hills, with sheltered valleys and mild ocean breezes off Geographe Bay, you’ll be able to pick up some interesting alternative varietals here, particularly tempranillo, moscato and fiano. If you have time, visit nearby wineries in Harvey, Collie and Donnybrook to discover a new favourite drop.
You’ll also find two breweries in the Valley, with classic small batch brews and seasonal ciders you can enjoy in a relaxed outdoor setting. Get a taste for the region as you meander through the Ferguson Valley; most of the venues showcase the region’s dairy and beef producers on their menus.
On your journey you’ll notice that living enveloped in beauty is inspiration for all types of creatives. Seek out a variety of art studios that open by appointment, and galleries of local artists’ work on display at cellar doors and venues. Hike one of the walk trails in Wellington Forest National Park or have a swim at Honeymoon Pool, where the cool, crisp waters of the Collie River are shaded by an overhanging canopy of peppermint trees. Overnight in Ferguson Valley.
Take a picnic hamper or go for a swim at Honeymoon Pool in the Wellington Forest National Park. Here the cool, crisp waters of the Collie River are shaded by an overhanging canopy of peppermint trees. Soak up the sun on the wooden platform, wander the trails along the banks of the river, or explore by water on the kayak trail.
This may well be Australia’s most stunning natural spa. A blissfully serene rock pool, nestled into the cracks of smoothly rounded boulders, until – crash! – waters topple over one side, creating a fizzy cascade of natural bubbles that fill the pool with delight. Long enjoyed by locals, Injidup Natural Spa is the result of a high rock shelf on one side, which creates a natural barrier against the ocean’s tidal movements. As waves crash onto the rocks, they filter through cracks like natural bubble jets, causing a temporary ‘spa’ in the stunningly clear water. To get here, drive to the car park at the north end of Wyadup Road in Yallingup, then follow the well-worn network of paths downhill (to the left of the carpark) before the trail curves to the right. Be sure to watch your footing; walkways traverse an uneven rock plateau and aren’t marked.
More than 50 years’ old, the award-winning fine wine region of Margaret River is internationally acclaimed. With almost 100 cellar doors to experience, many with renowned on-site restaurants. Specialising in cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay, plus popular semillon sauvignon blanc blends, this region grows two percent of Australia’s grapes, but produces 20 percent of Australia’s premium wine. Check out these 5 organic wineries in the Margaret River Wine Region.
For fresh seasonal produce visit the local farmers market or stock up at gourmet food producers on cheese, chocolate and fudge. Meet the makers at several venues offering behind-the-scenes classes – make your own gin at Ginversity, or create your own custom perfume and lip balm.
For something truly unique, embark on an Indigenous food, cave and didgeridoo tour with local company Koomal Dreaming to forage for seasonal native bush foods, descend into Ngiligi Cave for authentic storytelling and then taste traditional foods and flavours around the campfire. Take a guided walking tour of the Cape to Cape Track or soak at Indijup Natural Spa, a blissfully serene rock pool, that becomes a cascade of natural bubbles when sea waters topple over the sides. Overnight in Margaret River Region.
Welcome to Australia's Truffle Heartland, Manjimup. The forested areas surrounding Manjimup may have started out as timber country, but today the region is best known for its myriad fresh produce. Intermingled with tall karri forest, the surrounding farmlands take centre stage in a thriving fruit and vegetable industry. Stop at farmgate stalls or try a pick-your-own experience to taste produce the region is best known for – cherries, chestnuts, marron, trout and of course its world-famous black Périgord truffles. From May to mid August, join a truffle dog hunt and follow (adorable) highly trained truffle dogs as they sniff their way through the region's orchards in search of the black truffle. Or, simply enjoy a truffle infused meal at one of the local trufferies.
Beautifully warm, silky waters of a freshwater pool aren’t what you’d expect to find at a caravan park – but there’s nothing ordinary here. This beloved Manjimup institution is the home of Fonty’s Pool, a famously beautiful freshwater dam with a 120-year history, which was recently threatened with closure until locals pitched in and saved it. Today, Fonty’s Pool is listed on the National Trust as a worthy national treasure. Pay the entrance fee (a very serious $3) before grabbing one of the industrial-sized inflatable black tyres floating at the water’s edge and diving in: as the light begins to fade, it streams over the pool in thick golden stripes, dappled by weeping willows at the water’s edge. A small wooden cabin and quaint old diving board (still in use) complete the scene.
Majestic forests, exemplary wines and scrumptious farm gate produce make Pemberton a must-see stopover on this culinary odyssey. With its ancient towering karri forests and rolling farmland, this beautiful wine region is increasingly recognised for its sparkling wine styles and sauvignon blanc. Wines grown in the Pemberton and Manjimup wine regions combine southern latitude with high altitude and a relatively cool climate, making ideal conditions for growing pinot noir and chardonnay grapes. Take in sweeping views of the landscape perched atop one of the two local climbing trees - so tall they were once used as fire lookouts over the region. While no longer in use today, the giant pegs nailed into the trunks – which function as a makeshift ladder – remain the only equipment you’ve got to climb to the top. The Gloucester Tree is the same height as a 16-storey skyscraper, but views from the enclosed balcony at its summit are a worthy reward. Overnight in Pemberton.
Test your fear of heights by scaling Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree in the Warren National Park, the highest of the three trees at 75 metres. Conquer the tallest climbing tree in the Southern Forests and Valleys. Enjoy sweeping views of the karri forest from the top viewing platform, once used as a fire lookout.
So tall it was once used as a fire lookout over the region. While no longer in use today, the giant pegs nailed into its trunk – which function as a makeshift ladder – remain the only equipment you’ve got to climb to the 58-metre-tall top. The same height as a 16-storey skyscraper, that’s a nerve-racking climb: but views from the enclosed balcony at its summit are a worthy reward. Cast your eye over the sea of green, which stretches all the way to the sea, and let your heartbeat return to normal before commencing the return journey.
Walk amongst giants on your way to Denmark today, visit boutique wineries and gourmet food producers. Stop at the Valley of the Giants and Tree Top Walk to marvel at the forest canopy up high on a lightweight cable walkway, followed by a twisting pathway through the forest floor below to see their size and grandeur up close. Visit boutique wineries, gourmet food producers and the charming galleries, studios and workshops of local artists on the way to Denmark. Take the scenic Scotsdale and Mount Shadforth tourist drives to town, and choose from locally made condiments, cheeses, toffee, honey and chocolate. Stop for a swim or snorkel in the peppermint tinged waters of Greens Pool, and take a picnic hamper to the giant granite boulders at nearby Elephant Rocks. End the day with a pint of craft beer from a local brewery, before overnighting in Denmark.
Caster-sugar sands and water like liquid mint. The warm, flat expanse of Greens Pool should belong on a dazzling tropical postcard, but – shh! – you’ll find it in William Bay National Park, just twenty minutes from Denmark. A hop, a skip and a jump down the short walking track and you’ll reach your reward: postcard-perfect views that are even prettier in three dimensions. Thanks to a shore-break of smooth boulders, this shallow-bottomed body of water is protected by the ocean’s normal current, creating a giant natural pool of water in hues of pastel peppermint. Join the locals and kick out a few morning laps across its top, or make do with a splash in the shallows and relax on the flat, sun-warmed rocks. Local tip: small multi-coloured coral communities have sprung up underwater around the base of the boulders; pack your snorkel for a close-up look.
Roll into Albany where you'll find plenty of history and fresh produce picked from nearby farms. If you’re visiting on the weekend, be sure to stop by the famous Albany Farmers Market to fill your picnic basket with fruit and vegetables picked from nearby farms and local producers sell organic meats, ostrich, venison, yoghurt cheeses, olive oils and flowers.
Be sure to check out the National Anzac Centre at Mount Clarence, as well as The Gap and Natural Bridge in the Torndirrup National Park or embark on a whale-watching tour in season. Try the markets and seafood sellers to pick up fresh local seafood including mussels, rock oysters and local delicacy Southern Akoya grown in the pristine waters of Oyster Harbour and the King George Sound.
Enjoy a locally produced craft beer, bespoke spirit or premium wine with dinner at one of this historic town’s modern restaurants before spending the night in Albany.
Every Saturday from 8am to 12 noon enjoy fresh produce from nearby farms at the Albany Farmers Market. Fill your picnic basket with fruit and vegetables picked from nearby farms and local producers sell organic meats, ostrich, venison, yoghurt cheeses, olive oils and flowers. At the water’s edge in Albany, experience freshly shucked oysters just after they’ve been plucked from the clear waters of the Southern Ocean.
A slice between rock-hewed sea cliffs, The Gap is embroiled in an endless dance with the ocean. Whooosh… BANG! What was that? As you ease nearer the edge of The Gap, in Torndirrup National Park, the booming oceanic rumblings will intensify until – CRASH! – suddenly the spectacle reveals itself. A slice between rock-hewed sea cliffs, The Gap is embroiled in an endless dance with the ocean: watch as it sucks in giant pockets of air with each receding wave, then brace as the water returns with a head-first slam into the walls. The viewing platform overhead – high enough to make you dizzy – is the ultimate spot to watch the show; the scale of the cliffs and the force of the ocean put things in humbling perspective. Admire the surrounding coastline, aflame with native wildflowers, and check out The Gap’s equally beautiful counterpart, the rock formation known as Natural Bridge.
On your way home, explore the Porongurup wine region. While small, the Porongurup wine region offers stunning scenic landscapes and boutique wineries where you can meet the winemakers and sip on stunning cool climate wines with excellent views. Stop at the Porongurup National Park to take the 1.5km walk trail leading you through spectacular forests on your way to the Granite Skywalk and its stunning scenic landscapes.
Stretch your legs with a hike up the Granite Skywalk at Castle Rock. You'll have to be brave for this climb! Adventure along the 4km round trip walk that takes you to a skywalk set into a giant granite boulder perched atop the Porongurup Range. The stunning landscape seen from here is well worth the final 200metre scramble over the rocks.
On your way back to Perth, stop into the award-winning Mount Barker Country Bakery. Feast on Australia's Best Pie at the Mount Barker Country Bakery and pick up some other fresh bakery goodies for your road trip back to Perth.
En route back to Perth. On your way back to Perth be sure to pick up some local wines to take home at the popular southern wine regions of Frankland River, Mount Barker and Cranbrook, or wineries near Williams and Wandering where the soils of the wheatbelt add a unique complexity to the varieties grown here. You may like to drive back via Katanning, to see the spectacular restoration of the town’s heritage flour mill, now a luxury hotel and café showcasing the original industrial history of the building. Arrive in Perth.
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