Though we were only in Perth for two weeks, we saw a lot of wonderful places. It would be easy to spend six months traveling from the far south corner of Australia around Albany, moving along the coast until you reached Darwin. That’s about 5000 km, and part of the reason that we didn’t see more of Western Australia than we did. This is a really, really big place. Here are a few thoughts about our visit.
AirBnB: We stayed in Yanchep, north of Perth, in a house that overlooks the ocean. There is a drop to the beach of 5-10 m so we looked out over the water, not on the breaking waves, but we could hear them. Our house was comfortable and well furnished for a good-sized group. We had more than enough dishes, linens, etc. The TV was simple to work.
Attractions: We liked a number of tourist attractions that we might not have visited without the initiative of Lyra during her visit.
- Guidebooks all recommend a visit to Rottnest Island, and now we do, too. It is a lovely vacation spot, with beaches for swimming and snorkeling around every corner. There are miles and miles of beaches along the coast, too, and lots have rocky reefs for snorkeling. Rent a bicycle, or ride the hop on-hop off bus like we did.
- The Pinnacles, near Cervantes, is a geological marvel. If your group is young, stop to sand board at Lancelin on the way.
- I was skeptical of the Yanchep Crystal Caves, which turned out to be impressive caves with an interesting story.
- Fremantle Markets is a touristy area, but fun, with lots to look at.
- We saw a comedy revue, Senior Moments, at the Heath Ledger theater at the State Theater Center. It was lots of fun–the Theater Center has a busy program.
- Perth Botanical Garden and King’s Park is particularly nice to walk in. There are lots of paths, some raised so you don’t need to think about snakes. There are beautiful views over downtown Perth.
- Yanchep National Park is home to a large flock of Carnaby’s cockatoos, an endangered species. We saw lots and lots of them near the Visitor’s Center!
- We went on an outing with Bird Life Western Australia, and had a lovely time.
Everyone was friendly and we saw interesting birds at Tomato Lake.
- Our visit to Perth Zoo was unforgettable due to Michele Cavanagh, docent extraordinaire. We met Michele on our Galapagos trip, and had a wonderful reunion in Perth. The zoo has many animals that are unique to Western Australia. (Do you know what a numbat is? Now I do.)
Driving: Roads are generally good in this area. Despite the distance (about an hour’s drive), we went in to Perth and Fremantle several times. The traffic was slow during rush hour, but it was easy to find parking in the city. The cost ranged from free to about $5.50 an hour. We saw signs announcing speed cameras, but we won’t know for about three months whether we got any speeding tickets. It doesn’t seem likely, but that’s what we thought in other places. There are no toll roads in this area.
Shopping: We found the best place to shop thus far in Australia, Mokoh Designs. They make interesting items with humorous Australian themes. We liked everything they sell.
We recommend Perth to everyone!