I’ve spent some time working in Sydney a few years back and there are just countless things about the lifestyle in Australia that makes it a great place to live in. Since Andrew’s leave was only approved a month before, we decided to head somewhere we can drive, offers a varied experience and ideally cost less than SGD500 to fly. Perth came up as the top choice within mere seconds on Scoot (SGD420 per person for return ticket).
Perth is one of the largest metropolitan in Australia stretching from Two Rocks in the north to Rockingham (near Mandurah) in the south – 7 times larger than Singapore. Imagine the urban planning involved to provide public transport and utilities to such a large city. Our 6 days itinerary focuses road trips north and south of Perth.
Day 1 – Perth International Airport – Hertz Car Rental -Fremantle for the night (Cool Studio via Airbnb)
Day 2 – Lancelin: Sand Dunes & Sand Surfing – Nambung National Park: Pinnacles & Desert drive – Fremantle for the night (Cool Studio via Airbnb)
Day 3 – Head South to Busselton Jetty – Lunch at The Goose – Eagle Bay Brewing Co. – Cape Naturaliste – Sugarloaf Rock – Coles @ Margaret River – Margaret River for the night (No.12 Garden Studio Apartment via Airbnb)
Day 4 – Margaret River Food & Wine Day: Margaret River Dairy Company – The Margaret River Chocolate Company – Providore – Hay Shed Hill (Best lunch!) – Vasse Virgin (Soup Factory) – Ashbrook Estate – Vasse Felix – Teddis Big Spoon (Korean Dinner) – Margaret River for the night (No.12 Garden Studio Apartment via Airbnb)
Day 5 – Head back to Perth – Bunbury Farmers Market – Mandurah – Flipflopfisheries (Shark Fish & Chips) – San Churro Mandurah – The Old Crow (Dinner in Perth) – Perth City Night View from Sir James Mitchell Park – Subiaco for the night via Airbnb
Day 6 – Outdoor activities on Good Friday: Brunch at Harvest Espresso – Fremantle streets and market – Fremantle Prison – Drive along the coast – Cottesloe Beach – London Court Cafe – Perth International Airport
Personal Tips I’d like to share
How to find good food on the go
It used to be called Urbanspoon when I was still in Sydney, now it’s Zomato. With the same interface, user experience and strong community – it is still my go-to app to find out what’s trending, what the locals like and what is around the area when I just want to fill my stomach.
Driving in WA
We are less of a city-traveller, which is why we chose self driving as one of the best way to experience this land. Renting a vehicle was probably the easiest to begin with as there are tons of car rental companies at Perth International Airport. Andrew did most of the homework but what I gathered was:
- Rental – If you and your partner can prove that you live together (same residential address), you don’t need to pay additional fees for authorizing a second driver
- Car Insurance – There’s usually quite a high excess payable for any accidents or damages to the car. Read carefully the details to your vehicle insurance prior to renting. We decided to purchase travel insurance that covers excess to vehicle rental up to SGD500. You can do some travel insurance comparison on GoBear like I did to familiarize yourself with the different travel insurance out there.
- Parking is generally more expensive in the city. We tend to look for street side parking but do take note of the different pricing indicated on the signs. There’s 1/2P, 2P, 3P etc, which refers to number of hours you can park within a specific timeframe usually indicated below that – along with whether it’s free or payable. Unlike Singapore, free parking is only allowed for the stipulated time frame on the sign. If you’re a homework person, there’s more information here.
- Petrol surprisingly didn’t cost us too much despite us driving 1372km in a little Ford Hunchback. Each pump cost about 30 odd Aussie dollars for us. The petrol prices varies depending on location and provider/operator of each petrol station so if you’re looking for the cheapest petrol around you or in a particular area you’re heading to, use WA Fuel Finder
My new found quirk of the trip – Splitwise
It’s free, user-friendly, intuitive and so simple! Genuine review of this new app Andrew discovered for bill splitting – Splitwise. However, we used it more for tracking of expenses into 2 buckets – Airfare + Accommodation which is more of your pre-trip expenses, and cash expenses during the trip. We didn’t have to worry about scrimping and saving or overspending as long as we know we are on track and it is so much easier to decided who to pay what. Since he paid for pre-trip (SGD1.4k), I paid for everything during the trip (SGD1.2k) which end up somewhat balancing out the accounts 😉
Phew…took me a few hours on and off for this. Hopefully this overview itinerary will give you some ideas to toy with! I will be providing more of my thoughts and details for each sightseeing spot or restaurant and maps in subsequent posts.
If you have any cool finds from your trips or any comments, please let me know!