Amy has just returned from a fabulous trip to Australia, to experience a taste of what Australia’s largest state, Western Australia, has to offer!
I was very excited to be flying on Emirates A380 to Perth – my first visit to Australia. First a 7 hour flight to Dubai - a nice 2 hour stopover to stretch our legs and do a little shopping – then our final flight of 10 hours to Perth. I was very impressed with the A380 and Emirates – the inflight entertainment kept me busy for hours!
We arrived into Perth late afternoon, a quick 20 minute transfer and we were checking into our hotel, The Pagoda Resort & Spa. We had a lovely welcome 3 course dinner at the hotel to meet our hosts and get acquainted with the group. We decided on an early night after long flight to prepare us for the busy days ahead.
An early start this morning to catch our ferry to Rottnest Island from Perth jetty. We had a lovely 2 hour sail in the sunshine to reach Rottnest – Australia’s best kept secret island – full of idyllic bays, so clear, clam and quiet they feel like a personal paradise. We began with a 90 minute tour of the island’s highlights followed by a delicious seafood lunch served at the Hotel Rottnest overlooking Thompson Bay. Rottnest Island is famous as the only home of Quokkas. I never imagined it would be so hard to get a selfie with one of these creatures! To return to the mainland we took the shorter 30 minute sailing to Freemantle, south of the city. This evening we visited Kings Park, the biggest inner city park in the world! Kings Park has an amazing vantage point over the city and is one of the best places to watch the sun set. Dinner this evening was at the Reveley, a beautiful restaurant located in the Elizabeth Quay area.
Today we drove to Nambung National Park to experience the Pinnacles Desert. The Pinnacles are hundreds of limestone pillars that rise out of the desert landscape. What an amazing sight they are. Later we travelled to Cervantes on the coast to tour the Lobster Shack which is a lobster factory and restaurant – if you love fresh lobster, this is the place for you. After lunch we continued north to Geraldton where we visited the HMAS Sydney II Memorial. After a another fabulous dinner at the Salt Dish, we spent the night in Geraldton at the Mantra Geraldton Hotel.
Today we left Geraldton heading north to Monkey Mia. Our first stop was at Hamelin Pool to visit the remarkable stromatolites, the oldest and largest living fossils on earth! We continued on to Shell Beach – formed from billions of tiny shells and one of only 2 in the world. Australia definitely has some sights you won’t find anywhere else in the world! We had lunch at the Ocean Park Aquarium where we were treated to a private tour and discovered more about Australia’s marine life. Not sure if feeding the sharks was my favourite moment though! After checking in at the RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort Hotel, we were taken on our evening excursion – Didgeridoo Dreaming Night Tour – a great evening round the camp fire, star gazing, eating fresh seafood and learning all about local aboriginal culture.
Today was the highlight of my whole trip! We spent over 3 hours at Monkey Mia playing in the water with the wild dolphins!! Monkey Mia is one of the few places in the world where wild dolphins come into the beach daily to play with the visitors and feed. It was amazing to be so close to these beautiful creatures, a once in a lifetime experience. In the afternoon we went on an Aquarush cruise to try and find dugongs – another unique mammal unique to Australia! We finished the day with a visit to the Shark Bay World Heritage Discovery Centre to learn all about the area.
A morning drive to Kalbarri to go on a quad bike safari of the countryside and discover more about Aboriginal culture. We tasted the local tea and bread, and tried to learn our first Aboriginal words. I was very happy to spot my first wild kangaroo – I didn’t want to leave Australia without seeing one! Sadly, this evening it was time for our farewell dinner at Dirt, Dust n Diesels – an outback shack themed steakhouse. Australia certainly knows how to cook on a barbie!!
Looking back on my quick week in Western Australia, I can’t believe how much there is to see and do, and how much more there is still to discover on my next visit. Even more exciting is that you can now fly direct non-stop from London to Perth with Qantas in only 17 hours! I am looking forward to sharing my experiences with my clients and advising them on the great options there are for holidays in this area!