November, 10th 2014
We finally made it to WA, but unfortunately not for long..!
Only 4 days in between two adventures, we decided to make the most of it though.
Here it's our itinerary and selection of things to do for those who love nature, wildlife and photography!
Day 1, visiting Perth :-)
90% of the population of the whole state of WA live in Perth! When you are there, you do feel that you are far away from every other Australian city...you almost feel in another country! But it's a vibrant city!
For our first day here, we went exploring every corner of the city on foot, on a segway or in a bus.
At 9am, we were segwaying along the Swan river, looking for a dolphin! Rusty, our tour guide was very cool and had so much knowledge about the city. Ideal to learn a few stories about the history, geography and the wildlife.
He was a real encyclopedia :-) Segway is really easy and so much fun! Once you have tried, it's hard to get back to walking..!
But we had no choice, 1 hour later, we leave the machine and walk to the Bell Tower (www.thebelltower.com.au), the icon of the city. This glass tower has got in store 12 bells of the famous Londonian church “St Martin in the Fields”( Trafalgar Square). I didn't know about the Bell Tower but it's well known to be the world's largest music instrument. A few times a week, you can listen to the bells! At the top floor, you can even hear the national hymn of many countries, if you pay a few dollars:-)
From there, it's also impressive to watch the works on site in Perth Harbour to build a marina and a tourism area with hotels, bars and restaurants. Wow in a few years, the city will look differently!
Time to wonder now in the first attraction of Perth, Kings Park (www.bgpa.wa.gov.au), a botanical park, a war memorial and a vast garden offering superb views over the CBD. We hop on a free bus (yes Perth has a whole network of free uses (Cats), it's great as they drive you everywhere central and come every 10 minutes:-)
The botanical garden is amazing, we loved it, we could have strolled there for hours, it's so vast and rich!! All Australian plants and flowers species are represented here! There is even a giant boab tree which comes straight from the Kimberleys, 3200 km north of Perth! The tree was supposed to be cut down because of the construction of an highway...To save the ancestral tree, the Indigenous people gave it to the Botanical garden. What a nice story and you can read about the transport of the tree!
Day 2 & 3, Rottnest Island
We wanted to go on Rottnest Island (www.rottnestisland.com) for a quirky reason: just to see the happiest animal in the world, the little and adorable quokka! We didn't know how beautiful was this island!
Once there we discovered all she has to offer: secluded white sand beaches, aqua blue water, reef to snorkel, rolling hills and so much more!
Happy of our decision, we decided to rent a bike, apparently the way to go on the island! We found ourselves confronted to a tough decision to make: electric or normal bikes? OMG we should have never tried electric bikes...this is the best! Why paddle hard when you can simply paddle softly and reach 25km/hour ? We overpassed everyone so easily up hill, I was feeeling bad for those people who were having a hard time paddling …Now how can we go back to normal bikes? Serioulsy?!!
Haha, we had the best time ever exploring every corner of Rotto (like the locals say).
We stopped every 10 metres to take a new shot...as every single bay is more amazing than the precedent one...!J
Around 5pm, when the sun starts getting lower, the little quokkas appeared in every place...! This was the start of 2 hours of play in the park, we are big kids! I couldn't resist to their cute funny faces!!
They are so friendly...the hardest was to not put one in my pocket! Haha...
It's funny because from behind, they look like a big fat rat...but from front...! OMG this smile!!
We were like two kids.
How cool was it to stay overnight while most of the visitors were boarding onto the ferry!
In our cabin, we watch the sunset and cheer to a great romantic evening:-)
How to get there?
Rottnest island is about 1 hour from Perth CBD by boat. The trip is really easy and accessible thanks to Rottnest Express (www.rottnestexpress.com.au). These ferries are white and red, they pick you up from Barrack Jetty in the city and take you onto the island.
You can also travel from Fremantle.
They offer great packages transfer + bike hire for example or transfer + various tours possible. You can book easily on board.
Price: from $119 for return fare + bike hire
Day 4, Pinnacles desert excursion
250km north of Perth stands an incredible geological place called the Pinnacles Desert. If you don't have the time to visit WA properly, like on a full tour of the coast, then a day tour from Perth it's a good option to see this incredible place. Adams has been offering this tour for 31 years so they know what they do! It's a action packed day but well organised.
A tour leader came to pick us up at the hotel and by 8am, we were on the road. First stop in the Swan Valley, at Caversham Wildlife Park, where we got a private tour with the keepers. A couple of minutes after I passed the door, I was hand feeding the friendly roos! They were all around us! We were the first visitors so I supposed they were hungry! Right after, we had the opportunity to seat with a wombat for a photo and we finished by giving a pat to a koala! Efficient visit!
Hop on the bus again, we have a couple of hours before our next stop, we drove on the Ocean Indian Drive, sounds good! Left hand-side the Indian Ocean indeed, right hand-side, the bush with its wildflowers, beautiful! I discovered the banksia, a tree which seems to have yellow candles all around! Very cool.
We stopped at Hangover Bay, a nice white sand beach to admire the turquoise water of the Indian Ocean.
For lunch, we did something a bit different by visiting the lobster fishing town of Cervantes. We learnt that lobster (or crayfish) fishing is a big business in WA, millions of dollars each year! This is a very regulated industry by the government in order to control the number of licences and make sure the fishing is sustainable. We gave it a go for lunch at the Lobster shack. Yummy!
We made it then to the mystical place...the Pinnacles desert. I expected something smaller but actually this National Park is vast. You can go for a walk or even drive in the middle of it?!? Wherever you look, you see these weird shaped stones! How were they made? How old are they? This is still an enigma in stone for the scientists! Their explanation is that pinnacles used to be trees that got calcified by the sand highly composed of limestone. Mystery of Mother Nature! A beautiful place to enjoy today, shooting sunset over them would be a perfect plan but the tour had to keep going...
We made our way back down the coast, stopping at Lancelin which has a nice playground: white sand dunes! Ideal to sand boarding! A bit of fun before going back to the city for the night.
What a day: wildlife, lobster lunch, wild flowers beach stop, Pinnacles desert, sand dunes 4WDriving and finally sand boarding! Wow! As I said a good alternative for those who are on a short timing and still want to see a lot!
Adams Pinnacles Tours : www.australianpinnacletours.com.au
Full day tour (8am-8pm)
$215 (+ $15 for the Lobster lunch upgrade)
If you have an extra day, you can go swimming with wild dolphins with Rockingham Wild Encounters, only 45 minutes South of Perth, but we had a plane to catch...Next time!
Perth, we liked you! Knowing that WA is almost one third of Australia, we will be back to explore the rest but this time with plenty of time hopefully :-)
A huge Merci to:
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