Explore Western Australia including Perth, Margaret River, Pemberton, Albany, and Hyden (Wave Rock).
Perth is a scenic and sophisticated city, renowned for its abundant sunshine, relaxed lifestyle and easy-going manner. The city's modern skyline blends with magnificent colonial architecture, housing excellent retail outlets. King Street, a historic and lovingly restored commercial precinct, is known for its fashion houses, cafes, art galleries and specialist book stores. The city’s prime position, flanking the broad reaches of the Swan River, provides an excellent setting for enjoying alfresco dining in one of the many outdoor restaurants and cafes. Visitors to Perth also have a choice of more than 80km of white sandy beaches within easy reach.
Originally a chilled out surfie town, Margaret River has evolved into the ultimate smorgasbord of fine wine, good food and spectacular scenery – just a three-and-a-half hour drive south of Perth. No trip to Western Australia is complete without a stop at Margaret River. There's a fine supply of world-class wineries, boutique breweries, and restaurants overlooking sweeping vineyards and surf breaks. The wine is definitely top notch - the region produces less than one per cent of Australian wine, but over 15 per cent of the country's premium wine and with 60 plus wineries to choose from, you won't be stuck for choice. Some of Australia's best chefs can be found in Margaret River, producing a feast of top tucker to be had - think exquisite cheeses, jams, condiments, olives and marron (freshwater crayfish).
Pemberton is a town of towering timbers. Set in the heart of karri tree country, it's here you'll find and be able to climb the world's tallest fire lookout tree - the famous Gloucester Tree the largest stands at 61 metres - roughly the same height as the Sydney Opera House. See a forest filled with the colour of spring wildflowers and taste some of Western Australia's top wines.
Albany marks the spot where the first European settlers set foot in Western Australia, and much of their legacy remains today with around 50 colonial buildings standing proudly as museums, galleries and restaurants. From convict prisons, whaling ships and taverns to quaint cottages and grand National Trust residences, you can take in almost two centuries of history on a 30-minute self-guided walk, following the Amity Trail. Albany's King George Sound also marks the spot where the first convoy of ANZACs departed for the battlegrounds of the First World War. Today, you can follow their extraordinary stories through the National Anzac Centre's state-of-the-art interactive displays.
Around Hyden in the spring (September to December), dozens of wildflower varieties produce carpets of colour, and more than 40 different species of birds, from the smallest wren to the large wedge tailed eagle, can be seen. The earliest farming was in 1922 and the descendants of these settlers still live in Hyden today. Wheat production started in 1927 and grain was carted to Kondinin until the railway from Lake Grace reached Hyden in 1932. Hyden also features the largest collection of lace in the southern hemisphere. Wave Rock is just four kilometres east of Hyden on a nature reserve of some 160 hectares. The Rock is a granite cliff, 15 metres high and 110 long, shaped remarkably like a huge wave.