Ask anyone who’s travelling in Australia where they plan to go and you’ll get a pretty standard response that involves Sydney and travelling up the East Coast. Although I loved everything about the East Coast of Australia and especially Byron Bay, I want to make the case here that West Side is da best….(Ali G was right all along)
Here’s a fun fact about Australia; it’s as wide as the distance from London to Moscow. Crazy, right? You can fit the entire of Europe inside Australia and still have room for more countries, so when we flew from Brisbane to Perth it took us five hours to get there as it’s literally going from one side of the country to the other. This sheer distance is the reason many people don’t actually make it to the west coast and who could blame them. It’s actually cheaper and less time consuming for the residents of Perth to fly up to Bali than it is for them to fly to Sydney and so its reputation as an isolated city still stands.
Here’s where i’d like to clear some things up though. Perth may be the the only big city on this side, but it’s by no means isolated. There’s is so much to do here and so many towns, beaches and places to visit that you’ll soon fall in love with the west coast as I did.
I feel like Top 5s are a great, digestible way to showcase how and why I love a place, so here goes:
Reason One: The Architecture
As the buildings in Australia are so relatively new (compared to the ye olde England buildings i’m used to anyway) there are a lot of functional looking structures with no real character. Modern high-rises look cool, but there’s a distant lack of charm and history that a Brit such as myself seems to crave. Coming to Perth however and especially Fremantle, I found myself oohing and ahhing at the ornate detail and style of the buildings, which were constructed by 9000 convicts shipped over here in the late 1800s.
Look how beautiful they are:
Reason Two: Rottnest Island….and Quokkas!
Rottnest Island is a tiny island around 30 minutes away from Perth by boat (Rottnest Express, from Fremantle Pier 3) that you absolutely must spend a day at! There are no cars on the island so the best way to explore is to rent bicycles and tootle around the many gorgeous beaches and coves.
However the best part of Rottnest is that it is home to the Quokka, the cutest little creatures that only live right here on Rottnest! Quokkas look like a cross between a Kangaroo and a chipmunk and are so friendly. We stopped our bikes and just sat and chilled with a Quokka family for 30 minutes under the trees. Look how cute they are!
You won’t find Quokkas anywhere else in the world other than Western Australia… am I making my case yet?
Reason Three: Incredible Beaches
Yes the beaches on the East Coast are also beautiful, but they can also get really overcrowded. Having to find a spot for yourself between everyone else’ towels is hardly a relaxing or enjoyable experience but on the west coast, you pretty much have the beach to yourself. All day.
With delicate white sand, the azure blue water of the Indian ocean and an endless stretch of peace and tranquility, Western Australia can proudly boast the best beaches of this incredible country.
Reason Four: Margaret River
Just a 2 hour drive south of Perth lies the Margaret River region, home to world class wineries, micro-breweries, fine dining and a chocolate factory (with free samples…oy vey!)
We spent a day exploring the wineries here and luckily had a designated driver to transport us between vineyards. However there is a lot of boutique or budget accommodation available, most of which you can find on the Margaret River website. Most of Australia’s wine is produced here so a visit is definitely something to add to your bucket list.
Make sure you get down to Busselton and see the Busselton Jetty, which extends 1.8km out to sea and heritage listed as the longest timber-piled jetty in the southern hemisphere.
Also make sure to ask whoever takes your photo to get. the. feet. in. (Bain of my life!)
Reason Five: It’s Off The Beaten Track
Seeing Perth and Western Australia was one of the highlights of my trip as we got a chance to explore the road less travelled. Not everything here is geared towards tourists so you feel like you’re getting a truly authentic experience of life and nature in Australia.
Are you planning a trip to Western Australia? Leave me a comment below!