Last Updated: April 11, 2018
Ah, Perth! Having visited the city a couple of times prior to this trip, I thought I knew it inside out. But this trip is proof that there was so much left still for me to see, and here is my attempt at making this your next holiday destination.
I’ll be sharing about the things to do around the Coral Coast of Western Australia; a 7D6N itinerary that’s suited for the adventure-thirsty millennial.
I’m talking about abseiling, quad biking along the beach, sandboarding on the sand dunes, and the like, which will keep you on the edge of your seat.
We arrived in Perth in the afternoon and started our trip with a two-hour drive up to the north from Perth airport. Unless you had a good rest on the plane or chartered a coach, our host Loretta from Tourism Western Australia recommends putting up in the city for a night to rest up if you’re planning on driving.
Lucky for us, we had Dianne from ADAMS Coachlines to bring us to our first stop, Lobster Shack at Cervantes en route to Geraldton.
At Lobster Shack, you’ll get to go on a lobster factory tour, learn more about the lifespan of these crustaceans, and sample a cold platter of fresh prawns and… lobster, of course.
The lobster meat was sweet and juicy, making it a great refreshment before we headed back onto the coach for the next two and a half hours to Geraldton.
Price: AUD15 tour entry (approx. S$15.37 )
Lobster Shack – Indian Ocean Rock Lobster Factory: 11 Madrid Street, Cervantes WA 6511 | Tel: (+61 8) 9652 7010 | Facebook
After a few snoozes on the coach, we got to Geraldton in the evening, grabbed a quick dinner and headed back to Ocean Centre Hotel to rest up for the next day ahead of us.
Total drive time from Perth Airport to Geraldton: 5 hours (non-stop), 2 hours (stop over at Cervantes) and another 2.5 hours to Geraldton.
By now, you must be wondering where all the thrills and exciting activities I promised at the start of the article are. Well, stay with me because the better part of Day Two is where our adventure begins!
Stepping inside the HMAS Sydney II Memorial, we were led by a volunteer retelling the story of how 645 Australian soldiers aboard the HMAS Sydney (II) tragically lost their lives during a WWII battle with the German HSK Kormoran.
Built in 2001, the elements that made up the memorial were surprisingly accurate even before the ship was found later in 2008. Pictured above is ‘The Waiting Woman‘, depicting a wife who is looking out longingly at the exact same location where the ship sunk.
The Stele is modelled after the height of the bow of the HMAS Sydney II, while The Dome of Souls is an ethereal display set in the heart of the memorial, depicting all 645 spirits embodying the form of seagulls flying free.
You have to be there to truly feel the weight of the atmosphere and the spirit that still lives on to this day.
Price: Free entry
HMAS Sydney II Memorial: Gummer Avenue, Geraldton Western Australia 6530| Tel: (08) 9921 4156 | Website
We then took a short drive to the Geraldton Airport and hopped on an eight-seater Airvan aircraft at Geraldton Air Charter for a scenic flight — it was my first time, and I was feeling both excited and scared at the same time.
Surprisingly, taking off was a lot smoother than on a commercial airline. At times we were cruising at only 500 feet above the Abrolhos Islands, a good height for photo ops while spotting a couple of the shipwreck sites.
After an hour of scenic flight, we landed on East Wallabi Island and settled down at Turtle Bay. If you opt for a full-day tour, tea and lunch will be provided.
You can then while the hours away by snorkelling in the clear sea; we saw a couple of dolphins making their rounds and these fellas jumped straight into the waters in excitement.
For those who like a little hike, the nature walk lets you spot wallabies taking shade in the bushes and the resident sea eagles living on the edge of the cliff.
Soon, it was time to hop back onto the aircraft. The highlight of the scenic tour was definitely the flight over Pink Lake (Hutt Lagoon) offering a bird’s-eye view before flying into Kalbarri.
It was just spectacular, and looked like a fab eye makeup palette that I could add to my stash. If you’re wondering, the pink hues are naturally created by the salt content and bacteria in the lake.
We were thankful to be able to see it in its full glory, as we were told that during the summer season the lake would rarely be this vibrant; mother nature was being kind to us *folded hands emoji*.
Price: From AUD352.98 (approx. S$361.60)
It was already evening when we reached Kalbarri, a resort town. We had a quick dinner at The Jetty Seafood Shack for some classic Aussie takeout fish and chips, before we checked into Kalbarri Edge Resort, with an ensuite each that could fit a family.
The Jetty Seafood Shack: 1/365 Grey Street, Kalbarri WA 6536 | Tel: (+61 8) 9937 1067
Kalbarri Edge Resort: 22 Porter Street, Kalbarri WA 6536 | Tel: (+61 8) 9937 0000 | Website
Day Three started as early as 8am in Kalbarri National Park. A short walk and we were greeted with a spectacular view from the top of the Z Bend Gorge, before taking another short hike to the place where we were going to try our hands at abseiling.
I’ve tried indoor abseiling once in Singapore, but doing it out here on the cliffs was a different experience altogether. We started with baby steps on the four-meter wall, and moved on to the 25-meter and 35-meter walls when we got a little bolder.
Tip: Don’t look down if you’re afraid of heights, and always know that the rope can carry the weight of you, plus an elephant. It helped too that our instructor was just cracking jokes as we descended from the cliffs.
Price: AUD90/adult (approx. S$92.20)
Next on the agenda was a visit to Kalbarri Wagoe Beach Quad Bike Tours Farm and these little ones were way more daring than we were on the quad bikes.
Do note that you’ll need some form of proof of your driver’s licence to ride the quad bike or the buggy.
Half the time I was afraid the bike would tumble on its side, so I chickened out and changed to a buggy. But just so you know, none of us flipped over.
The tour lets you in on a breathtaking view of the Wagoe beach and a pit stop at the sand dunes to take some photos. Light refreshments were prepared for us too; if only we had time for a full picnic by the sea.
Price: (2.5 – hour tours) Quad Bikes – AUD90 driver /AUD45 passenger (approx. S$91.24/S$45.62) | Buggy – AUD100 driver/ AUD50 passenger (approx. S$101.38/S$50.69)
We made a quick stop over at Natural Bridge, where we stood on the boardwalk taking in the beauty of the coastal views while watching the sunset on the horizon.
Then it was back to Kalbarri for dinner before retiring to our rooms in Kalbarri Edge Resort again for the night.
There are quite a few stopovers that you can make when driving back down from Kalbarri to Cervantes, and here are just some of the places you can visit along the way.
Now that we’ve seen the Pink Lake (Hutt Lagoon) from up above, it’s time to see it up close. It was a short 45-minute car ride from our hotel to Port Gregory.
Do expect low water levels and slight streaks of pink hues during Summer. But that means it’s a good opportunity to get between the puddles for photos.
Pink Lake (Hutt Lagoon): Hutt Lagoon, Yallabatharra WA 6535, Australia
If you’re coming with the little ones, Chapman Valley Fishing Park is a great place for a quick educational visit. We took a short tour around the estate and peeked around the holding tanks that contain yabbies, barramundi, black bream and more.
You can even try your hand at fishing at the ponds. Sadly, we were out of luck, and returned with nothing in our buckets.
Thankfully, refreshments were available at the cafe, so it wasn’t exactly all for nought. Here’s a little tip to enjoy these sweet yabbies: pull off its head, flip it on the underside to break it into half, peel off the shell and you’ll get a morsel of goodness to pair with the homemade dips.
Touted as ‘one of the most haunted locations in Western Australia’, the Oakabella Homestead is not something to trifle with.
The atmosphere was a little heavy upon setting foot on the premises and we were told of haunting stories and experiences that past visitors have encountered.
I didn’t take many photos of the 13-room homestead in fear of capturing the wrong things (ghost in frame), and for the most part, I just wanted to flee.
The kitchen was one of the less intense rooms, so I’ll leave you with this as a teaser to come experience it for yourself. Some of us felt queasy and lightheaded along the way… not sure if it was just in our heads.
My spirits were definitely lifted when we were served homemade jams, panini, nachos and toasted croissants for lunch at the tea room after the tour.
Price: AUD10/pax, approx. S$10.13 (Guided tour 10am/2pm, except Wednesdays)
Next, we drove 1.45 hours to Cervantes, checked into Pinnacles Edge Resort, and rushed over to The Pinnacles in Nambung National Park to catch the sunset.
These limestones were formed over millions of years ago, and a group member said it looks like a scene out of Star Wars — peculiar as it may be, it was also an alluring sight to behold as the park bathed in gold in the sunset.
Though the national park is open 24/7, the best time to come would be about 6.45pm. That’s when you’ll have the sun setting before you, and the moon appearing behind, all at once.
The Pinnacles: Pinnacles Drive, Cervantes WA 6511, Australia | Opening Hours: 24/7
We started day five with a little workout at Lancelin Sand Dunes — riding down with the board was fun and all, but climbing to the top of the sand dunes was another thing altogether.
Do note that you’ll have to rent a board in Cervantes first at Have A Chat General Store, for AUD10/hire for 2 hours (approx. S$10.13).
Lancelin Sand Dunes: Beacon Road, Lancelin WA 6044 | Opening Hours: Opens 24 Hours | Website
Have A Chat General Store: 104 Gingin Road, Lancelin WA 6044 | Tel: (+61 8) 9655 1054 | Opening Hours: (Mon to Sat) 5am – 5pm, (Sun) 7am – 4pm | Facebook
A one and a half hour drive later, we were at Yanchep National Park to visit some koalas. The boardwalk allowed us to see these cuddly bears from a safe distance without the risk of stressing them out.
Within the park itself, you’ll also get to learn more about the rich culture of the Noongar people when you go on a Wanga Mia Aboriginal Cultural Tour.
We were fascinated by the tools, language and the way of life that has been proudly passed down generations until today.
Price: (Wanga Mia Aboriginal Cultural Tour) AUD15, approx. S$15.06, Every Sunday at 2pm & 3pm | (Koala Talk) Free entry, 3.15pm (Daily)
Yanchep National Park: Yanchep Road, Yanchep WA 6035 | Tel: (+61 8) 9303 7759 | Website
It’s a 50-minute drive from Yanchep National Park to Perth, where we checked in to the best hotel of the trip: Tribe Perth.
Designed by some of Australia’s top designers, every corner of the hotel is perfect for the ‘gram. The room was flooded with natural light from the floor to ceiling window, boasting a view of the city. I had the most wonderful two nights of sleep sinking into the fluffy pillows and bed.
Price: From AUD139/night (approx. S$139.59)
If you’re clocking in your 10,000 step count, you’re going to effortlessly hit your target on Day Six as there’ll be a lot of walking.
My favourite place in Perth has to be Fremantle. Michael from Fremantle Tours made the place come alive through stories of his family and his experiences, on a two-hour private tour, stopping along the way to point out some beautiful street art.
We started noticing random yellow stripes across the buildings and roads and thought to ourselves that maybe this particular street art isn’t supposed to make sense.
Towards the end of the tour, while we were standing atop the Roundhouse stairs, the yellow stripes fell into place; depicting a sonar, of sorts. It was created by artist Felice Varini, famous for his geometric optical illusions.
Sadly, this masterpiece will only be on display temporarily, but keep your eyes peeled for other works when you’re there!
Price: From AUD25/person, approx. S$25.11 (Walking tour)
We concluded the tour and wandered off to Fremantle Markets for lunch and did a little souvenir shopping.
Cottesloe Beach is pretty in pictures with its white sand and turquoise water, and is even prettier IRL. At the time we were there, the Sculpture by the Sea was on exhibit from 2 – 19 March 2018, and best of all, it was free to the public.
Some of the installations were fully interactive, like this larger-than-life head of a snorkeler. Others were more poignant and poetic. It was indeed a beautiful day out!
Cottesloe Beach: Marine Parade, Cottesloe, WA 6011
On to another walking tour – this time we were hosted by Ryan from Two Feet & a Heartbeat Walking Tours.
If you’re really into the street art movement, you’ll be happy to spot various works on display all around Perth city, especially along its hidden laneways.
Apart from the art scene, we were also introduced to Kings Square and Yagan Square, where you’ll blend in with the locals going about their everyday lives.
What better way to explore Kings Park than go on a Segway tour before we headed to the airport. It’s the fastest way to navigate the park while enjoying the scenery along the way.
After an introduction by Segway Tours WA and a quick practice around the cones, we were ready to explore.
It was a little terrifying to Segway uphill and across busy roads, but with a little getting used to it, we were swerving left and right on the streets.
Price: From AUD115, approx. S$115.49 (Kings Park Tour)
This trip to Perth would not have been as fun without great company, so round up your adventure-seeking friends and have a look at Singapore Airlines fares for a trip Down Under.
The five-hour flight to and from Perth passed by comfortably in a blink of an eye, and I was reminded again why SIA is the way to fly. Return flights to Perth from Singapore start from as low as S$528.
Too tired or lazy to plan an adventurous trip to this beautiful part of Australia? Try this itinerary on for size – you won’t regret it!