Wine & Western Australia
Western Australia Travel Blog› entry 8 of 22 › view all entries
After a merry Christmas here in Sydney, I made a impulse decision to join a wino friend to go to Western Australia (aka W.A.) on Boxing Day. We arrived in Perth Wednesday night at 10pm and the air was almost suffocating in comparison to the weather in Sydney - it had been 44C that day. Perth has been described as where the desert meets the ocean and is the favorite city in Australia of a couple people I've met. The city sits on both sides of the Swan River which runs into the Indian Ocean. It is about 1.5 million people and has a lot of historic charm (settled by the Dutch I believe) and natural beauty at the same time.
We stayed in the centre of the city Wednesday night and spent Thursday walking around, taking it all in. I believe it only reached about 40C that day. We visited the main shopping district that has a nice pedestrian mall and the old London Court strip. We checked out the Swan Bell which is a beautiful modern looking bell tower on the water - a famous landmark for the city- and walked by a few of the other famous buildings and parks. Mid afternoon, we bought a ferry ticket to Freemantle which is a quaint and pretty little town just on the outskirts of Perth. It was about 40 mins on the ferry so we had opportunity for some great views and cold beer before the ferry arrived at the National Maritime Museum.
On Friday morning, a contact of my friend who works for Capel Vale winery picked us up and we drove out with a group to the Swan Valley - a leafy wine region not far out of Perth.
That evening, the wine writer and his partner invited us to crash at their place so we went out with them to a BYO Japanese Restaurant with 3 bottles of wine in hand. After a long dinner we went to this swankier place called Raffles where Heath Ledger happened to be chilling (Perth is his hometown.)
The next day, we were taken up to Capel Vale for a beautiful lunch and tasting. The restaurant is all glass walls right in the vineyard. The drive to Capel Vale was very scenic (horse farms and vineyards - how could it not be) and it was interesting to talk to the guys about wine and the industry. Once back in Perth we borrowed a car from the people we were staying with and drove about 10 mins to Cottesloe Beach.
On Sunday we had a fab lunch at this wine bar in Perth with Champagne, oysters, tapas and dessert wine. Then we went to this cool and sunny pub for a couple drinks. Later that afternoon, we drove South and stopped for a night in Australind at this incredibly scenic B&B called Cook's Park. It was right on the water with horses on the property and super luxurious rooms.
The next morning we drove the rest of the way down to the famous Margaret River region. Some of Australia's best wine comes from here. It is similarly famous for its fabulous surf. I might add also that there were horse farms everywhere too.
I should also add that it was clear sunny weather the whole time we were in W.A. It is one of those special places that is just so happy, relaxed and beautiful, and so far from anywhere else.