Time for another Australia and New Zealand magazine reprint. You may have noticed I’ve done a few of these lately, but every now and then I realise I’m getting a little behind with them.
I like to publish them on this website a month after they’ve appeared in the magazine, and as this one appeared in their August edition, that means I’m now right up to date again. This one is called…
The other side
Regular readers of these articles will know that in the past I’ve written quite a bit about my ‘plane hopping’ experiences. Both my wife and I like to travel and we both want to see as much of Australia as we can.
It’s a big country though, and whilst I love those ‘Mad Max’ road trips, sometimes the easiest way to see another city is to jump on a plane. Only two state and territory capitals remained on our ‘to do’ list; Canberra and Perth.
We haven’t yet been to Canberra because, for some reason, a holiday in an Australian city with way too many politicians and no beaches whatsoever isn’t massively appealing. Perth has always been tricky because you don’t plane hop to Perth; that journey takes a proper flight.
Crikey, you even get time to eat a hot microwave meal and down a couple of drinks!
But Perth does have beaches, plenty of them, and just the usual amount of pollies. So it is well worth the trip and that’s what we did recently with our journey to the other side of Australia.
Many people, me included, see the isolation of Perth as a negative. Adelaide, at over 2000 kilometres away, is the closest city to Perth with a population of more than 100,000 people. When I was in Perth though, I began to wonder if the isolation really matters. After all, it’s not exactly solitary confinement, is it?
We spent five days in Perth, a city not too dissimilar in size to my own Brisbane. Both have an easy to navigate city centre and sprawling spaced out suburbs.
It’s difficult not to be impressed with Perth’s Kings Park, the Swan River, the excellent infrastructure, free buses and, at times, free trains. Add the beaches, and Perth becomes very liveable indeed.
So for our second five days in Western Australia we jumped in our rental car and drove. Surely this was a stupid thing to do? Drive to where? Adelaide? There’s nowhere else to go, is there? Were we going to spend five days visiting nothing, experiencing true isolation?
No, we weren’t.
Heading south, we had fun on Penguin Island and an enjoyable lunch stop off at the lively Mandurah. We stopped off briefly to enjoy the almost deserted Myalup Beach; maybe this is isolation?
Then we pushed on to Bunbury for an overnight stay; bars, restaurants, beaches, if this is isolation, not bad. The real prize was yet to come though and we passed through Busselton with its interesting looking jetty and buzzing promenade to get to it.
We spent just three days in the Margaret River region, it’s easy to see why this is one of Australia’s most popular holiday destinations. Wineries, breweries, restaurants, countryside and the most stunning blue ocean you will ever see.
We spent our final night in a city called Fremantle, just 30 minutes outside of Perth. I once described St Kilda, Melbourne, as possibly the trendiest place in Australia. Fremantle might just edge it; bags of character, some wonderful pubs and a real buzz about the place.
If this is isolation, I think it’s a good thing.