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A long weekend in Perth

A long weekend in Perth

Thursday, August 26, 2010
Everyone loves the luxury of a long weekend but sometimes it's hard to know what to do with that extra day off. Getaway recruited Angela Tsun to come up with some ideas for a break in the west in and around Perth.

Swan Valley

Just 20 minutes east of Perth's CBD, Ross Gundry will take you to Perth's wine country on one of his Wagon Trails tours. Climb aboard his beautiful Clydesdale-drawn, fully upholstered and weatherproofed wagons and enjoy the Tastes of the Valley tour and around Edgecombe Brothers Winery.

It takes in the natural bird sanctuary on Lake Yokine, home to the graceful black swan, and works its way to the 20 hectare Edgecombe Brothers Winery which was first planted in 1925.

Dry, hot summers provide the perfect environment for table and wine grapes and other fruits and vegetables. Much of the food served in the cafe is grown right there, and they are renowned for their fresh asparagus. They serve a wide range of coffees and teas, Devonshire tea and a daily-changing lunch menu is available. Don't miss the muscat ice-cream. Still and sparkling wines can be tasted and purchased at the cellar door every day.

You'll see Perth's oldest church on the site made by Captain James Stirling in 1827. All Saints is the final resting place of many of the Swan Valley's pioneer families. A magnificent stained glass window was based on a painting hanging in St Paul's Cathedral in London.

The Swan Valley is gentle and relaxed and the air is fresh. It's the perfect place to enjoy beautiful scenery and excellent food and wine.


If you fancy a drive, and keeping in with the food theme, Albany is a little more than five hours south-west of Perth.

Albany Farmers Market has been open for business every Saturday for six years. The thriving marketplace's catchcry is "fresh is best". The not-for-profit group sells every imaginable type of fruit and vegetable, organic beef and lamb, free range pork and chicken, venison, honey, bread, yoghurt, cheeses, oils, jams and flowers.

The growers themselves proudly sell their products and pass on useful tips and recipes. Locals tend to use the markets for their major weekly shop, and holiday makers purchase goodies for picnics and non-perishables to take home. It all begins with the ring of a bell at 8am sharp.

Meelup Beach, Geographe Bay

If you head back to Perth along the coast, you could make a stop in Geographe Bay. Meelup Beach is on its western tip and its pure white sand and gentle waves have made it popular with families for generations.

Geographe Bay is a popular whale watching spot between September and December. Cape Naturaliste, Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park and the Geographe Bay coastline can all be admired from the Cape Naturaliste lighthouse.

A visit to the Dunsborough Bakery is a must. The little shop is legendary — they've been baking since 1941 — and on a busy day sell 3000 pies!

Red Bluff on Quobba Station

If you really want to get out of town, hop on a flight to Carnarvon and head out to Red Bluff.

It's on the 75,000 hectare Quobba Station which was established in 1898 and some of the original cottages surround the homestead. There's the blacksmith workshop, stables, overseer's residence, garage and jackaroos' quarters.

Accommodation ranges from camping to palm frond humpies, fishing shacks, chalets, shearing quarters and luxury eco safari tents on top of the Red Bluff cliffs.

The working pastoral property has 80km of raw and rugged coastline and is where the desert meets the ocean.

Migrating whales rest there between April and August, and there's no shortage of other animal life, including turtles, dolphins, manta rays, kangaroos, bungarras, ospreys, emus and native goats.

Related: Fremantle by scooter


The Swan Valley, Albany and Carnarvon in Western Australia.


Wagon Trails' 3.5-hour Tastes of the Valley tours cost $69 for adults and $35 for children between one and 14 years.

Red Bluff Quobba Station camping sites start at $10 for adults and $2 for children. Bungalows start at $55 for adults and $35 for children. Ocean View retreats start at $345 twin share a night.

Prices correct at August 26, 2010.

For further information

Wagon Trails Base
12001 West Swan Road
Henley Brook 6055
Ph: 0412 917 496
Fax: (08) 9571 0500

Edgecombe Brothers Winery & Café
Gnangara and West Swan Road
Henley Brook 6055
Ph: (08) 9296 4307
Fax: (08) 9296 1304

Albany Farmers Market
Collie Street
Albany 6330

Dunsborough Bakery
243 Naturaliste Terrace
Dunsborough 6281
Ph: (08) 9755 3137
Fax: (08) 9755 3637

Quobba Station
PO Box 708
Carnarvon 6701
Ph: (08) 9948 5001
Fax: (08) 9948 5001

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