What Would You Do?

Linda Lou Burton posting about Perth, Australia from Little Rock, Arkansas – Slept last night at “the famous Cottesloe Beach Hotel.” It promised “near Perth accommodation, bars and dining, and a stunning beach location with Indian Ocean views.” Well, that’s just what I came for. A place to wade in the Indian Ocean. A balcony so I could watch the sun set over said ocean. Restaurants right in the hotel, so I wouldn’t have to step beyond. And of course, that worked out perfectly since this is my Now Defunct strictly Imaginary RTW.

Now it’s Friday morning and my “wander bug” wants to do more than gaze at the ocean today. I’ve come this far, what else can I see in this isolated city, so far from the rest of the world? In one day. Grayline Day Tours has the answer. https://www.grayline.com.au/australia-sightseeing/perth-day-tours/

Here’s their spiel. Perth enjoys more hours of sunshine than any other city in Australia and locals very much enjoy a relaxed outdoor lifestyle. The city is nestled between the Swan River and Kings Park, one of the world’s largest inner city parks. Half an hour away is the colourful port city of Fremantle renowned for its arty and alternative types. You’ll fall in love with its charm.

For $69 AUD (that’s $49 US, if you want to keep up) their City Highlights Morning Tour takes me to:

  • The WACA – Western Australia cricket ground
  • Kings Park – spectacular views over Perth skyline, Swan River, and Melville Water from the tree top walk
  • Cottesloe Beach on the Indian Ocean coastline
  • Stunning and historic Fremantle – docks, marinas, charming heritage sandstone buildings
  • Barrack Street Jetty
  • The Swan Bell Tower
  • Perth Mint – stunning sandstone colonial architecture
  • Upmarket suburbs of Peppermint Grove and Dalkeith
  • Old Swan Brewery and Royal Perth Yacht Club – once home to the America’s Cup

They also offer the Morning Tour With River Cruise, the Grand Perth and Fremantle Tour which includes a river cruise, tram ride, and wine tasting; or the Wildflower Tour. Oh yes, WA is nicknamed the Wildflower State!

I do like wildflowers, but nuts, that is a springtime thing. So what else, Grayline?

The Desert

Pinnacles Desert Day Tours: The weird but wonderful formations of the Pinnacles are found in Nambung National Park, 125 miles north of Perth. The limestone structures, some as high as 6 feet, were formed 25,000 to 30,000 years ago after the ocean receded and left deposits of sea shells, gradually leaving the Pinnacles exposed to the elements. Three Tours – Pinnacles Explorer, Sunset and Stargazing, 4WD Adventure.

The Giants

Valley of the Giants Day Tour: Southeast of Perth 250 miles is the Valley of the Giants, named for its large red Tingle trees (Eucalyptus jacksonii) and Karri trees (Eucalyptus diversicolors). Walk across the tree tops in the forest canopy 130 feet up and walk among the gnarled twisted trunks in a gloomy forest glade. On the way ride through riverside suburbs and yacht clubs south of Perth; see orchards around Donnybrook – home of the Granny Smith apple; see the stunning coastline of William Bay.

The Island

Rottnest Island Day Tour: A short ferry ride from Perth is West Australia’s island getaway. Pristine beaches and bays, stunning scenery, impressive marine life, a rich cultural and historical heritage. Highlights: stunning coral reefs and crystal clear waters. Quokkas – adorable animals that are world renowned as the happiest animal on earth. Cape Vlamingh for whale watching. The Oliver Hill Guns and Tunnel fortification. Stunning pink salt lakes.

The River

Margaret River Day Tours: Taste the wines and explore vast underground limestone caves along the Indian Ocean coastline. Brilliant surf, pristine beaches, exceptional wines, decadent food and remarkable caves. The inland waterway of Peel Inlet, blue mountains in the distance, the wine growing region of the South West. Drive through the Karri tree Boranup Forest. Stop at Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse at the most southwesterly tip of Australia, marking the meeting point between the Southern and Indian Oceans.

The Valley

Swan Valley Day Tours: A picturesque region on the upper reaches of the Swan River 25 minutes east of Perth. The oldest wine growing area in Western Australia, over 150 places to wine and dine including award-winning vineyards and restaurants. Morning tea with the Captain, commentary on the Swan River’s history, a first wine tasting on board, then disembark and spend the afternoon at Sandalford Estate, a prominent winery in the Swan Valley.

The Wave

Wave Rock Day Tours: Wave Rock is composed of multi-coloured granite shaped over time by the gradual erosion of the softer rock below the upper edge and is believed to be over 2,700 million years old. Out in the wide sky wheat plains, Wave Rock, Hippo’s Yawn, and other strange rocks protruding from arid soil show the real Australia, ever waiting for life-giving rains. The route: Cross the Swan River Causeway. Climb the Darling Ranges. Cross vast dry farming plains. Visit historic York, the centre of the Avon Valley. Look for crows, cockatoos and galahs. The wheat belt towns of Corrigin, Hyden and Wave Rock. The Humps and Mulka’s Cave, ancient Aboriginal cave paintings. Farms and big horizons. Superb views of Perth’s evening lights from the majestic Darling Ranges on the return.

Back up, rewind! I need to rethink my stay in Australia. I can’t leave till I’ve done all of the above. Which tour do you think I’ll pick first?

Answer: a no brainer. I pick the Margaret River Day Tour – the coastline, the beaches, the inland waterways, the forest, the limestone caves, the wines, the food, and the KICKER — Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse at the most southwesterly tip of Australia, marking the meeting point between the Southern and Indian Oceans. TWO OCEANS!

And then I’ll stay another week or two and do the rest. What would you do?

Perth Tourism has some suggestions too. https://www.australia.com/en-us/places/perth-and-surrounds/guide-to-perth.html