If The Urban List launching in Perth last month hadn't solidified WA as the hottest state to be seen in, the arrival of Molten Store's Jessy Cameron - Brisbane girl-about-town and all-round accessories wizard - on a whirlwind long weekend sealed the deal. She opened up her travel diary so we could share the best places to eat, stay and visit for a trip way, way out West.
My Perth Travel Diary
My pal Kelly and I touch down after dark. We collect our rental car, bundle our travel wares in the back, and hit the road for South Fremantle. Under a golden moon, we spy Kings Park on the horizon. I love landing in new cities at night time; everything feels like such a mystery until the morning.
We awake early on account of the time difference and head out in search of breakfast. We stumble across Ootong & Lincoln, and spend a lazy hour grazing on delicious goodies. Light-riddled and relaxed, the interior is a veritable treasure trove of strange curiosities and vintage artefacts. We contemplate instigating a board game with our fellow breakfast-goers (there is a shelf teaming with retro games) but decide to stock up on take-away baked goods and split… There’s adventure to be had.
We drive through Fremantle, en route to the open road. Polite streets and pretty cottage houses with friendly gardens soon give way to a highway and the horizon.
An hour out of Perth, we reach our first destination. The Atlantis Aqua Theme Park at Two Rocks was built in the late eighties for a tourism boom that never eventuated. In 1990, Atlantis shut its doors and has sat hauntingly idle ever since.
A giant statue of King Neptune holds court on a hill behind locked gates, and a pod of stone dolphins leap above the wild foliage that has claimed the park as its own. If ever a Goosebumps novel were to come to life, I imagine the scene would be set here.
We continue north for another couple of hours until we reach The Pinnacles. Limestone peaks, clustered together by the elements over centuries, rise above the desert earth in shard-like formations. The scenery is breathtaking.
Kelly and I decide to dedicate our second day in the west to embarking on an epicurean odyssey. We head to The Attic for a cozy breakfast before making tracks to Margaret River.
Spoilt for choice with a plethora of wineries, we nominate our favourites and play a game of Rock Paper Scissors to decide upon the Vasse Felix Restaurant.
We take a detour off the highway and navigate our way through dappled sunlight towards Cowaramup.
We arrive half an hour before our reservation, so we frolic through the vineyards and explore the on-site art gallery before taking our seats for lunch.
As the sunlight hours escape us, we depart Vasse Felix and set sail for the Bettenay’s Nougat Company Factory and collectively spend $152 on nougat. We consider this one of the finest moments of our adventure so far.
On our final day in Perth, we drive to Swan River to find The Crawley Edge Boatshed. Built in the 1930s, it was originally owned by a woman named Ivy French. Talk about a dream home.
We continue towards the CBD and wind our way up to Kings Park. We’re at the summit for about five minutes before it starts to rain, so we race back to the car and head to Subiaco for some retail reconnaissance at Flannel. Two dresses and a pair of shorts later, head to Ruoccos in South Fremantle to spend a lazy evening toasting our adventure over Italian food and wine.