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"We were invited on a press trip, by Austravel, to…"
We were invited on a press trip, by Austravel, to check out a few different places in Western Australia, starting in Perth. We landed on a surprisingly chilly evening in late September (anywhere seems chilly after the sweat marathon that is Singapore!), picked up our hire car and headed to the Somerset St George's Terrace, in downtown Perth. Although their main clientele seem to be business travellers, we were made to feel very welcome and our room was spacious and modern. Huge comfy bed, self-catering facilities and a giant bathroom with a slide back door between the spa bath and the bedroom - very sociable! The location was great for sight-seeing - just a short walk from the major attractions of Perth - the Black Swan river, the bell tower, the Mint (a real highlight!). However, if it's nightlife you're after, or somewhere lively to eat within walking distance, then you might struggle slightly, as this place is right in the middle of the central business district, so really clears out after 7pm. The other problem with being so central is that there was no hotel car park so paying for the local multi-storey was an expense we hadn't factored in. However, the proximity to all the sights makes up for this.
After a couple of days in Perth, we headed south to Bussleton, a small-ish seaside town about 2-3 hours from Perth. We stayed at the Abbey Beach Resort, Bussleton and if ever there were a hotel designed with children in mind - this is it! The facilities were fantastic - 3 pools (1 indoor), bikes for hire, sea kayaks to play with and the sea right on your doorstep. The other great thing about this hotel is that it's located in a bay which is very calm and picturesque so safe for swimming - the surf can be pretty wild elsewhere on the coast so it made a nice change to have a calm sea to swim in. We were also told that you can sometimes see dolphins from on the beach here, although we failed to spot any! Again our room was very spacious and had good facilities for self-catering, including a nice balcony overlooking one of the pools. The only downside of this beachside location is that it's quite far out of town - about 11kms. If you like cycling there's a lovely coastal path which keeps you away from the road and takes you all the way in to town, but if you don't fancy that, then you need to drive or get a taxi into town.
After a few days studiously monitoring the horizon for an appearance from flipper, we headed back towards Perth and stopped in Fremantle, where we stayed at the Esplanade Hotel. This was our favourite hotel of the trip due to the fact it combines a central location in the town with great facilities - again there was a lovely pool, several hot tubs, a sauna and our room was very stylish and modern. You really are in the thick of it at this hotel, with the harbour/seafront, bars and cafes and major tourist attractions all within a 5 minute walk.
All in all a fantastic trip and I'd definitely recommend Western Australia as a family-friendly destination - there's so much to see and do, we didn't have a dull moment!Read moreLess
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