The only thing better than a road trip is a road trip along the south-west coast of Western Australia with your family. Amiright?
Think four adults squished in the back seat, long drives between stops, and twenty different opinions about where to go and how to get there. But more on that later.
First, a little background: late last year my parents were visiting my sister in Western Australia, so we decided to crash the party and join them for a long weekend.
We timed it perfect really, as my future father-in-law is currently living only a 40-minute drive from my sister. So we figured it was a great opportunity for us to re-connect with part of our families while exploring a State we’ve never been to before.
We barely scratched the surface here, but there is only so much you can fit into three days! And, frankly, I think we managed to fit in quite a lot.
Our trip began with a late night flight from Melbourne to Perth. Perth is two-to-three hours behind Melbourne, depending on Daylight Savings. We arrived in the wee hours of a Saturday morning, picked up our hire car, and headed straight for our hotel in Scarborough — a 20-minute drive from Perth central. We picked Scarborough so we could wake up next to the beach, but unfortunately, the weather wasn’t overly cooperative.
After spending an hour or two browsing the streets of Perth, we hit the highway and made the 2-hour journey to Harvey. Harvey is a small inland town, and home to the world’s most isolated beef farm. It’s also where my future father-in-law lives!
A short drive from Harvey, Preston is a local favourite fishing spot and beach hang.
Road Trip to the South-Western Australia beaches
We spent the night at my sister’s in Bunbury, and the next day our family Road Trip began. Like me, my sister is a super organiser and had planned the whole day out for us. We were initially going to take our own car and follow everyone else in my parents hire car, but my step-dad took one look at our 4WD and decided we could all fit.
Which was great for him, stretching his legs out in the passenger seat. Whereas in the back, my sister, her boyfriend, my Mum, and I were forced to get cosy. And let me just say, we’re a family of wide-hipped women!
We hit up some beaches, went out for lunch, explored the Jewel Caves (which I’ll post about separately), and ended the day happy and tired.
This place blew my mind! Ancient, beautiful, breath-taking. I could have easily spent all day taking it all in.
Yallingup and Dunsborough
There are so many beaches along the coast of Western Australia, but these are the two my sister likes to visit the most.
Our final beach hop was Meelup, right before the sunset. White sand, clear blue water, and nary another person in sight!
What’s for eating?
Hola on the Beach: in the cute little beach town of Cottesloe, we hit up Hola for brunch. Good coffee, excellent food, and across the road from the beach. I ordered the most delicious bowl of porridge I think I’ve ever eaten in my life: banana brulee, toasted pecans, honey, and vanilla yoghurt.
Market Eating House: Family dinner night! The whole crew got together for dinner at Market Eating House on our first proper night in WA. Located in Bunbury, it’s got a great rustic vibe and serves local food designed to be shared. We all decided to go for the ‘Feed Me’ Market Menu, which pretty much gave us a taste of most of the items on their menu. So good.
Bootleg Brewery: Feels like it’s in the middle of nowhere! Which was perfect for us. Bootleg Brewery has a wide range of beers and actually make a pretty decent coffee, too. Big lunches, great atmosphere, and their menu changes seasonally.
Margaret River Chocolate Factory: If you love chocolate, then a trip to the Margaret River Chocolate Factory is a must! They have free tastings, a wide range of chocolate goodies, and you can even watch the chocolate makers in action.
Simmo’s Ice Creamery: So many options to choose from! We couldn’t pass up an ice cream at Simmo’s. I picked rum and raisin, which was so delicious. And, if you’re lucky, you might get to meet the emu’s that live in the paddock next door. It turns out my sister is a bit of an emu whisperer – they were all hanging out on the other side of the paddock until she worked her magic and somehow got them to come over and see us!