A Western Australian Adventure

 

When we think of Australia, several famous landmarks come to mind. It can be the iconic Sydney Opera House, the spectacular Great Barrier Reef or even party city, Bondi Beach. But we hear little about Western Australia or its capital city, Perth. 

This can come as no surprise seeing that Perth is the most isolated city in the world after Honolulu – the nearest capital city is more than 2000 kilometres away. For such an ulu country, WA is a multi-faceted wonderland that encompasses the cosmopolitan, the country and the real outback. So no, it’s not “just food and wine”. 

Here are 10 places that’d prove anyone who’s ever said “Perth is boring” dead wrong. 

 

1. Cliffdive off the 10-metre tall Blackwall Reach

 

cliffdiving at blackwall reach 

Calling all thrill seekers – this is not for the faint-hearted. At some point in our lives, we’ve had a go at diving into our community swimming pool from the ledge. Now multiple that height by 10 metres and you have our cliffdive at Blackwall Reach. It was cool and drizzly when we visited which made the jump all the more scary.

cliffdiving at blackwall reach

Simply park along Blackwall Reach Parade and follow the beaten track to find ledges along the 500-metre Blackwall Reach where you can angle yourself for the high jump. Note that there will be signs cautioning you against jumping due to badly formed rocks, so jump at your own risk!

cliffdiving at blackwall reach

If you’re worried, look out for footprints in the sand that might give you a tell-tale sign that others before you have made the dive. Or if you’re kiasi like us, climb down the cliff to check if there are any dangerous elements in the water first.

Once that’s all checked-off the list, take in the views before you hit the water. This ain’t some dingy waterpark you’re diving from – it’s the real deal. Think of this as Sentosa Cove but better and bigger.

 cliffdiving at blackwall reach

Once you’re ready, take the plunge and resurface a whole new person. It’s a life changing experience.  

 

2. Glamp under the stars for incredible night views

 

glamping perth
Source: @mile_end_glamping

We’ve all wished for that night under the night sky, taking in the shooting stars with a special someone. Alas, Singapore’s night skies simply aren’t fit for stargazing amidst the poll-ew-tion and constant sound of traffic. But in the outskirts of Perth at Margaret River, you can do exactly that, and in comfort.

glamping perth
Source: @anika.reynolds

Glamping, also known as ‘glamourous camping’ is camping for those too averse to deal with pesky mosquitoes and uncomfortable bedding. At Mile End Glamping, visitors stay in lavish, light-filled domes with their own private spa bath and kitchen.

glamping perth
Source: @weenieldie

Built in a private 144 acre estate in the heart of Margaret River, get an unparalleled view of the whole wine region plus a jaw-dropping view of the stars. No doubt, this will put our ECP camping horrors to shame. 

Find out more here.

 

3. Set foot into a maze straight out of Tim Burton’s imagination

 

amaze'n perth maze

We’re all too familiar with Lewis Carroll’s popular novel of the young girl who fell down the rabbit hole, only to end up in a peculiar world of talking rabbits and an angry queen who plays croquet. At Amaze’n Margaret River, you’ll feel like you’ve entered the similar set of Alice in Wonderland. 

amaze'n perth maze

This 40 acre plot of land consists of several hedge mazes of varying difficulty, a mini-golf course – if croquet isn’t your thing – and blooming gardens bursting with Native Australian flora.

amaze'n perth maze

Of course, the main attraction of the place is the Giant Hedge Maze, a 3 metre-high labyrinth that takes up a whopping 0.5 hectares. The key of the game is to find the lookout point in the middle for a splendid view of the sprawling compound.

amaze'n perth maze lookout tower
This elusive landmark is right smack right in the middle of the maze, with a retro bicycle perched on its roof.

amaze'n perth maze

After you’ve located it, your next challenge is getting out the labyrinth without resorting to the emergency exits. Navigating our way through this human-sized puzzle left us dazed – we took more than an hour to find the lookout point! 

If you’re weak-willed like us, find your escape via the emergency exits and if not, soldier on!

amaze'n perth

amaze'n perth scones

Once that’s done, stroll back down via the camellia gardens to have your own version of a Mad Hatters Tea Party. Be sure to have a bite of Amaze’n’s award winning scone paired with whipped cream and strawberry jam! Let the buttery-flaked biscuit be the prize at the end of an adventurous afternoon.

 

4. Find this secret spot to watch an awesome sunset at Sugar Loaf Rock

 

sugar loaf rock sunset

There are many places to view a decent sunset in WA. After all, this 3 kilometre-squared state covers a third of the whole continent and more than half of the land is pure country outback. Finding that 6.5/10 sunset on the road that’d still get the minimum number of insta-likes is easy.

However, if you’re down to see a spectacular, awe-inspiring retreating of light into the horizon, look no further than Sugar Loaf Rock. Located 3 hours away from Perth by car, a trip down to revel at its shoreline is worth the hike.

sugar loaf rock

The coastal area near Sugar Loaf Rock is located on the aptly named street, Sugar Loaf Road, south of Cape Naturaliste. From there, we ditched the car and climbed to the top of the Southern Lookout for a panoramic view of the triangular cheese-shaped granite rock. 

Named after its similarities to a literal granulated sugar mound, this beauty adds a magnificent edge to the ombre sunset.

sugar loaf rock

For a picture of this granite marvel against the gorgeous sunset, hike all the way down like we did from the lookout to the concealed rock island just metres away from the huge structure. Just be careful and watch your step! 

Be sure to wear comfortable running shoes – I obtained multiple scratches from using my worn out sandals…

sugar loaf rock sunset best view
That’s Sugar Loaf on the right!

As you perch on the surrounding rock islands like Little Mermaid 2.0, take in the scent of the salty ocean breeze and bask in your A+ sunset with a stunning view of the crashing waves.

 

5. Get a #QuokkaSelfie at Rottnest Island

 

quokka perth

We’ve all heard about Australia’s resident celebrity animals: koalas, kangaroos, emus. But I bet you’ve never heard of a quokka (pronounced kwo-ka), an adorable muppet-sized marsupial that’s also known as the happiest animal in the world. Literally. Their faces are etched with a perpetual smile. 

The most viable population of quokkas in the world can be found on Rottnest Island, a 30-minute ferry ride from Fremantle, Perth. So of course, we just had to pay them a visit and obtain a #QuokkaSelfie.

perth cycling

To locate these elusive furry critters on the 19 kilometre-squared island, old-fashioned bikes are the way to go. Rottnest itself has many bicycle tracks for easy pedaling and amazing sightseeing. 

The route we recommend is the Gabbi Karniny Bidi route, a 9.7km loop that gives you easy access to the glistening salt lakes and their surrounding wildlife. If you’re lucky, the lakes may turn a milky strawberry pink due to the fluctuating algae concentration.

wild quokka perth

To find our lil quokka friends, we consulted the help of local guides who pointed us in the direction of Garden Lake, which is full of secret nooks and crannies where countless quokka families live. 

quokka perth selfie

quokka perth selfie

If you’re up for it like Sherlock Holmes, follow the multiple trails of Malteser-sized pellets of poop that will lead you to selfie jackpot.

simmos ice cream perth

simmos ice cream perth

Besides quokkas, the island offers several foodie establishments that’d whet your appetite fo sho. Think the freshest seafood of Western Australia and over 100 different flavours of locally produced ice cream at Simmo’s. 

It really doesn’t get any better than that after a long day of cycling.

 

6. Clamber up to a 61-metre high treehouse

 

Gloucester national park

Gloucester tree climb

As kids, many of us longed for our own treehouses in a typical white picket fence backyard. But due to SG’s severe land constraints and the convenience of our HDB playgrounds, that wish has never been fulfilled. So when we embarked on a 4 hour journey to Pemberton to climb their 61-metre Gloucester Tree, we knew our childhood dreams would finally come true.

Gloucester tree

The Gloucester Tree has quickly become a local and tourist attraction for an incredible 360-degree view of the entire Karri Forest. But climbing to the top of the lookout cabin – an adult version of our childhood treehouse – is no easy feat for even the fittest of us.

Gloucester tree treehouse
About halfway to the top and it felt like we were at the shoulders of Mount Everest, grappling for the last peg to climb on.

A total of 153 wooden pegs are spiralled around the tree for climbing, with only a thin measly net to break potential falls.

Gloucester tree treehouse

When you finally emerge from the painful depths of serious cardio, expect to be spellbound with the highly rewarding view at the top. With the entire Karri Forest at your disposal, the lookout is likely to rival the lush Amazonian rainforest.

Gloucester tree treehouse

But Pemberton is known for more than its giant climbing trees – this picturesque paradise is also unofficially dubbed the ‘clean green jewel’ of the South West surrounded by Karri forests, waterfalls and vast vineyards.

karri forest path

pemberton spring

While you’re in the region, explore Pemberton’s restaurants with blooming backyards that’d provide you with a non-mainstream version of Japan’s sakura season. When we were there, the November breeze cast a delicate ambiance to the whole experience and for a moment, everything was perfect.

 

7. Play with Australian wildlife at Caversham Wildlife Park

 

kangaroo caversham wildlife park

wombat caversham wildlife park
Say hi to Neil the chill wombat!

As tourists in the best wildlife region in Aussie, we just had to make a visit to Caversham Wildlife Park. The park houses 2000 animals from 200 species – all of them native to Western Australia.

olive python caversham wildlife park

Unlike conventional zoos, this park allows you to interact with the animals through direct physical contact! With so much to see, our guide from Explore Tours* brought us to pay a visit to the ‘Wombat and Friends’ enclosure where we could caress the wildlife.

*Check out Explore Tours Perth for other tours you can take while in the area!

milk cow caversham wildlife park

If that’s not enough for you, sneak a peek at the park’s Farm Show that takes place 3 times a day. Watch a real farmer herd a flock of sheep via a feisty black dog and watch them get sheared. But perhaps the biggest perk of all is learning how to milk a cow with the proper technique. 

This hands-on experience is something that few zoos or parks offer.

koala selfie caversham wildlife park

But if farm animals aren’t your thing, why not meet the furry creatures every Australian would have asked you about? Yes, you guessed it. Say hello to your Australian icons, the koala and kangaroo. 

Since young, it’s always been a dream of mine to cuddle a koala. And I finally got to do it here. The lazy furball hugged the branch and shuffled in for a picture. I’d say I look overly happy but hey, who wouldn’t in its adorable presence?

kangaroo caversham wildlife park

Once the cuddling sesh is over, let’s be practical, animals need to eat too! So head over to the Kangaroo Feeding enclosure where kangas and their lil’ joeys prance around looking for food. 

These creatures are incredibly docile and tame – simply move your hands forward and they’ll gratefully lap up the food pellets. Stick around for a kangaroo selfie too!

australian eagle caversham wildlife park
The regal native Australian eagle

 

8. Visit the foodie paradise that is Fremantle Market

 

fremantle market entrance

We’d travel all the way to BKK just to get our hands on Chatuchak steals. But for an even more wholesome shopping experience sans dodgy looking meat skewers, you have to check out Fremantle Market in Perth City.

turkish gozleme fremantle market
How Turkish Gozeleme is made…

baklava fremantle market
The sweet, buttery layered Turkish baklavas

Name any type of food and you’ll likely find it in Fremantle Market (Freo Market). From Middle Eastern to Taiwanese, Freo’s got you covered. If you enter from the front entrance, be greeted with a rainbow of fresh local fruits and veggies for your pickings.

cheese fremantle market

pastries fremantle market
According to locals, the best donuts and pastries are found in Freo Market.

coffee fremantle market

coffee fremantle market

Of course, Aussie isn’t Aussie without cold brew coffee. Get the best beans at Freo Market – wholesale!

ukulele hammock
I came home with a pristine ukulele for only $50 AUD. Talk about a massive steal. 

Once you’re done filling your tummy, check out local shops selling unique trinkets and native knick-knacks.

 

9. Explore a haunted maximum security prison

 

fremantle prison outside

fremantle prison tour

Fremantle Prison is no ordinary prison, no, no. This prison is the largest convict-built structure in WA and the first building in the region to be included on the World Heritage list. Yeap, Changi Prison probably won’t beat this.

fremantle prison tour

fremantle prison tour

We went on their exclusive Torchlight Tour of the huge prison and were equipped with our own torchlights. Be warned, many say that the compound is haunted and have observed floating light spectres around tour groups.

In between the guided walk, expect a slew of frights and surprises. But we won’t spoil them for you as you’ll have to see it for yourself.

fremantle prison tour

Witness a “real” flogging with the prison’s signature whip, the cat o’ nine tails, a multi-tailed whip that wardens used to whip prisoners into shape before rubbing salt – yucks – into their wounds.

fremantle prison ghost
If you’re tired of tacky haunted houses in local carnivals, Fremantle Prison will be the real deal..

 

10. Meet dolphins on a glass-bottomed boat ride

 

rockingham wildlife encounters

We’ve all heard of these elusive marine stunners and we’re also aware of their low survival chances in the wild these days due to over-fishing. Dolphins are as beautiful as they are endangered, and you can feast your eyes on them at sea along the coast of WA, where they are in safe territory.

rockingham wildlife encounters dolphins

To take a peek at these cheerful buggers in their natural habitat, take an ocean cruise on Rockingham Wildlife Encounters which runs trips around the dolphin-safe area. They like to manage expectations and claim a 60% chance of catching dolphins frolicking amongst the waves.

rockingham wildlife encounters dolphins

Thankfully, we got a beautiful shot of these magnificent creatures. But be quick before they submerge back into the water again. 

It’s also worth mentioning that we caught these sights on a glass bottomed boat. As the waters were pristine, we could see the billowy sea grass below, kept active by aquatic life living amongst it. 

 

Bonus 1: Get your #OOTD at the iconic Blue Boathouse

 

perth blue boathouse

If you’re in Perth City, it’s absolutely imperative that you get the iconic #OOTD at the Blue Boathouse along the Swan River. We’ve probably reblogged or FB-liked a picture of the pastel  boathouse shrouded by the calm waters of Crawley and you’ll be surprised to find out where this insta-hit is actually located. 

perth blue boathouse

Yes, this beauty is right smack in the middle of Mounts Bay Rd Freeway. Beware the number of people lining up to have their pic! We came on a windy Wednesday afternoon so the breeze was especially strong. Perfect for that Pantene hair commercial shot? 

perth blue boathouse

 

Bonus 2: Eat the best tiramisu in the world

 

ciao italia tiramisu

PSA: The best tiramisu in the world is found in Perth. We knew you were expecting Italy but nope, it’s definitely in Perth. Seek it out at the local Italian restaurant Ciao Italia, a haven for fresh pastas and authentic pizzas.

ciao italia tiramisu

This holy grail of a tiramisu comes bathed in mascarpone cream and drizzled generously with dark chocolate. Slice into it and feast your eyes on layers upon layers of Italian coffee-drenched pastry sandwiched between coats of fresh cream.

ciao italia pasta

ciao italia pizza

If you don’t have a sweet tooth, indulge in Ciao Italia’s other offerings such as their signature creamy and garlicky Ciao Italia Fettucine and Truffle Ricotta Pizza. Note that portions are HUGE so you’ll need 3 people to one dish.

 

Getting to Perth with Scoot

 

perth forests scoot

We left for Perth with feelings of doubt and an uncertain heart – we’d heard all the horror stories about Western Australia being no-man’s-land and we were far from keen. But 6 days changed all of that. We were exposed to the natural beauty of the region in the form of sprawling vineyards, but not to mention the urban hipness of Wolf Lane too. 

If you’re a wandering heart that can’t decide on any location in the world, go for Perth. Its surrounding beauties and multi-faceted identity make it a place you have to visit in your lifetime. 

perth skies

If you’re looking for similar adventures in the land down under to fulfill those wanderlust #goals, Scoot offers you more than just a plane seat and buckle. Take advantage of these insane perks that’ll zhng your airplane ride on a whole new level.

 

1. Double up your comfort with extra breathing space

 

scoot maxyourspace

Comfort is my ultimate priority on a flight – I’d even go the extra mile and pay more for it. So if you’re particular about privacy and could use the extra sleeping room, simply purchase the MaxYourSpace add-on to get up to 2 extra seats next to you.

 

2. Stay in the loop with inflight Wi-Fi connection!

 

scootv wifi

We all hate missing out. So when we’re on a plane for 7 consecutive hours, it can get mind numbing knowing that you’re missing out on major gossip back home. You crave social media and the internet stalking has to be done no matter where you may be. 

Stay connected with Scoot Wi-Fi at just  US$11.95, US$16.95 and US$21.95 for 1, 3 or 24 hours of unlimited data. It’s easy – pre-purchase Scoot Wifi when you book your flight and get your login details before departure!

Or, if you just want to catch up with friends via chat and social apps while on your flight, you can purchase the ‘Social-Lite’ 20MB plan (only available on board).

 

3. Watch the latest unreleased blockbusters on your tablet

 

 

$11 weekend movie tickets are the worst – that high price for a single film is super bohua. But ScooTV aims to exceed your expectations with a full range of the latest Hollywood favourites for the same price at their all-you-can-watch movie buffet. 

ScooTV is compatible with all devices of the 21st century: laptops, iPads, smartphones, you name it. All you have to do is log in and gain access to the programme listings immediately. See this as a respite from the screaming babies you may face on board.

 

4. Get travel insurance with the click of a button

 

sugar loaf rock view

Getting to your destination is important but getting there safely is even more so. These days, travel insurance can be a fiddly thing and often full of signatures and hard-to-understand terms. But Scoot aims to rid people of these nightmares with ScootProtect Travel Insurance.

From just $19 to Perth, get insured for up to $100,000 when it comes to personal accidents. The payoff is mindblowing and what’s more, all you have to do is tick a box when booking your tickets. Easy as pie.

So off you go child! The world is your oyster for you to conquer – one destination at a time.

Get 30% off selected flights to Perth with the code “FLYPERTH”!


This post was brought to you by Scoot.