Backpacking to Western Australia!
Date: 20-24 May 2010
Lodging: Mountway Holiday Apartment
Read the reviews about this apartment from the net, mostly were negative. However, due to its really cheap rate, my friends and I decided to test our luck. And boy, were we very lucky! The location was perfect, right in the middle of the city. Everything was a walk away... the train station, the bus stops, Woolworth, Swan Bell, Swan River Jetty (yup, we walked all the way... my knees were wobbling at the end of the day, but it was worth it!). The apartment had a small kitchen with complete cooking utensils. We bought groceries from Woolworth and cooked weird version of Malaysian curry for dinner... and the staff was very friendly, she helped us book our trip to the Pinnacles.
Would I suggest to others? YES... Definitely!
Day 1: City of Perth
Upon arrival, we were advised to use a Maxi Taxi (catchy name) from Perth International Airport to Mountway Apartment. Maxi Taxi is suitable for 5-6 people - just perfect for me and my friends! After checking in, we started our walking journey to Kings Park and Botanic Garden. Autumn is a lovely season for walking here, not too cold and not too hot. On the way there, we had a quick photo snap with the Barrack Arch. The garden was nice... we had a perfect view of Perth City and Swan River from the top of the hill.
We continued walking to Woolworth for some groceries shopping, walked by the historical London Court and did a little souvenior shopping. Went back to the appartment for a quick nap and to recharge for some more extreme walking. Evening sight-seeing included Swan Bell and Old Mill. To get to Old Mill, we took a boat ride across Swan River. The sunset view of the city was marvellous and so romantic~ Too bad the Old Mill closed at 4pm, we were only able to see the little wind mill from outside the gates.
Day 2: The Pinnacles
Western Australia has many interesting landscapes... Eg: Wave Rock. But the one that caught our interest was The Pinnacles at Nambung National Park. The trip there took us 4 hours!! We spent most of our day in the van provided by the tour company. Since none of us had an international driving license, so driving was a no no. The package we took included a stop at a Kangaroo Park. Here, kangaroos hopped freely, not one was interested with our leaves offering (very stingy tourists! Haha)...
Although the ride to the Pinnacle was very long, it was worth every minute... the view of the country side was so nice, huge modern windmills, acres of farm.... and so I dozzed off... When we finally reached Nambung National Park, we were greeted by the most special natural landscape of longitudinal rocks poking out from the ground... I have never seen anything like it in my life! God creates such magnificent things!
Day 3: Fremantle and Rottnest Island
To go to Fremantle, the train is the best way. We took an all day pass - I think it is cheaper, about AUD7 for a couple... I think so... The souveniors in Fremantle Shops near the jetty is much cheaper than the ones in Perth, mostly sold by Indonesian storekeepers. There were Halal Kebab & Fish and Chips to die for! After lunch, we decided to go to Rottnest first. The ferry ride was quite nauseating, the sea was rough that day. In Rottnest, we get to see Quokas... cute little creatures, look similar to rats, but larger and probably more cuter... and we rent bikes to explore the island. There were bus services but I think biking was sooo much cooler and refreshing. It was easier for us to have photo stops on bikes. The hilly, green landscape outlined by the Indian Ocean was breathtaking!
The last ferry ride back to the mainland was at 4pm, pass that time, we may have to find somewhere to sleep on Rottnest... probably a lot more expensive. Back in Fremantle, the temperature was 18 deg C. It was windy. We did a 360 deg walk, visiting the Maritime Museum, The Roundhouse, Fremantle Market, The Old Clock Tower, and finally, back to Fremantle Station. At 3am, we left Mountway and Perth for Malaysia.
Interesting to note: A prayer room is available at Perth International Airport!