The vivacious city of Perth stands on the famous Swan River – which offers you walking, cycling, sailing and picnicking opportunities. You can take a boat trip to Fremantle to experience its vivacious nightlife, or embark on a gourmet cruise along the Swan Valley, tasting wine and having lunch as you go. Perth itself has most of the sophisticated amenities of a major European city, combined with the virtually unfailing sunshine for which Western Australia is famed. Known as a ‘two crops of strawberries a year’ climate, you’ll only want to go inside to sleep.
Stay: Two nights in the luxury, boutique Richardson Hotel.
Today you collect your hire car and drive through Western Australia’s iconic, flat bushland until you come to Margaret River. This settlement, as its name suggests, stands beside the Margaret and is a complete contrast to busy Perth. The town specialises in arty shops, quality restaurants serving artisan food and a picturesque region that stretches for 100 km between a pair of capes. The coast offers you sensational white sand beaches fringed by the cobalt waters of the Indian Ocean, with almost no buildings – or people for that matter – to clutter your photos. And then there is the wine. As many as 80 boutique wineries now produce some of the finest Chardonnays and Cabernets to be found in Australia. And there’s an ultimately stylish way of touring around them – in a 1955 Bentley with a big sunroof. The tour includes a stop at the Cape Dutch-style Voyager Estate, famous for wine, art and music.
Stay: Three nights at Cape Lodge, a small winery.
Above and beyond expectations, Jo was a real star. Prompt responses, a real pleasure to deal with.- EP, Italy, 2013