Western Australian was never really on the agenda on my last trip to Australia but when the opportunity arose this time around I jumped at the chance to head “westside” for a long weekend with the girls in Freemantle, Perth.
We booked a cottage for the six of us just near the beach via airbnb. We arrived on the Friday after gaining three hours’ time difference mid-air and after a brief stop at the scenic Cottesloe beach for a chai tea, checked into our “Free-o” accommodation.
Elizabeth’s Cottage was a beautiful house fully equipped with everything you could possibly need for a girly or family trip away. The fridge and cupboards were stocked by the lovely host Roz and a booklet of instructions plus maps of the area supplied. The décor was quaint and rustic with linen and towels provided. Six of us paid $200 each for 3 nights’ accommodation with a reasonable $100 security deposit.
The cottage was situated a 10 minute walk from the beach and around a 20 minute walk from local cafes, bars, shops, restaurants and the Freemantle market where you could pick up local produce from a variety of stalls.
Friday evening we headed into Freemantle to Metropolis for the Boy & Bear gig and tried a local Vietnamese restaurant Ipho. The town was buzzing with people on breaks or long weekends feeling like a true holiday destination.
After an enjoyable Saturday on the beach, we visited Perth city centre by night to try La Cholita where we savoured some delicious Mexican food, sangria and some salsa swing thrown in. Then to the Mechanics Institute for kracken rum and 90s classics and finally The Aviary, a rooftop bar sitting in the CBD of Perth. A little tip if you are visiting Perth, they are early risers and early to bed, breakfast, brunch and lunch start earlier than your average Melbourne establishment and most bars that we tried were closing by 12am. So do your research if you want to visit specific restaurants or bars.
Tourism was on the agenda on Sunday, taking a ferry to the island of Rottnest, Perth’s very own island getaway 19km from the coast. We headed straight to the bike hire to pick up our bikes and helmets for a tour of the island with the other international and local visitors. The weather was a little mixed for November, but we took the rough with the smooth and cycled around taking in the picturesque scenery and meeting the quokkas. There are plenty of things to do on the island, from the museums and galleries, children’s activities, sports, events and snorkelling around the island. After sampling a traditional fish and chip lunch in the Hotel Rottnest, The Basin cove was perfect for a snooze on an isolated beach before travelling back to the main land.
A trip to Freemantle wouldn’t have been complete without a visit to Little Creatures, the original brewery for the infamous pale ale. Little Creatures ale was started in the Freemantle brewery in 2001 after lots of trials and experimentations. The brewery now boasts four locations including Perth, Melbourne and a new brewery in Geelong. Sunday sessions were in full swing when we arrived. Seated in a cosy booth, we ordered a selection of pizzas and mussels with a sample of your finest pipsqueak cider to finish off a relaxed weekend away.
Images by Heather Kipling, Niki Mossop Photography and weekendspast.com
Zebra artwork by www.anyabrock.com