Western Australia

5 weekend getaways: Western Australia

Wine, beaches and city escapes, these are the best spots in Western Australia for a weekend getaway.

The western gem of Australia is full of quaint little corners that need to be explored. From Margaret River to Broome, here are the best spot in the state for a weekend getaway.

Margaret River

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The Margaret River is home to some of the country’s best wine and beaches, so it comes as little surprise that this destination continues to be a popular getaway in WA. Leave the city, and in just under three hours, you’ll reach an expansive space, crayoned with rolling vineyards and uninterrupted coastline. Like an oil painting that glimmers in the afternoon light, the Margaret River evokes a golden energy that can only truly be felt once you’re there.

Offering more than 150 world-class wineries, a trip to the Margaret River inevitably means devoting a good day or two to wine tasting. The region is known for several blends, including cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay, and as far as top wineries to visit go, we recommend stopping by Evans & Tate.

Established in 1974 by John Tate and John Evans, the winery has developed a solid reputation in the region, with one of its most notable blends being the Classic Sémillion Sauvignon Blanc.

From all that wine quaffing, we imagine you’ve probably worked up an appetite! If indulgence is key, you can’t miss a meal at the revered Vasse Felix. Recognised as one of Australia’s top 100 restaurants, Vasse Felix serves a modern Australian menu, drawing inspiration from international cooking techniques.

Pairing regional ingredients with creative flavours, you can tantalise your taste buds to the likes of duck and wattle pastrami alongside goat curd and fig. Our tip is to go for the five-course tasting menu, with wine and food pairing – delicious!

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Busselton

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Fancy the idea of being a beach bunny for your weekend away? Why not drive south to the charming seaside town of Busselton? In just under three hours, you can lap in the sparkling waves of the Indian Ocean, as they crash onto Busselton’s shore.

The heart of town is arguably the 19th century Busselton Jetty, which stretches 1.8 kilometres, and is recognised as the longest timber-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. Grab yourself an ice-cream from nearby Simmo’s, then walk the jetty’s length with your respective other.

Once you’ve reached the jetty’s end, you can get a taste of Busselton’s aquatic life with a visit to the Underwater Observatory. The observatory descends eight metres below the water’s surface, and offers a fascinating glimpse into Busselton’s impressive artificial reef. Through eleven windows, you can witness tropical and sub-tropical corals, as well as a mix of more than 300 individual marine species. As famed as the Busselton beach may be, we guarantee you won’t want to be leaving this place any time soon!

Western Australia has become well-regarded as a region offering top-notch cuisine, and Busselton is no exception to this. For an A-list kind of experience, our pick is Laundry 43. The quirky bar has a cool aesthetic of exposed brick and timber, with brightly-coloured paintings adorning the walls.

Here, Head Chef Nathan Thomas uses locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients to create a gastronomic experience of the senses. Opt for the Classic Degustation Menu, and sample house-made falafels and tempura tofu. As tempting as all this sounds, sweet tooths with relish in the dessert which comprises a pepper berry and violet pavlova.

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Albany

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Calling all nature lovers! If your idea of a weekend away involves walking along stunning, uninterrupted coastlines and making your way through rugged national parks, Albany simply beckons you. Head to Torndirrup National Park and marvel at towering granite cliffs and inlets of waves crashing against the rocks.

If you’d rather something a little tamer, make your way to Little Beach and catch up on some vitamin D. Recently named one of Australia’s best beaches, Little Beach is nestled in the Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve, and is blessed with golden sands and turquoise waters.

If you’d like to catch up on some history over the weekend, you’ll be intrigued to know Albany is the birthplace of the ANZAC legend. Venture to the Albany Heritage Park, and follow the tree-lined Avenue of Honour, which commemorates lives lost at war through inscribed plaques under each tree.

To learn a little more about the Gallipoli story, head to the National Anzac Centre, which is located in the centre of the park. Using multimedia and interactive technology, the history is portrayed in an emotive and personal style.

Nothing quite resonates with a coastal getaway more than a serve of fish and chips for dinner, and in the heart of Albany you can do just this. Ocean and Paddock is a true-blue fish and chip shop, which has been reinvented by two chefs who have given it a little TLC. As well as serving tasty portions of battered fish and chips, the in-house pastry chef creates a stunning mix of dessert offerings to remedy any sweet craving.

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Broome

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Long stretches of white sand melt into turquoise waters, while an amber glow consumes the sky as the sun sets for another day. Welcome to Broome. One of WA’s crowning jewels, Broome has become a favourite destination for those looking for an idyllic beachside escape in the sun.

The highlight of Broome is Cable Beach, which is a 22-kilometre stretch of sand, famous for its local camel residents. Camel rides are possible, and our pick is to go at sunset when you can witness the sheer beauty of the red sun sinking into the ocean.

A day at the beach is best concluded with a tasty afternoon pint, and when it comes to offering quality beer, Matso’s Broome Brewery is at the top of the game. The award-winning microbrewery is family owned and operated, and has become known as one of Broome’s finest breweries.

Lounge the afternoon away on the shady verandah, and dive into a diverse offering of pints including chili and ginger beer. One of the more famous beers is the refreshing Mango Beer, which is based on a classic Belgian blonde beer recipe and is the perfect way to beat the heat.

If you’re a cinema buff at heart, you can’t visit Broome without paying a trip to Sun Pictures Cinema. Dating back to 1916, this is Australia’s oldest outdoor picture theatre. Enter through what almost feels like a cinema museum, with film-oriented memorabilia including old projectors, then settle into one of the outdoor deck chairs for a flick.

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Fremantle

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Eclectic, unique, and arguably one of WA’s coolest destinations, Fremantle has well and truly made its mark on Australia’s map. This enclave of cool offers a myriad of attractions suited to any taste. From its picturesque ocean beaches, to the robust mix of cafes lining the famous ‘Cappuccino Strip’, Freo will leave you with a satisfying flavour that won’t dilute any time soon.

If you’re hoping to delve into the real Fremantle, a trip to the local markets is a must. Chaotic and lively, they feature more than 150 stalls offering local produce, jewelry, and fashion. Opened in 1898, the markets have been treating locals for centuries, and its charm doesn’t appear to be fading anytime soon.

After collecting some well-bargained knick-knacks, get a taste of Fremantle’s history with a visit to the Fremantle Prison. Built by convicts between 1852-1859 with local limestone, the prison was in operation until 1991 and is WA’s only heritage-listed building. The prison is now open to the public and functions as a museum and gallery.

Beer lovers will also rejoice in the knowledge that Fremantle is home to the iconic Little Creatures Brewery. Whether you’d like to down a refreshing pint of Little Creatures pilsner, or you’d rather leisurely sip a 6.4% IPA, this brewery has you covered.

For those wanting to settle in for the afternoon, head around the corner to Creatures Next Door. This relaxed lounge bar overlooks Fishing Boat Harbour and offers live jazz music every Sunday from 4:30pm.

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