A self-drive journey through Western Australia
Updated: Oct 22, 2018
A self-drive holiday is one of the most personal and economical way to see a new destination. Go at your own pace and stop anytime you like. Embrace the freedom of open roads and blue skies. Fire up google maps and explore any nook and cranny that interests you.
Just make sure you manage to get a good deal on your rental and a well maintained vehicle!
We got ourselves a super affordable Toyota Corolla Hatchback at AUD$279.45, for a total of 10 days. Really much more better than relying on the limited public transport in the countryside.
The Corolla Hatchback is actually an Australian specific model. Called the Toyota Auris in Singapore, Japan and other countries. It actually is quite a rare model on our local shores. Surprisingly, it was spacious and comfortable despite its small size. More than adequate for journey.
We received the vehicle with the odometer reading only 6000KM+. It was almost brand new! Picked it up and dropped it off Perth's Airport. Can't be anymore convenient. Just remember to return with the same amount of fuel when you received it.
We got our car through this link! The most affordable cars that we managed to find after scouring nights and days!
Western Australia is massive and shares the same time zone as Singapore. Most travellers will begin their journey at Perth, the state capital and major tourist arrival hub.
The Perth Mint
One of the earliest establishments in the city, the Perth Mint was built in 1899 during the Australian gold rush. It currently houses THE largest and heaviest gold coin in the world with a face value of AUD 1 million and weight of 1 ton of pure gold! Making it worth more than 50 million!
You can also buy bullion and limited edition numismatic gifts at the shop. Or just soak in the gold ions particles floating in the air.
Read more about the Mint here.
310 Hay Street East Perth WA 6004 AUSTRALIA.
Retro video games museum (The Nostalgia Box)
Located at Aberdeen street, opposite the North Metropolitan TAFE Northbridge Building 2, lies a quirky little museum of retro gaming history. Early gaming consoles complete with original box sets and user manuals line the display shelves.
You can try out some of your favourite games and relive your childhood from the 80s and 90s. However, If you're too young, you might not resonate with this place and that is simply sad, but not to worry, there are many other fun events hosted here from time to time.
Read more on their official site here.
The Nostalgia Box
Shop 3, 16 Aberdeen Street PERTH 6000
Wander a little further down into the outskirts, there are numerous vineyards and the world famous Swan valley. Sample the various locally grown produce from the farmers markets and the numerous rustic local restaurants.
The Cheese Barrel and Olive Farm Wines
One of our favourites, a wide array of locally made and imported cheeses with specially selected wine pairing. If you never tried cheese platters, it will blow your mind. Even if you have tried it before, you will be surprised at how good it is. Delicious melt-in-your-mouth cheese, meat pies, fresh coffee, wines and a wide variety of fresh produce. Sit back and look out at the blue skies at alfresco dining area. Nice and friendly staff. A truly relaxing, laid back and rustic atmosphere.
More on their official site.
920 Great Northern HWY Millendon - Perth, WA. (08)9296 4539
There are many other beautiful places that you can check out just by wandering about in the city. From the Zoo to the waterfront parks, beaches to the heritage buildings alongside with modern architecture.
Roughly 1 - 2 hours drive from Perth, a bustling port city located at the mouth of the Swan River. Part of the Perth metropolitan area. Filled to the brim with historical sites and well preserved heritage colonial era buildings, plenty of photo opportunities abound. Make sure to keep an eye on the seagulls...!
Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour
Lively and yet laid back, lots of tourist and locals alike flock over to enjoy the sea breeze and the fish and chips. Stroll around slowly. A relaxing, unhurried atmosphere throughout.
Fish and chips at Kailis. Portions are rather large. Many other waterfront establishments are lined up along the area.
Keep an eye on these guys. Really.
Fremantle Markets and vicinity
There's simply no better place to explore if you're in the area. Beautiful neighbourhood and the friendliest people all around. The finest food, coffee, and the freshest produce from the farmers.
A now defunct prison. Usage ceased only recently in 1991. View actual cells and the hangman's block where actual convicts live.
A Torchlight night tour is highly recommended! Some sections are really dark and only lit by torchlights. The guides are really entertaining and makes the whole experience much more engaging.
Bookings and timings on their official site.
You can also book a night's stay at the prison. A designated part of the prisons has now been converted to a youth hostel run by the YHA. Prices starts from only AUD $19 per night. A must-try and really unique experience if you ever pass by Fremantle.
There is a general sense of calm in the entire prison. Maybe perhaps its the wide open blue skies and huge courtyards.
From AUD $19 per night. Get your prison sentencing here!
6 The Terrace Fremantle, WA, 6160
Phone:(+618) 9433 4305
Approximately 2.5 hours away from Fremantle prison, lies the longest wooden jetty in the world at 1.841km long. A major attraction and visited by over half a million people in the past year. A lovely place to spend the day, fish, observe people and nature.
A wonderfully scenic place. Walking to the end and back takes a really long time, even if you do not stop. If it's too far for you, hop on the red jetty train.
The arrival centre and gift shop has plenty of information on the jetty and its surroundings and wildlife. You can even buy tickets to the underwater viewing gallery. Sadly we were unable to get them as it was closed when we arrived.
More information on the official Jetty site
Busselton beachfront (beach end of Queen St), Busselton WA, 6280
Phone (National / International) 08 9754 0900 / +61 8 9754 0900
Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse
Situated at the most south-westerly point of Australia, and approximately 3.5 hours from Perth. Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse on mainland Australia. Get up the lighthouse and watch the Indian ocean meet with the Southern Ocean.
A 2.5 hours drive away and perfect for a day trip. Thousands of weathered limestone pillars litter the landscape. A remarkable, rugged sight. No hotels or campsites nearby. Cervantes is the nearest town that provides accommodation.
The natural landscape
Driving through the vast open roads, you can't help but feel really small. The natural beauty of the land is awe-inspiring and we found ourselves stopping regularly just to admire the sights.
What our car looked like after our journey. Many bugs killed. Drove it to the airport and the rental guys just took over from there. Easy!
We love sharing good travel deals so get the affordable cars from here!
Most photos shot with the "ancient" Nikon D700. An ideal camera for budget travellers who demand the best in their photography.
It was a short 10 day journey and we barely scratched the surface of the massive Western Australian state. This was the trip that actually sparked our passion for long distance drives. Look out for more land journey posts!