Voted one of the world’s most liveable cities, Perth offers up an eclectic mix of nature, history, and modern culture. But to get a feel for the real Western Australia outback, you need head out of the city.
Sure you could head south to the Margaret River Region like everyone else.
Or you could head north and visit some uniquely Australian places.
Here are four of the best day trips north I recommend taking from Perth.
The thousands of weathered limestone formations, of all different shapes and sizes, rising out of the stark landscape of yellow sand at the Pinnacles in Nambung National Park is an amazing sight.
It looks quite lifeless until, that is, you spot a wild emu playing hide and seek amongst the moon-like terrain.
How to get there: It’s a three to four hour drive north from Perth via the Indian Ocean Drive.
This typical Western Australian small country town offers picturesque scenery, fascinating history, and friendly locals.The heritage-listed historic buildings that line Main Street of Toodyay are what first catches the attention.
But it’s the stark Newcastle Gaol, once the home to Moondyne Joe, Western Australia’s most infamous bushranger, that draws in the crowds.
Arrested in Wales and deported to Australia aboard a convict ship, Moondyne Joe as he came to known as, didn’t waste much time getting trouble once he arrived in Australia. Incarcerated in the Newcastle Gaol for stealing a horse, he soon became a hero of the average man from the bush for his brazen escapes.
Every May, Toodyay celebrates the town’s ties to Moondyne Joe by hosting the annual Moondyne Festival.
How to get there: An easy one hour drive north-east of Perth
It’s a long way away from the sea but you can still say ‘surfs up’ at Wave Rock.
It looks like it could crash onto the bush below at any moment, but this colossal surf wave of granite rock was frozen in time millions of years ago and hasn’t moved since.
How to get there: A four-hour drive north-east from Perth by way of the Brookton Highway
Founded in 1831, York is Western Australia’s oldest inland settlement and has maintained it’s colonial charm with of a great collection of well-preserved Victorian and Federation buildings. From antiquing to skydiving, there is plenty to do for all the family.
How to get there: Just under 100 kilometers, York is an easy hour and a half drive from Perth on the Great Eastern Highway.
Also worth a visit is New Norcia (see A Slice of Spain in the Australian Bush)
(all [email protected] Lewis 2014)