Our trip to Perth felt like a long time coming. Two of our besties, Guy and Lucy, were getting married, and a large contingent of our friends from Canada would be there. Combine this reunion with sunshine, beaches, good food and kicking off summer, it was set to be a holiday to remember.
Andy managed to get us Koru lounge vouchers, and following his comedically vocalised disappointment when there was no bacon on offer, he managed to rally for an otherwise indulgent (and somewhat uncharacteristic) start to our holiday. It was in the Koru lounge that we learnt one of our friends, Matt, was on our flight over, and in fact, would be sitting in the seat directly in front of me. Andy managed to score himself an upgrade to premium economy – although he did report back there was no bacon there either.
On arrival, Andy and I caught the train into the city, where we spent the first night in a hotel on the fringes of Kings Park. We thoroughly enjoyed a ramen dinner at Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King, our orders confirmed by way of a paper order form indicating our preferences. The next morning we got our heart rates up jogging through Kings Park, notable sights include the glass bridge on the Lotterywest Federation walkway, city views and the giant boab tree. After a coffee on corporate St Georges Terrace, we explored the CBD, ambling the shops, the business district and checking out Elizabeth Quay.
The next three nights saw us become Fremantle locals, literally staying at The Local Hotel in South Freo. Conveniently located to many beaches (favourites proving to be South Beach and Leighton), we quickly learned that early morning swims were best, before the wind (aka the Freo Doctor) reliably rolled in. We enjoyed many a delicious meal (at Ootong and Lincoln, Good Things, Running with Thieves and most notably, the Roasting Warehouse). It was easy to walk between Freo and South Freo, so we had plenty of tasty options at our fingertips!
Guy and Lucy were getting married at the Patio Bar in Freo. The day dawned hot, hot, hot and excitement ran high. A number of our friends were part of the bridal party, only adding to the anticipation of seeing everyone. It was a beautiful ceremony (with all florals done by Luce herself) and we all clocked up a fair few steps on the dance floor! Espresso martini hour was a big hit and several people were worse for wear the following day. A bunch of us met at Clancys Fish Pub before crossing to Gage Roads, one of the biggest breweries I’ve ever seen, with a prime outlook across the water.
We were fortunate to spend a night at Guy and Lucy’s humble abode, allowing us to finally lay eyes on their (incredible) ongoing renovations. We saw their neighbourhood, from Mary St Bakery to Hyde Park, Gelato Messina, Vincent Wine bar and Modus Cafe. The area was a lively one, landing somewhere between a vibrant Melbourne neighbourhood with relaxed suburbia.
Next stop: three nights in Dunsborough, a few hours south of Perth at Guys family’s house. Immersed in Australian bush (we even saw kangaroos on the property!) we had a fabulous few days fuelled by board games, naps in the hammock, disc golf and charcuterie boards. Throw in a day of Margaret River wineries, surreal swimming spots, a sunset at the Canal Rocks and I could see why Guy was so excited to share it with us. Of course, Commonage coffee and the mouthwatering fruit toast bakery (straight out of the oven at approximately 4pm) both deserve mentions for keeping us carbed and caffeinated throughout our trip!
No holiday to Perth is complete without a trip to Rottnest Island, so naturally we were doing this too! Unfortunately the Freo Doctor had well and truly settled in by late afternoon, resulting in a particularly nauseating ferry trip. No cars on the island meant hiring bikes was a must, and I was delighted to learn very quickly that quokkas were in fact, very common. We spent approximately 24 hours cycling between bays, swimming, wildlife spotting, playing lawn bowls and enjoying time with the group. All too soon it was time to re-board the ferry home – this time we sat on the upper deck; we all got pretty drenched but it certainly kept my seasickness at bay.
Back in the city, Andy and I stayed our last few nights at Lucy’s parents place in South Perth. We quickly became regulars at Community Coffee, we ate yummy Malaysian at Ria after wandering the lively precinct that is Victoria Park and we spent some time down on the waterfront, with its magnificent views across the water. We also enjoyed a drink on the rooftop of the Art Gallery, a delicious pasta dinner at No Mafia and my long awaited acai bowl at Hylin.
It’s never easy saying goodbye to international friends and this time was no exception. We had such a fun time with everyone and it was easy to see why they love Perth so much. I can say with confidence that we’ll be back in no time!