Carolyn Bell, a South Pacific Destination Specialist and Team Leader recently returned from a once in a lifetime trip to Western Australia. Famous for its endless sunshine and pristine beaches, Western Australia is Australia’s largest state, offering a treasure trove of experiences rarely shared with North American globetrotters. We asked Carolyn some questions about her trip and experience.
Where did you travel to in Western Australia?
I travelled to Perth, Fremantle, Rottnest Island, Monkey Mia, Carnarvon, Coral Bay and Exmouth.
What was your favourite hotel and why?
This is tough because there were so many amazing and unique properties. For a city hotel I would have to say Como The Treasury Perth. The hotel has taken over the old government buildings and the architect wanted to keep many of the rooms as they were so this means that no two rooms are alike. The property has been beautifully restored and the service is beyond expectations. For something completely different, head to Sal Salis outside of Exmouth for a true eco experience. It is not for everyone as there is no electricity and water is limited, but the views of the beach and water from your luxury tent are excellent. You can also snorkel right off the beach and because there is very little light pollution, the stars are incredible.
Did you learn anything new, or did anything surprise you?
Western Australia will surprise you at every turn. Some if the landscapes are out of this world, with incredible rock formations that have been sculpted by the elements over thousands of years. The water is crystal clear and rich with marine life, making it a snorkeller’s and diver’s paradise.
Any tips or tricks for travellers to this region?
The best way to see the coast is by self-drive. There are so many things to see and only a few airports along the way so to do the area justice definitely drive yourself or take a fully escorted tour. The drive is easy with no traffic and roads are in great condition, just remember to never leave town without a full tank of gas, as stations are few and far between.
What was your favourite experience?
My favourite experience hands down was having the opportunity to swim with whale sharks. This had always been a dream of mine and it did not disappoint. We were very fortunate to have had the opportunity to go out two days in a row in different areas and found them very quickly. It doesn’t always happen that fast and you don’t always see as many as we did those two days. The crew on our second day told us this only happens maybe two or three times a year, so we really lucked out.
Do you think Western Australia is a good family destination and why?
This is a great family destination because there are so many things for every age group to enjoy. A trip to the Perth area is not complete without a trip out to see Rottnest Island and its resident quokkas.
Food is always a highlight when we travel. Did you have a favourite local dish?
It goes without saying that seafood is on every menu as the fishermen return with the local catch daily. The Crown Complex in Perth offers a large selection of restaurants and some of my favourite meals were had here.